Faithlife Sermons

Song of Solomon Part 5

Song of Solomon
Part 5
"An Hour of Talk"
Last time we noted that the Shulamite had experienced a hindered love, and a hungry love as it related to the shepherd.
We closed with the Shulamite having had a dream of the shepherd. When she awoke she literally went on a search for him through the streets. God overruled the whole mistaken expedition and the journey ended with:
3:3 “The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, ‘Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”
She left the watchmen, either in the city or at the gate of her house. And next we see that she finds her beloved:
3:4 “Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves.”
We are not told how or why he happened to be there, but he was, just when she needed him most.
I have never seen a genuine seeker that did not finally encounter the Lord. The Bible says, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me” (Jeremiah 29:13).
She seized him!
“I held him and would not let him go, until I had brought him to the house of my mother, and into the chamber of her who conceived me.” (3:4b)
First there was the dream with its nightmare qualities. Then the rude awakening. Then came the midnight search through the darkened streets. Then the embarrassing encounter with the guards.
But then there he was! No wonder she would not let him go! She reminds us of Mary Magdalene who found Jesus after His resurrection. She had flung her arms around him clinging. Mary could have said with the Shulamite, “I held him and would not let him go!”
Question: Do we ever feel that way about the Lord? Do we ever experience a surge of emotion that says, “I will never let you go?”
Once again, the Shulamite turns her attention to the court women to warn them:
3:5 “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases.”
The court women were all for Solomon and his agenda. They continuously sought to entice the Shulamite into Solomon’s arms. As she told them in 2:7, she tells them now—don’t even try to stir my passions toward another!
We leave her there for now. In the next verse the scene and subject change. We leave her resolutely true to her beloved shepherd, warning those that would lure her away from him.
And we as well shall take our stand with her, sold out completely to our Great Shepherd!
In THE HOUR OF TALK we will see the world in all its pomp, power, prosperity, and popularity. Solomon is on his way back to Jerusalem. The streets of the city are lined with cheering subjects. One of the crowd speaks up and remarks on all the pomp:
3:6 “Who is this coming out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the merchant’s fragrant powders?”
What we see here is a picture of the world welcoming its own and praising in Solomon the things that it most admired. There is no thought of the shepherd or the Shulamite.
We might say that there is no thought of Christ and His church in the world’s mind. The Word of God warns us about such a world.
“If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father, but is from the world.” (1 John 2:15-17).It
When John speaks of the world he is not referring to God’s creation, but to an evil system—to human life and society as it is organized and propagated without acknowledging God. It is the devil’s lair for sinners, and his lure for saints.
So as Solomon enters the city, we see the world cheering its own. We see the lust of the flesh, of the eyes, and the pride of life all rejoicing in Solomon’s worldly magnificence.
In this HOUR OF TALK we see an outward show and an inward sham. This is the prison to which the Shulamite had been taken. But she resisted it. And so should we! We are in this world not to be abettors of its system, but ambassadors to its conscience.
Next, a second member of the adoring crowd speaks up and points out Solomon’s power:
3:7 “Look, it is Solomon’s bed, surrounded by sixty heroic men, the best of Israel’s soldiers.”
Solomon was entering the city like an Oriental despot; “riding in style!” Unlike Jesus who entered Jerusalem riding a lowly donkey, nothing is humble and lowly about Solomon!
And he is surrounded by strength. “Sixty heroic men!” The world always seeks to impress its inhabitants with displays of power. The onlookers noticed heroic men and powerful weapons:
3:8 “They are all skilled swordsmen, experienced warriors. Each wears a sword on his thigh, ready to defend the king against an attack in the night.”
But next another person speaks, and he glorified another aspect of Solomon’s impressive worldly display—it’s prosperity:
3:9-10 “King Solomon’s carriage is built of wood imported from Lebanon. Its posts are silver, its canopy gold; its cushions are purple. It was decorated with love by the young women of Jerusalem.
Here we have a tribute to the purchasing power of money, one of the gods of this world. Jesus called money “the mammon of unrighteousness.” Solomon’s income was famed throughout the world. He had so much wealth that even the pots and pans in his kitchen were made of gold (1 Kings 10:14-21).
As the world is impressed with power, it is also impressed with wealth. The crowd commented on Solomon’s wealth as he strode by in all his pomp and power.
They also mentioned his extravagance. He made the pillars of his bed with silver, and the bottom was gold. A thousand families in Jerusalem might be starving, but he must have the best!
And we’re also told that his carriage “was decorated with love by the young women of Jerusalem.” This suggests all that is romantic. Money can buy purple and passion. Both are for sale to the person who wishes to buy!
But money cannot buy the love of the shepherd. It is not for sale. We love him only “because He first loved us.”1 John 4:19
So Solomon’s pomp, power, and prosperity are all admired out loud by the adoring crowd as their king passes by. But now the final person speaks of his popularity:
3:11 “Come out to see King Solomon, O daughters of Zion.”
The expression “daughters of Zion” occurs only here and in two passages in Isaiah. Interestingly, Isaiah uses it as an expression of contempt. He says,
“Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will expose their scalps” (Isaiah 3:16-17).
The Holy Spirit uses this passage to depict Israel at her worst. She is brazen, immodest, and flaunting her sin. There is no reason to believe that the phrase “daughters of Zion” means anything but the same in the Song of Solomon.
They are the worldly women of Solomon’s court, and those who admire him as citizens of his kingdom. They are women of doubtful morals, the kind of women who would throw themselves at Solomon.
The worldly, shallow crowd shouting Solomon’s praises see nothing wrong with these “daughters of Zion” throwing themselves at him. They not only admired him, they applauded him.
The second half of verse 11 is very telling of the character of Solomon:
3:11b “He wears the crown his mother gave him on his wedding day, the day of Solomon’s merriment.”
Catch that! The man who in this book is trying to conquer the affections of the Shulamite is already a married man! Hardly a type of Christ as some try to make him in their interpretation of this book.
Yet again, the worldly crowd has no issue with this fact. Instead, they celebrated him. How like our world this is, where evil is celebrated and good is castigated! In the devil’s world, all is upside down and inside out.
But let’s look a bit more closely at the crown the crowd speaks about so admiringly. It is not the crown of the nation of Israel. The crown mentioned is a nuptial crown, not a national crown.
It is “the crown wherewith his mother crowned him on the day of his espousals…”
So the crowd noted two things about the crown. First, the speaker referred to the day of Solomon’s marriage. He had married the daughter of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
David would never have endorsed this marriage. And Moses would not have endorsed it in the Law. Moses had legislated against any marriage with a woman outside God’s covenant.
But a marriage with an Egyptian was just the kind of worldly marriage that appealed to Solomon’s political instincts. It had been a “political” union, not a covenant union.
Egypt is always pictured in Scripture as a type of the world. Solomon was married to the world, not to God, as were all the citizens of his kingdom. And here in this book, Solomon, a married man, has gathered around himself a large harem of women. So much for his ideas of marriage!
In closing, notice that the onlookers spoke about the day of his marriage being “the day of Solomon’s merriment.”
Apparently, whatever gladness he might have found in his worldly marriage soon evaporated. He was always seeking his happiness elsewhere. And he was doing the same thing here by trying to seduce the Shulamite from her loyalty to the shepherd.
But the Shulamite will have none of it. She is not impressed with the pomp, power, prosperity, or popularity of worldly Solomon.
And so it should be with us. The world always comes knocking all four of those enticements. Yet they cannot hold a candle to the love and fellowship of our Great Shepherd!
As one person phrased it:
Nay world, I turn away,
Though thou seem fair and good;
That friendly, outstretched hand of thine
Is stained with Jesus’ blood.
Next time we will look at AN HOUR OF TOGETHERNESS
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