Friday, January 18, 2013

The Importance of Communication

Song of Solomon

Chapter 2

In this blog I want to teach through the first portion of chapter two. These verses may seem a little hard to follow at times. It may be hard to follow the terms in which they express their love. I will try to help with these things, but more than all these things I want you to notice the communication between these two. They are not just taking for granted that the other knows how they feel. They are embracing their feelings, and sharing their feelings. Too many times we assume in our relationships. We assume the other knows what we feel. We assume the other know what we are thinking. We assume the other knows what we need for the relationship. It would do all of us good to learn the art of communication again.

Their Talk

Isn’t it funny how that when people begin to fall in love flowers are usually involved. There are many different ways to express ones feelings. Flowers are a choice for many. A flower can mean; I love you, I’m thinking about you, or even I’m sorry.

The same is true for these two. In these verses they talk about both roses and lilies. Verse one begins “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” I am told that Sharon was one of the most beautiful valleys because of its amazing flowers.

There is some debate as to who is actually talking in verse one. While many use this verse to picture Jesus Christ, most agree that the bride is the one talking in verse one. I will not put a great deal of emphasis on who is speaking and neither should you.

Some say this is the voice of Solomon. This would then be a picture of Jesus Christ. Notice that these flowers in verse one is found in the valley. This reminds us of the words of Christ who said:

“For I am meek and lowly in heart.”  Matthew 11:29

Our Lord is the man from heaven, yet He willingly left the glory of heaven and came to this earth. He dwelt here in the valley among mankind, and even died a lowly death as a man.

While upon this earth our Lord made reference to himself on different occasions. He tells us that He is the bread of life. To be the bread of life means that He is something necessary. He is needful to sustain us and keep us going. He said that He was the true vine. In the vine He is something which speaks of glory. He gives us the glory of the Lord. As the rose of Sharon He is not something necessary, but something to be admired. He is something of beauty.

Others believe that the speaker of verse one is the bride. You will recall in chapter one this woman had a very low estimation of herself. She proclaimed “I am black”. This was her opinion of herself when she first got to the palace. She notices that she stood out and was different than the other women.

If she is the one speaking then something has changed between chapter one and chapter two. What is it? The thing that has changed is that she has gone into the chamber of Solomon. She is now beginning to see herself through the eyes of Solomon instead of through her own eyes.

In chapter one she is an outcast, she is different, and she is black. However in chapter two she is beautiful, she is valuable, she is a flower. So many times we look at our lives and we proclaim, “I am black.” Each of us fails God from time to time. We should never lose sight of the fact that while we may fail, in the eyes of God we are beautiful. In God’s eyes you are as lovely as a flower.

In verse two she is the lily among the thorns. Solomon is telling her that when he looks at all the other women of the palace all he sees is a bunch of thorns compared to her.

In the desert it would not be uncommon to find a thorny shrub surrounded by lilies. The fresh green leaves of the lily would be a great contrast to the desert shrub. Solomon is saying that her beauty stands out in contrast to all of the other women.

Have you ever considered that this world is a desert place? God wants His church to stand out and be different than the world. We should be a beautiful lily in a thorny world.

In verse three she responds by telling Solomon that if she is a lily then he is an apple tree. He is productive, flourishing and fruitful. She is telling him that he is sweet to the taste, something to be desired.

“Oh taste and see that the Lord he is good”

Not only is he pleasant in her mouth, but he is like a shade tree. He is refreshing. She can relax and rest around him. This is wonderful picture of Christ. In Christ we find refreshment when we are worn. In Christ we find rest and relaxation from the storms and battle of this life.

His Table

After their dialog in the beginning of the chapter the woman tells us that Solomon has brought her into his banqueting house. Some understand this woman to say that Solomon takes her into a new or different house. This banqueting house was not another house, but a house within his home.

God sometimes does this for us. Each week we gather together in the house of God. All of us are present and accounted for within the house of God. There are occasions however when God, while in His house, will take us to the banqueting house. In these times God allows us to taste His goodness.

I thought about Mephibasheph and how David brought him into his house, and allowed him to eat at his table continually. Just like this woman, Mephibasheph did not belong at the kings table. She was “black”, and Mephibasheph was a “dead dog.”

Can you picture as one of the servants rolls Mephibasheph up to the kings table. I can picture them pushing him up to the table and the table cloth covering his crippled legs. At David’s table no one mentioned his crippled legs. David never brought up his crippled legs. Even Mephibasheph did not mention his legs.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that while we are black with sin, crippled by a fall, and are nothing more than a dead dog, God still allows us to feast at His banqueting house? He is the lover of our soul, and loves us in spite of ourselves.

She also says that he has placed a banner over her. This banner was like a flag. In this day armies would carry a flag, or banner. Today countries march under a flag. The flag show allegiance. It lets others know where our loyalties lie.

She is happy having a banner of his love fly over her. She wants to be associated with his love. She is not ashamed of the relationship she is in with Solomon.

She not only wants to be identified with his love, she doesn’t want to lose his love. She cries out, “stay with me flagons.” I mentioned this verse in my first Song of Solomon blog post. Do you remember what a “flagon” is? It is a cake made from pressed raisins. It is something that she would enjoy and not want to run out of.

She tells Solomon that she is, “sick of love.” Notice that she is not saying that she is sick of being in love. Rather she is telling us that she is lovesick. Do you remember what it feels like to be love sick? I dare say that each of us have went through a period of time when we were so in love that it made others sick just to be around us.

His Touch

The first part of this chapter ends with the happy couple lying in bed cuddling each other. They are lying in bed and he is embracing her. This is what we would call “cuddling.” She is so sick in love that he has to hold her up.

I wonder how often we cuddle ourselves up to God. Do we spend alone time with Him? Do we spend time communicating him? Are we sick in love?

She has no desire to change the situation they are in. She says, “Don’t wake him up.” She is content and happy to lie in his arms for now. I would venture to say that if we ever fell in love with Christ, we would say the same thing. We would always want His arms of protection around us.

You can listen to this lesson taught live here.

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