Thursday, December 21, 2017
Daily reading assignment – Song of Solomon 5-6
We continue our study in Song of Solomon reading chapters 5-6 for our devotional study. As a reminder, I have taken the approach this is a literal, romantic story of a bride’s love for a shepherd, a shepherd whom she realizes on her wedding day is King Solomon! The king and his wedding entourage came for his bride in Song of Solomon 3 and in chapter 4 he took her for his wife.
Song of Solomon 5:1 concludes the glorious wedding day feast as the king bids his guests good night and retires into his palace with his beautiful Shulamite bride.
Song of Songs 5:1 – I [the king] am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends [members of the wedding party]; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.
The love story of the bride and her groom continues with Song of Solomon 5:2. King Solomon rejoices in his young bride; however, as it is with all marriages, the honeymoon has ended and life takes on the ebb and flow of routine.
The king comes to his new bride’s bedchamber after a long day. Anticipating the love and greeting of his wife, he knocks at the door of her chamber, but she has retired for the night and at first does not want to be disturbed (5:2b-3). She hears him trying to open the door and her heart yearns for him (5:4); however, when she opens the door she finds he has departed (5:5-6).
Longing for the company of her husband, she goes out into the night to find him. In the absence of the king, the guards and watchmen, do not recognize her and answer her inquiry roughly (5:7). Longing for her husband, she confides to her attendants, “I am sick of love” (5:8b) and ponders in her thoughts the allure of his physical beauty (5:10-16).
The bride’s lonely night and search has passed in Song of Solomon 6 and she rejoices to find her husband, the king, in his royal gardens (6:1-3).
Seeing his wife approach, the king romances her with declarations of his love and praises her for her beauty (6:4-7). He assures her, though there are many wives, concubines, and virgins in his harem (6:8), there are none to compare with her (6:8-9).
What a beautiful picture of love and romance in a marriage!
I close today’s devotional commentary with a few observations.
The first, marriage is more than a covenant; it is a blending of two lives into one. The life experiences and backgrounds of Solomon and his bride could hardly be starker. He is a young king and has known the life of the palace from his infancy; she is a commoner, a poor commoner who knows nothing of a queen’s life. He is a vibrant, confident king; she is quiet and insecure in her new role as the queen.
A second observation is the king’s loving patience extended to his young bride. He came to her bedchamber, but she had retired. He could have forced his way into her room; however, he retreated. When she came to him the next morning, the king greeted her lovingly, reassuring her with loving words and praising her for her beauty and virtues.
On a personal note: When I was a young pastor, an older and wiser pastor told me, “Look into the faces of wives sitting in a church congregation and you will know if the marriages and families in that church are healthy and happy.” I have found that is true.
Pressures of family and work can steal a couple’s joy and quench their romance; as a result, many married couples lose their passion. The young bride in our love story urged her attendants, tell the king, “I am sick of love” (5:8b); literally, I am “love sick”…longing for her husband’s love.
Honeymoons end, but a happy marriage will preserve romance and courtship.
Take a lesson from today’s scripture: A happy marriage demands the dedication of two souls and a lifetime of patience and romance.
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith