It’s been nearly a week since my last Song of Songs post. In the introduction I explained how the Song was not an allegory, but a poem describing six scenes in the lives of two lovers (Solomon and the Shulammite woman). Scene one (the longest scene, 1:1-3:5) was their courtship (part a, part b). We’re now ready to move onto the second scene: Wedding day glory (3:6-11).
Wedding Day Glory
As you go through this section, we read a little bit about Solomons ‘best men’ (vv7-8), a little bit about the wedding car (vv9-10), a little bit about Solomon himself (v11), and that’s it! We’ve had two and a bit chapters on their courtship. We’ve got four chapters ahead of us on their wedded life. And just six verses on their wedding.
There’s a lesson here isn’t there? Important though weddings are, marriage is much more so. If you spend more time planning your wedding that you do preparing for marriage, then you’ve got your priorities wrong.
When you read these six verses, you immediately notice something: where’s the bride!? She was there, of course, and I’m sure played a very prominent role. But the story of the wedding day is told by the bride, just as the story of the wedding night is told by the groom. That in itself tells us a great deal of the differences between men and women!
But I think the woman’s perspective gives a very helpful insight into ‘what women want’, as we saw in an earlier post. Of all the things that she could have remembered, what was it that stood out for the Shulammite woman? There are three things:
His Protection (vv 7-8): Solomon comes with 60 ‘best men’, all armed with swords, “prepared for the terrors of the night”. Solomon could not be clearer in marking his intent to protect his new wife. The fact that Solomon could command such a force says much about his leadership and the respect in which he his held.
His Involvement (vv 9-10): As the Shulammite goes on to describe the wedding car, her emphasis is not on it’s beauty, but on the fact that “King Solomon made for himself the carriage”. Only men are impressed by horsepower and turbochargers. What impressed the bride was that her new husband had given of himself in it’s construction. Men, you must be fully involved in the preparations for your wedding – even if that means spending hours cutting out little paper hearts that you didn’t even want to be stuck on your invitations in the first place! This is your (plural) day, nor just her day.
Him (v 11): It’s fitting that she ends her song with thoughts of Solomon himself. She wants everyone to see him! She remembers that he is full of joy – she is delighted that she is his delight. And so it should be. Men, we have a grave responsibility here, don’t we? Is your wife, your girl, delighted that she is your delight?
In thiking of the joy that the bride has in knowing the love of her bridegroom, perhaps your mind goes back to your own wedding day, as you remember the love you have for your spouse, and (s)he has for you. Dwell on that thought – but do not stop there. Because the Christian will think not just of his wedding day, but his mind will leap to the Bridegroom. The Christian’s mind will linger on the total protection that Christ brings from all terrors. It will marvel at the deep, personal involvement of the Saviour in the lives of sinners. But more than anything the church of Jesus Christ knows that He, the King, loves us! It is He that must fill our thoughts – not all the worldly paraphernalia that so often crowds in.
Crown Him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing
of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King
through all eternity.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
For Thou has died for me;
Thy praise shall never, never fail