Because men and women are so different. You've heard the saying, "Opposites attract? Yes and they also attack.
a. A man will pay $10 for a $5 item he wants. A Woman will pay $5 for a $10 item she does not want, or need.
b. A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband. A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
c. A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A Successful woman is one who can find such a man.
Men and women are different and this book gives us a lot of insights into the differences.
What does love mean?
A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds. answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:
"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."
Rebecca - age 8
"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth."
Billy - age 4
"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
Karl - age 5
"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
Chrissy - age 6
"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
Danny - age 7
"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen,"
Bobby - age 7
"There are two kinds of love. Our love. God's love. But God makes both kinds of them."
Jenny - age 8
"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."
Clare - age 6
"Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."
Chris - age 7
"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."
Lauren - age 4
Song of Solomon is a love story.
Love Defined is
Love – 1. A feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration; preëminent kindness or devotion to another; affection; tenderness;
Song of Solomon or as some say Song of Songs.
There are some that claim there are as many different views of this book as there are with the book of Revelation.
Because of its nature, it is about love, it is about the physical attraction and love, between a man and a woman. It is probably also one of the most neglected.
I must admit, this is also the case with me.
Verse 1, the phrase “Song of Songs,”means the greatest of songs ever composed. The Song of Solomon has often been viewed as an allegory of Christ and the Church.
10. Key “Quotable Quote”
“The historical books I may compare to the outer courts of the temple; the gospels, the epistles and the psalms bring us into the holy place, or the court of the priests; but the Song of Songs is the most holy place – the holy of holies, ...”
Key Word Commentary: Thoughts on Every Chapter of the Bible.
Song of Solomon is historically attributed to Solomon.
1 Kings 4:32 (KJV) 32 And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five.
Out of 1005, this is the one.
This book is one that deals with the physical attraction between a man and a woman, between a husband and a wife.
If this book was written in today’s language and it stood alone, outside the context of the Bible it would not be in the family friendly section of the book store. This is because of the perversion of the world!
But it was not written alone and it does not stand alone.
Now let me say for a moment, I realize that we are in a mixed crowd and there are families here, so I will try and be as polite as I can.
Song of Solomon is about the natural attraction and consummation of a relationship within the boundaries of marriage, it is about two adults enjoying and taking pleasure in their physical
God is not opposed to the physical relationship between a married couple. It is not, in God's eyes, something that is dirty, it is not something that is shameful.
But what it is is something given to us by God to enjoy.
James 1:17 (KJV) 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
But it is given to us with specific boundaries.
It is to be enjoyed by a man and a woman in a marriage.
Song of Solomon has a natural context and reading. It has to do with a physical relationship between a bride and groom. It begins before marriage when there is a physical attraction, yet they wait, they acknowledge that there is desire there is an attraction, yet they wait.
Song of Songs 2:7 (KJV) I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.
Song of Songs 3:5 (KJV) 5 I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.
Song of Songs 8:4 (KJV) 4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please.
I want to look at Song of Solomon in its natural context and finally look at the ultimate picture it portrays.
In its natural context Song of Solomon, Song of Song is about the relationship between a man and a woman. The longing, the desire, the courtship, all of these are involved. What you cannot avoid in
reading Song of Solomon is the physical relationship that these two are involved in.
As I have already shared before the truth is that God gave the gift of a physical relationship to us and for us.
1. God gave that gift to us for our pleasure.
Song of Songs 7:6 (KJV) 6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!
Proverbs 5:18 (KJV) 18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 (KJV) 9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in
this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.
2. God gave us the gift of a physical relationship to promote unity
Genesis 2:24 (KJV) 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Matthew 19:3-6 (KJV) 3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Think back on the marriage of Adam and Eve, in that instance it was literally and physically the re-uniting of flesh. God had removed from Adam a rib and created for him a woman and in Genesis 2, the first wedding or marriage, if you will, it was a re-uniting of flesh a bringing together of what naturally belonged together.
3. Finally God gave to us the gift of a physical relationship to produce children.
Genesis 1:26-28 (KJV) 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Christ and His Bride
Now I want to look at the picture that Song of Solomon is pointing to. I wanted to first look at the natural meaning because I believe sometimes we look at the Old Testament only in the eyes of the New Testament and it can loose some of its meaning!
But there is in this book a beautiful picture of a bride and her groom and that naturally points to another picture we begin to see in the New Testament and I believe it is relevant.
2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV) 2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Ephesians 5:24-32 (KJV) 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church,
and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak
concerning Christ and the church.
Song of Songs 7:10 (KJV) 10 I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.
His desire is toward me. Think about that truth, outside the context of Song of Solomon but in the context of Christ toward His church.
Dr. Karl Barth is considered to be one of the greatest theologians in the 20th century. Although
I disagree with many of his theological positions, I do admit that Dr. Barth was certainly one of
the most influential theologians in the church in the last 100 years.
Several years ago while giving a series of lectures in Chicago and in Princeton, New Jersey a
question was posed to the Swiss theologian.
“Dr. Barth what is the greatest thought that has ever passed through your mind?”
Barth paused for quite a long time as he obviously gave serious thought about his answer.
Then he raised his head and said with childlike simplicity:
“Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
Ecclesiastes 1:1-3 (KJV) 1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 3 What profit hath a man of all his
labour which he taketh under the sun?
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (KJV) 1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is
planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (KJV) 13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
What a message. Vanity of vanities
The word simply put means futile, worthless, meaningless.
The phrase is an ancient way of stating something in the superlative. It is like the phrase king of kings or Lord of Lords, it is the mostest.
And Solomon opens our book with the statement, Futile, futile all it futile.
Now don't that just bless your heart on a Sunday morning!
Most evangelical scholars take the three books of the Bible written by Solomon this way: Song of Solomon was written when the king was young and in love; Proverbs was written when Solomon was truly living a life and fellowship with God; and Ecclesiastes was the product of an old man who had become bitter and resentful about life.
Israel had three kings before the divided kingdom. The first of these was Saul. He was man's choice
and ended up the suicide victim on the field of battle against Philistines. God took David then a man after his own heart and enthroned him. David took the kingdom militarily and materially and expanded it to its greatest point. Following David's death at age 70, his eldest living son by Bathsheba, Solomon, took the reigns of power. About 18 years old. He was to become the richest man on earth in massing all the fame, money, power, and women that he could ever desire. He had it all and it is at this pentacle of worldly success that we find him in the book of Ecclesiastes.
1. People look for fulfillment in pleasure.
Ecclesiastes 2:1 (KJV) 1 I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.
Hedonism – The basic philosophy is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain
physical pleasure is the narcotic of choice
R. C. Sproul
If you pursue pleasure and find it you will become bored,
If you pursue pleasure and never find it you will become frustrated
The ultimate end of hedonism is either boredom or frustration!
1 Corinthians 15:14-32 (KJV) 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. ...32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
Pleasure, without Christ, is worthless.
2. People look for fulfillment in Wisdom
Ecclesiastes 1:12-14 (KJV) 12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith. 14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
We looked a lot last week about wisdom, so I won't spend much time here this morning.
Wisdom is celebrated today unlike any other time in world history. We have coupled with wisdom technology that is absolutely mind blowing. Yet with all of our wisdom and with all of our technology, we cannot hold back age and death. Now we have found tricks and gimmicks that will
add a few years, but death does not discriminate.
Wisdom, without Christ, is worthless.
3. People look for fulfillment in Work
Ecclesiastes 2:17-19 (KJV) 17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit. 18 Yea, I hated all my labour which I had
taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me. 19 And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.
No matter what you build. No matter what you establish. No matter what the goal of your work, if Christ does not come back, you will leave that work, that ministry, that farm, that building to someone else.
Work, without Christ, is worthless.
4. People look for fulfillment in Wealth
Ecclesiastes 5:9-12 (KJV) 9 Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field. 10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. 11 When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes? 12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
John D. Rockefeller was asked how much money was enough, he replied: A little bit more.
Luke 12:15-21 (KJV) 15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
Wealth, without Christ, is worthless.
What Solomon is sharing with us in Ecclesiastes is the foolishness of seeking the meaning of life outside of God.
The phrase that is used so often in Ecclesiastes is the phrase, under the sun.
The repetitions of vanity and under the sun (see Background) constitute the most prominent emphasis of a single word or phrase in any biblical book.
Willmington's Bible Handbook.
What is there that is under the sun that profits any man. Because we all face the same demise.
Lets be careful here.
We look at and understand the foolishness of worldly gain.
We look out at the world and we chastise them and scold them and say what fools are they that work for the world.
But be careful.
We say we would never forsake the Lord in search of pleasure, in search of wisdom, in search of fulfillment in work, in search of wealth.
And most of us wouldn't volunteer for it in a moment, but that is not usually how it happens.
Let me give you an example.
Let's take for example a young married man that gets a new job and things are looking good for him and his family. He is a devout Christian and has his family in the church every time the doors open.
Then a promotion comes along at work, with this promotion his wife and his family can afford some nicer things and so he takes it. Well the overtime and hours begin to take his toll so they no longer come to Wednesday evening Bible study, Wednesdays are his toughest day at work. But they are still faithful every Sunday.
Well a couple of years goes by and he is doing so good at work that they make him district manager, which is great, but once a month he has to travel out of town on the weekends. No big deal his wife and kids are still faithful and he is there when he can be. Now he and his wife are able to by a nicer home in a better neighborhood, you know, for the kids sake.
Well a few more years and he is able to take partial ownership of this company, an opportunity he never thought he would have and well his kids are getting ready for college and he and his wife are getting ready for their empty nest and retirement years so he becomes part owner, well now his new role demands that he is gone every other weekend. And for a while the family is still faithful, but eventually they move into the come when I can crowd and eventually they turn into the Easter and Christmas crowd.
And what has happened to this family, for the pursuit of wealth, for the pursuit of pleasure and comfort, for the pursuit of a good life under the sun, they gave up on their relationship with the Lord.
Matthew 16:24-26 (KJV) 24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Now the book is not a complete downer, just mostly. Solomon declares that all investment in life under the sun is vain and vexation of the Spirit. Solomon gives us the solution to the vanity problem, that is to fear God and invest in life that is above the sun!
Ecclesiastes 5:7 (KJV) 7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.
Ecclesiastes 8:12 (KJV) 12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (KJV) 13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
There are several passages in the Bible that deal with this matter of fearing the Lord. They teach us the truth that what we do proves what we think of God. You will live no better than the level at which you honor and reverence God! If you see the Lord as being high and holy, if you see Him as being a God of judgment, if you see Him as being One Who hates sin, then you will live like you believe that. If, on the other hand, you have the idea that God just winks at sin, that He might not really judge the world, the you will live at a much lower level. It is true, your live will tell the world what you think of God!
Notice these passages from the Word of God:
Proverbs 14:2 "He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him."
Proverbs 3:7 "Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil."
Deuteronomy 6:2 "That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged."
Proverbs 14:27 "The fear of the LORD is afountain of life, to depart from the snares of death."
Proverbs 16:6 "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil."
John 14:15 (KJV) 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
In truth, we have a great misunderstanding concerning this matter of fear.
Webster defines fear as, "an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger."
We have all felt this kind of fear at one level or another and it is truly unpleasant. Surely this cannot be the idea Solomon has in mind! The word used for fear in this verses, and most other verses in the Old Testament dealing with this subject is the word, are. This word means "to stand in awe of, to reverence, honor and respect." It does not mean that we cringe and tremble at the mention of the name of God. But, it does mean that we honor Him, that we respect Him and that we reverence Him. It means that we stand in awe of His greatness.)
Basically, what this means is that when we are in the presence of the Lord, we will not treat Him like He is our good buddy. We won't desire to slap Him on the back and hang out. It means that when we are aware of His presence, we will react with awe and reverence. It might hep us to look at how several in the Bible reacted when they were brought into the presence of the Lord.
Job 42:1-6 (KJV) 1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said, 2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. 3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me,
which I knew not. 4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. 6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Isaiah 6:1-8 (KJV) 1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. 6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
Luke 5:1-11 (KJV) 1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. 4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
Acts 9:1-6 (KJV) 1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Revelation 1:13-17 (KJV) 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
"This understanding is what moved Augustine pray to God and say, Thou hast made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless until they find their all in Thee. This inner yearning is what inspired the Psalmist to write,As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. (Psalm 42:1 ) My soul thirsts for You God…in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1 ) This is what John 17:3 means when it says, Now THIS is…life: that they may KNOW You, the only true God and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent. As John 1:1 says, In Him was LIFE and that life was the light of men
So, this is why our days are dark and empty, if we don’t have a relationship with God. No matter how much excitement we experience or how much pleasure we enjoy. No matter how successful we are, there is still something missing.
As Augustine said, He who has God has everything. He who does not have God has nothing. He Who has God and everything has no more than he who has God alone."