In this section the Bridegroom declares His love for His bride by telling her what He admires. She had asked for His kisses which He gives through the words that come from His mouth. As she listens to Him, she matures spiritually.
We, too, grow spiritually by receiving His love through His words. As we daily receive His “kisses” through reading and reflecting on Scripture, we gain these qualities Jesus admires.
4:1 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful!
Song of Songs is an amazing revelation of what our Beloved sees in us who have fully surrendered everything to Him for His pleasure and His use. Too often we see ourselves as undesirable. That is why this book is so important. He wants us to hear Him say, “How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful!” He says it twice. Why? Because we find it so difficult to believe that Jesus sees us as truly lovely.
Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him (John 13:36-38). Yet in the very next breath, Jesus said, “Do not let your heart be troubled....”
Jesus knew Peter’s deep love for Him would immediately cause him to weep bitterly. (Matthew 26:75) A truly surrendered believer responds to sin in the same way. An unsurrendered believer is hardened to his sin and does not repent.
As we read the Word, we will hear again and again that He treasures and admires us. Six times in Scripture He calls us His “treasured possession.” (See Exodus 19:5, Deuteronomy 7:6, 14:2, 26:18, Psalm 135:4 and Malachi 3:17.) The Hebrew word is segullah and is a jeweler’s term describing an object of great beauty and value that brings exquisite delight.
Selah: Why do we have difficulty believing that Jesus sees us as beautiful and that we bring Him delight?
Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead.
4:2 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin; not one of them is alone.
He first mentions her eyes. Jesus looks behind the veil and sees that all she truly wants is to allow His Spirit to live within her. He had mentioned earlier that she had dove’s eyes. He mentions them again because her ability to focus on Him has increased. Our ability to keep our eyes on Jesus also increases as we read His Word.
Hair is a symbol of consecration to God. A Nazarite was forbidden to cut his hair as a sign of his dedication to God. Samson had supernatural strength only if his hair remained long.
Goats are used in the Bible as sin offerings. Her Bridegroom says her giving herself totally to Him is as though she has offered Him a whole flock of goats.
Without teeth we are limited in what we can eat. Paul spoke of the immature who could not eat solid food so he could only give them milk. (1 Corinthians 3:1-3) She is capable of eating the strong meat of the Word. (Hebrews 5:13-14) Christ is pleased when we can take in and enjoy the rich truths He gives us.
She loves His Word and spiritually feasts upon it. Why? Because her Lover shares secrets through His Word. She could say with Jeremiah, “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight,” (Jeremiah 15:16).
Because she takes in the Word, she is washed. (John 15:3) “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word” (Ephesians 5:25, 26).
“Each has its twin.” She is balanced and does not reject some things and receive other things.
Selah: How would you describe the difference between merely reading the Word and feasting on it?
4:3 Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely.
With her teeth she took in food, and with her lips she expresses what she has received from the Word. Scarlet speaks of redemption. Just as the scarlet cord in Joshua 2:21 provided redemption for Rahab and her family, so the Bride’s words are redemptive and bless others.
She knows instinctively in His presence some words and comments are not appropriate for one in union with Him. “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving” (Ephesians 5:4).
He will delight in our wholesome speech when we meditate and are careful to obey Ephesians 4:29: “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them” (Ephesians 4:29 NLT).
Selah: How does regularly meditating on Scripture affect our speech?
Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate.
The temple represents the place of our thinking processes. Hers is covered with a veil indicating it is hidden from view. What part of our thinking processes is hidden from others’ view but not from God’s? Our motives. He sees behind what we say and do, the reasons we make our choices. “You alone know the hearts of men” (2 Chronicles 6:30).
The red of the pomegranate represents the blood of Jesus. Because of His blood, she has the ability to make her choices—not according to what impresses others but according to what pleases Him.
The skin of the pomegranate hides its beautiful interior. Our life in Christ is characterized by a kind and courteous spirit—not from hidden impure motives, but by a true grace that flows from Him who dwells within.
For us to keep our motives pure, it is important that everything that enters our minds be filtered through what He would approve—every TV, video and radio program, every magazine and book and all we view on the Internet.
Selah: How careful do you think most Christians are to guard against having wrong motives? See 1 Chronicles 28:9.
4:4 Your neck is like the tower of David, built with elegance; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors.
4:5 Your two breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies.
The neck signifies the will in Scripture. “I knew how stubborn you were; the sinews of your neck were iron” (Isaiah 48:4). Those stubborn and proud of heart are called stiff-necked. “They did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked” (Jeremiah 7:26).
To Jesus, the maiden’s neck was beautiful. It was strong like a tower. She is resolute; she will do His will. “I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will.” (Isaiah 50:7).
Because of her determination in prayer, she is a mighty prayer warrior.
1 Thessalonians 5:8 tells us to put on the breastplate of faith and love, so the two breasts symbolize these virtues. She has fed on Him, the living Word and now can provide food for others. It is our faith and love that nourish others. “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6). He assures her that she has both.
Selah: Why are both faith and love needed as we nourish others?
4:6 Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense.
She responds to His loving admiration with a greater desire to allow nothing between them. In 1:13 she recognized that to follow Him would mean sacrifice, and now she promises to go to the mountain of myrrh and submit to Him. She will go to the hill of incense and give herself to intercession and worship.
In 2:17 she had told him, “Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, turn, my lover, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the rugged hills.” She had asked Him to turn and go without her. He had left, and she learned she could not live without His presence.
She realizes, though, that she is still living with some shadows in her life. The closer we come to Christ, the more obvious our imperfections are to us. She is determined to be rid of anything hindering her relationship with Him.
Selah: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Have there been shadows (sins, bondages) in your life that the Word has helped you overcome? If so, what Scripture gave you freedom?