Friday, October 24, 2008

Still sailing

This morning and yesterday was 2:8-3:5. What i love about Daniel Newman's notes is how expositional they are...verse to verse, sentence to sentence, thought to thought. It's the only way to fly. Both my ESV notes, the MacArthur study Bible notes, Barry Webb in 'Five Festal Garments' (which is excellent, go and buy it) read the Song to be about man and woman, sex and love...about marriage.

The bridegroom comes to take the woman away to a better place, winter is gone, spring is here. The language is that of redemption, of new birth (cf Psalms 96 and 98). Christ comes to His people to take them away, to love them, to bring them to His perfect place. The groom doesn't want there to be anything to ruin their relationship, no foxes in the vineyard. The bride responds in what can only be described as covenant language...i am my beloved and my beloved is mine. That's right. That's beautiful. This day is yet to come, but until the day breathes and the shadows flee we wait longingly for Him to come.

The brides longs for and looks for her groom in 3:1-5. She finds him, she doesn't let him go, and brings him to the place of intimacy. We are to learn later that the city is dangerous, but the bride needs to be with her groom. Would that i had such fervour to be near Christ.

To me, at the moment, the Christ and the church reading of the Song seems to make more sense, to be deeper than the 'man and woman' reading. That's not to say that we can not learn, and express much about human relationships though the Song. Of course we can. Soloman surely would have had an eye on both. I just struggle to believe that the wisest man in the Old Testament didn't have an eye on the bigger, better, eternal covenant, when writing about the one between a man and a woman. 

On a personal note this reading of the Song warms my heart, and untaps a flow that is often short of water. I love Jesus. Lots, but i often struggle to live and act and pray and fight within a 'Jesus loves me' model. Does that make sense? 

It's right and true and glorious and Biblical that Christ died on the cross to show the world he loved His Father, to demonstrate the righteousness of God. Thats true and i want to build my life on these truths. That God's primary concern is for His own glory is the definition of the love of God. But, something else. Christ loved me and gave Himself for me. Me. Edward James Northey Goode. He loves me. Just like i love that Psalms because they give a vent to my ineloquent attempts to verbalise my love for Christ, i'm coming to love the Song, because it helps me believe that 'though my face is dark because the sun has shone on it', Christ loves me. 

No comments: