By Henry Mahan
Song of Solomon 2:1-17
Solomon, next to our Lord Jesus, was the greatest son of wisdom that the church of God has ever known (1 Kings 4:29- 32).
God blessed him with 'largeness of heart.' His love and affection are evidenced by his many wives, which were his undoing. But true understanding and love will always be found together.
Though Solomon spoke over 3000 proverbs and 1500 songs, 'The Song of Solomon' is his most profound and beautiful work. God used the man of greatest wisdom to write on the greatest subject--love--the love of Christ and his church!
Other writings of Solomon are more obvious and open to common understanding; but, as none entered into the holy of holies except the High Priest, so none can enter into the beauties and mysteries of the Song of Solomon except those who know and love the bridegroom--Christ Jesus! Read Titus 1:15.
In this chapter there is a conversation between Christ and his church in which they alternately set forth the excellencies of each other and express their affection for and the delight and pleasure they take in each other's company.
v. 1. These are the words of Christ concerning himself. He compares himself to the rose and the lily for fragrance and beauty (Isa. 35:1-2). He is to be preferred above all, for he is above all (Phil. 2:9-11).
v. 2. He says that his church is 'the lily among thorns,' beauty among ugliness! He calls the church 'my love;' and, though growing among thorns and unfruitful tares, he declares her beauty and his love for her.
v. 3. The church declares that Christ is as an apple tree among the barren trees of the forest. It is said that the apple tree is a symbol of love, under which lovers sat (Song of Sol. 8:5). To send or throw an apple meant love. Christ is our apple tree for shade, rest, and fruit.
v. 4. 'He brought me to the banqueting house.' By his invincible grace he sought me, called me, and brought me. The house of God is the place where we feed upon him and his word. All that the church needs is satisfied there. Our reason for being there is because he loved us (1 John 4:10, 19). We are not guests only, we are the bride.
v. 5. 'Stay me,' or sustain me with vessels of wine poured out and comfort me with tokens and reminders of love (apples), for I am 'sick with love;' that is, I am eagerly desirous to know more of his love (Phil. 3:10). The church never gets enough of Christ Jesus.
v. 6. He loves his church, he feeds his church, he comforts his church, and he holds and supports his church with both hands, as a lover embraces his beloved. He will not let her go nor suffer her to leave (Heb. 13:5-6).
v. 7. There is much debate about who is speaking here, whether Christ of the church or the church of Christ: but one thing is clear--he is sovereign! No force, power, nor person can disturb him nor his church 'till he pleases' (Psalm 115:1-3).
vv. 8-9. The church relates how she heard the voice of Christ (John 10:27) and had a sight of him as a young deer on the hills and mountains, at some distance (as in the shadows and types of the Old Testament), then nearer, behind her wall and through the lattices (in part and through a glass dimly-I Cor. 13:9, 12).
v. 10. The voice of Christ (which the church heard) gave her a call to come away with him. 'My love, my fair one' (terms of endearment), rise up from where you are, what you are doing, whom you are with, and 'come with me' (Matt. 11:28-30). He called outwardly by his word and inwardly by his Spirit (Gal. 1:15; James 1:18; 1 Thess. 2:13-14). His call is an effectual call.
None who hear his voice in grace and mercy will refuse to come to him.
vv. 11-13. Before he came to us in love and before we heard his voice, it was as winter in our souls, dark with sin, cold and barren and dead. We were under judgment for sin and driven by the winds of Satan's temptations. The winter is past; it is summer in our hearts. We have been redeemed by his blood and are free to go in and out. The flowers bloom, the birds sing, and the sun of righteousness shines upon us.
v. 14. The church is called his dove, partly for her temperament (because she is harmless, innocent, and beautiful in his grace) and partly for her dove-like condition (because she is weak and exposed to persecution and trial and given to mourning).
Therefore, she is called to hide in him, the rock, and in his secret places for protection. 'Cast your care upon him.' He says to the church, 'Let me see your face in communion and worship; let me hear your voice in prayer and praise; for your voice is sweet to me and your countenance comely.'
v. 15. 'Put away the little foxes'--our flesh, thoughts, infirmities that war against the soul; for, like tender grapes, we are children beset within and without by terrible foes (Eph. 6:12).
v. 16. These two statements are strong and positive.
'My beloved is mine.'
1. By divine decree he is mine. 'Thou gavest them me' (John 17:6-10).
2. By a living union he is my vine, head, and husband.
3. By faith he is mine, for I have believed and received him according to thy word.
4. By an affectionate relationship he is mine. He is 'my beloved.'
'I am his.' I belong to him.
1. The Father gave me to him (John 6:37-39).
2. He purchased me on the cross of Calvary. 'Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price' (1 Cor. 6:19- 20).
v. 17. He is mine and I am his until the morning of that great and blessed day of resurrection when all shadows shall flee away.