Scripture reading – Psalm 72, Song of Solomon 1

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There is some disagreement concerning the authorship of Psalm 72. As the editors noted in the title, some suppose that David authored it for his son, the king; therefore, it was titled “A Psalm for Solomon.” The last verse of Psalm 72 seems to identify the elderly king as its author with the words, “The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended” (Psalm 72:20). Yet, the majority of scholars believe it is a “Psalm by Solomon” and therefore authored by David’s son.

The second half of today’s Scripture reading introduced a new book in our study and bears the name of its author, “The Song of Solomon.” The Song of Solomon has been described as a celebration of love between a man and a woman. Yet, the book bears Messianic implications (thus, it is a prophecy and portrayal of the millennial reign of Christ following His second coming). Throughout the book, Solomon expressed a young king’s passion and love for a peasant woman he identified as a “Shulamite” (Song of Solomon 6:13).

Psalm 72 – David’s Prayer for Solomon

Assuming David penned Psalm 72 in the last days of his life, the frail king expressed his prayer for God’s blessings on Solomon’s reign (Psalm 72:1) and his longing that his son would be just, honest, and good.

I believe Psalm 72:2-17 had an immediate application for Solomon’s kingdom and a prophetic implication that will be fulfilled during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. David’s desire and prayer was that Solomon’s judgment as king would be righteous (Psalm 72:2) and the effect of his rule would be one of peace (Psalm 72:3-4).

Yet, Psalm 72:5-8 will only be fulfilled when Christ returns and rules the earth. His reign of righteousness will provoke fear and reverence over those whom He will rule (Psalm 72:5). Like the rain and dew on green pastures (Psalm 72:6), His rule will bring prosperity and peace (Psalm 72:7). While Solomon’s kingdom was great, it is Christ’s future kingdom that will span “from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:8).

The reign of Christ on the earth will be compassionate, and “He shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. 13 He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy” (Psalm 72:12-13). What a glorious day it will be when men are redeemed “from deceit and violence” (Psalm 72:14), and Christ will continually be the object of praise on the earth (Psalm 72:15). His reign will be a time of plenty (Psalm 72:16) and His name, like His kingdom, will “endure for ever…and men shall be blessed in Him: all nations shall call him blessed” (Psalm 72:17).

Psalm 72 concluded with a doxology. The king offered praise and thanksgiving to God, and he foresaw the day the glory of the LORD would fill the earth (Psalm 72:18-19).

Song of Solomon 1 – An Introduction to a Timeless Love Story

 

Possible Interpretations of The Song of Solomon (Song of Solomon 1:1)

It has been suggested that “The Song of Solomon” might be interpreted in three genres. Some suggest an Allegorical interpretation and that it is a narrative describing God’s relationship with His people, Israel. A Typical interpretation has also been suggested by some who contend that “The Song of Solomon” was descriptive of Christ’s love and relationship with the Church (Ephesians 5:25, 29). For our brief study, however, I propose a Literal interpretation of “The Song of Solomon.” I believe the book’s narrative is a story of romance, and is a love story. I suggest “The Song of Solomon” was a celebration of love and romance between the young king and the woman he loved. Song of Solomon 1 is the beginning of that courtship.

 

The Maiden’s Words to the Bridegroom (Song of Solomon 1:2-4)

Following a literal interpretation, I agree with some who suggest King Solomon had departed his court and royal city, disguised as a lowly shepherd. He traveled northward and, in his journey, noticed a beautiful young woman. She was a peasant and labored in a vineyard her family had leased, perhaps from the king himself (Song of Solomon 1:6).

Identified as a Shulamite (Song of Solomon 6:13), she did not recognize the king. Judging by his dress, the young woman concluded she and the shepherd were of the same rank in society. Like many young women who dream of love, she met the stranger and was flattered and embarrassed by his attention (Song of Solomon 1:2-4).

The Maiden’s Confession and Wonder (Song of Solomon 1:5-7)

Mindful that her skin was tanned by the rays of the Middle Eastern sun, she reasoned within herself, “5I am black, but comely [beautiful], O ye daughters of Jerusalem, As the tents of Kedar [Bedouin shepherds], as the curtains of Solomon. 6Look not upon me, because I am black, Because the sun hath looked upon me: My mother’s children [not her brothers, but her step-brothers] were angry with me; They made me the keeper of the vineyards [another’s vineyards, perhaps the kings]; But mine own vineyard have I not kept” (Song of Solomon1:5-6). She dreamed of meeting the shepherd again and wondered where his flocks grazed (Song of Solomon 1:7).

 

The Bridegroom and Maiden’s Mutual Affection (Song of Solomon 1:8-14)

Romance was in the air, and she knew their interests were mutual. However, she did not know the object of her affection was Solomon, the king of Israel! (Song of Solomon 1:9, 15) Her love for the shepherd was expressed in Song of Solomon 1:9-14.

She imagined lying beside the shepherd on a bed of green grasses (Song of Solomon 1:16). She dreamed of love with a canopy of cedar and fir branches above their heads (Song of Solomon 1:17).

 

Closing thoughts“Love is not blind.”

Though their stations in life were different, the king loved the tanned-skinned woman who labored in the vineyard, and she loved him (though she believed him to be a lowly shepherd). Ignoring the traits that might have been undesirable (weathered skin and calloused hands from labor), Solomon loved the young woman and focused on her beauty and character.

Truth – Negative qualities will inevitably become evident in human relationships (friendship, courtship, marriage, or family) and give you a choice. You can choose to dwell on the negatives or love and look past them. Remember, however, that “Charity [Love] thinketh no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:5).

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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