Monday, March 21, 2016

An Unintentional Hurt

Song of Solomon 5:1-16

“I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.” (Song of Solomon 5:1)

The man has gone into his garden to eat and to enjoy things he likes and to gather some to share with his spouse, bringing her sweets and perfumes, then comes to her door and finds her asleep. 

“I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.  I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?” (Song of Solomon 5:2-3)

She heard her husband knocking but she was sleepy and had a hard time getting woke up.  When she did, she didn’t want to get up because she wasn’t dressed and she didn’t want to get her feet dirty, so for a few moments she didn’t answer.   Far too often, we get so caught up in our own comfort and convenience that those who love us end up turning away because they don’t feel free to disturb us.  Sometimes, they get the feeling other things matter more than they do. 

“My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.  I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.  I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. ” (Song of Solomon 5:4-6)

She heard him trying to get the door open, but she had locked it and he couldn’t.  She suddenly realized she wanted him to be with her, so she got up and opened the door, but by the time she got around to it he had gone elsewhere, not wanting to disturb her sleep.  Now she went looking for him.   It takes a special effort to overcome such unintentional hurts, and this lady made the effort.  She recognized her part in his going elsewhere.   People who will not admit their actions or words may have hurt the other person tend to blame him for feeling hurt, and make no effort to correct it.    

The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.  I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.” (Song of Solomon 5:7-8)

She was out after curfew, and the police picked her up.  They were not very understanding and her feelings were hurt.  She asked the other women who were out to look for her husband and tell him wanted him to come, even if it woke her up.   She wanted him to understand how much she loved him.
“What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us? ” (Song of Solomon 5:9)

The other women don’t understand why she’s worried about that man, after all she is beautiful and there are other men who could surely make her happy.  What made him so special?   It was the same attitude I experienced when my wife left me, that there were lots of other women so I should just forget about her.  It shows how little the world understands about love.   

“My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.  His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.  His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.  His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.  His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.  His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.  His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. ” (Song of Solomon 5:10-16)

How do you explain why you love someone?  The lady describes how she sees him, as extremely handsome.  To her, he is better looking than ten thousand other men.  He is altogether lovely to her, and most importantly, she loves him and he is her friend.  All those other men are just not him.   


  1. I suppose I can understand why this book is a little hard to read through; some of the descriptions were indeed difficult to wrap my head around and it took a little time to simply acknowledge that these must have been very complimentary ways to speak in Solomon's time. Do you think that Solomon is just essentially relating a fictional love story? Or do you suppose he is praising a wife he truly loved, potentially Rehoboam's mother?

    Either way I'm glad God gave me patience to extract some teaching and pleasure from this book.

  2. A lot of subtle meaning is lost in translating from one language to another, no matter how well the translation is done, requiring some interpretation as well. That it is also across different cultures further complicates understanding.

    I suspect Solomon is describing a real relationship, although he may romanticize it a little.

  3. What an interesting idea! I happen to be gearing up to writing a fantasy/romantic story when I finish my present novel (God willing), and I just realized this book, perhaps along with Ruth, would be good inspiration. I want to write a romantic piece that is not entrenched in physical lust but rather genuinely built on a bond that goes beyond anything merely sexual. My primary goal is to develop the characters in a relationship that reflects what God intends between a man and woman, both before and after marriage; what is proper and what isn't. Perhaps you could pray for me, that my efforts can glorify God and also perhaps teach younger Christians not to confuse infatuation or lust with Biblical love.

    1. I sure will. Unfortunately even many Christian writings either focus on the sexual relationship, or treat it as irrelevant. Both approaches cause problems.