We conclude our time in this book by returning again to the courtship and even before. The beautiful, voluptuous woman we know as Shulamith was once a young girl. Can you still remember the innocence of your youth? I can still hear my mother telling me, “be careful of boys,” “protect your reputation,” “save yourself for marriage.” All those messages seemed hard to understand at the time hormones were raging through my body. Perhaps if she had shown me theses verses in the Song of Solomon it would have made more sense to me.
I was a rebellious teen, so you can imagine why she was telling me these things. There was no vineyard in our family where she could hide me away from the world as I blossomed into a woman. Shulamith’s family did that for her. As she toiled in the hot sun, shut off from friends and meeting boys, she probably wondered how in the world she would ever meet Mr. Right.
God intervened. “Solomon has a vineyard at Baal-hamon, which he leases out to tenant farmers.” What do you bet that Shulamith’s brothers were one of those tenants, and they had Shulamith doing the labor for them? What may have been the result of their own selfishness was used by God for good. Shulamith met the love of her life while tucked away in the safety of a vineyard. It reminds me just a tad of Joseph and how his brothers sold him into slavery. God used their act of jealousy or hatred and turned it into something good for many, including those brothers who had wronged him.
God is working behind the scenes in all of our lives. God’s timing is always perfect. We may not know or understand it, but we can trust it. Are you walking through a particularly hard time in your life right now? Are you wondering how it is all going to work out? Ask God to help you navigate. Ask him to show you how to get back on track.
The Song of Solomon has been a reminder to us to treasure our relationships, particularly our marital one. Sex is God’s gift to us, and he desires we keep it holy within the confines of a committed marriage relationship. God’s plan for us is to keep the flame of love burning bright no matter what we are experiencing in our lives. The commitment we have to our spouses begins the day we say “I do” but must be maintained every day. Beauty goes much deeper than the surface, and we must be willing to reveal ourselves and seek out the inner qualities of our mates. It is helpful to remember that God has designed us each perfectly.
Sometimes it is helpful to look at each other through God’s eyes. If you are feeling distant from your lover, ask God to help you see him/her as God sees them. Rejoice in their uniqueness!
One last thought now that you are through this book. What do you think about the debate over the meaning of this song? Some say it is an allegory of God’s love for his people. Others say it is a literal story about married love. I would certainly think being “both” could be true as well. Take some time to listen for God’s desire for you.
Let’s pray … Father God, I thank you for your Word and how it comes alive for me. I love hearing you speak to me through the pages of Scripture and look forward to each new day that I can read and reflect on what you have for me to learn. Help me to grow closer to you and help others with the message we share together. In Jesus’ name. Amen.