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From the editor: My Beloved (Song of Solomon 3.9)

J Grant

The Song of Solomon is a unique book in Scripture. It can be looked on in at least two ways: the relationship between Israel and the Lord, and also as a record of the love that marked two people. It is poetically written, describing the warm and real attraction between King Solomon and a young woman. It leads us to consider individually how loving relationship with the Lord ought to be expressed. That is how these brief comments will be presented. One writer has expressed it in this way: "The song is not a book of a soul seeking Christ. It is the exercise of a soul that has found Him. There is no higher exercise for the soul than to seek loving sweetness with Him".

Winter bleakness has prevailed for the maiden. She, the Shulamite, has felt colder conditions just as spiritual winter at times grips our soul and there is distance between us and the Lord. But now "the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come" (2.11-12). He comes "leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills" (v.8). His call is clear! When we, realising that we are spiritually cold, hear Him say, "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away" (v.10), He takes us from our wintry circumstances and brings to us what we have enjoyed in the past. And what enjoyment there will be: the flowers denote beauty, the singing of the birds brings joy, and the vine speaks of fragrance.

So they now are together. But not only does she enjoy being close to him, so does he enjoy being with her. That we must never forget. "O my dove, that are in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs" (2.14), are his words, to which he adds, "Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice". Consider this in view of how close we are to the Lord. It is His desire that we do not wander away but rather keep near to Him. Just as we enjoy the presence of those whom we love, so in like manner the Lord enjoys our presence. His desire is to see us and to hear us. In this way we will get to know Him and understand better what pleases Him. Let us daily keep ourselves close to Him, which is of great value to us.

But there is danger in "the little foxes that spoil the vines" (v.15). They seek to destroy the fragrance that is to be enjoyed by the Lord. In our fellowship with Him we must constantly be careful to ensure that the Adversary is not allowed to "spoil the vines" and in so doing destroy what is of joy to the Lord. The Adversary seeks to fill each day with that which will occupy our minds and our time. Daily devotions, no matter how short they have to be, keep warm our love for Him.

But what joy it is to hear her voice: "My beloved is mine, and I am his" and again, "turn, my beloved". She has already addressed Him in that way twice (vv.9-10). Thus, four times she can speak of him as, "My", so close is he. She awaits his return when the day breaks. There are two views regarding the meaning of "the day break". The one favoured by the writer is described as "the cool nature of even". Thus: "Till the day cools and the shadows flee away".¹ She is looking forward to the evening, after a busy day, when he will be able to be with her. Then there will be the opportunity to enjoy his presence and to hear his voice.

In the world around us there is a continuing battle. We must be aware of it and seek to control it. The Adversary's method is to fill us with all that keeps the Lord out. Let us be aware of this and live in a manner that will keep the Scriptures close to our hearts. Make it possible to read them daily and to hold closely the verses which have commenced the day. Then, thinking of Him, we can gladly exclaim, "My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of En-gedi" (1.14).

¹ Keil & Delitzsch


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