Rabbi Schneider - God's Song Over Us
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We're going to what is oftentimes referred to as the song of Solomon, but which is more accurately referred to as the Song of Songs. Now, why would I say that it's more accurately referred to as the Song of Songs? Well, let's look at verse one together, how does Solomon introduce it. He says, "The Song of Songs". So Solomon himself introduces this love letter as the Song of Songs. So, I want to encourage you to quit calling it the song of Solomon, it doesn't do it justice. It's not the song of Solomon, it's the Song of Songs. And this beautiful letter that we're going to look at together, it's about much more than king Solomon's love for his lover referred to in the Song of Songs as the Shulamite bride. We're looking at the Song of Songs not as a reflection of Solomon's love for his bride, but rather we're looking at it the way the ancient rabbis have always done, we're looking at it as a divine love letter from God to his people.
Now, interestingly enough the word God is not used in the Song of Songs. And for that reason, when the leading Jewish sages canonize the Hebrew Bible, which Christians call the Old Testament, and Jewish people refer to as the Tanakh, they decided they, they debated a bit whether the song of song should be included. The word canon refers to all the books in the scriptures. So we have an Old Testament canon, all the books that are in our Old Testament, and we have a New Testament canon, all the books that are included in the New Testament. We know that there's never going to be another book added to the Old Testament or the New Testament, the books have been canonized. In other words, that was official that these are the books in the Hebrew Bible, these are the books in the New Testament. So, when that decision was made as to which books would be included in the tAnaka, Hebrew Bible, a debate arose whether the song of song should be included probably because God is not mentioned. But one of the leading Jewish sages of the day that was there during that process said, "Not only should the Song of Songs be included, but it is the holy of holies of the entire Word of God".
Why would this leading Jewish sage say that the Song of Songs is the holy of holies of the Bible? It's because, beloved, the Song of Songs communicates God's love for his people in a way that's unlike any other book in the Bible. And as we go through it, you're going to experience this. The Song of Songs at last has not only been included in the Hebrew Bible, but it's part of the entire Word of God, New Testament and Old Testament for a reason: because it reflects the heart of God for his people, it shows us how beautiful Jesus is. And even, beloved one, how beautiful you are to him. So let's get started, verse number one, "The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's". The Shulamite bride is now speaking in verse number two, "May kiss me".
Now, let before I go on, let me say that in the original historical context there were three main characters in the Song of Songs: there was the king, king Solomon, his lover, known in the text as the Shulamite bride, and then a third company of people called the daughters of Jerusalem. So once again, in the original historical context, when Solomon penned this to the Shulamite bride, the three main characters were king Solomon, his lover the Shulamite bride, and a company of women called the daughters of Jerusalem, that were kind of like the entourage or they accompanied the main bride, the Shulamite bride. But we have to understand that ultimately all scripture is designed to point us to Jesus, and so therefore this particular letter is more than just a love letter from Solomon to his bride. It is ultimately pointing us to king Jesus.
You see, after Yeshua was crucified, his disciples were completely broken. They had left everything to follow Yeshua of Nazareth, whom they believed to be the Messiah that would lead Israel back to glory. So, they had left everything, they left home, left family, left their occupations, left their fishing nets to follow Yeshua whom they believed to be the Messiah. But what happened? Their Messiah ended up being crucified. And as far as they knew, it was over, he was gone. It was all kaput. And so, after Yeshua was crucified, they're completely confused, they're totally devastated. They didn't know who they were, they didn't know what life was about, they were totally in a fog. And the scripture records that while they were in the state, walking on a road to a city called Emmaus outside of Jerusalem, a stranger approached them.
Now, the scripture tells us that this stranger that approached them was actually Jesus himself, but these downcast disciples couldn't see that it was Jesus, because Jesus appeared to them in a physical form that was not the same as the form that they knew. In other words Jesus appeared to them as someone that they had never met before. And so, this stranger who was disguised comes up to them and he says, "What's wrong guys"? And they said, "Don't you know what's going on? That this Yeshua, the one that we know is the Messiah, we believe he was the Messiah he was crucified"? And then this stranger, the scripture tells us, takes them on a journey through the law of Moses, the prophetic writings, and the Psalms. And he shows these downcast disciples all the things in the Hebrew Bible that pointed to the Messiah, and that the Messiah would suffer and die. And then, after Yeshua disguises the stranger, showed them these hidden scriptures that pointed to the fact that the Messiah was going to have to suffer and die, then the stranger who was Jesus opened their eyes and vanish from their sight.
What's the point? Previously these downcast disciples didn't recognize these prophecies in scripture as being about the Messiah. But ultimately what Jesus did, beloved ones, on that road to Emmaus, is he showed his disciples how all the scriptures ultimately were pointing to him. Paul tells us that Messiah Jesus is the end of the law, he's the one that the entire law, the entire Hebrew Bible pointed to. And we also know, Peter tells us that all scripture is given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that the Bible was written when men were moved by the Holy Spirit, they then spoke and wrote from God. So that no scripture is a matter of individual interpretation or of somebody's own thought that they're just writing down a poem. No, the scriptures tell us that everything that's recorded in this Bible is actually penned by the Holy Spirit himself.
And Jesus told us that the purpose of the Holy Spirit was to take of himself and reveal it unto us. So, if the primary purpose of the Holy Spirit, the Ruach hakodesh, is to take of Jesus and reveal Jesus to us supernaturally, then we know that what the Holy Spirit wrote is ultimately to glorify Yeshua of Nazareth. And so, the Song of Songs, beloved, is like every other book in the Bible. It ultimately points to Jesus. So, as we study the Song of Songs together, we're not going to simply be looking at a love letter between king Solomon and a Shulamite bride, we're going to recognize as the ancient Hebrew rabbis have always done. That this is a book that's pointing to God's love relationship with his people. God's love to the church.
Let's read together. "May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine". So, again, in the original historical context this is the Shulamite bride talking about how beautiful the king's love is. But this book, beloved, as some have taught cannot just be a lesson in what's sanctified, monogamous marriage should look like. This is not just a book about the sanctified marriage bed. How do we know that the Lord did not give us this book to give us instructions about what Romantic, sexual love between a man and his wife should be? We know that it's not about that, because Solomon had a thousand wives and concubines, a thousand wise and concubines. So, obviously the Lord would not want to use Solomon as an example for what monogamous married love should look like.
So, again, pointing to Jesus and his beauty she says, "May kiss me with the kisses of his mouth"! I mean, this is intimate, sexual language. Why would the Lord have included this in the Bible? And why would the Lord talk about our relationship with him in such intimate terms? Because, beloved, this is how deeply and passionately, and personally, and intimately the Lord loves us. Remember Paul in the book of Ephesians, he talked about the relationship between a man and his wife? And he said this, he said, "I tell you a mystery. A man shall leave his father and mother, cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh". And then he says, "I speak to you of the mystery between Christ and the church".
So, Paul tells us that the marriage between man and woman on earth is a prophetic shadow of the relationship that Jesus has with this bride. That's why the Book of Revelation culminates with what is called the marriage supper of the lamb. Jesus talks so much about marriage. In fact, John the Baptist said that he was the friend of the bridegroom. In describing Jesus, John the Baptist said he wasn't the Messiah, but rather he said, "I am the friend of the bridegroom", Yeshua being the bridegroom. So, from the very beginning Yeshua was described in terms of this marriage groom, this bridegroom between himself and his people. Remember the parable that Yeshua taught about the ten virgins that were waiting for their lover. And remember five of the virgins fell asleep. Why? Why did he describe the relationship in this particular way? Because the relationship, and the connection that he wants you and I to experience with him is so precious, and so intimate and deep, it goes even to the places where fingers cannot go. It's the deepest place of our soul's connection and longing. It's with the one that made us our maker. This is where it's all going.
So, the Shulamite bride had a revelation of this, and she wanted nothing more in life than to feel the presence of her bridegroom. And so she says, "May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth". Let me ask you a question: how deeply are you yearning and panting after intimacy with the Lord? Many of you know David's Psalm, he said, "As the deer pants for the water, so my soul panteth after you, o God". If you've ever had an intimate encounter with the Lord, you know how beautiful, how special and how precious it is. I remember a time not too long ago, I came home from work one day, I was just kind of tired. I don't know what it was, I lay down on my couch, and as I lay down on my couch something happened. I just, it was like, it was somehow like the Lord opened up a window for me in the spirit, to kind of do what the apostle John did. Remember, we read in the gospels, that John the apostle leaned his head on Jesus's bosom.
Something like that happened to me. As I came home from work that day, beloved one, so tired and just lay down on my couch, the Lord allowed me to feel his tenderness for me, his love for me. It was so incredible. And what was so remarkable about it is that I was completely conscious of what was going on while it was happening. I mean, I was totally aware that I was being embraced in the love of God. It was like I was encased in his love, and I was talking to him throughout the process, I was saying, "Lord, this is like the best feeling I've ever had in my entire life". And I even said to the Lord, like the Shulamite bride, "This is better than wine. There's no wine that I ever tasted that made me feel this good before".
Jesus is an emotional God. The reason that you and I have emotions is because God has emotions. Some people, they don't realize that God wants to touch us emotionally, he wants our relationship with him to be emotionally satisfied. And so, listen to this language again, "May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is better than wine". Obviously, she has felt the emotional satisfaction that came to her from being connected to her lover.
Father God, right now I just ask that you would draw us, your children, your bride into your heart. That we would feel fully embraced by you. That we would experience what this Shulamite bride experience. Father, we're long to experience, we're longing to experience the fullness of your love. Jesus, come and touch us. Let us experience this fragrant aroma that the Shulamite bride experienced when she said, "May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is better than wine. Your oils have a pleasing fragrance". Father God, again we ask you to touch us. We live on a dry and weary land, where oftentimes it feels like there's no water. We need you, daddy. We need to feel your kiss and your tenderness. Father, we need to feel the intimacy of being in relationship with you. So we cry out to you, as the Shulamite bride did. Make yourself real to us.
The Shulamite bride continues here and she said, "The king has brought me into his Chambers", in the bottom of verse 4. The king has brought me into his Chambers.
So Father, we ask you to do for us what you did for her. That you'll give us for what we're longing for. That you'll touch us in such a way that we'll never doubt whether Jesus is real. Father, that will never question whether you are in fact the Pearl of great price. That you'll touch us in such a way, that we will know that your love, experiencing you is more pleasurable than anything this world could ever give us. Father, that you would touch us in such a way, that we would create breakthrough in our lives into your heart, into a life of obedience, into a life of walking in fidelity with you. Father, touch us in such a way, that we feel more satisfied by your touch than anything that the world has ever given us in our life. Father, we call you, we call out to you right now as the Shulamite bride did. Father God, draw me after you. Draw us to yourself. Father, we long for intimacy with you. Make your glory known. Make your presence felt. I ask you to touch each and every one under the sound of my voice right now, that they would know king Jesus, that this is true and that you're real.