I'M A CHRISTIAN...NOW WHAT?
Chapter 15: For Married Couples Only…The Song Of Solomon…Many Lessons In Marriage And Obedience To God…Solomon Really Blew It.
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God Is For Us website: http://godisforus.ning.com/
Index to the book (written and audio version, to date) ‘I’m A Christian…Now What?’ http://godisforus.ning.com/profiles/blogs/live-link-index-for-the-book
We are going to be discussing a strictly adult topic here, if you are listening to the audio version please have the ankle biters leave the room.
The Song of Solomon is a beautiful marital love story. It was written in a format that today we would call an opera or a musical. The cast of characters include Solomon, referred to as the ‘Beloved’. His wife, referred to as the Shulamite, a young Israelite woman from Shulam, her brothers have a part and there is a chorus made up of the ‘Daughters of Jerusalem’, virgins, beautiful young maidens.
Obviously the Shulamite was the love of Solomon’s life.
Throughout the work he refers to her as his sister, his spouse. This emphasizes the importance of agape’ love (unconditional love) as being the foundation upon which Eros love (mating love) should be built.
Agape’ love is defined as an active, self-giving love which, in goal and action, consistently seeks the highest good of another. Unlike other kinds of love, agape’ is not based on the high value of a person to whom it is given or upon any hope of reciprocation. Agape’ is an act of will rather than an act the emotions.
This love unconditionally and generously elects to set its love upon persons for their sake and benefit without demanding a return and in spite of a person’s worth, attractiveness, present condition, previous actions, or consequential response…in other words: “I’m going to show love to you whether you show me love back or not”.
Notice here folks: Agape’ love should come first as the foundation of ‘Eros’ love…mating love. In a marriage there are hopes and expectations such as faithfulness and attractiveness (chemistry). These elements are imperative for a healthy marriage.
If agape’ love was the foundation on which the marriage was built, then that is where the commitment to the marriage resides. So that during difficult times when the attraction wanes, the unconditional love serves as a ‘safety net’.
A pattern of mutual giving, rather than mutual taking, had been established during their courtship.
The Song Of Solomon is a sensual and steamy piece of literature ordained by God.
God is a HUGE proponent of sex in the context of marriage. It is the wedding gift God gives to a couple on their wedding night. It is their special, secret place where only they can go. And in that place of ecstasy their souls are touching, they are creating human life with God’s Blessings…what an amazing thing! The angels cannot procreate but we humans can.
And even after child bearing years have passed, the act of making love exists for the couple as means of expressing mutual love and trust.
Making love brings a couple closer in all ways. It is true that they become ‘one flesh’ and it is also true that in those moments of sheer trust their souls briefly intermingle to become one. Nothing else matters at those times…they are rhythmically and spiritually in unison…at least for that time…all is right in their universe…with God Blessing this special wedding gift.
In the Song of Solomon, the husband sings about her skin and neck and breasts. He sings about the taste of the roof of her mouth…yes they exchanged slobber way back then…there’s nothing new under the sun. He sings about her eyes in several different places. Like doves, her eyes are blameless. He compares all of the beautiful daughters of Jerusalem as thorns surrounding his wife the lily. To him, she is the love of his life, the most beautiful woman God ever created.
He calls her the ‘fairest among women’ even though she had complained about her complexion…husbands, take notes…what are you going to do the next time your wife asks if her outfit makes her butt look too big?
He sings about her hair and the perfumes of their love making. He sings about kissing her temples as sweet as pomegranates, he sings about her teeth! He sings about her lips and her mouth. He even sings about her belly button! This guy is in love!
He sings about how her love is more intoxicating than wine (we will be talking about a hormone called oxytocin in future chapters. This is a hormone that explodes to the highest level in a man after making love. Women have this hormone in abundance normally but in men the levels are very low except after making love to a woman with whom he is genuinely in love. It is also called the ‘snuggle hormone’ and medical studies show it is more potent than any narcotic).
More intoxicating than wine he sings. He sings about how she has ravished his heart. He sings about making love until the day breaks. The metaphor he uses is a ‘mountain of myrrh and ‘the hill of frankincense’….her lips ‘drip as the honey comb.’ He sings about her love being as awesome as an army with banners (a conquering army). She certainly conquered him. Guys, can you relate to the power your wives have in your life?
He even sings about how beautiful her feet are! He sings about the curves of her thighs and how “a king is held captive by her tresses”…her locks of hair. The story tells about them making love in an apple orchard. How she takes him to meet her mother.
She was the only daughter…her brothers sing about how they thought they would never get her married off because she was flat chested…doesn’t that just sound like a bunch of brothers picking on their sister?
Wow…and we haven’t even discussed what she says about him! But she does sing about being ‘love sick’…and obviously her Beloved was the love of her life.
The story tells of them being apart…and the hopes and struggles of being reunited.
As a side note: There was a major Christian University study released a few years back. It revealed that for ‘lip service Christians’…and folks, we don’t like to categorize people…but there are a lot of people who have salvation who seldom go to church and that is God’s call alone…but there are very good Christians with high morals, ethics and values who do not worship every day…and the numbers show that among that broad group…the divorce rate was the same as the world’s divorce rate…over 50%...but among Christian couples who had God at the center of their life, the rate was less than 1%.
Having a God centered marriage is difficult to quantify in time values…but basically these are couples who worship and pray together about an hour per day…and they also have personal daily prayer and study as well as corporate fellowship on a regular basis. But the point here is that for couples who have a God centered marriage their divorce rate is less than 1%...it is about 1 divorce in 150 marriages…this is an amazing statistic!
We will unpack the Song Of Solomon in depth, as Pastor Toby likes to say, and examine its many metaphors in the future.
In order to truly appreciate the Song Of Solomon we must examine Solomon as a King and as a man.
In 1 Kings 3 beginning in verse 6 Solomon is talking to God, praising Him in regard to his position of King and the responsibility that Office holds.
Solomon’s father, King David, had recently passed away, after 40 years of being King, and Solomon was his successor. In chapter 3, verse 5 of First Kings, God appeared to Solomon in a dream…testing Solomon’s heart condition God said: “Ask! What shall I give you?”
Solomon continues to praise God, recounting all the blessings and prosperity God had bestowed upon His people because, in spite of his many terrible misdeeds, King Solomon’s father, King David, had come to contrition before God…King David really messed up a lot! But he had a heart for God. And in his conscience David knew when he was doing wrong. He knew when he was not making God Smile. God showed him…He disciplined him…David created a lot of tragedy in his own life by listening to the enemy…the show bread, Bathsheba, murder etc. He also showed much boldness and faith in God…slaying Goliath, leading his people through sheer faith in God on many occasions. So in his early years, David had a kind of on and off relationship with God.
But David learned his lessons well…he begged God to not take the Holy Spirit away from him…he begged that God give him a pure heart. Just imagine this powerful, potentially prideful man, by human standards, truly humble before God. ”Father, please do not take the Holy Spirit away…please give me a pure heart”. So in the long run, David was a man after God’s own heart. He had a heart for God and learned from his screw ups…what an example for us all!
This was King Solomon’s father, his mentor…his example. King Solomon learned from his father King David. Solomon was in late middle age when David died. We don’t know exactly how old Solomon was when David died because the Scriptures don’t say. But what we do know is that King Solomon’s contemporaries lived to be at least 100 years and some up to 135 years. We know that King Solomon ruled for 40 years according to the Scriptures.
So if we are conservative about Solomon’s age, if we deduct 40 years of rulership from 100 years, he was at least 60 when he became king. So he had a lifetime to observe and learn from his father David.
What Solomon asked for from God was not life or wealth…he asked for “an understanding heart to judge (rule over) Your people, that I may discern between good and evil”. In other words, Father please give me the tools to do the best job for You that I can possibly do…“an understanding heart to judge (rule over) Your people, that I may discern between good and evil”. He prayed to be the best at his job that he could be.
What a wonderful start. What a wonderful attitude Solomon had in the beginning!
God was pleased that Solomon asked for nothing for himself…not riches…not even for life itself…but for God’s Wisdom in doing the work God had called him to do…and because of this, God not only gave Solomon the wisdom that he hungered for in order to do God’s Work…but as a side benefit…God also gave Solomon wealth and power, kind of like icing on the cake…promising Solomon that if Solomon obeyed God (which included no idolatry)…God would lengthen his days…notice that His covenant with Solomon had a stipulation…God said ‘if he remained faithful in his work’…and unlike the New Covenant that we live under through Christ…Solomon was not promised ‘everlasting life’…he was promised that his days would be lengthened.
Sure enough, silver became as common in Jerusalem as stones and Solomon, in deed, would have been the greatest of the Kings of Israel, a position King David still holds as a man after God’s own Heart…because Solomon broke God’s stipulation to remain faithful to God. Solomon was chosen, for example, to build God’s Temple in Jerusalem...what a wonderful Blessing!.
Solomon was very blessed and started out, in the early years of his reign, faithful to God.
The very fact that Solomon ignored the obvious in his request…(wealth and power)…was enough to touch God’s Heart and give Solomon the tools to gain both wealth and power, icing on the cake, because God’s plan for Solomon was mutually inclusive with Solomon’s desires…to do God’s Work the best that he could. Father, just please give me the tools to be the best King that I can be. “To discern between good and evil so I might rule Your People”. What we humans boil down to as ‘wisdom’, knowledge put into practice…in God’s Will.
Then, as with all human governments, King Solomon’s government became corrupt. He chose to listen to the enemy and worship the false god’s of his many foreign wives…from areas of the world our God had specifically told Solomon not to marry…Solomon was not faithful to God’s Covenant with him in the long run. God had done His part as He always does…it was Solomon who through away his gift of discerning good from evil!
Solomon married the daughter of the King of Egypt because he thought the alliance would protect the Israelites from attack…Imagine that lack of faith! How foolish and lacking faith Solomon became. If he had remained faithful to God and not married foreign women and brought their false gods into God’s Land…our Father would have protected Israel!
Imagine his justification for marrying the very women God told him not to marry. Imagine him talking to the Egyptian Pharaoh and negotiating the marriage to the Pharaoh’s daughter…instead of having faith that God would continue to protect the tribes of Israel as he had done under David’s rule, Solomon chose to have a conversation with the enemy…he made a deal with the devil. The negotiations must have sounded something like this: “O.K. Pharaoh, let me get this straight…if I marry your daughter and worship your gods, you won’t attack me…is that the bottom line Dad? May I call you Dad”?
All along, King Solomon’s real Father was with him in full force but Solomon allowed the enemy to slither into his mind and suggest thoughts that Solomon knew were not godly thoughts but he acted on those thoughts any way.
Imagine that! He didn’t think that God would protect the very land and people that God had protected all along! Solomon himself had been blessed to build that Temple! He knew God’s Power first hand! He made a deal with the devil instead of saying “God I know You will protect us”! He bowed to the enemy and said something like “Pharaoh I’ll be a good boy and please you…now where is that daughter of yours and her false god’s…please don’t hurt me…please”?!
If he had not brought foreign gods into our God’s Land…God would have protected Israel!
Why did this happen? Spiritual Warfare! The battlefield that is the human mind. Just as it has been since Adam and Eve! Solomon became corrupt because he allowed himself to be corrupted! Of course God would have protected the nation, the tribes of Israel. Solomon had decades of proof of this through his own father’s examples and also decades of God moving in his own life.
Go figure…God spoke to Solomon twice in the 40 years Solomon was King over Israel. God gave him clear instructions on what not to do…Don’t bring false gods into my home! Don’t defile my people with your lack of faith! Don’t confuse good with evil!
One would think one conversation with God should have been enough for any man. But even for the wisest man who ever lived…in the end, because of his disobedience (his free will choices), and after his death, God allowed the kingdom of Israel to be ripped and torn into 12 pieces. Once more God had to basically say “Okay, this is what happens when you commit idolatry: You loose my protection!”
Out of love for Solomon’s father, King David, God waited until Solomon passed away to ‘join his fathers’ before He allowed the 12 tribes of Israel to be divided.
God spared one tribe (the tribe of Judah) from falling into the hands of their enemies for the sake of David…and Jerusalem was spared because it was the city chosen out of all the tribes of Israel (1 Kings 11) to be the place of God’s Temple (then and in the future…the New Jerusalem).
Remember going all the way back to Israel’s son Joseph…the enemy had been attacking this family for hundreds of years. He was persistent and finally won the skirmish because Solomon dropped the ball.
God was ahead of the enemy though…this all helped set the stage for Jesus to come and die and institute the New Covenant. God has a way of turning evil to good…He gets the job done in spite of the enemy and in spite of us listening to the enemy and acting on his suggestions.
As for Solomon’s legacy, the Kings that followed him became more and more corrupt with idolatry. They had grown away from God, largely due to Solomon’s bad example.
Each of his successors became even more corrupt with idolatry (for the most part derived from their foreign wives) and most of these Kings served fewer and fewer years until there were no more kings over Israel during the Old Testament days…there were only judges.
It is obvious that Solomon’s performance as king would have been much different if he had obeyed God’s simple commandment regarding idolatry and found contentment with the love of his life, the Shulamite girl, whom he wrote about in the Song of Solomon. Husbands, take note.
Now on to the poetry: Keep in mind; this is all in the context of marriage…and it is a godly message…an adult, godly message so if you have not yet removed the kiddies from the room, please do so.
The first poem is about the couple’s wedding day. Their last day as single persons. The day that they will become one in all senses of the word…physically, emotionally and Spiritually, they are about to become one before God and man.
Today is your wedding day
A part of God’s plan
A sacred day for the two of you
Before Him you will stand
Submitting to His headship
Trust in deepest faith
Gentle hearts and calming words
Keep angry times away
For the lower powers
A day of regret
The two of you together
A bond God has set
If an even yoke you wear
Life’s burdens you will gladly bear
Rewards will come a thousand fold
If to His Spirit you cling and mold
And grow together with Him there
His Spirit close, His life you’ll share
When you fall and fail and fumble
Have a bad day and choose to grumble
Remember that He gave you two
What you want forever.
Choices made led to today
Be it calm or stormy weather
A snug and well fitted yoke
Is not too tight so as to choke
Not too loose as to irritate
Pull gently with your lifelong mate
Not too slow or fast with haste
Never furious and full of waste
Strong walks in your comfort go
With God inside you’ll always grow
Peacefully share the fruits of Life
On this Earth, Man and Wife
COPYRIGHT 1989 MARK DIAZ
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
At this point our couple is married. They are legal in the sight of God and their community. Of course they are wanting time alone but first they will celebrate the marriage ceremony with their friends and family at the wedding reception.
So here is the next stage of that day; it speaks of their hunger to consummate their marriage and get to know each other in the Biblical sense…they have waited a long time to receive their wedding gift from God but they will wait a little longer and be polite to those whom are now part of this new union…this new family.
By attending the marriage ceremony, those in attendance are now part of that brand new family.
Eyes that catch a certain look
You read my mind an open book
Your legs uncross, a blushing grin
Secret wish to let me in
Teasing smile and knowing thoughts
Moistened lips, you know you’re caught
You straighten up and feel a shiver
Lips are warm and slightly quiver
Arms uncross you try to lounge
Relaxed but tense upon the couch
Across the room I look at you
Thoughts of us coming through
Polite conversation drawn
Interest in the coming dawn
Sitting close I feel you blush
Across your neck a warming flush
Nervous smile, hands that touch
Comfort felt, no need to rush
Looking deeply in our eyes
No longer needing a disguise
COPYRIGHT 1990 Mark Diaz
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
At this point, the reception is over, the couple is alone and just beginning to learn how to meld their flesh and spirits into one. Perhaps the husband should lead the new family (he and his bride) in a prayer for blessing regarding the gift that they are about to receive.
They have chosen to be close to God in nature, camping in His elements by a lake the first time they make love. They are about to begin the journey of trusting each other for a life time:
Water splashes, waves role
Sparkling flashes, moon glows
Mist rising on the lake
Lovers touch and tease and quake
On the beach all alone
Campfire makes us feel at home
Smoke rising, whispers light
Undertones spoken right
Noises we make in the dark
Campfire pops and throws a spark
Desperate breathing, hungry moans
Darkness filled with quickening groans
We’ve never made love before
Afraid to walk through that door
Touches come now feeling right
Feelings that could last all night
Birds sing before the dawn
Echoing our lover’s song
Leaves rustle in the breeze
Warm and moist it fills the trees
Embers smolder in the fire
Dawn breaks as we tire
Colors thrown by the sun
Quickly the new day has come
We nap close in our world in peace
Feet touch, minds at ease
A lover’s touch in solitude
Holding to the after mood
COPYRIGHT 1989 MARK DIAZ
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The oxytocin levels are high. They are exhausted in their union. They are just now beginning to learn about complete trust in one another…for a life time. The bond that God has set. His blessings on them to procreate. Even in years to come when they are beyond child bearing years, God’s secret place for them will endure.
Our bond sets in
Our life begins
A lover’s glow
To get to know
More than sex
Our souls are drawn
A life with you
And who we are
Came to stay
Can’t say good by
Need you close
God’s Special Smile
COPYRIGHT 1990 MARK DIAZ
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
At this point, the couple has learned to be unselfish in their love making. The man learns ultimate empathy for his bride and is teaching this gift to her. He feels what she is feeling; preparing them both to understand the needs of the child they are both about to create with God’s Blessings.
Empathy is a very strong symptom of love because it is only in the context of love that we can feel what another person feels. In this case it is Eros love, marital, sexual love…in all other cases it is in the context of agape’ love, the unconditional love God expects to be shown to all the members of the Body of Christ.
(To each other cling)
I can feel what you feel
When our spirits touch
More than flesh the two of us
More than famished lust
Inside a world we create
In our bed creating fate
Futures blend in present time
Electric passion, desperate climb
Plateau evens, euphoric walk
Communication, no need to talk
When we stay there clocks stand still
Endless moments, blinding thrill
Explosive tremors, loose control
Ride through time, mountains roll
Slow the rhythm, breaths come deep
Perspiration pouring sweet
Muscles straining, deepest lock
Frenzied passion, ecstatic shock
We are neither one nor two, we are everything
Everywhere and all alone, to each other cling
COPYRIGHT 1990 MARK DIAZ
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Finally, the husband realizes that his pleasures in the marriage are derived from the pleasure he gives to his wife. In doing so, she is inspired to give to him. And so a cycle of mutual giving is established...a relationship based on giving, not taking. All of this happens with God at the center of their union. Hmmmmm what a sweet arrangement.
(Your pleasures make for mine)
Shadows on the ceiling
Silhouettes on the walls
Gives this room its feeling
Echoes in the halls
Candles flicker through our room
Tremors from our bed
Beams cast from the moon
Clothes have long been shed
Aroma fills our senses
We touch, our pleasures felt
Two who took loves chances
Caused the fears to melt
Trembles come from your lips
As you kiss my face
Rhythm comes from our hips
A slow melodic pace
Our music builds in meaning
Explosive passion felt
A fantasy we’re living
Reality we melt
We become the thunder
The lightning in the sky
Muscles deep are tightening
Explode and gallop by
Later in my arms you sleep
Exhausted in our bed
I give to you my heart to keep
No tears to ever shed
We’ll live our life like love we make
Sensual, close and fine
We will give more than we take
Your pleasures make for mine
COPYRIGHT 1990 MARK DIAZ
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
“Husbands, love your wives, Just as Christ also loved (His Bride) the church and gave Himself (His Life) for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
A husband who is true will gladly love his wife sacrificially. A man will give his life to protect his family. By the same token a wife will face pain and even death in order to give birth, create life. God’s balance for now.
After Christ returns to claim His Bride and Kingdom, there will be no more death or pain. Just as God intended from the beginning with Adam and Eve (Revelation 21:4).
This work is copyrighted and not to be used for any commercial purpose but please share it freely with your friends.
All Scriptures are from the New King James Bible unless otherwise noted.