Song of Solomon 1:1-7 – Desire and Grace

THE BRIDE

This song is billed as the greatest of all the 1,005 songs written by Solomon (1 Kings 4:32). It begins with the voice of the bride crying out. We are immediately struck by the passionate desire the bride has for the groom. She wants his kisses! She is completely mesmerized by the scent of the groom and the integrity of his name. She desires to know him intimately in the undefiled bed of marriage (Hebrews 13:4). Her friends acknowledge and
encourage her in the love she has for her beloved. She is filled with desire, and it is important to notice that she wants him to kiss her. However, the groom has not spoken yet in the song and we do not know of his intentions. And so, in verse five, we see the bride’s insecurity. We know the bride is of Shulammite descent (6:13). Shulammites were from the rural area just south of Galilee. They were commonly poor and hired to work in the vineyards of the wealthy who lived in the city. Notice her father is not mentioned, but only the sons of her mother who make her work in the field. The fact that the song doesn’t use common term for brothers suggests her real father is dead and her brothers are actually step-brothers. A true Cinderella story is beginning to unfold before our eyes. The bride knows she is beautiful in her own way, but she worries about the darkness of her skin. This is not an ethnic worry, but a social worry. The poor who worked in the fields had noticeably darker skin that easily identified their impoverished state of servitude. Will her beloved accept her as she is? Will he rescue her from her servitude?

A SHADE OF GRACE

Human desire for marriage is representative of the God-given need within us to be connected. God created humanity; He created them male and female, in His own image (Genesis 1:27). God is a communal God. Because He is plural in personhood, He has always existed within perfect harmony and relationship with Himself (Deuteronomy 6:4). We were created for relationship with God, but sin has separated us from Him (Isaiah 59:2). We are all sinners and therefore all separated from Him (Romans 3:10-12). Like the bride in this song, we desire human relationship and intimacy. However, this is only part of the story. Marriage will fulfill our earthly needs, but it will not repair the deep connection our soul longs for… to be joined to our Creator. Insecurities flood our minds when we think of our relationship with God. Our guilt and shame cause us to hide from Him instead of run to Him (Genesis 3:8). As we will see later in this song, the desires of the bride are rewarded. She is loved by the groom despite her imperfections. This is true with Jesus also. He lived perfectly and His perfection covers our imperfection (1 Peter 2:24). Desire the Lord Jesus today. Do not allow your sins to make you doubt His acceptance of you. Jesus will come to your rescue!

STUDY QUESTIONS

LOVE – GOD LOVES US

We all deal with insecurity on some level. How does sin cause our insecurities? How does the Gospel help us to find our security in Christ? Read Romans 8:26-39 and Ephesians 1:3-14 for more encouragement about what Christ has done for you.

DEVOTION – WE LOVE GOD

Discuss the imagery used in Song 1:2-4 to present the great desire the bride has for her beloved. In what ways does she restrain her desire and depend on her beloved?

Sometimes our insecurity causes us to place all our hopes for intimacy and relationship on people rather than on God. What happens to those relationships when we expect that God-sized hole to be filled by them? How can we grow in intimacy and relationship to Him?

PASSION – WE LOVE OTHERS

How does knowing our position in Christ help to make us better servants? How does the Gospel reduce the feeling of “drudging duty” that can sometimes accompany service?

Married: What are some ways that you can model Christ’s acceptance to your spouse this week? How can you help them know what it means to be secure in Him?

Single: How can you pray for a friend this week who is struggling with Christ’s acceptance of him/her? Use Psalm 37 to help you think of ways to pray.

LEGACY – LOVE LIVES ON

How can you share what you have received from this message on our security in Christ with someone this week? How would you share the gospel with them using what you have learned?