I am dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem,
Like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon (Song of Solomon 1:5).
Many translations write the first few words as “I am black.” Given the part of the world the Israelites were in, it would be quite natural for the woman that Solomon pursed in this song did, indeed, have black skin. The Queen who came to visit Solomon to research for herself all the rumors she had heard about him, was the Queen of Ethiopia, and she was no doubt black of skin. When one considers how beautiful that dark skin is, how soft it is, and ageless, then we cannot wonder that Solomon is writing about a dark colored woman, maybe even the Queen, as certainly such women are lovely.
The Shulemite woman is speaking to the chorus. She likens herself to the tents of Kedar. I can’t find a reference to the word Kedar, but I do know that tents were made of animal skins, pounded into thin segments and sewn together. Kedar skins must have been superb, as were the curtains of Solomon. He had nothing but the best.
Any woman who is well, well loved, can describe herself with confidence like the Shulemite woman is doing, considering herself without arrogance, to be lovely in appearance. After all, her lover has convinced her that she is lovely. God considers every one of His creations to be absolutely perfect, and He loves to admire His work. If we’ll listen with our spiritual ears, we will hear Him convince us of our loveliness.
Song of Solomon 1:4
Draw me away!
THE DAUGHTERS OF JERUSALEM
We will run after you.
The king has brought me into his chambers.
THE DAUGHTERS OF JERUSALEM
We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will remember your love more than wine.
Rightly do they love you.
Sometimes love can be so overwhelming we must set ourselves apart to regain our stability. Sometimes the Grace of God can be so heavy on us that we are forced to say, “Stop! I can’t take anymore!” In our physical being this is true, but not in our spirit. Physically, people want what we have, and they clamor for it, sometimes in a negative way because they don’t know what they are asking for. They simply know they want what we’ve got.
But spiritually, as our King pulls us inside to His Spirit, we discover just how large is His love and our love. Blended together our love has no boundary, no end. His chambers, the third heaven, goes on forever, and we live there by love.
The chorus, representing the world in this scene, sees the extent of our blended love, the Lord’s and ours, and can do nothing but rejoice. All things are possible in the midst of such love. The world wants what we’ve got.
Song of Solomon 1:3
Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; Therefore the virgins love you.
It’s almost uncanny that the Lord wants us to walk so closely with Him that we can smell the oils He puts on His body, the cologne He splashes on His face. These may be metaphors, but oh to be so cognizant of Him that these particulars capture our attention, instead of the horrible state of affairs in the world or our demands and needs. Those who are in love never bother with the dour aspects of life. Being in love is enough to motivate the world around us to appear and even smell nice.
I don’t know about you, but I can remember saying my at-the-moment crush’s name over and over until my friends would mimic and tease me. But now, in my maturity, I find that repeating my love object’s name over and over does wonders for the atmosphere and actually changes things: “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” Do your part, my friend. Love is a two-way street. Being in love draws those who have no love object to come near and share our enthusiasm for the one we love.
Song of Solomon 1:2
THE SHULAMITE: Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth-For your love is better than wine.
This song is obviously directed to the individual believer, one already committed to the Lord for life, someone who wants more out of the relationship and realizes it is going to take a tremendous surrender on their part. In the first phrase of this sentence, the Shulamite woman is speaking out loud, expressing her desires perhaps to an empty room, but in the third person about someone she wants to be close to. In the second part of the phrase she takes a more aggressive stance and speaks as if directly to the person she wants to kiss her. It reminds me of a pubescent girl in her first crush, alone in her bedroom as she daydreams out loud about the one she loves.
In the same way, we fall in love with Jesus Christ and discover His love is better than any of the trappings we have in our earthly love relationships. Shortly after my husband announced we would not have sex ever again, I was sitting in a large convention center with some friends, and instead of listening to the very boring preacher, I fumed at the Lord that it was not fair that I could never have sex again. After all, sex is the epitome of ecstasy in the physical realm. The Lord asked if I would like to feel what His love was like. Of course, I said yes. Suddenly, my body was filled with every known and unknown passionate expression, far, far, far better than any sex I’d ever had.
He asked me if I wanted to trade that for the heights of worldly passion I had sometimes known. “No way! Never! This love is better than anything I’ve ever experienced.” Plus, I can have this love anytime I want. I can live in it!
Song of Solomon 1:1
The song of songs, which is Solomon's.
According to 1 Kings 4:32, King Solomon, son of David, third king of Israel, spoke three thousand proverbs and one thousand and five songs. This song was considered his best. His scribes wrote down the words he spoke as if for a stage play of the times. In other words, it was written for a protagonist, an antagonist, and a chorus to narrate the proceedings; thus, we have the Shulamite, King Solomon our main character, and the chorus, also known as the Daughters of Jerusalem. This song, in truth, is about our sweet, fragrant relationship with the Lord in the secret places of our hearts. There is no love deeper than the love God has for us. There is no love sweeter to the Lord than that expressed by His children as they delicately peel away the hard cover of their hearts and reveal the tender intimacy they have with Him. The challenge for Solomon in writing this greatest of his songs, and for me in discussing it, was to expose, and more than just “adequately,” present the love of God for us.
As we go through the Song of Songs, analyze your own love relationship with God. Just how deep is it? How much will you allow Him to love you? What is His manner of love toward you? How do you show Him your love for Him? Keep your own journal; ask yourself the hard questions, and record your answers.
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height– 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:17–19).
(Taken from “Destined for Love” written by the author)
In my early walk with the Lord, I hastened to every anointed meeting I could find and especially looked for ones with good music that honored and loved God. One night, as I stood with all the others, my arms stretched toward Heaven, my body bristled with desire to let God know how much I loved Him. While singing my love from the depths of my being, suddenly, I came back to myself.
“Lord,” I said, “how come I’m giving You all this love, and I don’t feel anything coming back to me? Here I am, my fingertips straining to caress You, my arms desperately reaching for You, and my body swaying with the music in the delight of loving You. My love for You feels like a freight train rushing up from my toes and racing into Heaven to deliver carload after carload of love. And from You there is nothing. Why is that?”
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen (1 John 5:21).
Here’s John’s last instruction. If we don’t follow this one, we will be in deep trouble. We are to guard ourselves against idols. Anything can be an idol. Just look at people on drugs who have made drugs an idol in their lives. They have to have it! Anything can be like that. Anything can drag us away from Jesus Christ; that’s why it is so important to spend quality time with Him.
I’m not a quality time person, I’m a words person. You want to butter me up? Use words. But Jesus? He’s a quality time person. He doesn’t want every encounter to be a strategy meeting. He simply wants to be with you and to have your full attention. He wants to impart things to you, and He can’t do that while you are agitatedly in the room with Him, but your mind is elsewhere. Things you think you must attend to are probably your idols. Things that come to your mind while you are Practicing His Presence, and you put away your spiritual prayer cloth and run to the phone, or to the computer, or whatever, these are idols, something you deem to be more important than Jesus. Make Him your idol! Make Him your Perfect Everything. Go to Him first and find out what is happening in heaven before mopping up the mess you find yourself in. In fact, you’ll probably find out there is no mess.
The path of Jesus lies right in the middle of what you called a problem. Guard yourself from making your mess, making your problem, bigger than Jesus. Lean on Him. Don’t bother with your own understanding. He’ll make your path straight. Yes, He will!
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5:20).
He is our Perfect Everything. We don’t need other gods. In comparison to The Truth, we have and know about God our Father, Jesus Christ His Son, and their Holy Spirit. Where else can we go to find such satisfaction, such completion? Here on earth we only know in part, like seeing through a haze or a cloudy mirror. But in heaven—in our eternal life—we will know it all. Even now our eternal life has already started because we made Jesus our Lord. He lives inside of us with His Father and the Holy Spirit, and we can already know all things. We have the mind of Christ. It’s just a matter of standing still in the dizziness of distractions and KNOW that He is God. He’ll give us every answer we need!
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19).
The whole earth is like a playing field, and there are only two teams on that field—us and them. Either we are with Christ, or we are against Christ. If an unbeliever tells us that he just hasn’t made up his mind yet, he has. He has chosen the other team without even making an X in the box that indicates his membership. No one can miss the mightiness of God our Father. Nor His creativity. No one really has an excuse for not choosing Jesus to be their Lord. However, our compassionate Father sends us out to explain and demonstrate what every creature knows internally: only God created the heavens and the earth and put everything into motion that we see and know today. Only God sent His Son, part of Himself, to pay for our sins, our sicknesses, our failures, our prosperity, our peace, and so on. . . . There is only One, and there is only One way to reach Him—through Jesus. After that, we are given God’s own Holy Spirit to live His life through us, a life of plenty, a life of peace, a life of righteousness. Only God!
We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him (1 John 5:18).
Oh, my. This sounds like a conflict, doesn’t it? I said I sin, and believers are sinners, yet here it says that those who are born again do not sin. Step back a minute and look at this truth. There is sin that misses the mark. There is also sin that is hatched in hell. A believer has a new spirit. This new spirit comes from God and is the image of God. It’s who we really are. This new spirit cannot plot and carry out deliberate sin. The mind might manufacture some fanciful ideas about getting revenge, etc., but our new spirit will not allow the action. We’re no longer made that way. Like the Scripture says, we keep ourselves. Now I know deadly gossip can run rampant in a church and wound many members. Just remember this. Our God does not gossip about His children, nor is He happy when gossip happens. Don’t let the devil touch you. You hold your tongue and the gossip will soon end.