I’m on a year-long chronological Bible reading plan. I highly recommend it. It really helps to see the entire Story laid out. I spent most of May with King David but at the beginning of June Solomon comes on the redemptive-historical scene. And so my chronological Bible reading plan has finally led me through the Song of Solomon. Or is it the Song of Songs? What should it be called? Maybe we should split the difference and call it The Song Of Song, Which Is Solomon’s. I always try to read this book of the Bible at least once a year. Usually when I feel I must. This year – because of my year long reading plan – I was led to it. As always, reading it makes me ask the question: Why is this piece of erotic poetry in my Bible? As part of Holy Scripture, this poem plays an important part in God’s revelation of Himself. I’ll give a couple answers of why it’s in the Bible. Then why, for me personally, I’m so happy that it’s there.
Primarily It’s About Sex. Let’s not kid ourselves. I mean, have you read it? Really? I will climb the palm tree and lay hold of its fruit. Y’all know what he’s talking about, right? It’s not real fruit. Read in context to find out. It’s a very *nudge, nudge* wink, wink* moment. People often get the Christian view of sex wrong (often Christians do too!). Sexuality isn’t bad, but it’s not mere appetite either. It has a high place in the Biblical view. Sexual expression is the crowning-glory-of-the-marriage-covenant. When it is in its place, erotic love is worthy of God’s celebration. All around us are voices which tell us that sex is bad (religious) or that sex isn’t a big deal (our culture). It is good and its a big deal. The Author of Scripture shows us that with Solomon’s Song.
It’s Also About The Lord. There’s a lot of danger in interpreting the Bible allegorically. In fact, we usually shouldn’t do it. Unless, that is, we are at a place in the Bible which screams out to be interpreted as allegory. The Song of Song, Which Is Solomon’s has always been seen as a portrait of God’s love for His people and their love for Him. Often it is in the Person of Christ (2nd Person) that this love is expressed toward the Christian Church. Bernard of Clairvaux, 12th century preacher, is probably best known for his extensive teaching about this very thing. He had tons of sermons on The Song of Songs, Which Is Solomon’s, most of which are readable online here. They are still worth reading after 900 years. This erotic piece of poetry is about the Lord. My beloved is mine, and I am his. Read that alongside I will be their God, and they shall be My people and you can start to get it.
It Holds Special Meaning For Me. Every year, I usually need to re-read this book of the Bible. I usually choose on my own when to do that because I start feeling as though my faith is becoming a little wooden. This year, my reading plan forced it on me but it still had the same effect. The Song of Songs, Which Is Solomon’s s best read in one go, and I’m glad the plan makes one do that. It’s needed for the full effect. The lover and the beloved in the Song might not know much but they for sure know there is a person they are enamoured with. Here’s why that is important for me. I study, talk about, and pray to God all the time. I love doctrine and the Bible, and I love sharing about the Good News with others. But sometimes I need to be reminded that it is not just subject matter that we’re dealing with here. There is a Great Someone to be loved. A Person to be treasured. The Lord is a living Person and can be the object of our greatest affections. Solomon’s Song, for all its mysteriously ancient romantic metaphors shows me that.