A dear sweet sister and friend wanted to know how I meditate or study the Song of Solomon. So this is especially for her. May the Lord reveal His special love to the ones Jesus gave His life for so they can be changed into His likeness as they study
Song of Song 6:5 “Turn your eyes from me;
they overwhelm me.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
descending from Gilead”
Im not saying what I do is right and perfect but this is what I do. Any suggestions you may have I am happy to listen.
- I make sure my conscience is clear. Is there any unconfessed sin in my heart or life?
- Would God have me be doing something else besides studying the text?
- I make sure I have prayed often before the study. I think ahead and pray and look forward to how the Lover of my soul is going to speak with lips dripping myrrh and the sweetest honey. Since He has done this so many times in the past I’m looking forward to it. Like the marriage supper of the Lamb. I am going to sup with Jesus and feast on Him and His Precious Word, the greatest delight of my soul.
- I shut off my phone, lock the doors and set my alarm for the time when I need to end so Im not looking at the clock. I tell everyone to not bother me, this is my time alone with my Savior and Lord. I want to commune with Him and His Word in private.
- Sometimes I worship or pray before. And sometimes I don’t before study but always pray during. I try to sense the Spirit leading me one way or another. Sometimes I am so hungry to feast that I just dive right in.
- Sometimes I humble myself so He can lift me up with His Word. This means about 10 minutes to one hour of tears and sorrow for sin. I use Song 1:4-6 as my reference for humbling. I have compiled all my sin into this dark tent. From birth till now. So the conviction is very strong. “I am dark like the tents of Kedar” I go as low as the Spirit takes me for as long as He leads me darker, and darker, dark am I, wretched man that I am. I do this till I fear His punishment. At this point I look to the cross and behold the Love of Christ that casts out all fear of punishment. 1 John 4. Then the meditation becomes “dark am I, yet lovely” covered in Christ’s righteousness. By this point I offer my Lord what I call the mixed or spiced wine of Chapter 8:2 to my Lord. This is worship with both tears and joy! Mixed feelings, quite hurtful yet joyful at the same time.
Now I study the Word of God with reverence and holy fear with a motive of enjoying Christ and glorifying Him and to obey anything He reveals to me.
I am ever prayerful through out the study. If convicted of anything that could be done at the time of study I do it. This is a hard one for me because I so much want to study rather than obey a conviction to do otherwise but overtime I obey and then go back to the text the Lord blesses me beyond imagining. You would think that I would listen more often.
I go to Grace Community Church in Sun Valley California, John Mac Arthur is the pastor. So most of what I learned comes from being there and around seminary students my whole Christian life. They take the Song literally with no spiritual meaning to Christ. Obviously I differ from them so their view is not mine. But how they teach to study is beneficial.
#1 You need to know the intent of the Author. I believe it to be to illustrate God’s love to His enemies by way of a marriage union. Through this illustration we can understand how the saints hold union and communion with God in Love. So I ask myself how does this text help me to grow closer to God in Christ through union and communion with Him. Or simply put, how will this text help me grow? or how does this information fit into the growth of a Christian in the experience of God’s love? or how would knowing this text help me grow faster?
#2 Context of the book is #1 then context of the section is #2. The context of song 6 is that of a “Strong Young Woman”. It is to much to explain how I know that but it is you can go Here to see what I wrote about the Strong Young Woman. She is not a babe in Christ tossed to and fro by every wave of doctrine. She has her doctrine and obedience down. She has assurance of her salvation and she has overcome the evil one. She now has the word of God abiding in her. She can teach the babes, children and young woman to be more mature, she is not yet a fully mature spiritual mother in chapter 5,6 and 7 but by 8:5 she is fully mature. And Song 8:14 is the highest level of maturity possible on earth! So the context of the Song is spiritual growth and we are in the Strong Young Woman phase.
#3 After knowing the context of the section we look to see the context of the paragraph and see how it fits into the section. The paragraph or smaller section of chapter 6 is that of praise or compliment from Solomon to his bride. The praise starts in 6:4 and goes to 6:9 and if you want to include the amazement of the angels and saints at her beauty and maturity in 6:10 as a praise as well then I suppose that is okay as well, because she must stay humble through that as well. Solomon is praising her consistent with what a husband ought to do Prov. 31:28-30 What are some things we can learn about this section of praise and how it relates to the context?
- First lets compare this praise to the praise the babe in Christ gets. The praise in chapter 6 is longer than the one the babe gets in Song 1:9-10 which is only two verses. Imagine a babe being praise for 6 verses like in Song 6:4-9. The babe would get so spiritually proud that they would sink into depression, melancholy and abuse God’s grace thinking they were so wonderful when they weren’t. This is pride, so babes, children and young men do not take on this compliment. Humility comes before honor. You have not so to speak earned this praise. This is for the strong young woman who is able to stay humble through it.
- I have a hard time finding a praise for the Child in Song 2, except for the sweet nicknames or the assurance the child has in coming up from the wilderness in Chapter 3. Notice she is not out of the wilderness but coming up from. And she is fully leaning on her beloved coming up from the wildness in Song 8:5.
- Lets look at the differences and similarities between the praises of the young man and strong young woman.
- The hair, teeth and temples are praised in both the young man in Song 4:1-3 and also Song 6:5-7. 1 Cor. 11:15 “if a woman has long hair, it is her glory.” So her glory is more glorious in Song 6 than in Song 4. My friend did a wonderful blog on hair Here for more details.
- But what of the teeth? Mark this!! The teeth of the young man are from overcoming the temptations of the evil one with replacing believing lies with believing truth so the teeth are coming up from the washing. But what washing is the strong young woman doing? I believe she is cleaning up pride or high thoughts of herself. The strong young woman becomes strong by killing pride which is the enemy of God in her unredeemed flesh. Therefore she gets the battle compliment in 6:12. She washes the pride from her thoughts and her teeth are coming up from the washing. She can chew on and delight in higher, greater, and longer praises from her Lord because she is able to destroy pride and stay humble (humility is a right view of yourself in relation to God with a proper heart response consistent with that view. Jonathan Edwards)
- Beauty consists in symmetry, proportion and harmony for the purpose of the glory of God. This is what you see when you look at two halves of a pomegranate. She is taking every prideful thought captive! Matching the glory of Christ as they ought to be. So we looked at some of the differences and similarities between the praises. Now lets look at how this praise fits into the context.
- What is before and what is after the praise?
- What is before the praise? I believe the context allows you can go so far back as 5:9. In 5:9 friends are asking her to tell them why her beloved is so wonderful. so she tells them, High and right thoughts of her beloved remind her where she can find joyful communion in love with her Husband/husband. The context is a dark time of abandonment by her lover wether because of sin or not. Song 5:2-3 and Song 6:10. So the context of the praise is her coming out of the darkness, appearing like the dawn….6:10 What comes before the praise that allows her to come up out of the dark abandonment is high thoughts of Christ in Song 5:10-16 and then low thoughts of herself in 6:2 and producing fruit all the while. Through this process he learns to give herself completely to him in 6:3 and here she finds communion with Him again while he browses among her. This is the immediate context of the praise and what is before it.
- What is after the praise? I believe these are the angels, saints in heaven, and saints on earth who are looking into our salvation. 1 Pt 1:12. She is appearing like the dawn, the dawn comes up after the darkness. This is clear because of 6:2-3 and because He praises her. The praises in the Song always come after some form of obedience, humbling or suffering for Christ’s sake. Also note that after the praise our Lord is looking again to see if we stayed humble in Song 6:11 during such wonderful praise and honor. If you stayed humble then this was His desire to see you destroying His enemies like the chariots of His people in 6:12 and you are so high and happy that the friends have to call you down 4 times, “come back, come back…” 6:13 then you come back. Congratulations you have done the “dance of the Mahanaim” Which I believe starts in 5:10 and ends in 6:13. (I pretend I am the woman and Christ is speaking to me through His Word, I commune with the text, with the Living Word of God. I have done this 2x, each one lasted 3-4 hours, so I could be wrong about the “dance” but as I looked up Mahanaim it was all about battle then camping somewhere. It sure felt like you had to camp on verses of praise for a while then move on and fight pride camping on humbling yourself, then camp again etc. It felt like the most beautiful victorious dance with my Lord! It would be nice to know what you all think about this. This is how I have been using the whole book, meditating on long portions in order to move me into a closer more strict union with God in Christ as fast as possible, as long as possible, as high and as deep and wide as possible, yet it i stumble so I don’t go as fast, I get prideful so He always doesn’t lift me so high, I doubt His love so I don’t go so deep and I am not always so hungry so I don’t open my mouth wide enough to get the breadth of His Love)
- Now you dive into the text specifically and find practical application! That may seem like a lot but when you put things into context the Word of God looks so beautiful you won’t want to take your eyes off of it. My friend tends to do this very well.
The beauty of her Lord is so glorious why would she ever take her eyes off of Him anyway? They overwhelm Him/him isn’t this what she wants more than anything else? nothing but to please Him so greatly! This not looking to the left or right of her doves eyes keep her attention on her lover going where He/he goes, he is leading her. The beauty of His Holiness captivates her eyes. Nothing is more beautiful, why would she look elsewhere for satisfaction. Her Hubby is uplifting her in praise, encouraging her in due time because she humbled herself. And looks to see if she is humble afterwards as well. She is ever watchful for that pride of lions that haunt those mountain tops of praise. And is able to hear Him calling her down at the proper time.
Saved in 2000 at age 27. Nearly immediately I fell in love with the Song and grew very fast the first two years memorizing large portions of scripture purifying my mind the started chewing on meat to soon and struggled for 12 years and Christ has me on track like always but I just took the long way around and now I love leading others closer to Christ by seeing His love reflected in Solomons love for an enemy slave girl.
I have experienced God's love to me in the Song in ways that words can't express. There are many portion of the Word where she experiences extra ordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God. If you have a burning desire for a close intimate relationship with God by experiencing His Love to you over and over again at greater and greater heights, depths, lengths and breaths then The Song of Songs is where you need to be.
I can help you with this process of Growing in the experience of God's love. As of 7-23-16 I have experienced everything prior to chapter 8. The Song of Song is progressive in experience. Meaning that if you are mature then you can experience the joys and extraordinary outpourings of God's Love shed abroad in your heart.
If you are not so mature then the delights in the first chapter of the Song will satisfy your thirst for experiencing the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Many Christian are living in sin because they do not know how to experience God's love and get hooked on Loving Him. It feels good to be loved and to love Him. His burden is not heavy and His yoke is light, Jesus said in Matt. 10:28
I believe God wants to use me to help beautify His Bride through the Song of Solomon.
If you see the book literally you will not understand nor grasp the Love God has for you. If you see the book and the verses in it relating to Christ's love to you then I would love to show you how to experience this Love to the fullest. I will pray for you daily and guide you every step of the way.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
I grew up going to church but was a hypocrite. I lived my life how I chose but went to church on Sunday because my family went.
Mom and Dad divorced when I was about 5.
About this time I was sexually abused by "Bob" a made up name. This incident changed my life for the worst. I had no clue how to deal with it.
As I got older I grew in my hatred for Bob. I didn't blame anyone of my family because I was to young to know any better. Some of what happened during the abuse was in a bathroom. So overtime I would use the bathroom and look at my private parts that night would replay in my mind. My hatred for Bob would continue to grow each time.
Now I know this only happened to me one night. I can't image the pain other's go through who have had this happen to them over and over. Even as I write this now I cry with many tears for those hurting. God love you even though you may not know it or feel it. Go to Him in your time of need.
I was a really bad teenager. I only cared about myself and not even my family. I always came first in my mind. Even at the expense of hurting others. I was growing in my hatred for God by now.
I was going to church and was learned that God was in control. I thought well, if God was in control then He must have let me be sexually abused. I didn't understand this, How could a good and loving God allow this. I hated Him for it. My hatred for Bob grew as well. I was still using the bathroom and memories kept coming back. My heart grew even harder for Bob and God. As far as I was concerned God would have nothing to do with my life so I lived even worse. I thought I would be in jail or dead and I really didn't care, I thought it could be much worse than reliving your painful past over and over again. Little did I know that God's plan later would be to use these events to give me a burning passion for the closest most intimate love relationship with Himself through Christ mainly through the love poem in the Song of Songs in the Bible.
I remember hating Bob so much that the only thing that would relieve my pain was actually thinking he would suffer forever for what he did. I grew so much in my hatred for him that I had to continue to think that he would get even worse than what I imaged before. After some time I would only be relieved of hatred for him unless I thought he would burn in a hotter and hotter hell for all the suffering he put me through.
I never told my mom or family what happened, although I think some of them knew something had happened.
I grew up quite rebellious and even went to jail at the age of 20. I was living the fast life pursuing all my sinful desires and wanting more. It never seemed to be enough. I was quite happy in my sin but I just wanted more of it.
I lived life thinking I would die at a young age, riding motorcycle and living on the edge put me in the hospital many times and I should have been dead.
California at age 26.
I moved to California for a job opportunity at the age of 27. While trying to figure out what radio stations to program in my car, I ran across a RC Sproul talking about "people who have the faith that saves and people who only say that have faith" only the people who have the faith that saves will go to heaven. I thought "I don't think I have the faith that saves because my life was so bad." I searched the scriptures to try to get this faith. I found a church and thought people there could help me get this faith that saves. All along God kept showing me how sinful I was and that I deserved punishment from Him for living my life hating Him.
One weekend I read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John desperately trying to find out how to get this faith that saves. By now I knew that if you had the faith that saves that Jesus would be saving you from a life of sin. I still liked my sin and Jesus sure wasn't saving me from a life of sin, so I rightly concluded that I didn't have the faith that saves.
By the time I got to John, I saw "believe" everywhere. John 3:16 and other verses and wow the whole book was written so that you may believe. John 20:31 "these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." So at night I would pray "I believe Jesus died for me, I believe, I believe. This was just an intellectual belief. I knew that in history and the Bible that Jesus died for everyone, so I believed it. But this belief did not change my life.
I would go on night after night saying the same prayer only to wake up the next day wanting to fulfill my sinful desires. The prayer wasn't working so I started to word it different each time hoping some prayer would work. After about 2 weeks of this I was fed up with it all, nothing was happening. I still was living in my sin and wanted more of it. A Christian hates their sin and does something about it, and certainly they don't continue to make plans to sin. The prayers weren't working so I gave up. I thought to myself "God, I tried with all my might, I searched the Scriptures, went to church, read the Bible and prayed all to no avail. If Im going to be saved your going to have to do it because I tried."
So I quit praying but still the Bible kept calling me so I read more. 3 Days later I was laying in a tanning bed and God convicted me really hard that I had offended Him by the life I was living. I was so scared of God, where could I run. You can't hide from God. It seemed like forever that I was under these terrors of being punished by a Holy Angry God. This lasted about 10 minutes then this is how I understood it. God let me understand that all that anger that He had for me for all my sin should come my way but He had poured that anger out on Jesus 2,000 years ago. I immediately started weeping an couldn't stop for about 20 minutes. All the sins that I could think of I confessed for that 20 minutes one after another after another, I was so sorrowful and grieved it physically hurt inside.
After I stopped crying I thought that was the weirdest thing that ever happened. I walked out of the tanning salon and stood outside and everything seemed so beautiful, the tree's, the birds, even the air seemed pleasant. Now I was really wondering what was going on.
I pondered all of this as I drove to work that day. I brought my Bible to work and was thinking what am I doing, I want to take my Bible to work so I can read it. As soon as I got to work I started reading my Bible. I couldn't believe what I was reading!! It all was so wonderful. It felt so good to just read my Bible. My client showed up and as I was training them the only thing I could think about was getting back to my Bible. I read all night and slept about 2 hours and was reading again.
I had sinful things in my apartment and I rounded everything evil up and threw it in the garbage. It was weird I was thinking but it felt good so I left it all in the garbage. I called my girlfriend to break it up and she thought I had another girl, I said no, I just think this is wrong we shouldn't be sleeping together. She didn't understand so I told her I was a Christian now and she still thought I had another girlfriend. She said "Im glad your a Christian, so am I" I thought to myself, "I have a strong conviction that sleeping together is wrong and she thought it was okay" I wondered how she could think that. Anyway we broke up.
I kept reading my bible and repenting, there was so much to repent of and I had lived a very sinful life. I was a thief for some part of my life and all the people I stole from kept coming to mind. I owed so much money. I was instantly in debt about $80,000. As I could I paid them back. As of 7-18-2016 I still owe about $25,000 but it sure is a joy to be paying them back.
The first week of being saved a car just about ran me over, they hit me but I wasn't hurt at all. The guy in the car felt so bad. I just looked at him and said "God bless you and have a great day, I am okay" smiled at him and moved on. Now I was really wondering what was going on because I normally would have cussed him out left and right and instead of cussing I blessed him. That was so weird. But again it felt good. I learned to do good by what my conscience told me was good and that it felt good. I got hooked on this feeling good by doing good and did it more often.
About two weeks after being saved I thought of Bob. I immediately prayed for him, something like "Lord help him.." then I stopped praying and said out loud "What am I doing?" I'm praying for a man that I hated my whole life, but it feels good and right, so I did it again. I stopped again midway in the prayer and started pacing around. I was trying to make sense of what was going on and couldn't figure it out. But again it made me happy to pray for him so I did. Bob would often come to mind when I went to the bathroom and each time I would pray for Him. The more I did this the less weird it got. And the greater my love grew for him.
I started memorizing large portions of scripture and this was wonderful because it felt like the words were cleaning my mind and as Proverbs 2:10 "For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul." I wanted more and more of this pleasantness. So I memorized even more and the joy got more and more.
Then this life changing advice came:
A friend from church told me to find a book of the Bible and really understand it. Read through the Bible and pick one and read it over and over and study it and really get it. So I started in Genesis and read through. When I got to Proverbs I really liked it so I thought that would be the book. I started by memorizing all of Proverbs chapter 3. After that I thought maybe there is a better book than Proverbs. So I read on. Then I came to Song of Solomon. I read it with quite some confusion. It wasn't as good as the other books, I didn't know why. So I bought a commentary on it. George Burrowes commentary on the Song of Solomon.
In the commentary I found that George and other saw the book as illustrating God's love to the Church. And not only illustrating it but displaying the Love of Christ better than any other book. This caught my attention big time, because I was having a burning desire for a closer relationship with God and desperately learning about His Love so that I could Love God. You see I had hated Him for so long that God used that old hard heart to spur me on in loving Him. I so much did not want to hate God anymore that I was on fire to learn to Love Him as much and as fast as possible. So here was a book that would help me do that. So I landed on the Song of Solomon. I committed to learning as much of this book as possible.
I memorized the first chapter and would repeat it often throughout the day. I didn't know much of what I was repeating but it sure made me happier and on fire for God. I grew so fast repeating the first chapter over and over again all day, like a dozen times a day at least. It felt so good and I never found any other book that caused me to weep so much. I would often weep everyday just reading it. I was to immature to know what was going on. Even though it hurt to weep so much, I felt like my heart was being cleansed from the filth that was in it by repeating it over and over again so I did. As I read the commentary I understood more and more. What God was doing in me through the Song was greater and faster than any other portion of Scripture so I tended to stay there often. I was so excited about God that I thought it funny that other's in church weren't the same way. Some where happy but it seemed most of them didn't seem to care much about God. They would talk about work, football the weather. The only thing I wanted to talk about was Jesus and God and how can I grow closer to Him.
About this time there was a mission trip to Ireland.
I started to have convictions that I should try to find Bob and witness to him. I kept praying for him but how could he be saved if he hadn't heard the Gospel that has power unto salvation. So I asked family if they had any information. Like me before, my family hated him and thought he deserved hell. After some time I got his name but no location or phone number. Either they didn't know where he was or didn't want to tell me. I prayed some more and then started to get stronger convictions to do something about finding Bob.
So I went on the internet and typed in "his name and child molestation sex offender court" thinking that some court record would have some info leading to where I may find him" I even talked to a private eye and he couldn't help. So I googled some key words and spent hours each day looking through each page. I believed it was God's will for me to witness to Bob. I wanted him to be saved. Really bad. So much so that I thought God would save Bob if I were to witness to him. So I didn't stop searching for him. I kept my computer on each day and went page by page. It took two years to go through about 15,000 pages but I found someone who matched his name in a prison for molesting his grandchildren. I wrote the prison and he wrote back. All kinds of emotions went through my body when I saw his letter from the jail. I didn't open it right away but two hours later God gave me enough courage to face my fears again and I opened the letter. He admitted to being the one who molested me. We wrote back and forth I told him I was angry before but now I was saved and that I loved him and believed God wanted me to talk to him. He read my letters over and over again. I shared the gospel in each one.
I got mad at Bob 2x. Once he said that he love me. I got really angry with him. He didn't love me. That night it was hard to love Bob, I had to call a friend to pray for me to repent, after he prayed I felt greater love for Bob. Then I wrote him back saying "I'm sorry but you can't say that you loved me. You did not love me you lusted after me." He admitted he didn't love as he should have and admitted that it was lust and sinful. Finally some conviction. Yet I only thought he was saying that because I was being nice to him. All his family had left him and he said I was the only "friend" he had.
Wether or not it was true Bob said that he had cancer in his arm and that the help the prison gives was not enough and if he had money he could see a different doctor and get help. I sent him some money and since I was in jail before I knew what it was like to be in there without money, so I sent him money.
About 4-5 months in the economy went down, it was 2008. Work was hard. I still sent him money and I had to work harder. This was a really good lesson for me because I had to "work hard for the benefit of someone who did not deserve it." This was one of the greatest blessing ever because I realized with great certainty that Jesus was in me. This is what Jesus did. Jesus worked his whole life for me and I didn't deserve it!! Christ was in me! This was one of the best feelings ever and it put me in worship for months.
Then a mission trip to Croatia.
Each time I had to leave my business and amazing as it is I was completely okay each time. I am a self employed personal trainer and it is normally absurd to just leave and start over, but each time I had enough work within 2 weeks of coming back. This is a flat out miracle. I trusted God to provide and he did. How many people can start up a business in 2 weeks. Only with the help of God. God was teaching me early on in my walk that as long as I did what He wanted me to do then I had nothing to worry about.
About 3 years saved now.
I Taught the 4 year old's at church Sunday morning for 10 years.
Left my business 2x for mission trips and God miraculously provided when I came back.
I taught 5 x a week plus held a job.
Sunday morning to the kids.
Sunday night with the 5th graders
Friday afternoons at Good News Clubs. Sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Friday Nights with the Kids teaching through Pilgrims Progress, I did this 2x
Teaching Monday afternoons at a nursing home. I taught through the Song of Songs once then John, then Romans then back to the Song again! I love the Song of Songs.
I grew up hating God for what happened to me, and now I love Him because He first loved me. My passion is for children to grow up loving God and not hating Him.
My other passion which has become ever greater is to help others see the Love of Christ to His Church in the Song of Songs!!
I would love to help you, just let me know and I will lead you and pray for you.
God demonstrates His love to us in sending His one and only Son to suffer in our place, taking our sins upon Himself so that whoever believes they get to heaven because of what He did for us will not perish but have everlasting life.