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And now the bridegroom speaks.
Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead. Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bears twins, [and you're not missing any] there is none is barren among them ( Song of Solomon 4:1-22.4.2 ).
Now I don't know that if you would try to express your love to your girlfriend like this how well she might take it. "Your teeth are like sheep that are all evenly shorn, that just came up from their washing; and every one bearing twins." Well, that means your teeth are matched, you know, as you go across they're even. They match and so forth, which is important, I guess.
Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of pomegranate within thy locks. Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armory, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all the shields of mighty men. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee ( Song of Solomon 4:3-22.4.7 ).
And people, of course, is a bridegroom speaking of his bride and as you make the spiritual analogy of Christ to the church. Which, of course, is a correct and proper analogy, Christ's view of the church, "Thou art all fair, there is no spot in thee." The Bible speaks of the church as being without spot or blemish or any such thing. The way the Lord views us, and that's to me a glorious thing that the Lord views me that way, because He views me through love. And the Bible says that love covers a multitude of sins. And God sees us through the eyes of love, and as He sees us through the eyes of love, He sees us not in our imperfect state, but He sees us in that completed, perfect state in Christ Jesus. And it's so comforting for me to realize that God looks upon me and sees no fault. Sees no sins. Sees no blemish. Looking upon me through love, seeing me in Christ Jesus. I stand before Him without fault in Christ.
Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, and from the top of Shenir and from Hermon, from the lions' dens, and from the mountains of the leopards. Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices! Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon. A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with the chief spices: A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon ( Song of Solomon 4:8-22.4.15 ).
All right. The bridegroom is very expressive. It's like the French say, "You Americans are so... you have only one way to tell a woman you love her. We Frenchmen have a hundred ways." And it would seem that we macho American men are poor lovers, I guess, as far as really expressing our love, our adulation for our wives.
This Song of Songs which is Solomon's, as he expresses his love, uses figures of speech that I would never think of in seeking to express the beauty that I see in my wife. I just...she says, "Honey, do I look all right?" And I say, "Yeah, you look fine, you know." And, "Well, are you sure I look all right?" "Sure, you look great, you know." "Well, do you like this?" "Yeah, I like the dress, it's nice." "Well?" And I say, "Well, you're beautiful!" She says, "Well, thank you." And we go out, you know.
I think that we could probably take some lessons from Solomon and learn a little bit about how to express. It's interesting how that women, wives, do need a constant assurance of love. "Do you love me, Honey?" "Sure, I told you last year I love you, you know. I haven't changed. I still come home." But it doesn't satisfy. They need a continual assuring of that love. The continual assuring of their attractiveness to us, our love for them, that our desire is for them. And it's a smart husband who will give to his wife that continued assurance that she needs. It's a dumb cluck that tells her once a year he loves her and thinks that she'll be satisfied.
So he has just described now, "Oh, she's like a garden. The fragrances that come forth from her body are like spices. It's just glorious." And so she, picking up his phrases of love and the garden concept, sings back.
Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; and blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits ( Song of Solomon 4:16 ).
Beautiful response to the declaration of the bridegroom as he describes the beauty of his bride. A garden kept for itself has little value. The work of God in our lives is never just subjective. The real purposes of God are not really accomplished in us until there is a flowing out. "Awake, O north wind; come, thou south." Those who see now the spiritual allegories here, seeing the spirit, which in the Hebrew the word wind and spirit are, or in Greek the word wind and spirit are the same. In Hebrew the word breath and spirit are the same. But in Greek, pneuma, which is wind or air or spirit.
That through the Spirit there might come the outflow of the beauty of the work of Christ in our lives that it might touch others. That others might benefit from the work that God has done in me. And that is always the purpose of God--objective. Subjective first, He wants to work in you, but then He wants that work that has been accomplished in your life to flow out and be a benefit to others. "Let the spices flow out and then let my beloved come into his garden and eat of his pleasant fruits." The invitation of Christ into the church that He might come into our midst and partake of the pleasant fruit of His garden, as we bear forth and bring forth fruit unto Him. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Song of Solomon 4". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany