Bible, song of solomon, Theology

Song of Solomon: Virginal Wooing


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Have you ever ordered more pizza than you needed? Like me, you probably tried to eat it all because you’d spent the money but also had some tasty cold pizza left over for breakfast the next day.

Blogging through our Song of Solomon series has been a little like this for me: far too much for one or two or even three sittings but tasting better every time I return for more – often after significant indigestion. Over the last couple of weeks I haven’t been able to write as regularly on Songs as I’d originally planned. The diary-rammed run-up to Christmas has been one factor but not the main one.

Digesting What I’ve Eaten

Quite often I’ll go on a walk during my lunch hour to get some fresh air and to assuage my vibrating Polar V800. And I will groan. I’ll happily pray and sing and speak in tongues out loud but, mainly, I’ll groan.

I don’t know about you, but often I find it difficult to express what’s in my heart and mind before God. Encouragingly, yearning for Jesus like this is entirely healthy and biblical – like dear panting for water – though often it can feel like a sickness.

But as I’ve walked and groaned of late, I’ve recognised afresh that this is in fact what’s going on in the book of Song of Solomon: the wooing of a Bridegroom and the groaning of a bride.

Virginal Wooing – Songs 2:10-13

My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away,
for behold, the winter is past;
    the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
    the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land.
The fig tree ripens its figs,
    and the vines are in blossom;
    they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away.

As I’ve walked and prayed and groaned and burped through the last few weeks, it has been the phrase virginal wooing that has come to me.

What on earth does that mean?

Recalling the verses above as Solomon and his bride dance through new and ever-evolving mazes of courtship, a new awareness has dawned in my heart that Jesus’ main goal for my life, personally, is to woo me into a deeper intimacy with him. In other words, for me to know Him better (Ephesians 1:17).

Not primarily talking about the truth of the Bible, not mainly connecting with new people to forge new partnerships at work, not even fasting and praying. Jesus wants to be intimate with me. He wants to play. He wants to tell me that He loves me; He wants to hear me tell Him that I love Him.

This is the very same invitation that Jesus gave to Martha pointing to Mary who had chosen what was better (Read Luke 10)

But often this can merely be reduced to theological or theoretical ascent rather than a felt experience.

Coming Away This Christmas

Would you say you have an intimate relationship with God? Do you believe that this is what Jesus shows us in John 15? How do you understand the role of the Spirit in our private lives of worship? How important is your response?

Listen carefully to what I’m about to say – how you answer these questions will determine how you live your life and how you live your life will determine the impact of it.

If you believe that the Song of Solomon is primarily displaying the churning heart of God for you personally and for His people as a whole, you will hear a continual wooing into a form of intimacy that is virginal – brand new and perfect and untainted and unique every single day.

And breathtakingly personal.

Intimacy with God shouldn’t get old. Intimacy with God shouldn’t get predictable.

As you put your feet up this holiday time, please remember this passage from Songs. Read it as a personal note from Yahweh for you to turn off the distractions, come a little nearer, wait a little longer and know once more the exhilaration of feeling His breath on your face.

Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away.

In 2018

Come the New Year, this series is going to continue. There’s absolutely no rush.

We’re also going to be launching an exciting collaboration with our friend Joshua Jones. He’s  a great guy. Read one of his recent posts and follow links to his blog/ministry here

What do you think?

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