The husband is telling the wife how much he loves her in chapter 4. That is God’s will. A good husband should be very loving, telling his wife over and over how much he loves her. It says in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” The Bible says in Song of Solomon 4:1-9, “Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead. Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them. Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks. Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee. Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards. Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.” This husband loved everything about his wife. Just look at what He mentioned that he loved about her: her eyes, her hair, her teeth, her lips, her speech, her temples, her neck, and her figure. Solomon sums this all up in verse 7 when he says about his wife, “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.” This theme about how much the husband enjoys the wife is stated in a similar way in a popular song of 1961:
He took a hundred pounds
And then He said "Hey, listen"
"I'm gonna fix this-a world today"
"Because I know what's missin' "
Then He rolled his big sleeves up
And a brand-new world began
He created a woman and-a lots of lovin' for a man.
God did a good thing when He designed a man and a woman and brought them together. Remember that all of this loving symbolizes the love of Christ for a believer.
The husband continues talking about how much he loves the wife, and the Bible says in Song of Solomon 4:10-15, “How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices! Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon. A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.” This time Solomon thinks of pleasant and desirable elements of the natural world and compares them to his wife. Her love is compared to the fruit of the vine (wine, i.e. grape juice.) Her fragrance is compared to “all spices.” Her lips are compared to the honeycomb and her tongue to “honey and milk.” This is very similar to another modern day love song called “Honeycomb.”
Well it's a darn good life
And it's kinda funny
How the Lord made the bee
And the bee made the honey
And the honeybee lookin' for a home
And they called it honeycomb
And they roamed the world and they gathered all
Of the honeycomb into one sweet ball
And the honeycomb from a million trips
Made my baby's lips.
The wife answers her husband and says in Song of Solomon 4:16, “Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.” The woman is expressing her desire that her husband come to her. Evidently, they have been apart for a specified period of time, and she is only satisfied when she is with him, and she knows that he is only satisfied when he is with her. There seems to be a symbolism in these verses wherein the enjoyment of eating good food is compared to the enjoyment of the physical union between husband and wife. God gave us the physical desires that we have. He designed them. He thought them up in eternity past along with everything else that He created. Of course, God’s will is for these desires to be fulfilled only in marriage. To compare the desire of the body for food to the desire for the intimate union between man and woman is a good thing to do because it reminds us of the fact that these desires are two of the basic desires of human life. Parents of teenagers should remember this. It has nothing to do with trusting your teenager or not. Sometimes teenagers are given way too much leeway to be alone with someone of the opposite sex. Is that really a good idea? Would you put a starving man in a room full of delicious food and tell him to eat nothing? Of course, not: That would be ridiculous. Putting male and female college students into the same dorm is ridiculous. Wise parents would do well to practice what wise parents did of past generations: it is called chaperoning.
The husband says in Song of Solomon 5:1, “I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.” Once again the husband is declaring his love for his wife. He calls her “my sister, my spouse.” He uses the word “sister,” even though she is not really his sister, to be symbolic of the fact that he now has the closest of all possible human bonds to his wife. Any lose human bond that you can think of now applies to this man and this woman who are married. This husband is very happy and he decides to celebrate. He celebrates with drink and with friends. He says, “I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.” We need to talk about “wine” and the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word, and therefore, the Bible does not contradict itself. Any teaching that you believe about the Bible must be consistent with all passages of the Bible on that subject. That certainly is true with “wine.” Some passages in the Bible present a very negative view of wine, and some present a view of drinking wine that seem to be not so negative and even positive. How can this be? First let’s look at the word “wine.” The word wine does not mean only alcoholic wine, but it also can refer to grape juice. Wine refers to the fruit of the vine, and the fruit of the vine in some contexts is grape juice and in other contexts wine refers to fermented grape juice and thus “wine.” Part of the confusion comes from the fact that in our current culture we use the word “wine” to exclusively refer to the fermented and alcoholic drink. For example, we speak of a wine press, and what comes out of a wine press: grape juice. Some of the grape juice we drink as grape juice in its unfermented state. Some of the grape juice is allowed to ferment and it become “wine.” Both of these drinks are the fruit of the vine, and both of these drinks technically speaking are “wine.” One is fermented and one is unfermented. New wine is the liquid that comes from newly pressed grapes and thus is the unfermented fruit of the vine. That helps to understand John chapter 2 were Jesus changed the water into new wine. In other words Jesus changed water into grape juice.
There is a noticeable incident in the Old Testament where a family is highly honored because they did not drink wine. It says in Jeremiah 35:13-14, “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD. The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father's commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me.” We also know about the vow of the Nazarites in the Bible. Talking about the birth of Samson, it says in Judges 13:3-4, “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing.” Notice also the warning that is given Proverbs 20:1, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” It also says in Proverbs 31:4-6, “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.” How do we reconcile these warnings against drinking strong drink and wine with the few verses that seem to allow the drinking of wine? We have already said how to do that: by recognizing that the verses that forbid the drinking of wine must be talking about the fruit of the vine that is fermented, and the verses that permit the drinking of wine must be talking about newly pressed juice that is not fermented.
Finally, it appears that they will be together. But that is not the case. Something else happens, and they still are separated. The wife says in Song of Solomon 5:2-5, “I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.” The husband comes home at night or early in the morning when it is still dark, and so he speaks of the dew drops being on his head. The wife is so very happy that now they are together once again. When she speaks of her “bowels,” this is a word in the Bible that is similar to “heart” that we use. It refers to the innermost feelings. Her great desire is to see her husband and to be with him. The spiritual significance of this relates to a believer’s relationship with Jesus. You want to always be in fellowship with Christ. You want to always know that your hand is in His hand and that you are walking with Him. A believer will never be satisfied with his or her life without a close spiritual communion with Christ. David wrote in Psalm 51:12, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.” You cannot lose your salvation, but you can lose the joy of salvation. The way to restore that fellowship with Christ and that joy is by confession of sin. It says in First John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Copyright; 2015 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved