II. The Mystery of Grace (SONG 1:5-11)

5"I am black but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon.

  • I am very dark - she says to him.  I am dark like the tents of Kedar - as we first begin to approach the king we begin to understand that we are sinful and filthy.  We understand that, though we DESIRE HIM we do not DESERVE Him - we stumble, we screw up, we CANNOT make ourselves worthy of Him
    • spiritual immaturity is NOT the SAME as rebellion
  • Our response to our own ugliness is huge
    • do we run to him and receive forgiveness
    • do we punish ourselves until we feel better?
  • I am dark daughters of Jerusalem - she is not speaking to the King.  She is speaking to those who look on with amazement at his acceptance of her and she is speaking to herself!  She is saying “YES!  I will admit that he should not be choosing me, but He calls me lovely! He MAKES me lovely!
  • Dark like the tents of Kedar - lovely like the curtains of Solomon.  Ugly because of the mark of sin, but made beautiful because I am His dwelling place.  I CAN call myself beautiful because He HAS MADE ME BEAUTIFUL!!!!!
  • The strongest longing in the human heart is the longing to be enjoyed by God - he does not just tolerate us, or put up with us.
    • We are delighted in by God, he takes pleasure in our 
    • confidence in love - I honestly believe that he adores me - I honestly believe that my love moves His heart

6"Do not stare at me because I am swarthy, For the sun has burned me. My mother's sons were angry with me; They made me caretaker of the vineyards, [But] I have not taken care of my own vineyard.

  • YES I AM dark - but in Him I am lovely...  I am the loved failure, the forgiven sinner, the justified!  Ezekiel 16:14 14 And uyour renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord God. 
  • She is embarrassed by her darkness.  She does not wish to be seen by others.  She is making excuses. - She knows He says she is beautiful but she has once again listened to the opinion of man.  She has once again allowed the sideways view to overtake her.  She is not receiving her identity from His love but from those around her and she begins to make excuses for her darkness.
  • She blames the work of the Lord for her darkness now.  her duty, her “calling” has destroyed her.  She is not the problem “the church” is and it has made her forget what he has done for her.  She is bitter toward her brother’s in Christ and beginning to be bitter toward the Lord. Hear the cynicism and anger in her next utterance! vs 7 which is directed toward the Lord Himself.

7"Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, Where do you pasture [your flock], Where do you make [it] lie downat noon? For why should I be like one who veils herself Beside the flocks of your companions?"

  • Oh she is not happy!  Where is this satisfaction you promised?  Where is the rest?  Why do I feel like a stranger an outsider?  One who does not belong here?  She is asking probing questions.  How did I get lost if I am your “beloved”?  How did I get so far away and WHY didn’t I know where you were going?
  • She does the RIGHT THING!  - she goes back to the FIRST CRY - Let Him Kiss Me! - she returns to the desire that brought her to him in the first place
  • all of this arises from her turning away from His declaration of loveliness to what others had spoken of her.  She let them define her and what it was she was supposed to be doing and she lost Him!  Now she is lost, broken, bitter, and alone, but HE is gracious!

Solomon, the Lover, Speaks

8"If you yourself do not know, Most beautiful among women, Go forth on the trail of the flock And pastureyour young goats By the tents of the shepherds.

  • If you yourSELF do not know -
    • this is about YOU and HIM
    • Good teachers cannot give it to you
    • fervent work in the kingdom cannot do it
    • you have to know HIM in the depth of who you are 
  • O most beautiful among women - I love it!  He says to her. “remember that I have called you beautiful!  Remember your identity with me and come and rest among my people. 
    • All of the labor that you have expended to try and make yourself beautiful for me has done nothing but wear you out. 
    • Feed those around you by leading them to me and both of you rest, here among the dwellings of those who have stayed close to me.” 
  • He calls her back to the fellowship which she blames for her lostness, and back to submission to His ways, and His leadership.  THERE will she find rest and satisfaction! 
  • There is something so important about the body of Christ!  Something so vital!  To find Him we have to hang with THEM.  It is often our unforgiveness andanger with the church that takes us away from Jesus.

9"To me, my darling, you are like My mare among the chariots of Pharaoh.

  • Mares were not used to pull Pharaohs chariots!  He is saying that when he sees her all others women look like men.  She is His one and only.  His chosen one.  He has eyes for only her. 
  • I do not have you in my heart because you are my workhorse
  • I chose you to delight in you and for YOU to delight in me!

10"Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, Your neck with strings of beads."

  • He has MADE her beautiful - Psalm 149:4 “For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.
  • your cheeks - speak of her emotions - blushing etc - she has learned to hear Him and align her emotional state with His reality
  • He causes his people to see her beauty and recognize who she is in him.

11"We will make for you ornaments of gold With beads of silver."



12"While the king was at his table, My perfume gave forth its fragrance.

  • He brings her in and is feeding her and adorning her with grace - worship is released - adoration for him is renewed and strengthened
  • She begins to understand how HE feels about HER and THAT releases the fragrance of worship, adoration

13"My beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh Which lies all night between my breasts.

  • Myrrh is symbolic of death - His cross and the fragrance of his cross is in your nose all day and all night.
  • we sit in the cross - we think on it - we consider it - chew on the cross
  • the myrrh they wore would be their perfume - the cross' fragrance marks us

14"My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms In the vineyards of Engedi."

  • a truly delightful refreshing fragrance
  • he is so refreshing
  • he is so delightful!
  • we should ENJOY GOD!!!

15"How beautiful you are, my darling, How beautiful you are! Your eyes are [like] doves."

  • He RESPONDS to our worship
  • as we enjoy HIM HE enjoys US! 
  • he states again how he feels about us.
  • your eyes are like doves - single focus - one desire - single minded

16"How handsome you are, my beloved, [And] so pleasant! Indeed, our couch is luxuriant!17"The beams of our houses are cedars, Our rafters, cypresses.

  • His pleasure in us fans the flame of our passion for HIM!
  • If you want to love Jesus just begin to seek to experience HIS love and pleasure in you!
  • enjoying him and being enjoyed by him is the pathway to intimacy and satisfaction

The Bride’s Admiration

1"I am the rose of Sharon, The lily of the valleys."

  • She begins to believe that she IS who he has said she is!!

2"Like a lily among the thorns, So is my darling among the maidens."

  • Like a lily among the thorns so is my darling among the maidens
    • He calls her delightful among the punishing.  enjoyable among the difficult.  He says to her - my delight is in you!
    • The Lord loves all those he created - but there is a special love he has for those who have opened to him - Look at the difference here between the soft open lily and the hardened and difficult thorns and brambles - Jesus said it was the poor in spirit who would inherit the kingdom - the meek who inherit the earth - Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
    • also note the productivity of the flower which is the part of the flower that is fertilized - that brings fruit in the fruit trees - her openness and vulnerability is beautiful and a pleasing fragrance before the Lord.
    • Look at what his simple statement of affection does to open her heart!!!! - 1 John 4:19 - we love him because he first loved us! 


3"Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the young men. In his shade I took great delight and sat down, And his fruit was sweet to my taste.

  • Apples were an aphrodesiac.  The fragrance represented virility and health.  
    • his presence stirs her desire
    • He is fruitful.  He is beneficial
  • Being with him is a place of comfort, shelter, protection, peace, and pleasure

4"He has brought me to [his] banquet hall, And his banner over me is love.

  • the house of wine
  • In the Hebrew it literally means house of wine 
    • An upper room where all his treasure is kept Clarke
    • Esther took he king to the house of wine
  • His banner over me is love
    • His eternal declaration over us is his love for us.
    • We wear on our heads a declaration of love
  • he lets everyone know that I am His beloved
    • Unreserved, unrestrained

      Your love is wild, Your love is wild for me

      It isn’t shy, it’s unashamed

      Your love is proud to be seen with me

    • Uncontrolled, un-contained

      Your love is a fire burning bright for me

      It’s not just a spark, it’s not just a flame

      Your love is a light, and all the world will see

      Your love’s not fractured

      It’s not a troubled mind

      It isn’t anxious, it’s not the restless kind

      Your love’s not passive

      It’s never disengaged

      It’s always present

      It hangs on every word we say

      Love keeps its promises, it keeps its word

      It honors what’s sacred, cause its vows are good

      Your love’s not broken

      It’s not insecure

      Your love’s not selfish, Your love is pure

5"Sustain me with raisin cakes, Refresh me with apples, Because I am lovesick.

  • Raisins are ANOTHER aphrodisiac
  • This is a request - give me the ability to love him MORE - to desire HIM MORE
  • I am LOVESICK - it’s TOO MUCH!!! - I CANNOT sustain this - 
    • Raisins and apples were given for stamina in love making
    • This is the call of the bride to love him more - to be able to
    • She is asking for the grace to stand under his outpouring of love for her
    6His left hand is under my head,
    and his right hand embraces me!
    • Uh... I think you know what is happening here.  
    • Intimacy - 
    7I adjure you,c O daughters of Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles or the does of the field,
    that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases.
    • A comment to the young virgin about loving inappropriately
    • This love demands everything don't ask for it until you are ready to become consumed by its fire

6"Let his left hand be under my head And his right hand embrace me.” 7"I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles or by the hinds of the field, That you do not arouse or awaken [my] love Until she pleases."