Song of Songs Chapter 3 -- John Karmelich




1.                  How do you know when you love someone?

a)                  How does one know when it is time to get married?

b)                  One of the greatest answers I heard to that question is, “The time to get married is when, for all intents and purposes you are already married”.

c)                  A wedding is a celebration of an event that is meant to be.

d)                 When you reach a point in a relationship, be it short or long, where you want to be with that person all of the time, that is when one should be married.

e)                  The biblical view is that love is a commitment, not a “feeling”.  When you are ready to make that commitment, then it is time to go forward with the marriage.

f)                   The reason I bring this question out is that some of these points are made in Chapter 3.

2.                  Today is Chapter 3 of Song of Songs.  This chapter is broken into 2 parts:

a)                  Verses 1-5 are a dream about the bride seeking the one she loves.

b)                  Verses 6-11 are a description of the beginning of the wedding procession.

c)                  Verses 1-5 describe the bride’s love for Solomon when he is not there.

i)                    She is describing a nightmare about not finding the one she loves.

d)                 Verses 6-11 is like an answer to that dream, in a way that is more glorious than the bride ever expected. 

e)                  The two little sections go together as:

i)                    The first section is a proof text of her love for her bride.

ii)                  The second section is the beginning of the wedding celebration.

3.                  A beautiful picture of this section is how it also describes our love for God,
and His response to that love.

a)                  There are some wonderful verses in the Bible about drawing close to God.  Here are some:

i)                    “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.  (Deuteronomy 4:29, NIV)

a)                  There” refers to a mental state of mind being away from God.

ii)                  “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” 
(Isaiah 55:6, NIV)

iii)                “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”  (James 4:8, NIV)

b)                  Have you ever thought about the idea that you have to seek God?

i)                    It sounds funny to think about that.

ii)                  After all, if God is everywhere.  How can you escape from God?

iii)                Most of these “seeking” passages, in direct context, have to do with salvation.

a)                  One can live their whole live, and never seek God and his forgiveness for eternal salvation.

iv)                But there is another application to these verses, and it has to do with our continual relationship with God.

a)                  Sin draws us away from God.  Notice this verse in Isaiah 59:2 (NIV)

(1)               “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”

b)                  The confession of those sins is what restores our relationship.

v)                  Also, one can commit a sin unknowingly that can also draw us away from God. 

a)                  In the case of committing sin that we are unaware that is wrong, it is a good idea every now and then to ask God to show us the areas of our life that need cleaning up.  I find that God honors those prayers.

(1)               “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. 24Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”  (Psalm 139:23-24, The Living Bible)

4.                  Gee, John, that’s all well and good.  What does any of it have to do with Song of Songs?

a)                  What I want you to see, before I start Verse 1, is how the bride is longing for her man.

b)                  Remember that the Bible uses the word-picture of the ideal husband and wife relationship as a model of our relationship between God and ourselves.

i)                    Ephesians Chapter 5 is Paul’s advice about marriage.  He goes to great lengths to compare our martial relationship to our relationship with God.

a)                  Here is a sample:  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.”  (Ephesians 5:31-32, NIV)

5.                  Chapter 3 of Song of Songs opens with the bride longing to see her man during a time of separation.

a)                  God does that in our life. 

b)                  God spends a lot of time testing the faith of believers.

c)                  There are many times in the life of Christian where things are not going well, and you don’t sense God’s presence in your life.

d)                 It is during those times God wants us to trust him more.  Just because we don’t believe he is currently working in our life, doesn’t mean he isn’t there.

e)                  It is similar to the way one trains up a child.  The goal of all parents is to raise children to be independent.  One day, when the parents are no longer around, they have to do things on their own.  Therefore, the goal is to teach them to do things for themselves. 

i)                    I think during some of the difficult times of our lives, it almost grieves God to not reach out and help us, just as it grieves a parent to not directly intervene in a child’s life. 

ii)                  A good parent knows that the best way for a child to learn is to let them do it themselves.  If there is any possibility a child could figure out a lesson by themselves, let them do it before the parents intervene.

iii)                God works the same way.  He knows we go through rough times.  God could fix it instantly if He chooses.  He often doesn’t because He is trying to mature us as believers.  He knows the best way for us to learn is to figure things out ourselves.

a)                  One of the hardest things for us to accept is that we are to live on God’s timing, not ours.  We get frustrated because we want answers and we want results immediately.

b)                  Part of trusting God is to remember that His plans for our life are far greater than ours.  A mature believer in Christ prays and studies God’s Word for guidance, but lives their life on the expectation that God is working out plans for their life, whether things are “going well” or not.

c)                  With that in mind, let’s take on Verse 1 of Chapter 3.

6.                  Verse 1:  All night long on my bed I looked for the one my heart loves; I looked for him but did not find him.

a)                  This is the bride speaking.

b)                  The Hebrew grammar gives the impression that this went on for night after night.

c)                  It is logical to speculate that this is a dream.

i)                    First of all, she is in bed looking for the one she loves.

ii)                  Assuming one has good vision or hands to feel around, it doesn’t take long to notice Solomon is not literally there.  J

iii)                This is a poetic way of saying the one she loves is not there with him.

d)                 Let’s go back to the topic of marriage and love.

i)                    A good sign of a healthy relationship is the strong desire to be with that person especially when he or she is not there.

ii)                  Solomon, being a king, would need to be away at times.

a)                  Just like many men today require business trips in order to financially support the family.

iii)                Our desire should be for our spouse, especially when we are away.

a)                  The bride is crying out for the desire to just “be with” him.

b)                  That is a great model for both marriage and our relationship with God.

c)                  We should always want to be with our spouse, just as we desire to be with God, especially during those times when we don’t sense God’s presence, or things are not going well in our life.

iv)                This set of verses is a good model for those of you considering marriage:

a)                  Do you desire to be with your partner when he or she is away?

b)                  Do you long for that partner after being away for a while?

v)                  The same goes for our relationship with God:

a)                  Do you feel “empty” when you haven’t prayed or read God’s word for a while?  That is a true tale sign of your love for God and your commitment to Him.  God always desires a stronger relationship with Him as well as with our spouses.

e)                  I want to add one more thought before I move on about love and relationships:

i)                    I strongly believe that the most important aspect about marriage is commitment.

a)                  There are times, especially when we are angry at our spouse that we are no longer feel “in love” with them.

b)                  Love, in the emotional sense is a feeling.

c)                  Love, in the sense of totally giving of oneself is a commitment.

d)                 That is the type of love a marriage should be built upon.

(1)               Divorce in the Bible is never listed as a sin, but it is frowned upon.

(2)               I believe the only biblical grounds one can argue for divorce is adultery.  I also believe that if a spouse is physically violent, one should either separate themselves until they get help or divorce is acceptable in that case.

(3)               My main point is too many people get divorced simply because they no longer “feel” in love with each other.

(a)               “Feelings” come and go.  Love is a commitment.

(b)               The good news is by letting God’s love work through you, that one can always rekindle loving feelings through a partner.

(c)                The same goes with our relationship with God. 

(i)                 One can always rekindle that flame by spending time with God.  Again, it is about commitment.

7.                  Verse 2:  I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves.  So I looked for him but did not find him.

a)                  In this dream, the bride leaves her bedroom and goes out looking for the man she loves.

b)                  The nightmare phrase is the last sentence:  “So I looked for him but did not find him.”

i)                    First, let me talk about this verse in our relationship with God.

a)                  There are times, especially during times of suffering, where we really seek God for answers, but don’t get any.

b)                  We may theologically understand that God is there, that God is working in the background, but it doesn’t make the pain any less real.

c)                  We cry out because the pain of our suffering is real, and we want God to fix it on our timing.

(1)               The point I’m trying to pound home is that God is there.  Part of having faith is to trust that God is working things out in His timing.

8.                  Verse 3:  The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city. "Have you seen the one my heart loves?"

a)                  When you read “the watchmen”, the best analogy I can think of is a policeman.

b)                  Picture yourself walking around the streets of a city late at night.  The only other people around are policeman guarding the city.

c)                  Verse 3 is another proof-text that this is a dream.

i)                    Imagine asking a cop, “Have you seen the one I love?”

ii)                  It doesn’t make much sense from a cop’s perspective. J

iii)                That is why most people believe this whole sequence is a dream.

d)                 The bride, in this dream, in her love for Solomon, goes out in the city desperately trying to find her man, just so that she can be near him.

i)                    The word-picture being created is to show how strong her love is for Solomon.

9.                  Verse 4:  Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go till I had brought him to my mother's house, to the room of the one who conceived me.

a)                  The nightmare now has a pleasant ending. When she found him, she held him and wouldn’t let go.

b)                  Many people see this verse as a model for our salvation.

i)                    Earlier, I quoted this verse from Isaiah:  ““Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”  (Isaiah 55:6, NIV)

ii)                  Here is this “future bride” diligently searching for her groom.

iii)                After seeking him with her whole heart (i.e., diligently) she finds him.

iv)                The model for our salvation is that once we find Jesus, we should never want to let go.  We should want to cling to Jesus as tight as we can.

v)                  By clinging to Him, Jesus can work in our lives to grow us into maturity.

c)                  Now comes the strange part of this verse.

i)                    After she found her love, she brings him to her mother’s house to the room where she was conceived by her parents.

ii)                  The commentaries are full of speculations on this one. 

a)                  I’m convinced the meaning has to do with some ancient cultural practice.

iii)                Some commentators try to draw analogies of taking the good news of our salvation to the homes of our families.

a)                  This might be a stretch of the imagination, but that view exists.

iv)                I did learn one interesting view that I never heard before:

a)                  One principal that Jesus taught about marriage is taken from a passage in the Garden of Eden:   (Genesis 2:24, NIV)

(1)               “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”

(2)               I’ve read and heard this passage dozens of times in my life.

(3)               What I’ve never thought about until this study is the fact that God is speaking to the man and not the women

(4)               To paraphrase, “You (men-only) shall leave mom and dad and cling to your wife”.  My point is that this verse is not given to the women, but to the man.

(a)               Many commentators speculate on the fact that God is saying it is more difficult for a man to emotionally part from his parents than a woman.

(b)               After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, God created in woman a longing to be for her husband.

(i)                 “Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you  (Genesis 3:16b, NIV)

(5)               I believe the point is that God created in woman a desire to be with your husband over her parents once she married.

(a)               Because God did not put that desire in a man, God gave the marching orders for a man to leave his parents, emotionally for his wife.

v)                  Which, surprisingly, leads us back to Verse 4 of Song of Songs:

a)                  Some commentaries say that this whole passage by the bride speaking is a good analogy of being “born-again”.

b)                  There is a Christian buzz term for salvation that goes “Born twice, die once, born once die twice”.

(1)               It means if you are born again a second time spiritually, you will only die once, and then spend eternity with God in heaven.

(2)               If you are only born “once”, that is the physical birth.  You will receive two death sentences:  The first is one’s physical death, and the second is one’s eternal damnation for refusing to offer the free gift of Jesus as payment for your sins.

c)                  The bride is bringing Solomon into the bedroom where she was conceived. 

d)                 Our new relationship with Christ begins when we seek God and “cling” to him.”  Here, the bride takes her groom back to the place where she is “born physically”.  Now she is with her man who fulfills herself spiritually.  It is a word picture of being made-alive “twice”.

e)                  If you don’t see it that way, that’s ok.  Again, since we don’t have an answer for this question, it is all just interesting speculation.  J

vi)                There is nothing else said about this fact in Song of Songs or elsewhere in the Bible.  Thus, is it difficult to interpret or explain.

a)                  Again, the actual meaning of this concept is long lost. 

10.              Verse 5:  Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

a)                  Now we come to the end of this dream section.

b)                  A “charge” to the Daughters of Jerusalem is mentioned four times in Song of Songs, with three of the four being the exact same quote.  (Songs:  2:7, 3:5, and 8:4)

c)                  The fourth is a different “charge” and I’ll discuss that in Chapter 5.

i)                    Many commentators see each of these repeated verses as the end of a section.

a)                  The first section leading up to Verse 2:7 is about the courtship.

b)                  The second section leading up to Verse 3:8 is about the pre-martial relationship.

(1)               This section, that we have been studying now, focuses on compliments the bride and groom pay each other, and ends with this dream sequence of the bride longing for her husband.

c)                  The third section leading up to Verse 5:8 is about the wedding itself.

d)                 The fourth section leading up to Verse 8:4 is about the wedding night.

e)                  The final section is an epilogue about love after the wedding itself.

ii)                  Please note that some people break it up this way.  It is not a requirement.  J

d)                 So, what is the point of ending the dream sequence with the “charge” to not stir up love before it is time to do so (i.e., don’t go to far sexually, before a marriage).

i)                    In Chapter 2, the bride was being aroused by her talk of love.

ii)                  She is charging the virgin girls of the city to not “go to fast” in their love relationship.  It is a plea to wait until marriage before making physical love.

iii)                In Chapter 3, the arousal is because of this dream she had of finding her love.

iv)                In Chapter 2, the discussion of sexual overtones caused physical arousal.

a)                  She was speaking to Solomon during that discussion.

v)                  Here in Chapter 3, she is telling of her longing in absence of her man.

a)                  The reunion heated up those sexual passions.

b)                  I believe she is reminding herself, and others, that one still needs to wait to the proper time to consummate the marriage, period.

vi)                Like I said, last week, this is a long discussion all to itself.

a)                  In the dating process, sexual arousal for the one we love comes natural.

b)                  God created sexual desires within us.  He designed it that way so that we would enjoy the benefits of a sexual relationship in marriage.

(1)               To have sex outside of marriage is enjoyable, but it always robs the benefit of the marriage itself.

(2)               I am convinced couples that wait for marriage have a far happier and healthier relationship sexually, than those who don’t.

(a)               If you truly love your partner, not just emotionally, but by a Godly commitment to want to make your partner happy, you will show that love physically as well as in other areas.

(i)                 To deny physical love in its time is to deny pleasure to your partner.

11.              Verse 6:  Who is this coming up from the desert like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense made from all the spices of the merchant?

a)                  Before I discuss Verse 6, I should talk a little about the ancient Jewish wedding ritual.

i)                    The ritual required that the bride not know when the actual wedding is going to take place.  She knew she was engaged, but the actual date and time was not known.  I suspect in close-knit communities, she probably knew when it was soon.

a)                  Prior to the groom showing up, she would wait at home for the surprise of the groom and his wedding party coming to get her.

b)                  Then, a wedding procession, lead by the groom would come, say, in the middle of the night to the bride’s home.  She would be brisked away to the wedding ceremony.

c)                  For those of you who have seen the movie “Fiddler on the Roof”, you get some sort of idea how the wedding procession would take place.

ii)                  The reason I mention this is that many people see the Jewish wedding ritual as a model for our relationship with the second coming of Jesus.

a)                  In Matthew 24:3 (or Mark 13:4), the disciples asked Jesus what will be the “signs” of his second coming and when will it be?

(1)               In both cases, Jesus gave a chapter long speech about what “signs” will take place before and up to his Second Coming.

(2)               Just like a bride who knows when the “time is near”, Jesus pointed to signs that will occur when the time is near for His coming.

b)                  But as to the exact day and time, Jesus went out of his way to point out that no one but God the Father knows the exact day and time of Jesus 2nd Coming (Reference:  Matthew 24:36 or Mark 13:32).

(1)               The reason Jesus stated that he didn’t know (at least, at that time) is so we can’t study the Bible to find “clues” as to the exact time of Jesus return.

c)                  In the Bible, we as believers are described as the “bride” of Christ. 

(1)               “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb {Jesus} has come and His bride {us} has made herself ready.”  (Revelation 19:7, NIV, {text added})

d)                 A Jewish engaged bride must always be prepared for the arrival of her future husband.  We should have the same attitude about the Second Coming of Jesus

(1)               Now when these things begin to happen (signs of Jesus 2nd coming), look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”  (Luke 21:28, NKJV)

iii)                A similar concept is taught by Jesus in Matthew 25:1-13.

a)                  It is the parable of the “five wise virgins and five foolish virgins”.

(1)               The word virgin refers to virgin bride to be.

(2)               Jesus taught how all ten of them were waiting for their man to show up.  Five of them forgot to get oil for their lights, and when the groom shows up at an unexpected time, they’re not ready.

(3)               The point of the story is that you don’t know when Jesus is going to return, so we have to be ready and be committed to him.

(4)               That story ends with “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” 
(Matthew 25:13, NKJV).

b)                  Which, surprisingly, leads us back to Verse 6.   J I’ll write it out again.

12.              Verse 6 (again):  Who is this coming up from the desert like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense made from all the spices of the merchant?

a)                  This is the bride speaking.  She is describing the coming of a wedding procession.

b)                  There is a view about this passage that may explain it better.

i)                    This view holds that during the courtship period, the bride was unaware that her love was actually King Solomon. 

ii)                  She thought it was a local shepherd.

iii)                This would explain some of the “shepherd” references of the previous chapters.

iv)                She is then surprised to learn that her bride is actually King Solomon.

v)                  Because she “doesn’t know” who this procession is approaching her, that is why some commentators take the view she didn’t know her love was Solomon.

vi)                Again, this is “a” view, not “the” view.  One can read Song of Songs either way.

c)                  Personally, I see this description as being a past tense description of the event.

i)                    If you see a cloud of smoke coming toward you, be it from a pack of horses on a dirt road, I doubt you could smell those positive smells that quickly.

ii)                  I see it as a series of events.  First the dust of the road kicked up by the procession, and then as it got close, then she smelled the positive aromas.

13.              Verse 7:  Look! It is Solomon's carriage, escorted by sixty warriors, the noblest of Israel, 8 all of them wearing the sword, all experienced in battle, each with his sword at his side, prepared for the terrors of the night.

a)                  Here comes the surprise that it is King Solomon.

b)                  The word “carriage” is a bed-canopy-carriage. 

i)                    Visualize a stagecoach but with a bed instead of a seat.

c)                  Being a king, Solomon had his best troupes surrounding the carriage for protection.

i)                    There is a strong emphasis on the power associated with Solomon.

d)                 OK, so what does all of this have to do with the bride’s love for Solomon or for our relationship with God?

i)                    Remember when I described the Jewish wedding, I stated that this is also a word-picture of Jesus’ Second coming.

ii)                  One of the things that popped in my head as I was reading this was (of all things) the description of the throne of God as stated in Ezekiel and in Revelation.

a)                  In the beginning of the book of Ezekiel, he is taken in a vision up to the throne of heaven. 

b)                  Ezekiel describes four “creatures” that guard the throne.  (See Eze. 1: 4-21)  These four creatures are also mentioned 11 times in the Book of Revelation.

iii)                What I thought about is, “Why does God need anybody, or anything to guard His throne room?  After all, isn’t he God?  Couldn’t God just “zap” anybody who comes near it?  Further, why does God need a throne room anyway?  Isn’t He everywhere?  (You can tell I spend too much time in my Bible.  J)

iv)                The point of all of the word-pictures about the throne room and the guards is not for God’s sake, but for us to better understand God’s power and what God wants for us.

a)                  The four living creatures are powerful beings.  They are there to help us understand the power of God and how serious it is to casually approach God and his throne.

b)                  The purpose of having a “throne” is not a literal place for God the Father to sit, but a word-picture for us to understand the concept of worship.

(1)               Now when we get to heaven, I believe there will be an actual throne room as described in the Bible.  Again, I see this as built for our sake, and not for God’s sake.  We understand a throne as a central location for authority and a place of power and worship.  Therefore, God created this visual picture for us to better understand what God expects of us.

v)                  OK, John, what does all of this have to do with Solomon’s traveling carriage?

a)                  So glad you asked!  J Let’s read those two verses again.

(1)               Look! It is Solomon's carriage, escorted by sixty warriors, the noblest of Israel, all of them wearing the sword, all experienced in battle, each with his sword at his side, prepared for the terrors of the night.

b)                  The emphasis is on Solomon’s power.

(1)               It describes the sixty soldiers guarding it.  The verse describes their swords and their skill at being a soldier.

(2)               The emphasis is on the power of the king.

(3)               What is the king doing?  He is coming in love for his bride!

(4)               Isn’t that a wonderful love picture of what God has planned for us?

14.              Verse 9:  King Solomon made for himself the carriage; he made it of wood from Lebanon. 10 Its posts he made of silver, its base of gold. Its seat was upholstered with purple, its interior lovingly inlaid by the daughters of Jerusalem.

a)                  The description now changes from an emphasis on “power” to one of “beauty”.

b)                  The bride here, is describing how beauty of the carriage.

c)                  Again, the first thing to see is our king coming for us!

i)                    The first description, in Verses 7-8 emphasize the power of God.

a)                  Because of that power we live in obedience to what God calls us to do.

(1)               Remember the power of God’s judgment.  Remember that believers will be judged for eternity based on what God called us to do.

b)                  “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”  (Proverbs 9:10a, NIV)

d)                 The second thing to realize as shown in Verse 9 is the beauty of the king.

i)                    Near the end of the Bible, in the last few chapters of Revelation describe in detail the glorious future that God has planned for us.

ii)                  There are detailed descriptions of the wedding banquet, a beautiful “city” being prepared as a home for believers.  It almost sounds like a fairy tale to read.

iii)                The point is to notice the beauty of God and the preparation that God has done for us for eternity with our new homes. 

a)                  Hopefully, you can see the parallel between the love of the bride for her groom, and the description of his power and beauty, with the love we should have for our “future groom” Jesus, and of his power and beauty.

e)                  One thing I found interesting is that most of the beauty of this carriage is not noticed unless you look at the details.

i)                    The bride noticed (or was told) the wood was made from the best wood of that local territory which is in Lebanon.

ii)                  She describes the posts of silver and base of gold. 

iii)                She describes the purple upholstery.  “Purple” then and now, is the color associated with royalty.

iv)                The interior had designs by the “daughters of Jerusalem.

a)                  Most commentators believe this is a wedding gift from the “daughters”.  There was an ancient custom to decorate or carve images into the wood.

b)                  Some believe these images are sexual in nature and are designed to sexually stimulate the bride and groom. 

f)                   Personally, I think the bride is humbled by all of this attention and fanfare.

i)                    Remember from the last chapter she sees herself as a poor, dark-skinned farm girl who doesn’t deserve the special treatment of being the wife of a king.

ii)                  We, as Christians tend to forget that too.

a)                  We are the future bride of a king

b)                  Again, Revelation describes a wedding ceremony were we are the bride.

c)                  It will be lovelier and more glorious than we can possibly imagine.

d)                 Yet, we see our faults, we see our weakness and think that we don’t deserve this. 

(1)               A heard a cute cliché that fits in well here:

(2)               “God sees our beauty through cross-filtered lenses”.

e)                  That is where God’s love and God’s grace to us is special. 

f)                   God, in His perfect love goes out of his way to show that love
1) by sending Jesus as payment for our sins and faults and 2) arranges a beautiful, eternity destiny for God the Father to show how His love for us.

iii)                That is the word-picture to be seen by the bride describing the carriage.

a)                  It is a literal description of a beautiful wedding, about to happen.

b)                  It is also a wonderful word picture of what God has planned for us in the future.

15.              Verse 11:  Come out, you daughters of Zion, and look at King Solomon wearing the crown, the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, the day his heart rejoiced.

a)                  Let me give you a few technical notes before I get to the key application.

i)                    There is a question about this “crown” that King Solomon’s mother gave to her.

ii)                  One view is that it refers to the royal crown that a king wears.

a)                  Let me change the “comma” on this verse and you can see this:

b)                  “Crown with which his mother crowned him, on the day of his wedding”

c)                  If you read 1st Kings Chapter 1, you will note that King Solomon’s mother arranged for Solomon to be crowned as king after his half-brother Adonijah tried to seize the throne.

iii)                The other view is that this refers to a special crown made just for the wedding.

a)                  If you take away that comma, you have that interpretation:

b)                  “Crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding”

b)                  In this verse, the bride asks that the other girls look at what Solomon prepared for her.

i)                    That is also a wonderful word picture of what God calls us to do.

ii)                  Our salvation and our love for Jesus are not to be kept hidden in a closet.

iii)                Once we have that joy in our heart, we should naturally want to brag about it, want to shout it out with you and want to tell others.

iv)                True love for our spouse should make us proud of them, and want to declare our love publicly to others.  That is a purpose for a wedding ceremony.  It should also continue throughout our lifetime.

v)                  True love for our God should be similar.

a)                  I said in my introduction that a wedding ceremony should be a public declaration of the love a bride and groom already have for each other. 

b)                  The “wedding ceremony” of Jesus and us is a future event, just as it is to the bride here. 

(1)               That future event does not stop the bride from wanting to publicly share that love she has for Him with others. 

(2)               That is what God the Father expects for us, but more importantly, when that love is there, it is something we should naturally want to express publicly.

c)                  I believe it was Billy Graham once described our relationship with God as “breathing”.  When we take-in (i.e., breath in) “lots of God’s love, the natural thing to do is to “exhale”.  It is how God designed us.  When we spend time taking in God’s love, the natural output is to then “exhale” that love with others.

c)                  Let’s get back to the bride.  She made the statement that “this is the crown that Solomon’s mother has made (arguably for the wedding) on the day his heart rejoiced!

i)                    This adds to the word-picture of seeing the joy of Jesus at his second coming for us. Think about this from God’s perspective.

ii)                  God is so much looking forward to that wedding day!

iii)                That is what Jesus meant by “preparing a mansion for us in heaven”.

a)                  God’s love for us is so vast and deep; He is doing all of this (“this” being the necessity of history, the plan of the cross, the building up of the church, in summary –all of human history) for our benefit.

b)                  God in is infinite love for us, is going through “all this trouble” just to show us how much He loves us and further, will spend eternity showing us how much he loves us. 

c)                  There is a verse in Ephesians that I believe summarizes this point:

(1)               “Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault—we who stand before him covered with his love. 5His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to!”  (Eph 1:4-5, TLB).

iv)                Well, I can’t top that; so let’s wrap it up for the week.  J

16.              Let’s pray:  Heavenly Father, we thank you so much for the eternal plans you have made for our lives.  We see ourselves with all our faults and imperfections.  Further you call on us to confess those faults as to mature as believers.  Help us to remember that you love us with a perfect love, far greater than we can already imagine.  For those of us who are married, help us to channel that love through our martial relationships so we can glorify you by our marriage.  For we ask this in Jesus name, Amen.