Sermon #22 The Song Of Solomon Notes
Title: TENDER WORDS OF INTIMATE LOVE
Text: Song of Solomon 7:1-13
Readings: Office: Merle Hart Auditorium: Mark Henson
Subject: Expressions Of Love Between Christ And His Church
Date: Sunday Evening - November 22, 1998
Tape # U-93a
My subject tonight is - TENDER WORDS OF INTIMATE LOVE. In this seventh chapter of the Song of Solomon the Lord Jesus Christ gives us a very tender, intimate, and loving description of his love and esteem for his bride, the church. He tells us, in the most intimate terms that he both loves us and takes delight in us (vv. 1-9).
Then, in verses 10-13, the bride, the church, expresses her love for Christ. She tells him how that she loves him, delights in him, and greatly desires to be in communion and fellowship with him.
The intimate language of this chapter, to carnal and self-righteous men, will probably be both confusing and offensive. But, to those who know the love of Christ and whose hearts are truly in love with the Son of God, I believe this seventh chapter of The Song Of Loves will be delightful and precious.
Matthew Henry made this observation in commenting on this passage - “Such mutual esteem and endearment there is between Christ and believers. And what is heaven but an everlasting interchanging of loves between the holy God and holy souls!”
These expressions of love are between Christ and his church. They must be understood allegorically, in a spiritual sense. Yet, we have here a pattern and example of that love and tenderness which should characterize every home. The Holy Spirit here gives us a pattern of love for husbands and wives. In Ephesians 5:22-32, the apostle Paul makes it very clear that the relationship of a husband and wife is, and should be, a picture of the relationship between Christ and his church. Before we come to look at our text, I want to make several statements about marriage and the relationship which should exist between husbands and wives.
Ephesians 5:22-32 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church."
NOTE: I am speaking specifically to you who are believers. We should work at making our homes palaces of love and happiness for the glory of Christ.
1. Marriage was ordained and established by God for the propagation of the race and for the happiness of man (Gen. 2:18).
2. Our Lord Jesus Christ showed his approval for marriage when he attended the wedding in Cana and provided wine for the guests. By his presence, our Lord honored and sanctified the marriage (John 2).
3. Marriage is honorable for all men (Heb. 13:4).
We must not look upon marriage as a carnal thing. And we should not look upon the conjugal privileges of husbands and wives as something evil or distasteful. Paul says that - “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled.” Men and women need to get over their silly, prudish ideas about marriage (1 Cor. 7:1-5).
4. The relationship of a husband and wife should be a picture of the relationship of Christ and his church.
· They are no longer two, but one.
· They live together in mutual, self-sacrificing love.
· The husband is to love, protect, and provide for his wife.
· The wife is to love, reverence, submit to, and obey her husband.
Proposition: Now, let’s go back to our text - Here we have tender words of intimate love between Christ and his church; and they give us a picture of that love which should characterize the husband-wife relationship.
We will go through this chapter giving, very briefly, its interpretation, showing the love and esteem Christ has for his church and the love and esteem believers have for Christ. Then I will draw some applications, which I hope will be helpful for us as husbands and wives.
NOTE: We should seek to follow our Lord and seek his glory in our homes.
1. Christ speaks to his church in tender, loving, thoughtful, and endearing terms (vv. 1-9).
2. The church, believing hearts, are overcome by the love of Christ (vv. 10-13).
3. There are lessons here for husbands and wives.
I. In verse 1-9, we see CHRIST SPEAKING TO HIS CHURCH IN TENDER, LOVING, THOUGHTFUL, AND ENDEARING TERMS.
Notice the title which Christ gives to his church - “O Prince’s Daughter”. The Lord himself is “the Prince of the kings of the earth.” He is “the Prince of Glory” and “the Prince of Peace”. He calls us his daughter.
· We are the Prince’s daughter by birth. We are born from above, begotten of God. We are his workmanship. We bear the image of the King of kings.
· We are the Prince’s daughter by marriage. Christ, the Son of God, has betrothed us to himself, making us the Prince’s daughter, the very children of God. As the prince’s daughter, we have been made heirs of the Prince of the kings of the earth.
A. Our Lord here describes the beauty of his church in his own eyes (vv. 1-5).
In our own yes, we see that there is nothing beautiful in us. Our souls are like the company of two warring armies. We are humbled with a sense of our sin, our shame, and our worthlessness. We are not worthy of such love as his.
But Christ himself speaks to us, sinful though we are, to express his love, assuring us that he loves us and delights in us. These tender, loving words were thoughtful and endearing. The church had defiled herself, she needed to be assured of his love. So our thoughtful Redeemer assures us that his love has not changed. In Christ we are perfect, and he declares that we are.
The Lord looks his bride over from head to foot, and describes her as having a tenfold beauty in his eyes, a beauty which no one else could have in his eyes.
1. “How beautiful are thy feet with shoes.” - He has set our feet free and adorned them with the gospel of peace to walk in liberty.
2. “The joints of thy thighs are like jewels.” - The principles that strengthen us and determine how we walk through this world, like the knee and hip joints, are as jewels in his sight - The principles of faith and love, for the glory of God. They are produced in us by God the Holy Spirit, as “the work of the hands of a cunning workman” (Eph. 2:10).
3. “Thy navel is like a round goblet.” - It is like a cup full of wine, refreshing and invigorating. It is well-shaped and full of life, not uncut, bleeding, and loathesome, like it was when I found you (Ezek. 16:4). The fear of the Lord is said to be “health to the navel” (Prov. 3:8).
4. “Thy belly is like a heap of wheat, set about with lilies.”
· The wheat refers to fruitfulness. Galatians 5:22-23.
· The flowers refer to beauty and pleasantness.
1. “Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.” This refers to the Word of God, the Old and New Testaments, like twins, they are in perfect agreement, showing forth the riches, the glory, and the grace of Christ (1 Pet. 2:2).
2. “Thy neck is a tower of ivory.” The faith of God’s elect, by which we are joined to Christ our Head, is both strong and precious.
3. “Thine eyes like the fish pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim.” Eyes of repentance and faith, of love and devotion, of sincerity and truth. The eyes that weep over sin are as beautiful fountains in the eyes of Christ.
4. “Thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.” This speaks of the boldness and courage of the church in facing her enemies and in the cause of Christ.
5. “Thine Head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine Head like purple.” Christ our Head is exalted above the earth and reigns as King over all the earth.
10. A woman’s beauty is in her head, and the hair of her head is her glory. Even so, Christ our Head is our Great Glory and Beauty. We have no beauty except what we have in and from him. And his greatest beauty is seen in his agony at the cross, when his hair was dyed crimson and purple.
· The crimson denotes his death.
· The purple speaks of his exaltation.
· His cross and his crown is our beauty.
B. In verses 5-9, our Lord tells us of the complacency, satisfaction, and delight he has in his church (v. 5).
The Lord Jesus Christ has adorned us and made us so beautiful in his sight that he delights in us (Ezek. 16:13-14).
1. Christ delights in the beauty of his people - His Righteousness (vv. 6-7).
2. Christ delights in the company of his people (v. 8).
3. Christ delights in the prayers and praises of his people (v. 9).
II. Secondly, in verses 10-13, WE SEE THAT THE CHURCH, AND ALL BELIEVING HEARTS, ARE OVERCOME BY THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
The love of Christ, once it is revealed and known is an irresistible love. Does Christ so love me? Then, surely I shall love him (1John 4:19).
In these verses, the church, the bride, acknowledges four things that I hope each of us honestly acknowledge.
A. She acknowledges that she belongs to Christ (v. 10).
· By Election
· By Redemption
· By Faith
· By Love
She expresses, to his praise and glory, that she is confident of his love for her - “His is toward me!”
B. She acknowledges a desire to be with him, in his company, and in his fellowship (v. 11).
“Thou, O Christ, art all I want,
More than all in Thee I find.”
C. She acknowledges a desire to know the true condition of her own soul (v. 12).
D. She acknowledges her love and devotion for Christ (vv. 12-13).
· She promises him her love.
· She promises him herself. All that I am, and all that I have, I hold in love for you and give to you.
III. THERE ARE LESSONS HERE FOR BOTH HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
Love needs no law. It is a law unto itself. Love needs no motive, it is a motive unto itself. If you love your wife, you want to please her and do her good. You need no commandment in that regard. If you love your husband, you want to please him and honor him. Love needs no law or motivation. But even love needs instruction. And here our Lord gives us some instructions in love, by way of his own example.
A. Men, in this example, our Lord gives us some clear instructions about loving our wives.
I see five things in this picture which should characterize every husband.
1. Faithfulness - dependability.
4. Tenderness - Intimate Tenderness And Affection (Eph. 4:32).
B. Ladies, the spouse here stands as an example of the love you should show to your husbands.
Here are five things which should characterize everyone of you ladies.
1. A REVERENCE OF HER HUSBAND (v. 10).
2. A Satisfaction With Her Husband (v. 11).
3. A Submission To Her Husband (v. 12).
4. A Giving Of Herself And Her Love To Her Husband (v. 12).
5. A Desire To Please Her Husband (v. 13).
1. We can safely rest in our Savior’s love.
2. We should keep our hearts in the love of Christ.
3. We should imitate the love of Christ in our homes.