Thursday, August 13, 2009

Revisiting SOS 2:3 in Context

Well, were back at Song of Solomon (SOS) 2:3.

SOS 2:3 Like an apple tree among the trees to the forest, So is my beloved among the young men (sons). In his shade I took great delight and sat down, And his fruit was sweet to my taste.

I don't want to spend a lot of time on it but want to point out a few more things I overlooked in my initial shocked reaction to some off-balanced teaching on it.

The Main Shock Jock (MSJ), when he approached this verse in the cleaned up version of his series got a real smug and self-satisfied look on his face and said something to the affect of, "This shulimite was very bold and had no inhibitions..." wink, wink, nod, nod. And he implied that this verse SOS 2:3 was all about her performing oral sex (OS) on Solomon.

Well, if MSJ would have actually read SOS from chapter one, verse one and saw the actual point of view (pov) of the maiden from the very beginning, he might not have presumed to decided for her what her pov was. Then again, MSJ displays that he can only view SOS through the clouded lens of his man's man, with a man-sized sexual appetite pov.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, when you take SOS as a whole, you begin to see that this is the story of a pretty, but wounded and insecure young lady and the process she goes through to grow and become a strong capable woman, like the Proverbs 31 woman. She is not the bold, brazen sex kitten MSJ wants to paint her out to be in SOS 2:3. She gets bold later as I pointed out in my previous post. But here at the beginning of Chapter two, she is no where near the bold, no inhibitions woman MSJ wants women to be in the bed room.

MSJ is projecting upon her what he wants, and it is just another case of "Guys!!! It's NOT all about YOU and what YOU want and how YOU want your wife to cater to YOU. It's not about how you want your 'fruit' to be sweet to her taste. YOU don't define her fruit. She does. SOS 2:3 are the words of the female, not the male. Please actually hear what she is saying in the context of the whole and stop pulling out bits and pieces and hearing what you want her to say. SOS 2:3 is not about you and what you want. It's about the female and how HER needs have been met by the male, the Lover of her soul."

As mentioned before, she refers to herself as dark and oppressed. And even a couple verses previously, she again looks at herself and thinks she is nothing special. And here MSJ paints her out to be aggressive like the girls in the porn magazines. He paints her the way he wants her to be rather than paying attention to what the words actually say.

Even the verse after SOS 2:3 shows the context to support the pov of a young lady appreciating food and shelter, both real and symbolic. As in real food in a banquet hall and the refreshing food of loving interaction. As in the physical shelter of a house and the shelter of love and protection.

SOS 2:4 He has brought me to his banquet hall (house of wine) And his banner over me is love.

SOS 2:4 supports and repeats SOS 2:3. It's not about what the Beloved is giving to the Lover in the way of sexual favors. It is about what the Lover has given, is giving, and continues to give the Beloved. Again, MSJ has it backwards. A verse from the Beloved's pov talking about what she has received has been turning into a verse about what she gives, that is, what some men pressure their women to give to them. (Note: Some women do like OS. That's between them and their partner. But more often you hear the stories of men pressuring women into this behavior that many women find to be distasteful. Pun intended. Dear men, don't make the mistake of thinking SOS 2:3 is God giving you permission to pressure your wife into ANYTHING. If you think this, you completely and totally fail in your understanding of SOS. You are too immature and self-centered to have the right to even read this book let alone teach on it.)

Just because men think receiving OS from a woman is sweet (the male pov), this doesn't give them the right to define sweet for the woman. Let the woman have her own pov and stop projecting what you want onto her. Projecting your own needs onto another is a sign of immaturity. And when you manipulate the Bible to project your needs onto another, and use that to push your agenda onto another, you rush in to where angels fear to tread.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Beloved Relapses Into Insecurity (SOS2:1)

SOS 2:1 I am the rose of Sharon (crocus), The lily of the valleys.

It is said that the rose of Sharon was a common flower that carpeted the fields during the rainy season. Here, it appears that the Beloved says that she is just one of many. And when the Lover showered her with his gifts and blessings, she bloomed as any common flower would. She was nothing special. She has a bit of a relapse into looking at herself and seeing herself in an inferior light.

But the Lover assures her that she is special to Him

SOS 2:2 Like a lily among thorns, so is my darling among the maidens (daughters).

She is not the self-assured bride with no inhibitions that MSJ wants to portray in the next verse. She still has a long way to go before she becomes the bold woman who says in SOS 8:1 ..."If I found you outdoors, I would kiss you; No one would despise me either". Boldness comes to her. But much later, after a considerable time receiving love, gifts and healing from her Lover. We see a hint of her blossoming confidence in chapter three. We see more of it in chapter five. But by chapter eight it is full blown boldness.

In fact, if you take SOS as a whole, you can see the progression of the abused, knocked down young lady into healing, wholeness and boldness. In chapter one, she is not Proverbs 31 woman material yet. She comes through a full healing before she is ready for that.

People who don't take SOS as a whole, but who cherry pick verses and put their spin on them don't recognized the chronological progression and make the mistake of flippantly saying that SOS is in not chronological. I understand that people can read the book several times and not see this. But knowing and seeing the chronology of it, myself, makes me want to cry out to the cherry pickers, "Have you ever actually read the book? All the way through? From start to finish? Or are you just leapfrogging from one 'good bit' to another?"

So, in chapter two, the first verse she shows her insecurity and need for reassurance. A need that the Lover adoringly bestows on her in verse two.

This inspires her in verse three and four to again praise him for what he has done for her so far.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Closing Out SOS Chapter One

SOS 1:15 How beautiful you are, my darling, How beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves. vs 16 How handsome you are, my beloved, and so pleasant! Indeed our couch is luxuriant! vs 17 The beams of our houses are cedars, Our rafters, cypresses.

SOS 1:15-17 close out chapter one with the Lover and Beloved expressing admiration for one another.

In addition the Beloved seems astonished at how pleasant the Lover is. Is it because her brothers were not pleasant? Was it because they were angry and harsh with her and demanding? Does this pleasant behavior from the Lover surprise her? Was she beginning to think that all men were harsh and demanding? Did she feel that if her own brothers, those of her own blood were harsh, then surely a prince would be as bad or worse because of his exalted position?

He was not harsh. He did not send her out into the scorching sun to do his bidding. He did not send her out to labor in his field. He welcomed her into the chambers of his own home and had her recline at his table and eat his food. No wonder she thought the couch luxuriant. No wonder she loved the beams and rafters of his house that sheltered from the harsh sun and the harsh treatment of her own family. She loved the food and shelter of his home, food and shelter that he shared with her freely.

She felt more at home with him than in her own home.

On an allegorical note. Some women live with pretty harsh men. (and I know it also goes the other way, but I'm talking to women who can think outside the box and don't mind the allegorical side to SOS. ;)) Sometimes women come to false conclusion that God views them the way the men in their lives view them. It is a blessed change when a woman realizes that God loves her soul just as much as He loves a man's. And God loves her in ways the men in her life cannot even touch. God has the fruit of the Spirit working in Him toward her, love, patience, kindness, gentleness, peace, goodness, (etc) even as the men around her are impatient, judgemental, sarcastic, harsh, and unkind.

Also in the spirit of I Corinthians 13 she finds out that God is patient, God is kind and is not envious. He doesn't brag and is not arrogant. He does not act unbecomingly and doesn't always seek His own way. He's not provoked nor does He take into account a wrong suffered. He does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. He bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. God's love never fails.

God's love is a far cry from the love of men who are arrogant, brag, seek their own way, are easily provoked, and take into account every wrong suffered.

P.S. Men who are tired of the harsh nature of the people (men and women) around them can also bask in the wondrous knowledge of a God who loves as I described above. Looking at the allegorical nature of SOS isn't as disgusting as MSJ tries to paint it out to be. It has real emotional and spiritual benefits for both genders.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Trouble With Boxes

There is a book out called, "Men are Like Waffles -- Women Are Like Spaghetti".
Here is a quote from the little blurb you can find on Amazon:

"Bill and Pam Farrel explain why a man is like a waffle (each element of his life is in a separate box), why a woman is life spaghetti (everything in her life touches everything else), and what these differences mean."

I read the book a few years back and remember that the authors said that when men are in one box, they can really only think of the things that pertain to that box. If it is something that doesn't pertain to that box (in their mind), then they more or less have to mentally exit the box they are in and move over to the box that contains what the thing you ask them to think about.

Well, this is what I see going on with certain preachers and their messages on Song of Solomon (SOS). They say, SOS is about marriage and sex and that's all. It can't possibly be about anything else. They CANNOT see outside the box. And just because they can't see outside the box they decide that nothing exists outside that box pertaining to SOS.

The Main Shock Jock (MSJ) preacher, Mark Dricsoll, makes this mistake. It is reported that he said if SOS is allegorical then Jesus does (I can't even mention what he says but it is sexual and highly inappropriate) to him.

What I actually heard on part two of his series was mockery and derision for anyone who thought SOS could be allegorical. He brought up the most ridiculous allegorical applications of SOS in the history of man, held them up to be laughed at, then smacked that argument down as proof positive that all allegorical applications were just as laughable and needing to be squelched.

So, here I am. A person that tried to avoid SOS as I mentioned in my January 25th, 2009 post before I ever hear of Mark Driscoll.

But God was persistent to encourage me to go there. When I gave in and obeyed, then He opened it up to me in ways I never saw before. I knew, before I got into it that many thought of it as an explicit book. And even once into it, my dear husband did reaped some benefit from my meditations.

But then, I'm a woman. I'm not like a waffle, according to the book I mentioned above. I'm like spaghetti. Every part of my life touches every other part of my life. I can think outside the box because I'm not trapped in one.

And this, my friends, may be one of the ways women were created to help men. To see outside their little waffle cubicle thinking. To see the forest that all these trees add up to.

As I mentioned before. It doesn't bother me that people use SOS to teach about sex and marriage. SOS is big enough for both that and an allegorical view. My beef is not really with preachers who preach on the sexual aspects. My beef is with the small-mindedness of some preachers who cannot think outside the box. The all encompassing box that sex can become if you don't spend enough time outside that box. And not only do they remain trapped in their little boxes, they insult, mock, ridicule and otherwise put down all others who aren't sucked up and consumed by the sex box as well.

You older people remember those gizmos they used to sell on TV.
You know. "It slices, it dices, it makes julianne fries."

Well, it is as though the SOS=SEX crowd says SOS can slice, but can't dice and sure as heck can't make julianne fries.

You've heard the saying, "There's more than one way to skin a cat."
Well, the Mark Driscoll SOS=SEX crowd says. "No, there is only one way to skin a cat, the right way, my way, which also happens to be God's way."

You remember the old westerns where the gunslinger comes into town, gets off his horse and trudges toward the other gunslinger, spurs a clinkin' "This town ain't big enough fer the both of us..."

Well the MSJ and his clones says, "SOS ain't big enough for both our views, so I'm gonna verbally shoot yours all to pieces."

This is what Mark Driscoll does when he ridicules any other view but his own.
And that is the trouble with burly, verbal gunslingers hunkered down in little boxes.