Have you seen him whom my soul loves?

Lest I owe Peter Newing another coffee, I thought it best to focus today on the first reading, Song of Solomon 3 and leave you to ponder Acts 18 under your own steam.

I remember when I was young, being puzzled by the lyrics of a song my parents used to listen to—Val Doonican, singing Irving Berlin’s A Man Chases a Girl Until She Catches Him. Perhaps something similar is at play as the dialogue and commentary continue between the young woman and Solomon. 

After putting him off until another day in 2:17 (Until the day breathes and the shadows flee, turn, my beloved…), it seems she has had a change of heart, and now can’t sleep, so she rises early and seeks him out, and when she finds him won’t let him go. Even so, she repeats the admonition not to awaken love until the right time. Perhaps this time there’s an acknowledgement that the time is now right for her.

Clearly that response got a reaction, because he’s putting on the full procession to celebrate his upcoming wedding.

Most commentaries on the Song of Solomon suggest that the narrative of the book also describes the relationship between Christ and His bride the church (and some seem to place so much emphasis on this aspect you might as well leave out the “also”).  If that’s the case, what are we to make of Chapter 3?

I am reminded that there are times when I put God off until another day, and I just feel too busy to give him any mind space. Yet when I seek Him out again, reading the Bible, and praying, I know that he delights in it.  Zephaniah 3:17 says

The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.

And Jesus tells Pharisees and the scribes in Luke 15:7

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance

Father, thank you that you delight in me when I seek you out. Thank you that you have pursued me because you love me. Help me to remember to pursue you and your kingdom today.

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4 thoughts on “Have you seen him whom my soul loves?

  1. Thank you James. Even though it is clear to me that Songs of Solomon teach on the love between a man and a woman we also must understand the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love for us. His is passionate in His love for us. Unless we know that we are loved by God and how He has pursued us we will never be secure in our walk. A beautiful example of how hurt God feels is taught to us in Hosea. Hosea got to experience how God feels when Gods children commit adultery when God isn’t on the throne of their hearts. There is no greater pain in a marriage than when adultery has occurred. When we experience this pain in our human relationships we get to understand on a smaller scale the pain that God feels when we don’t put Him first in our lives when we commit spiritual adultery.

    For your Maker is your Husband the Lord of hosts is His name and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; the God of the whole earth He is called. Isaiah 54:5

    • Honour marriage and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex. Hebrews 13:4 The Message Translation

  2. Really James – Val Doonican! I hope it was your parents record and not your own! It’s also good to read this (Song of Solomon) in the context of polygamy and even polyamory which God seemed to permit for Kings at least. I’m pretty sure he would not have known all his wives names or his concubines but he speaks glowingly of this one. He is enchanted by her. I see it more as a poem of romantic love between man and woman – nothing more. Most cultures and religions seem to have such. In the end of course women were the downfall of Solomon as he followed their pagan religious practices. He started out well but but in the end seemed to have drifted away from the Lord.

    • Funny what sticks in your head. 1969. I would have been about 3, so it definitely wasn’t my record (actually, it might have been one of those new fangled cassettes). Fair to say, it wasn’t just the lyrics that I didn’t get about that song.

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