Praying about Song of Solomon?
When was the last time you read through Song of Solomon in the Bible and said, “That’s wonderful! I’m very inspired, God. Thank you for the Song of Solomon. I will read it to my family tomorrow night for worship”? And so you sit down with your teenagers and read the book to them and say to one of them, “Now, Billy, it is your time to pray.” So fifteen-year-old Billy kneels down to pray, “God, I’m not entirely sure what to say.”
According to Jewish tradition, Solomon represented God and the woman represented God’s people and the experience was the Exodus from Egypt. And that allegorical interpretation has led Christians over the years to believe the book represents Christ’s love for the church.
But is that the main purpose of this book? As an allegory of God’s love for His people? Then we come to a few references such as 6:8, “There are sixty queens and eighty concubines, and virgins without number.” In the allegorical view, would that be the General Conference committee? And then there is 3:9, 10: “King Solomon made himself a carriage from the wood of Lebanon. He made its posts of silver, its back of gold, its seat of purple; its interior was inlaid with love by the daughters of Jerusalem.” What does that represent? The General Conference President’s car? Wouldn’t it be very difficult to find a meaning for all these details?
Perhaps Song of Solomon is primarily and simply about human love. After all, here is the story of the king who had a lot of wives and concubines and most of them he never chose for himself. They came with treaties. But apparently there was one girl who was his choice, and they really loved each other.
But if we suppose it is primarily about human love, would that be too unimportant to have in the middle of the Bible? Of course, who made us this way in the first place? God thought it all up, didn’t He?
Even if Song of Solomon wasn’t supposed to represent God’s love for His people, what does it say about God that He would create us like this? In creating us male and female capable of having families and children, I believe, it was probably God’s deliberate plan to tell us that He is not an impersonal deity presiding from the distance of space. That in itself speaks very well of our heavenly Father and how He feels about us and how He wishes we would feel about each other.
I’m thankful for the God behind Song of Solomon, aren’t you?