How do I reflect on Song of Songs? Is it, as some say, strictly an allegory of God’s love for His bride, the church? Is it, as others say, strictly a love poem, nothing about God in it? Or is it both? And does it matter that much?
It’s certainly a love poem. And it’s not one I really want to dissect line by line in a blog. Lips like scarlet thread is one thing, but the two fawns I’d rather leave alone. And teeth like newly shorn ewes is just not an image that speaks to me.
But taken as a whole, I get it. Taken as a whole, Song of Songs expresses intense longing, intense desire, and intense love.
And love is love, whether it’s between a man and woman or between God and His bride. I mean, God created love. He created us. And He created us in His image.
Pure, passionate love was not our idea. It originated with Him.
So whether Song of Songs is all allegory or all sensual humanity is not really an argument I want to have.
I want to see how much God loves me. I want to see how much He wants me to experience love here on earth with my spouse. I want to see the fullness of all He’s created love to be.
There’s passion, but there’s also denial. There’s satisfaction, but there’s also waiting. There’s seeking, but there’s also hiding.
Love is not all mountaintop. but it is a desire for that mountaintop. And that longing and desire propels me to seek that mountaintop. And to cherish that mountain top.
The denial, waiting, and seeking makes me long for and desire the love all the more. The anticipation stirs my determination to gain everything imaginable about the love I’m running after. And when the communion comes, it’s all the sweeter.
Do not awaken love until it pleases (Song of Songs 3:5).
I used to wonder why not. I used to think love was always pleased to be woken. But now I’ve learned. Like the beloved in Song of Songs, I’m not always happy about it, but I’ve learned.
Love is priceless, never to be taken for granted. Love will satisfy, but cannot be demanded. Love will awaken and take me away and give me all I long for and desire. In due season, in the fullness of time.