LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT?
Song of Solomon 1:1-6
In the Old Testament there are two books that never mention God in the entire text. These books are the Book of Esther, which is a story of the redemption of God’s people; and the Song of Solomon. Not only does the Song of Solomon not refer to God but this book does not refer to prayer or worship either. So why is this book in the Bible?
We need to remember that the Bible not only describes who God is and what God does but it also tells us what God wants for His people. This book of the Bible gives us an example of how God created man and woman to live in happiness. God created us as sexual beings. He made male and female distinct and different biologically and psychologically. Now God did create us spiritually identical. This is what makes men and women equal before God. God ordained marriage from the beginning of creation. As Genesis tells us, two become one. The process of two becoming one is not the marriage ceremony but begins when a man and woman become one through sex. Notice that this is when the process of two becoming one begins. The entire marriage is the process of two becoming one every day. That is why sex outside of marriage is sinful. It destroys the oneness of the married couple.
Because of the explicit sexual language that is used in this book, Jewish teachers did not allow men to read this book until they were thirty years old and women were not allowed to read it at all. We cannot ignore the sexual content of this book because it just proves that sex in the marriage relationship is a good thing not a “nasty” or perverted thing.
Let’s begin our intimate journey through the Song of Songs.
In our first study we find a Shulamite woman expressing her desire to be with King Solomon. This woman was physically attracted to Solomon. If you are married, as you study this passage try to remember what attracted you to your spouse. If you are unmarried, ask yourself, “What am I looking for in a potential spouse as I date?”
Meet The Writer
It is interesting that God would use Solomon to write this love filled, sexually explicit book in the Bible. As told in 2 Samuel 12:24-25, Solomon was the second child of David and Bathsheba. Their first child was conceived in an adulteress relationship and that child died. The Bible says that God loved Solomon. Solomon was King of Israel and built a temple to God. Solomon was given great wisdom by God and was the wisest man on the earth. Although Solomon was very wise he disobeyed God and took many foreign women as his wives. 1 Kings 11:3 tells us that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines and his wives led him astray.
This “womanizer” was the writer of this love song. Many have wondered if Solomon had all of these wives and concubines when he wrote the Song Of Songs. What do you think?
Song of Solomon 1:1-3(NKJV)
1 The song of songs, which is Solomon’s.
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth- For your love is better than wine.
3 Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; Therefore the virgins love you.
Song of Songs 1:1-3(Message)
The Song- best of all songs- Solomon’s song!
Kiss me- full on the mouth! Yes! For your love is better than wine, headier than your aromatic oils. The syllables of your name murmur like a meadow brook. No wonder everyone loves to say your name!
The woman has seen Solomon and she is dreaming and thinking of what it would be like to be with him. She was fantasizing about how wonderful it would be to be with him and maybe become his wife. Have you ever “dreamed” of someone? Culturally men are usually the ones that are scolded for thinking about what it would be like to be with a particular woman, but women do the same thing concerning men. Is it acceptable for a person to think about another person in this manner? Remember that if you look upon someone and think about having sex with them that is the same as having done it. That means that it is acceptable to think about someone and look forward to their touch, but this “dreaming” of someone is not to be sexual in nature. Now don’t forget I am talking about people who are not married or about married people “dreaming” of someone other than their spouse, not about spouses thinking sexually about one another. Physiologically, the brain is the most active sexual organ in the human body. Be careful to control your thoughts. The devil is a master at putting something in front of your eyes that is attractive because he knows that many times we will start thinking about that person in the wrong way. Once the person begins to start thinking about something over and over again, it becomes easier for them to act upon those thoughts. If you don’t believe this is a strategic plan of Satan’s, read about the fall of mankind when Eve saw the fruit and it looked good. It was not very long before Adam and Eve were eating that forbidden fruit.
One of the Shulamite’s personal desires was to kiss Solomon. She could just imagine how wonderful it would be to kiss him. I like the fact that we are shown an acceptable means of affection before marriage. I have been asked by dating couples before, “What is acceptable physically in the dating relationship?” Here you have it. Kissing is an acceptable form of physical affection in the dating relationship. Kissing is also an important form of affection in the marriage relationship also.
It is also interesting that she can remember what he smells like. It was customary in these times to rub the body with fragrant ointments, which were oils, after a bath in preparation for festivities. This brings up an important point in not only dating but in marriage also. Notice how Solomon was presenting himself. He was obviously handsome or at least to this woman and several others, but he didn’t stop there. He made sure he was at his best!
This leads us to our next point.
Just A Thought:
Married couples, do you enjoy kissing your spouse or is it a means to an end?
______________________________________________________When you were dating, did you enjoy spending time kissing?
______________________________________________________Did you kiss on the first date or did you reserve kissing for someone a little more special?
Song of Solomon 1:4-6(NKJV)
4 Draw me away!
THE DAUGHTERS OF JERUSALEM
We will run after you.
The king has brought me into his chambers.
THE DAUGHTERS OF JERUSALEM
We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will remember your love more than wine.
Rightly do they love you.
5 I am dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon.
6 Do not look upon me, because I am dark, Because the sun has tanned me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; They
made me the keeper of the vineyards, But my own vineyard I have not kept.
Song of Songs 1:4-6(Message)
Take me away with you! Let’s run off together! An elopement with my King-Lover! We’ll celebrate, we’ll sing, we’ll make great music. Yes! For your love is better than vintage wine. Everyone loves you- of course! And why not?
I am weathered but still elegant, oh, dear sisters in Jerusalem, Weather-darkened like Kedar desert tents, time- softened like Solomon’s Temple hangings. Don’t look down on me because I’m dark, darkened by the sun’s harsh rays. My brothers ridiculed me and sent me to work in the fields. They made me care for the face of the earth, but I had no time to care for my own face.
Men how many times has your wife asked you, “Do I look fat in this?” Or, “How do I look?” Or, “Do you like how I did my make-up?” Or, “Do you like my hair?” The list of these questions could go on and on. It is natural to want to look good, but especially during the time when you want a particular person to notice you. The Shulamite woman had a couple of concerns.
One of those concerns is the fact that there were many “available” women who also found Solomon attractive. How would she win his heart over the other women? This competition for another’s love is nothing new. Why do you think cosmetic surgery and all sorts of “special pills” are so popular? Why do you think our nation’s advertisement agencies thrive off of physical appearance to promote their product? We live in a culture that appearances matter and apparently they mattered in Solomon’s day also.
The other concern is also a part of today’s culture. This woman felt like she probably didn’t have a chance because she was not like many of those other women. Her skin was dark, her face was wind blown, and her hands were rough from having to work outside. I can hear her now. “How unfair! Just because my mean brothers made me work outside and these women get to stay inside and spend time “prettying up”, Solomon is not going to find me attractive.”
Self image can be a dangerous thing in several ways. There are some that feel like they are so unattractive that they might as well just hide in a closet. They hate how they look and the more they look in the mirror the worse it gets. This is especially true for girls in their teenage years. Many people that fall into this category are the ones who spend millions of dollars on trying to change how they look. They don’t care what happens to their body as long as they look good.
This problem can also occur with people who think they are the most handsome or most beautiful person ever put on this earth. They use their looks as a weapon. They make anybody they date or their spouse feel inferior and say things like, “You don’t want me to leave because there are many people that want me and you could never do better than me!”
Does Appearance Matter?
It is almost a given that during the dating process that the man and woman look their best, but often times after couples get married, they “let themselves go”. Now don’t get me wrong, “Looks are not everything” and I realize that; but if it was so important for you to look and act your best when you were dating don’t you think that you ought to still want to do that for one another. Again this can be taken way too far. All I am suggesting is simply don’t lose that physical attraction for one another because it was one of the things that most likely brought you together. This also proves how God gives us all different vision. Someone I find very attractive may not be attractive at all to someone else. In modern times, physical attraction is the main reason people date for the first time.
It is also important to note that God seems to make certain things unnoticeable to our spouses as we age. For example, the fact that my hair is falling out does not seem to bother my wife at all. I want to assure you that I am as attracted to my wife today as I was when we were dating. She might have aged through the years but she is still as beautiful in my eyes today as she was many years ago.
Does physical attractiveness matter to you? __________________________________________
If you are married or seriously dating, what was your first impression of that person?
Was it love at first sight? ________________________________________________________
If you are married or have been dating the same person for a long time, do you feel like they have “let themselves go”? ________________________________________________________
Do you feel like you have “let yourself go”? _________________________________________
If you answered yes to either one of the last questions allow me to ask one more question. Is this hindering your relationship?
Wednesday Evening Bible Study
Series: Intimacy (Study In Song of Solomon) #1
February 5, 2003
Bel Aire Baptist Church Marriage Class
Pastor Shawn Drake