Reading through the Bible together

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

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Chapter 2 powerfully depicts the love relationship between Solomon and his beloved during their courtship. Using examples from the world of nature, the Shulamite describes her intimate communion with Solomon (verse 3).  Ellen White applies this portrayal of human intimacy to our need for such intimacy with Christ:

Not a pause for a moment in His presence, but personal contact with Christ, to sit down in companionship with Him--this is our need. Happy will it be for the children of our homes and the students of our schools when parents and teachers shall learn in their own lives the precious experience pictured in these words from the Song of Songs: 

      “As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, 

       So is my Beloved among the sons. 

       I sat down under His shadow with great delight, 

       And His fruit was sweet to my taste. 

       He brought me to the banqueting house, 

      And His banner over me was love.”   Education 261 (see 7T 69).

The Shulamite also emphasizes appropriate restraint in budding love relationships in the repeated solemn appeal to her unmarried female companions:  “Do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases [or better, ‘until it is the right time’]” (verse 7; see also 3:5 and 8:4).  The chapter also warns of the “little foxes” (potential obstacles to the relationship, v. 15) and underscores the mutuality between man and woman in their relationship:  “My beloved is mine and I am his” (verse 16).  These principles need to be applied in our personal experience.

“Father, help me to prioritize my life so that I may daily enjoy intimate communion with my beloved spouse, and sit down in close companionship with my Beloved Savior. Amen.”

Richard M. Davidson

Professor of Old Testament Interpretation

Andrews University Theological Seminary