For my regular followers, I apologize for backtracking to Solomon. In God's sovereignty, I was not clear thinking last week regarding which episode to post.
When David wrote a song, it turned out to be a prayer to God. We know them as the Psalms. The central theme of this post is the song that Solomon wrote. Mostly, Solomon assembled proverbs and made wisdom his prize. He is tough to understand in our culture because education holds idolatry status.
If you believe that all Solomon's wisdom came from God, you are missing the point. Imagine a gifted person that never becomes intimate with God. No Jacob's ladder, nor justified by a promise as in Abraham, or protected from all his enemies in the midst of battle like David his father. No Solomon for all his wisdom remains alone.
People are so diluted when it comes to Solomon they teach godly marriage as if it came from someone who slept with 300 concubines and who knows how many of his 700 wives of convenience. Ludicrous! With no evidence, they will offer excuses like it must have been his first love. Where does it say that?
God can use a rock, a serpent (as an angel of light), or even Solomon to tell His redemptive story.
Your name is like purified oil; therefore, the young women love you. "Draw me after you and let's run together! The king has brought me into his chambers." (Solomon's Song 1:3, 4) What Solomon understood writing this story, I do not know; what I do know is Solomon was a king like few others. He experienced his appetite running wild. He could entice women from all over the world, and he did. The Shulamite is such a woman.
The Shulamite is the story of the redeemed. Her love for Solomon represents her love for the world. He could give her whatever she wanted in exchange for her body or should I say her soul? He spoke so eloquently in proverbs, "call understanding your intimate friend, So that they may keep you from an adulteress..." (S.S. 7:4). However, like an authentic hypocrite, he said one thing intending to do the opposite.
The Shulamite undergoes significant changes that transform her soul, priorities, and character from sinner to saint.
Phase #1 She begins self-consumed.
"My beloved is mine, and I am his; He pastures his flock among the lilies." (S.S. 1:16) At the beginning of her story, motivationally, she came first: her wants, desires, and pleasures take first place, and her love comes in last. Secondly, there is a discrete desire for a shepherd. I shall not take space to prove that Solomon was not a shepherd. He was a king in pursuit of knowledge and pleasure - not sheep.
The Good Shepherd loves His sheep, they hear his voice, and they follow Him. However, it is not without struggle. Jesus said, "The Law and the Prophets [were proclaimed] until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it" (Luke 12:12). Anyone who believes it is easy to get to heaven has never had to gain victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. Nevertheless, all believers do, by the grace of God.
The way of the Christian is the way of continual repentance, ever gaining holier ground until at last, we stand with Him in glory.
Though we may waver, He remains steadfast
And all His words are sure;
From everlasting unto everlasting
His promises endure.
Though we may wander, He will not forsake us,
Truer than earthly friend;
He never fails our trust, for having loved us,
He loves unto the end.
Unto the end; we doubt Him, we deny Him,
We wound Him, we forget;
We get some earthly idol up between us
Without one faint regret.
And when it falls or crumbles, and in anguish
We seek this changeless Friend,
Lo, He receives us, comforts and forgives us,
And loves us to the end.
Phase #2 Her Longing for Him is Life Changing
"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine, He who pastures his flock among the lilies." (S.S. 6:3) When you read the story, you will find the Shepherd looking for His love and then leaving. When He leaves her, she longs for him in her heart.
Just this week, a brother said to me after three or four years of becoming a Christian, "I feel like my passion for Christ is waining." T.V., Games, etc., start to push out Jesus, and we are left alone. The world is continually tempting us; when it's gone, the Christian reunites to Christ and with Him abiding peace. It is never the other way around.
Phase #3 Christ Fills all in all
"I am my beloved's, and his desire is for me." (S.S. 7:10) In this last phase of Solomon's story, the self is no longer an issue. All that matters to the mature Christian is pleasing Jesus and fulfilling His desires. It's as if we are not in the picture. One of the greatest used evangelists, George Whitefield, is reported to say, "Let my name die everywhere, let even my friends forget me if by that means the cause of the blessed Jesus may be promoted."
King Solomon was not capable of loving the Shulamite in such a way as to bring about such a transformation in her. Only The Good Shepherd can accomplish such extraordinary and miraculous work. Furthermore, Solomon never mirrored Jesus' love. The Gospel teaches self-denying love; it guides us in the way of self-forgetting, not self-centering. We forsake all others to be faithful to one. We do not lavish ourselves with lust to the point of treating a spouse like a commodity. Such a thing is a complete mockery of Godly love.
The great tragedy of Solomon is that as a wise man he knew when he was doing wrong but acted out the life of a fool anyway.
If you want to take part in a Bible Study led by yours truly, the day and time will be 7 PM on March 29th on zoom. https://us04web.zoom.us/j/76646823453?pwd=TjlTZXlza3h2VUpVNVdHM2RlQ1FqQT09 All are welcome!
If you need discipleship you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and receive fellowship from me or one of my associates.