Many think Doctrine is not explicitly stated in the Song of Songs. Or at least doctrine as we know it or exposit it from other texts of scripture.
The Song is a marriage Song. A Song of love. Solomon loving his wife and his wife getting better at loving Solomon. How does this train us in righteousness? The Song gives the husband an example to follow, Solomon does nothing wrong in the Song so that a husband can line his life up to Solomon’s example and try to live up to it. Therefore it is profitable to teach a husband how to love, correct him were he is wrong, and rebuke him where he is not loving his wife as Christ loves the Church.
Why does anyone care about this? Well there are many and I mean many that think there is no doctrine at ALL in the Song of Songs and that it is only a love poem celebrating marital love. This is a big mistake in my book because doctrine you don’t have Scripture, you will only have a love poem and you might as well read Shakespeare. But the Song is Scripture and is profitable for training in righteousness so there must be some doctrine in there. I will humbly try to illustrate by rightly dividing the Word of Truth.
I believe you can get doctrines about love directly from Song of Songs 8:6-7 because (at least clearly to me) the text says “Love is as strong as death” this is a fact, it is true, it is doctrine, this is not a description of how she loved Solomon but a universal statement of fact about love. Then in 8:6 we see that this love “is the very flame of the Lord” therefore the Doctrine: “The love shared in a holy godly marriage is the Flame of the Lord, comes from Him and is something of Him” (Someone please let me know if Im wrong)
Also we were reminded in Ecclesiastes that life under the sun is meaningless. To view life apart from God and His revealed will for us is foolish. The Song is an example for husbands and a guide for wives to love each other. In other words the Song helps those who are married to live a righteous marriage and therefore it is profitable for the soul.
Those who are not married can find a principle of love in the text and apply it to their relationship with Christ. Matt. 12:42 “A greater than Solomon is here” Solomon is the lesser Christ. A type of Christ. Christ loves the Church greater than Solomon loved his wife. If you argue from the lesser to the greater Lover then you see the Love of God in Christ on display better than anything else. This is what makes the Song superlative in nature. It is the Song of Songs. A Love Song. Illustrating the Love of God better than any other Song. That love in the Song is not a greater love, Solomons skill to love his wife is much less than the skill Christ has to love His bride, therefore when Jesus showed up he said “a greater than Solomon is here”. In this way you will grow in your understanding of the Love of Christ and love him more. Done properly the greatest love Song ever written will stir up your love for Christ! It will stir up your emotions. Your religious affections for God as you behold and taste the matchless love of God which is better than any other experience.
Meaning the Song of Songs is a description, or narrative of their conversation and life, not prescription of exactly what God requires of us. Meaning that when we see her sinning or being lazy then we should not conclude that God wants us to be lazy because the bride got lazy. Getting lazy is just a description of what she did. We get doctrine from absolute truths not looking only at what someone did. Just because Jesus walked on water and we should be like Jesus doesn’t mean God wants us to walk on water. Or just because Noah built an ark then we should also, but we see Noah obeying God and obeying God is what God says we should do so whatever God prescribes for us becomes doctrine.
Doctrine in the Song of Songs is understood by knowing the principle of love at work in the context. Then asking ourselves is this same principle true or similar to the same principle at work in the believers marriage union with Jesus Christ? Once we find a verse that answers that question then we can make a doctrinal statement from that. Then seeing the principle truth of that doctrine exemplified by Solomon or his wife or both in the Song of Songs?
A simple illustration is when we see Solomon being patient with his wife. The Song describes Solomon being patient. The doctrinal truth is that God wants husbands to be patient with their wives. To find a verse where God commands us to be patient is easy. So we get our doctrine from another verse and see Solomon obeying the command to be patient, therefore there is no doctrine in the Song of Songs but only the application of it.
Lets look at SS 5:2-6
Song of Solomon 5:2-6
2 “I was asleep but my heart was awake.
A voice! My beloved was knocking:
‘Open to me, my sister, my darling,
My dove, my perfect one!
For my head is drenched with dew,
My locks with the damp of the night.’
3 “I have taken off my dress,
How can I put it on again?
I have washed my feet,
How can I dirty them again?
4 “My beloved extended his hand through the opening,
And my feelings were aroused for him.
5 “I arose to open to my beloved;
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
And my fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the bolt.
6 “I opened to my beloved,But my beloved had turned away and had gone!
My heart went out to him as he spoke.
I searched for him but I did not find him;
I called him but he did not answer me.”
Summary of the text
They are apart 5:2 and Solomon wants to be where she is indicated by his knocking, and words. Solomon commands and desires his wife to open the door. She doesn’t obey right away. She see’s his hand and then desires to open the door as her heart pounds for him, but she’s to late for he had gone. She doesn’t enjoy his presence til after much difficulty and being humbled by reminding herself of who Solomon is and what he has and is doing for her. And giving herself completely to him.
Doctrine: Tis a thing that the saints miss of sweet communion with X for want of a little self-denial . by Jonathan Edwards
Is this statement true? Do wives forfeit sweet holy communion with God by disobedience, thus forfeiting sweet fellowship with both your husband and Jesus Christ?
Sweet and desired communion with Christ can often times be missed for lack of expressing love to him by obeying quicker no matter the cost.
Wives can often times lose intimate sweet fellowship with both God and husband when they don’t obey their husbands. Is 59:2 “Your sins have separated you from your God, so that he will not hear.” Prov. 1:20-33
For those of you out there that know expository preaching, let me ask a question? did I do this right? Did I properly come up with doctrine through proper exposition? I know the Song illustrates the principle of Isaiah 59:2. But can you argue from a description of what Solomon and his wife did to doctrine by seeing a principle at play in the text of the Song and matching it with a principle clearly stated in Is. 59:2 and then stating the doctrine in Is. 59:2 as doctrine coming from Is. 59:2 and illustrated in the Song?
Right, so here is my point. If you were to read Romeo and Juliet, how would you know what God would want you to do in a love relationship? If the only thing you read was Romeo and Juliet what Doctrine about religion can you get from it? Nothing. You get nothing about God and a godly life by reading Shakespeare alone. You may say Romeo loved Juliet and therefore God commands husbands to love their wives. But this is backwards, you must first find Scripture where God says “Husbands love your wives”, to conclude that God wanted Romeo to love Juliet. If you put Romeo for Solomon and Juliet for the Shulamite and take it out of the Bible then what do you get. Well if you go by the title, then you get a secular love song that is better than all other secular love songs with no spiritual benefit. In the same way we ought not to read the Song of Songs “under the sun” or it will be meaningless and all marriage will be vanity. Finding purpose and meaning in marriage apart from God will be like chasing the wind, you will try to get it, put you never will. If you view the Song of Songs “under the sun”. You will always be trying to find God’s purpose in marriage but you never will get it. Like chasing after the wind.
Other possible doctrine statements by Jonathan Edwards
Song of Solomon 5:1 “Eat of friends, drink your fill of love”
Doctrine: That Persons need not and ought not to set any bounds to their spiritual & Gracious Appetites.
Song of Songs 1:3 “name is like perfume poured out”
Doctrine That X Jesus is a person transcendently excellent And
lovelydesireable we shall show it in the following Particulars. I There are all divine excellencies in him.
Song of Songs 8:1
Doctrine: That the Incarnation of J. X was a thing Greatly Longed for by the Church
(okay in my opinion you can’t jump to this conclusion because incarnation is to specific, but to say as a doctrinal statement that in a love relationship “the closest of relations is desired or something else other than applying this text to the incarnation, as much as I love Edwards, I believe he got this doctrinal statement from this text totally wrong )
Song of Songs 2:3 “I delight to sit in his shade”
Doctrine: The true believer hath rest in Christ.
Song of Songs 6:1 “Where has your beloved gone, most beautiful of women” (Note to self. This is the second time in the Song that she needs to be reminded of her transcendent beauty in Christ when feeling separated from him.)
Doctrine: “When some are converted, this should stir up others to be converted also.”
Song of Song 7:13
Doctrine: (this Jonathan Edwards quote is from his personal notebook so they aren’t so complete) Hence we may Learn what a Great work a Xtian has before him if he ought to bring forth all manner of Good fruit then he has work enough to do .
Everytis Impossible to do as thewe are taught in the doc. without very Great Labour & diligence. menEvery Xtian ought to be thoroughly sensib. that is a Great work that he has dto do. & that there is a necessity of his Livng a Laborious Life dont Let anyone that Professes Godliness amongst us [—] exEntertain any other notion
Song of Songs 4:8 “Come with me from Lebanon…..
Doctrine: X calls & invites souls that are under the most dark & dismal circumstances to Look to Him. (I believe Jonathan Edwards got this one wrong as well, the context is a spiritual high on top of the mountain, (not a dismal circumstance but a potentially dangerous one), as we behold our inheritance in Christ, its the honeymoon and she is overlooking the kingdom she just inherited and thats a time when spiritual pride or self-righteousness like a lion can tempt us to think we of ourselves earned this privilege by our fasting, good works, humbling ourselves or whatever. So Christ calls us down to humble ourselves by glancing His way, seeing it is all because of Him that we are blessed and not of ourselves it is a gift of God. So the doctrine I get from this verse is “Taking our eyes off Jesus leads to spiritual pride, but keeping them on Him and His Grace keeps us humble.)
One more doctrinal statement from Edwards
Song of Songs or Canticles as the puritans called it. Canticles 2:16 “My beloved is mine and I am His..”
Doctrine: Cant. 2:16 “They that can say of Christ, ‘My beloved is mine and I am his,’ have great reason humbly to glory in such a privilege.
Me practicing getting Doctrine from the Song of Songs
Doctrine: Lovers in union desire the strictest union with their lover. Song of Songs 1:2-4. Compared with John 17 “Let them be one”… “I desire them to be with me where I am”
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.