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Summary: This is a message that is good for the beginning of a new year. It encourages self-examination and what God is calling the Church to return back to.

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Song of Solomon 6:13 KJV [13] Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.

l. INTRODUCTION – THE SONG OF SOLOMON

-This book, the Song of Solomon, is a book that is not preached from very often. In fact, I have been preaching now for basically twelve years and I have only preached from this book three times.

-It is a story, a parable, that tells of the love that Solomon had for what is commonly referred to as the Shulamite. She is a young woman that Solomon is courting with the intentions of marrying her and bringing her to the palace.

-There is some conjecture that this Shulamite is Abishag that is cross-referenced in 1 Kings 1-2. She is married by Solomon after some contention with his brother, Adonijah. Which is another sermon in itself.

A. Her Background

-She came from Shunem which was one of the lower regions of Galilee in the foothills of the mountains of Lebanon. David and Solomon owned large estates that had huge vineyards, spice gardens, and fruit orchards.

-In addition to all of this, vast herds of sheep were kept there which belonged to the palace. To take care of the farms and the vastness of the flocks, the palace would lease out the care of this to those who lived in that country and they were paid out of the king’s treasury.

-The Shulamite was a daughter of one of the families. Scripture indicates to us that Abishag was brought to Jerusalem to serve as a concubine to David against her will. With blessing on her side, she ended up being a servant in the courts of the king.

-While she was in the courts, she became the aim of Solomon’s affection. After King David died, she was sent back into her country. This would have been a very difficult burden for her to bear because of the stigma that marked her.

-She was disdained by her people because she was held in the same view as a harlot. Not only that but all the financial considerations from the palace were no longer available to her.

-She was and felt disgraced. She brings this to light in Song 1:5:

[Song of Solomon 1:5 KJV] I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

-She tries to tell others of her inner beauty but it does not seemingly work. She feels soiled outwardly, “I am black. . . . as the tents of Kedar.” She compares herself to the tents of Kedar where the shepherds lived which were very coarse and never washed. The tents were weather-beaten and stained by long use.

-But she adds, “I am lovely. . . . as the curtains of Solomon.” No doubt she is making reference to the rooms in the palace. They are rich and stately. The world often views the church the same way. They only see the outside and never even guess the richness and depth of spiritual power that dwells within.

-The Shulamite knows her own heart. She also knows that the king has seen her beauty and that it will not be long before he comes and rescues her from the nagging surroundings that now imprison her. This Song of Solomon is nothing more than a type of the relationship that the Lord has with a New Testament church.

-So how is the king going to rescue his bride. First, he has to find her. We read in the Song of Solomon, that Solomon disguises himself as a shepherd and began to tend sheep as he carefully sought out this object of his desire.

-Finally, as luck or providence would have it, Solomon manages to tend the sheep directly next to Abishag’s vineyard. Initially, she did not realize who it was that was attempting to win her heart.

[Song of Solomon 1:7 KJV] Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thyflock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

-She did not recognize this disguised one who was coming to seek her out. Some might ask how it was that she did not recognize Solomon.

1. Solomon had to admire Abishag from a distance while she served David in the courts.

2. She considered herself a failure and unworthy of any such attention that would come from a king.

-Solomon is a type of Christ and Abishag is a type of the Church or the Bride of Christ. The Lord came to this earth clothed as a man to gain the heart of His bride and to prepare her for His final return.

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