Monday 5 December 2016

Recovering "The Song of Songs" with a Trinitarian and Christological Approach

"He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love", Song of Songs 2:4.

"What is that coming up from the wilderness like columns of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the fragrant powders of a merchant?", Song Songs 3:6

During times of spiritual awakening in the church, the rich and immeasurable love of God is often magnified. Just think of these hymns as examples>

From the Welsh Revival

Here is Love vast as the ocean

By Charles Wesley in the 18th Century

Jesu' Lover of my Soul

Love divine, all loves excelling

These are just a sample. Likewise during times of what we may term revival or awakenings, an increased sense of God's love for us through Christ comes to the forefront of the church's experience. It is no surprise then, that at such times that the rich poetic expression of the book of the Song of Songs comes to be loved by the church in a renewed way. Its rich language of love expresses the divine love between Christ the bridegroom and the church, the bride of Christ.

Admittedly there are two lines of interpretation that are proposed. One is that this book is on a horizontal level about human love in marriage; the other is that it is primarily about our union and communion with Christ. I hold the latter view. The overarching theme of the Bible is that the Triune God's salvation plan is for the Father to redeem a bride for his Son, in the blood of the redeemer the Son, and she is gathered in by the Holy Spirit. This marriage is consummated eternally in heaven.

Some rich resources to consider are commentaries on this by Richard Brooks and George Burrows. Additionally sermons by Robert Murray M'Cheyne also follow this rich Christological line. I encourage you to read this book again with fresh eyes to consider our union and communion with Christ our head, husband and heavenly bridegroom.

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