"You are beautiful ... altogether beautiful” [Song of Solomon 4.1, 7 NLT]
Without hesitation, Solomon immediately focuses in on the sole object of his all-consuming desire. Four times in two verses he refers to the outstanding beauty and attractiveness of the Shulammite whom he was passionately in love with, “You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words ... you are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way” [4.1, 7].
In 4.1-5 he gives a sevenfold description of his beloved. The possible spiritual application follows:
1. “Your eyes are like doves behind your veil” [4.1]
2. “Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead”
3. “Your teeth are as white as sheep, recently shorn and freshly washed. Your smile is flawless, each tooth matched with its twin” [4.2]
4. “Your lips are like scarlet ribbon; your mouth is inviting” [4.3]
5. “Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates behind your veil”
6. “Your neck is as beautiful as the tower of David, jewelled with the shields of a thousand heroes” [4.4]
7. “Your breasts are like two fawns, twin fawns of a gazelle grazing among the lilies” [4.5]
The believer will be a visionary
The believer will be separated to God
The believer will be a complete individual
The believer will be a pure channel of truth
The believer will be a source of refreshment
The believer will be involved in warfare
The believer will be emotionally balanced.
The young woman 4.6-7
The Shulammite may have thought, over and over again that she had to make herself acceptable to Solomon therefore she put on “myrrh and frankincense” two very expensive oils. Today, this feeling of unworthiness’ handicaps more people than we often realise and yet, despite the believer running from this church to that church, attending this conference and then that one, purchasing this book and then that essential one, and yet, the Lord stands beside us and says, “You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way.”
Young man 4.8-15
4.8-15 Note here the first mention of the bride
1. Come with me from [or into] Lebanon, my bride, come with me from [or into] Lebanon. Come down from Mount Amana, from the peaks of Senir and Hermon, where the lions have their dens and leopards live among the hills.
2. You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace.
3. Your love delights me, my treasure, and my bride. Your love is better than wine, your perfume more fragrant than spices.
4. Your lips are as sweet as nectar, my bride. Honey and milk are under your tongue. Your clothes are scented like the cedars of Lebanon.
5. You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain. Your thighs shelter a paradise of pomegranates with rare spices - henna with nard, nard and saffron, fragrant calamus and cinnamon, with all the trees of frankincense, myrrh, and aloes, and every other lovely spice. You are a garden fountain, a well of fresh water streaming down from Lebanon’s mountains.
4.8 “Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon. Come down from Mount Amana, from the peaks of Senir and Hermon, where the lions have their dens and leopards live among the hills.” One way to interpret this verse is to understand it symbolically. If we follow this avenue of understanding, just what was Solomon actually saying or indicating through various figures of speech concerning his new bride? He was calling to her to come to where he was and not to let any obstacle hinder her single-minded quest. Now, this is just like the Lord does with the people whom He has redeemed, He is often calling to His bride to see their current situation from His perspective. To accomplish this end, His overriding aim for the believer is for extreme seclusion. Now today we do not often hear this word being bandied about, but the theological truth remains unaltered, God wants you exclusively for Himself. Why, what have we done? He replies, “You have captured My heart.” It is not what we have done it was God who took and who continually takes the initiative in our salvation from its commencement to its conclusion. Being aware of this unchanging theological truth, we should not entertain or admit any alternative thought which could mar our relationship. This spiritual truth brings us nicely to...
4.12, 15 “You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain ... [these words speak of her virginity] ... you are a garden fountain, a well of fresh water streaming down from Lebanon’s mountains.” The picture of a sealed fountain is founded upon an ancient custom in which the owner of the property covered the source of his water to prevent intruders from dirtying and then consequently defiling his valuable water supply. The spiritual meaning is explicitly clear; the bride had kept herself free from everything that would have caused even the slightest source of defilement so that she could offer to her lover on their wedding night a 100% pure individual.
4.13-14 “Your thighs shelter a paradise of pomegranates with rare spices - henna with nard, nard and saffron, fragrant calamus and cinnamon, with all the trees of frankincense, myrrh, and aloes, and every other lovely spice.” All of those spices were commonly believed by those present to have an erotic connation.
Young woman 4.16
“Awake, north wind! Rise up, south wind! Blow on my garden and spread its fragrance all around. Come into your garden, my love; taste its finest fruits.” Whether it was the cold wind from the north or the warm wind from the south, the bride was unperturbed. She was after all in a walled garden and her life was full of good fruit which complemented the fragrances from very expensive ointments. Whatever happened externally her response would be either fruit or a sweet-smelling fragrance. We have here a lovely picture of an abiding saint in which, no matter which avenue the enemy uses in a determined effort to detract the lover from her beloved, it was doomed to fail, the conclusion would be either fruit or fragrance. [David McArdle]