“He has brought me to his banquet hall,
And his banner over me is love.”
– Song of Solomon 2:4 NASB
We are a little over one-third of the way through with this set of 366 daily devotions and, as of today, we have focused at least one verse from every single one of the Bible’s 66 books (39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament). The final book to cover is Song of Solomon.
The Song of Solomon is an unusual book. It is a celebration of the love between a man and a woman. That love is expressed and extolled in physically intimate terms, using metaphors that were clearly more appropriate for Solomon’s time than our own. For example, it’s hard to imagine a woman these days being won over by a line like this:
…Your hair is like a flock of goats that have descended from Mount Gilead.
– Song of Solomon 4:1
Even when one accepts the imagery of the Song of Solomon on its own terms, its subject matter is not the sort of thing you want to discuss with children. Therefore, it does not get quoted nearly so often as other parts of the Bible.
All that said, we can see in the book’s celebration of marital love a parallel to the love that should exist between the Lord and the human race. Often in the Scriptures, the relationship between husband and wife is used as a pattern for the relationship between the Lord and His people. For example, a couple of days ago we saw that Esther’s relationship with King Ahasuerus paralleled the Lord’s relationship with us. Yesterday, we focused on the story of Ruth. Had we continued with the story, we would have seen how a man named Boaz paid the price necessary to marry Ruth – thus foreshadowing how Jesus would pay the price to redeem humanity.
Our culture has so cheapened and demeaned marriage that’s it’s hard for many people to see what a glorious relationship it is. True marriage is full of wonders. Likewise, our relationship with our Creator is full of wonders. We must, however, take these relationships more seriously to perceive and experience these wonders.
The “banquet hall” into which the Lord has brought us is the feast that is the kingdom of God, and the “banner” over it all is…love.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, as You have loved us, so we will love You and each other – one day at a time…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.