Love Focuses on the Positives (Song of Solomon 2)

Scripture reading – Song of Solomon 2

The love and courtship of King Solomon and his unsuspecting, but beautiful peasant maiden continues in today’s Scripture reading. Song of Solomon 2 makes us privy to the courtship and affections between the king (whom I have suggested was disguised as a lowly shepherd), and the object of his affections, a young Shulamite woman. Conscious of her appearance, her skin darkened by laboring in the sun (1:5), she dreamed of her shepherd’s affections.

Song of Solomon 2 – An Unroyal Courtship

Notice in the opening verses of chapter 2 a dialog between a Shulamite maiden, and Solomon (whom she believed to be a shepherd). Dreaming of her shepherd’s affections, the young maiden professed of herself, “I amthe rose of Sharon [cactus rose], and the lily [flower]of the valleys” (2:1). Disguised as a shepherd, Solomon admired her beauty, and responded, “As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters” (2:2a).

She shared her beloved’s affections, and said, “3As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste” (2:3). Comparing her shepherd to a flowering, fragrant, fruit bearing tree (2:3), she felt secure “under his shadow,” and glowed with joy (2:3b). She believed her courtship was with a humble shepherd, but came to understand she was the object of the king’s affections when “he brought [her] to the banqueting house, and his banner over [her]was love” (2:4). Secure in Solomon’s presence, she asked him to stay by her side (2:5), and imagined his loving, assuring embrace (2:6).

The young maid was in love, and her beloved, the king, cherished her! Her heart leaped when she imagined hearing his voice (2:8). She dreamed of Solomon coming in the strength of his young manhood (2:8). He was to her, like a male gazelle, “a roe or a young hart” (deer). When he looked through the lattice work of her window, the king called her to himself (2:9).

As many young women who dream of love and marriage, the young maiden fantasied Solomon sweeping her away with his affections, and saying,” Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away” (2:10). She described her courtship, like the passing of winter and the joys of springtime (2:11). Spring was come, and joy and love were in the air (2:12). Their love was like the fig trees that put forth their fruit and green leaves in springtime, and the fragrance of flowering grapevines that fill the air (2:13a). Her dreamed concluded with Solomon coming, and saying, “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away” (2:13b).

Song of Solomon 2:14-15 expressed beautifully Solomon’s poetic affections. Knowing the young woman of his affections lived in the mountains, the king identified the beauty of her rural home, and said:

14O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, Let me see thy countenance [the beauty of her face], let me hear thy voice; For sweet is thy voice [the melodious sound of her voice], and thy countenance is comely” (2:14). Shunning any that might intrude upon their love, Solomon described them as foxes: “15Take us the foxes, The little foxes, that spoil the vines: For our vines have tender grapes” (2:15).[Foxes running through flowering grape vines would ruin the fruit.]

Our Scripture concluded with the young maiden expressing her love for Solomon, and saying, “16My beloved is mine, and I am his: He feedeth [grazes his sheep] among the lilies” (2:16). With the shadows of daylight fading into the night, she dreamed her beloved would return to her (2:17).

Closing thoughts – My prior devotional concluded with the principle, “Love is not blind.” I would like to suggest a second principle on the subject of love: Love focuses on the positives. Solomon and his maiden gushed with words of tender love. She thought of herself as a cactus rose (2:1), but he encouraged her that she was his “lily…[and his] love” (2:2). He showered her with his love, and attention (2:4), and she dreamed of him calling for her (2:8-9).

Lesson – Sincere love is unconditional, and focuses on the positive traits of one’s beloved. Love forgets flaws, and wrongdoings, and does not drag up sins and failures (Ephesians 4:31). Love is kind, tender, forgiving, and self-sacrificing (Ephesians 4:32). Love chooses to give the best (Ephesians 5:25-27).

Is your love for the Lord and for others focused on the blessings and the positives, and not on the negatives?

Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith