#54 Women of the Bible: Shulamite woman
Whether or not the theme of the Song of Solomon reflects real life events is irrelevant because the story is a powerful one for us today.
The book opens with Solomon masquerading as a shepherd and going and mingling with the locals in Lebanon. He met a country girl and wooed her and she fell in love with him. She had no idea where he worked or even who he was (Song 1:7; 3:2-3)!
When he became king of Israel he went back to the foreign country to claim her as his bride and bring her back to his palace in Jerusalem. Understandably she was initially shy at meeting him as the king but their love grew stronger and stronger and the Song of Solomon is a record of their love.
Most of the book of the Song of Solomon is the story of the bridegroom disappearing, the bride searching everywhere for him, being separated again and being together again, words of endearment and language steeped in the imagery of the middle east.
Does this story sound familiar to you?
As a non-Jew, we had little hope of ever knowing God’s presence in the world but Jesus came into our country, masquerading as a lowly human, wooed us and brought us into a deep personal relationship with Him. Jesus talks about us experientially knowing God with the same word used by Mary to say she hadn’t “known” any man to enable her to fall pregnant. “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth” (John 17:3 NLT).
An entire book of the Old Testament was written about us Gentiles, prophesying our inclusion in the promises of God to Israel, a “mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning” (Eph. 3:9 NLT). In hindsight we can see that that secret was clearly in Scripture but was never understood, rather like the 2 disciples on the way to Emmaus who had Jesus reveal to them from the Old Testament the Scriptures that they had missed about Him suffering and dying (Luke 24:13-35).
Paul was overwhelmed at this great revelation of God’s immense plan to include the Gentiles into His holy covenant relationship and wrote what could’ve been the appendix to the Song of Solomon:
“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.
Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God” (Eph. 3:14-19 NLT).
We are the beneficiaries of that love. We are that bride that Jesus loved.
31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”
32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.
33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves him (Eph 5:31-33 NLT).
So look at Song of Solomon through the eyes of Jesus looking at you as His beautiful bride that He died for. The bride that He loves so fully and totally. Never doubt His love for you!