Friday, June 26, 2009

SOS 2:3 And Our Relationship With God

Before I get into SOS 2:3 itself I'd like to thank another preacher for coming against the vulgar assumptions the shock jock preacher made concerning it.

John MacArthur did a 4 part series refuting the shock jock's teaching in April of 2009.
Now, I don't follow MacArthur, but I know his name and know he is a respectable man.
He is also in a far better position to refute the shock jock than me for two big reasons.
1. He has a large, established, respectable ministry.
2. He's a man. (The shock jock has displayed misogynist tendencies.)

And to MacArthur, the body of Christ is in debt for dealing head on with the debasing of scripture like this.
So thank you Pastor MacArthur.

But I do respectfully disagree with MacArthur in one thing.
He, along with many other men, pastors, and teachers... He holds that the PRIMARY purpose of SOS is the story of Solomon and his bride their mutual love which includes the marriage bed.

While I agree that SOS is not PURELY allegorical. I disagree with the idea that the love between Solomon and his bride as an example of married love being the primary purpose of SOS.

And I'm not alone:

Though I don't agree entirely with the above link, I can see where people would come up with this. Solomon was no expert on married love. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines for pete's sake. He was clueless. And yet this book of his, this song of songs made it into the Bible. In the rapture of young love, the Spirit spoke through him and God has used his words to bless the generations that followed him.

For me and others, the allegorical relationship between Christ and His bride is a source of wonder and worship that we feel God has called us into. And we see this in SOS as well as other places.

So, in essence, as I appreciate MacArthur's defense of SOS, still I feel that he, like so many men have a blind spot concerning this book. Sex is sooo important and held up as such a primary thing that any attempt the make the "biblically accepted marriage/sex manual" into an allegorical springboard to worship is looked upon with contempt and viewed as sacrilegious. Which is very sad. Our highest purpose is worship of our Creator and Savior. Not sex.

Anyway, in a nutshell. Many men have a blind spot where sex is concerned since sex is so important to them personally. Many (Can't say all. That would be unfair) men also have a huge blind spot to the needs of wounded women forced to live in a man's world (and church) that favors men and wants women to sit down, shut up, and don't make waves. "Just fit in this little box we have for you. Sorry for past and present abuses but it's not our fault so just get over it since it is your lot in life."

Now let's look at SOS 2:3.

SOS 2:3 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.

Yep, the above verse is the one the shock jock pastor claimed was about oral sex.
Just by looking at it can you see where he was stretching it quite a bit?

But from my position, that verse beautifully illustrates God's protection, nourishing and cherishing, and refreshing.

Look at these verses:

Psalm 36:7 How precious is Thy lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of They wings. (NAS)

Psalm 63:4 Thou hast been my help,
And in the shadow of Thy wings I sing for joy. (NAS)

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes his refuge in Him! (NAS)

They are verses of worship and praise that closely parallel SOS 2:3

The Lover is seen as protective and refreshing to the Beloved. A wonderful change from the oppressive brothers who made her work out in the sun. He brings rest and contentment not abuse and drudgery. She can relax and be at ease in the shade of his presence.


Gem said...

I deeply appreciate your insights about this, Mara! On another blog you said:

QUOTE: The Beloved was a wounded young lady.
Solomon did rescue her from a bad situation.
His presence was healing to her, like a pouch of myrrh (a healing stimulant) near her heart………..
(Oh, That’s right. There’s a heart under those breasts. Guess you guys couldn’t see the forest for the trees.)

Seems if a verse mentions breasts then it has to be about sex. It can’t possibly be about anything else like maybe healing for a wounded soul.

That is so deep, and I think you are onto truth! The only caveat I would add is that I do not think that the material comes out of Solomon's own personal experience. I don't think its possible for a man who had 700 wives and 300 concubines to have unadulterated, healing love for ONE among the harem. Just being ONE among a harem would be wounding IMO. I believe that Solomon was given a Gift of wisdom by GOD (2 Chron 1) and that the revelation of SoS was "downloaded" from GOD to Solomon: It was revelation to him from God, not based in his own personal experience nor character. Despite his great gift of wisdom, I suspect that King Solomon left many a wounded woman and child in his wake.

Mara Reid said...

Still on vacation but wanted to check in.

Yes, Gem/Charis, you say what I believe. I do not believe Solomon used his God given wisdom to heal the hearts of his woman/women. I think that was not a real concern of his. Nor is it a concern among many men.

They prefer to live in their testosterone charged self-delusion.
That is why men like the shock jock preacher I mention and the commentors on Freedom's blog jealously guard their private interpretation of SOS. Their itching ears seek out this is self-serving teaching with no concern for the hurt they cause women.

They are far more concerned with her breasts and other body parts and how those body parts can serve them to take any notice of the hearts they are trampling.

What I was trying to do on that blog was introduce the idea that SOS might have a deeper meaning than what is on the surface. That there might be something allegorical about it.

But really it is a losing battle.
All these men want is sex.
To suggest anything else is like blasphamy to them.

Thanks for your contribution here. It helps to clarify what I'm trying to get across.

Mara Reid said...

Thought I better come back and add that even though there are many men within the church who do view women as lesser and as sex object, there are also many men who don't.
My pastor is one, and most of the men in my church situation.

It would be wrong of me to accuse all Christian men of looking at women as something to gratify a carnel desire.
But it would not be wrong to warn men and women that this really is creeping into the church and becoming more acceptable among Christians.