Study 7 THE LOVELINESS OF CHRIST
THE SONG OF SOLOMON
by Francis Dixon
Key-verse: ”He is altogether lovely” (Song of Songs 5:16)
It is important to remember that the theme of this Song is the love of Jesus for His own, the love of the Bridegroom for His bride, the love of the Shepherd for His sheep, the love of the King for His queen. Consequently we find here all the mysteries of love tenderly expressed in terms of glowing affection, as the Lord Jesus reveals Himself as the Bridegroom, the Lover, the outstanding one among ten thousand, the altogether Lovely One – look up Song of Songs 5:9-16. With this in mind notice that this chapter contains a conversation between the bride and the daughters of Jerusalem. She tells how through her laziness she had turned her bridegroom away from the door. He had been on a journey, and when he returned late at night she had been too lazy to open to him, and when at last she did open the door he had gone. The daughters of Jerusalem, astonished at her anxiety, ask the question in Song of Songs 5:9; and in answer to this challenge the bride begins to describe her bridegroom. This description we have in verses 10-16, where we learn that he is altogether lovely, his perfections are incomparable, his worth is unparalleled. Consider the characteristics of our Lord’s loveliness:-
1. THE PURITY OF HIS LIFE AND THE RICHNESS OF HIS REDEMPTION
This is brought before us in verse 10 – “My lover is radiant and ruddy.” His ”radiance” speaks of His purity (Hebrews 7:25 and 26); and the word ‘ruddy’ speaks to us of the rich, red blood that was shed for our redemption (Revelation 1:5). These may be said to be the two chief characteristics of our Lord’s earthly life and ministry - His sinless life and His sacrificial death. The blood that redeemed us had to be sinless and pure, otherwise it would have had no virtue. Read 1 Peter 1:18-19, and compare 1 John 1:7. How lovely He is in His purity and in His redeeming work!
2. THE GLORY OF HIS DEITY AND HIS UNCHANGING NATURE
We read this in verse 11: “His head is purest gold; his hair is wavy and black as a raven.” Gold speaks of His sovereignty and deity; but our Lord Jesus Christ is one with the Father in very nature and essence (John 1:1-2 and Revelation 1:13-18). “His hair… wavy and black as a raven…” speak of His vigour, His perennial freshness; they declare Him to be the Lord who does not change - look up Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8. Because His love for us will never change, He will never break His word - look up Matthew 24:35.
3. THE WONDER OF HIS OMNISCIENCE AND THE ACCURACY OF HIS JUDGMENT
We read of this in verse 12 - “His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels.” That is, He sees all and knows all - look up Proverbs 15:3. The dove’s eyes are pure, searching and tender; they are fair, clear and chaste. Our Lord’s eyes are “mounted like jewels”; He sees things in their true light and in their right perspective. How different He is from men! He sees us through and through, and yet He loves us just the same.
4. THE ATTRACTIVENESS AND THE BEAUTY OF HIS FACE
Verse 13 tells us that “His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume.” His face is like a beautifully laid out flower garden with that fragrant smell. The unsaved see no beauty in Him (Isaiah 53:2), but how beautiful He is to those who love Him and belong to Him!
5. THE PURE AND TENDER EXPRESSIONS OF HIS LOVE AND GRACE
In verse 13 we read: “His lips (are) like lilies, dripping with myrrh.” The bride here is speaking of the purity and tenderness of her lover’s kisses. These kisses speak to us of those times when our Lord draws near to us and in the secret intimacy of fellowship we are bathed in His love and sustained by His grace (John 14:23); compare 2 Corinthians 12:9.
6. THE SKILFULNESS OF HIS GUARDING, HIS GUIDING AND HIS PROVIDING
In verse 14 (KJV) we read: “His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl.” The hands of the Lord speak of His protection and His guidance (John 10:28-29 and Psalm 78:72). His guidance is infallible. These hands of our Lord also speak of His providing - look up Psalm 145:16.
7. THE INFINITE TENDERNESS OF HIS COMPASSION
In verse 14 we read: “His belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.” The word ‘belly’ should be rendered ’bowels’, a word that in scripture always denotes deep feeling, for instance when it is used in 1 John 3:17. The bride is telling us of the deep compassion of our Bridegroom, especially when we are in trouble and are needing His sympathy and comfort - look up Hebrews 4:15.
8. HIS GLORIOUS STRENGTH, STABILITY AND STEADFASTNESS
In verse 15 we read: ”His legs are pillars of marble, set on bases of pure gold.” This tells us that He is well able to bear all the weight of the government that is upon His shoulder and that He will never falter. This tender, loving Bridegroom is the mighty and the strong One, and He is ours (Isaiah 9:6).
9. THE EXCELLENT DIGNITY OF HIS BEARING
In verse 15 we read: “His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars.” The cedars in the forest excel all other trees in height, strength and usefulness; so Christ stands out in His splendour, dignity and excellence (Revelation 5:12). How majestic He is in His bearing as He stands before us as our Saviour, Shepherd and Sovereign! - look up Psalm 8:1.
10. THE SWEETNESS OF HIS WORDS
We read in verse 16: “His mouth is sweetness itself.” This is true in the experience of every believer. Think, for example, how sweet His words are in the following: Matthew 11:28-30; John 6:37; 10:27-29; 14:1-3 and 14:27. What comfort and assurance His words give us!