“What is your beloved more than another …?”
Have you ever listened to someone talk about a person that he/she knows, a person whom you have never met, and the description is so detailed, so filled with admiration, respect, and love, that you think to yourself, “I’d like to meet that person! Could he/she really be as excellent and altogether wonderful as what’s being said about him/her?” This scenario is just what took place in Song of Solomon chapter five. The Shulamite woman had lost touch with her beloved and was desperately seeking to restore communication with him. This fervent desire to find him drove her to ask her companions, who didn’t know him yet, to help her in her search for him. The Shulamite’s passionate plea led them to ask, “What is your beloved more than another … that you so charge us?” (SS 5:9). The desperate, determined woman responded without hesitation to their question with a most detailed, intimate, thorough description of her beloved.
“My heart overflows with a goodly theme …”
She was ready to describe him in detail because she had studied him. Click To Tweet
Psalm 45 was addressed to a King, and the one writing down the words was ready to describe Him, to talk about Him in detail, beginning with, “You are fairer than the children of men; graciousness is poured on Your lips; …” (v.2a) Likewise, the Shulamite woman in Song of Solomon did not hesitate to tell her companions what her beloved was like and why she was “sick with love” (SS 5:8), longing to find him again. She was ready to describe him in detail, and, attempting to express the inexpressible, she praises what strikes her most about him who so loves her and whom she so loves, using parts of his body – which have deep, symbolic meaning. This is a study in itself and beyond the scope of this post, but we’ll touch on a handful of her accolades.
“My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest of ten thousand.” (verse 10)
The Shulamite’s comments show her unquestionable persuasion that her beloved is above all others: “the chief of ten thousand”, and all of her following declarations back up that conviction. Her first words of him in response to her friends’ question is that her beloved is white and ruddy. Jeanne Guyon, in her book Song of Solomon, explains these qualities as follows: “[He] is white by His purity, innocence, and simplicity. He is ruddy by His love, and because He has been chosen to be dyed and purpled in His own blood. He is white by His frankness, ruddy by the fire of His love.” (pp. 141,142)
“His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black …” (verse 11)
He took in His own Body all of our sins, including perhaps most importantly those of our hearts and minds, which ultimately have led us to do wrong (Prov.23:7) Click To Tweet
Madame Guyon goes on to suggest that the gold head of our Beloved, representing His Divinity, is covered by bushy, black locks depicting His humanity on the Cross – black with our sins and wickedness, although in essence He was altogether pure and innocent (pp.142-143). How we as His children, His Bride-to-be, appreciate this truth: He took in His own Body all of our sins, including perhaps most importantly those of our hearts and minds, which ultimately have led us to do wrong (Prov.23:7) In other words, the perfect Mind of Christ suffered because of the thoughts of our fallen minds; and the result of His sacrifice is that we now who have trusted in Him as our Savior have HIS Mind (I Cor.2:16).
“His mouth is most sweet” (Song of Solomon 5:16)
Thoughts from the heart of her beloved flow from his mouth to her ears and lodge in her heart. Click To Tweet
Chapter five continues with further and specific excellencies of his person, but the last resonates perhaps most strongly in hearts who adore Him Whom our soul so loves: “His voice and speech are exceedingly sweet; yes, He is altogether lovely [the whole of Him delights and is precious]. This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend, O daughters of Jerusalem!” (v.16, Amplified, with upper cases added) “Grace is poured upon His lips … ” (Psalm 45:2); thoughts from the heart of her beloved flow from his mouth to her ears and lodge in her heart. Likewise, our Beloved’s thoughts towards of us, too many to be numbered and exclusively of peace, flow into our ears and hearts, and we, too, end up exploding with the same declaration as she: “He is altogether lovely! There is none like Him!”
” … my heart is the pen of a ready writer.” (Psalm 45:1)
She had studied him and meditated in her heart upon his excellent qualities and therefore was completely equipped and ready to describe him to others. Click To Tweet
The above descriptions of the Shulamite’s beloved and those that follow in this Song of Songs reveal that she had clearly spent much time beholding this one whom her soul so loved; she had studied him and even meditated in her heart upon his excellent qualities and therefore was completely equipped and ready to describe him to her companions. Consequently, out of the abundance of what was in her heart concerning him, she spoke to those who did not yet know him. How much more then can and should we, those purchased by the redeeming Blood of our Beloved – an act of Infinite, Extravagant Love on a gruesome Cross – “make His Name to be remembered in all generations” (Psalme 45:17)?! It can be us who bring our companions to the King (vs 14,15), Who will usher them into His Kingdom by their faith in Who He is; and they will see for themselves that He is indeed ” the Fairest of ten thousand”, the Beloved above all others, the Lover of their souls as well as of ours. But again, how was it that the Shulamite had a heart that was as “the pen of a ready writer”, overflowing with a vivid description of her beloved? She had studied him …
“THIS is my Beloved …!”
When we are filled with Him, He is manifested, and we just can't keep Him to ourselves: we must tell others about our Beloved! Click To Tweet
We, too, are motivated by unquenchable Love to study the Lord Jesus Christ. Like the Shulamite, we learn all we can about Him, taking in His Word – hearing, receiving, loving and obeying it in the power of His Spirit. We probe deeply into His Heart of Love, Grace, Mercy, Wisdom, Compassion and pour over His promises – which are unquestionably true to us because we have come to know the Heart that gave them. Through services, Bible studies, prayer, fellowship around His Word, evangelism, meditation and sitting alone in His Presence, we discover His thoughts of peace toward us – thoughts which are too numerous to be counted! (Psalm 139:18) We see what His eyes are set upon, we read what He has already done and promises yet to do. Together with all the Body of Christ we come to comprehend the width and length and depth and height, and to know experientially, the Love of Christ which passes knowledge, that we might be filled with fullness of God. (Eph.3:19) And when we are filled with Him, He is manifested, and we just can’t keep Him to ourselves: we must tell others about our Beloved!
“Draw me, and we will run after You!”
Father, cause us also to be ready with an answer for the hope that is in us, and with a description of our Beloved Who is above and greater than all other “beloveds”. Let our tongues also be the pens of ready writers, so willing and eager to explode with accolades of Who You are and of what You are like. Pour out Your Grace on us to study You as the Shulamite did her beloved, that we might know You intimately and therefore describe You accurately and effectively. Draw us strongly with cords of Love to Yourself and others will run after You with us, right into the palace of our King and into His Kingdom! AMEN
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- Do We Love Him More Than … ? - February 10, 2023
- ABUNDANCE! - January 11, 2023