Song of Solomon 3:6-4:7 – Marriage and Grace

THE WEDDING DAY

The bride has longed to be one with her love, Solomon. Solomon has also greatly desired his bride. Time has not allowed them the intimacy they both crave. They have labored for their chastity, but that will change now, as the springtime of their love has finally come. It is the day of their wedding (vs. 11), and Solomon arrives in the splendor of his kingly office. Those in attendance can smell the many pleasing aromas of the king as he made his approach. He is being carried upon a specially-made carriage for this occasion. Sixty mighty men surround Solomon—more than double the mighty men of his father, David (2 Samuel 28:13). The carriage was built with the finest materials the ancient world had to offer, the accessories and decor inlaid with skill and precision.
Solomon’s entrance demonstrated the opulence of his stature and the excellency of his rule. The daughters of Jerusalem loved their king and were eager for him to experience the joy of his wedding.

Then, in a holy moment, Solomon sees his bride. All the walls that separated them are coming down. Two people, a man and a woman, are becoming one flesh as God had designed from the beginning of creation (Genesis 2:24). Solomon is overcome by his bride’s beauty and her stature. As attenders were awed by his kingly entrance, Solomon is now awed by his bride. His description of her in these verses (4:1-7) is a public affirmation of her beauty, while his later words to her (vs. 8-15) occur when he takes her away privately to prepare for consummation (vs. 4:16 – 5:1). Some of his compliments may seem like insults to our modern ears, but his poetic description of his bride would have been both beautiful and rational to his ancient hearers. One thing is certain, all the fears of the bride concerning her appearance have been put to rest (1:6). Solomon confirms that through his eyes, she is altogether beautiful and greatly loved.

A SHADE OF GRACE

God has given marriage to His creation for a reason: it foreshadows a greater truth. Secular people have a hard time understanding why Christians are so adamant about Biblical marriage. They accuse us of being backwards and out of touch with the new reality of our current culture. However, please understand: marriage is a gospel issue. A close reading of Ephesians 5:22-33 reveals that marriage is a clear picture of the mystery of the gospel. A wife submitting to her husband is a picture of the Church submitting to Christ. A husband loving his wife is a picture of how Christ loves His Church and has given everything to nourish her. It is true we should always proclaim the gospel using words (Romans 10:14), but it is also true that Biblical marriages preach the gospel to those around us. One day, just like Solomon in his earthly splendor, Jesus is going to come in all His majesty for His bride. He will proclaim our beauty and we will be united to Jesus for eternity. All the hardship of living in this sin-stained world will be eradicated. That’s when the real party begins (Revelation 19:6-10).

STUDY QUESTIONS

LOVE – GOD LOVES US

This teaching about kingly return of Christ reminds us that Jesus will restore all things (Rev 21:5). What in particular are you looking forward to seeing the restoration of? Think about how enormous God’s power is in Christ, to restore ALL things to Himself.

Think about the joy you have seen on the faces of a bride and groom (or of you and your spouse at your wedding, if you are married!). How will Jesus see His Church on that day when He returns? How does this demonstrate the way He sees you right now?

DEVOTION – WE LOVE GOD

Do you see Jesus as majestic and beautiful? What are the attributes of Christ that resonate the most with you and cause you to worship Him?

Read Psalm 45 for another view of a king and his bride. How do we see a picture of Jesus and His Church in this passage as well?

PASSION – WE LOVE OTHERS

Married: List some ways in which God has blessed you with your spouse and share them with him/her. Find a Scripture with which to encourage him/her and pray it over your spouse.

Single: How can you use your single life as a way to honor your coming King? What are some unique ways you can serve Him right now, especially in the service of others? Take a moment to thank the Lord for these opportunities, which are yours in God’s gracious plan (Eph 2:20).

LEGACY – LOVE LIVES ON

How does investing in your local church prepare for the future joy of Christ and His bride? Does it bring you joy to help strengthen her for Him? If not, where do you struggle? Bring these struggles before Him and ask for help.