Summary: Solomon's love with the young girl from Shunem paralleled to the type of love God desires to share with each of us.
Being Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about love and romance. To do that, I want read a passage of scripture from the only book in the Bible that really looks at the feelings expressed between human beings when they care very well for each other. In this passage, that I’m about to read, there’s a group of young girls that have gotten together for some reason, and sometime during there visit they ask (who the Bible calls) “the most beautiful one among them”, “Hey, where’s your husband?” There’s one girl in this group of young ladies that far outshines the rest of them in beauty. ‘And she used to a peasant worker in the farming town of Shunem’ (that’s a city about sixty miles north of the city of Jerusalem; about as far as Marion is from downtown Columbus). Anyway, this group of girls knows that she was recently married. Perhaps they were at the wedding, or maybe it was just known abroad, because in Jerusalem there’s a man that had become infatuated with this lovely woman, and she had also been smitten by him, and one day he asked her to marry him, and now they are newlyweds. I say that this could have been common news in that day, because this wasn’t just any man that wanted to marry this beautiful young lady. The man who married this beautiful girl was Solomon, King of Israel. What we have here in our Bible in the Song of Solomon is a collection of love letters and poetry that they had sent to each other, and also romantic conversations shared between the two of them. As I read through this passage of scripture, I’ll pause throughout, just so we all can be on the same page with who’s speaking to whom. Now remember, ‘this was wrote around 935BC’ , and the language of that day is a lot, let me emphasize “a lot” different then what we use today. For example, I wouldn’t tell my fiancé, “Babe, your teeth…Wow! There’s a white as a herd of sheep that’s just got done taking a bath!” I don’t think she would appreciate that. However, that was considered a compliment in those days. Even though the language is different, the theme is still there—a man and woman madly in love, who are about to get married, and than do so. Song of Solomon chapter six beginning at verse one, I’ll be reading from the NKJV, follow along on the screen if you don’t have your Bible. Would you stand in honor of the reading of God’s Word? So this chapter starts out with the young girls asking the new bride:
1 Where has your beloved gone, O fairest among women?
Where has your beloved turned aside, That we may seek him with you?
The bride answers her friends:
2 My beloved has gone to his garden, To the beds of spices,
To feed his flock in the gardens, And to gather lilies.
3 I am my beloved’s, And my beloved is mine.
He feeds his flock among the lilies.
Now, Solomon says to his wife:
4 O my love, you are as beautiful as Tirzah, Lovely as Jerusalem,
Awesome as an army with banners!
5 Turn your eyes away from me, For they have overcome me.
Your hair is like a flock of goats Going down from Gilead.
6 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep Which have come up from the washing;
Every one bears twins, And none is barren among them.
7 Like a piece of pomegranate Are your temples behind your veil.
8 There are sixty queens And eighty concubines,
And virgins without number.
9 My dove, my perfect one, Is the only one, The only one of her mother,
The favorite of the one who bore her. The daughters saw her
And called her blessed, The queens and the concubines,
And they praised her.
Now the girls tell the new wife how beautiful she is:
10 Who is she who looks forth as the morning, Fair as the moon,
Clear as the sun, Awesome as an army with banners?
The new bride now answers the group of young girls:
11 I went down to the garden of nuts To see the verdure of the valley,
To see whether the vine had budded And the pomegranates had bloomed.
12 Before I was even aware, My soul had made me
As the chariots of my noble people.
The title of this message this morning is: “God’s Love Letter”. May God add His blessing to the reading of His Word; you may be seated for the message.
Obviously, this passage of scripture is talking about romance, and love relationships. However, I believe strongly that this not just a story of Solomon and his wife’s love for each other, but it also symbolizes God’s love towards us. That not only can we learn about the type of love that God intended for one man to share with one woman, but that we can also learn from the Song of Solomon the type of love that God has for us, and the type of love we need to have for Him. This morning I’d like to look at this passage of scripture by asking three questions: 1 – What are these people actually saying to each other? (Tirzah, Gilead, army with banners, etc.) What are the young girls, the new bride, and Solomon actually saying to each other? 2 – What does this book of the Bible teach us about intimate love relationships? 3 – Most importantly, what kind of love relationship does God desire to exist between us and Him? I’ll move quickly through the first two questions, because I want to spend the bulk of our time this morning dealing with that third question: What kind of love relationship does God desire to exist between us and Him?