The entire book of Song of Songs is a picture of the interaction between God and the faithful, between Christ as the lover in this book and the church. It talks about the life-changing character of God’s unconditional love and its implications for our lives. The interaction between the two lovers represents God’s love for us and our love for Him.

The overall image of this passage is one of joy. The writer is happy to see his/her lover, just as God is happy to see people repent and turn to him. It applies to happy relationships, including marriages. I’ve recently discovered the true meaning of this image because I have a new girlfriend. Joy is something that may be lacking right now as we see the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the world.

The writer of Song of Songs uses a series of images and poems to describe God’s love for us. They represent the joys, the ups and downs, even painful longing when apart. It is a relationship between two people who love each other. In the case of Christians, it is a relationship between us and God. It is a contrast to references comparing an adulterous woman to Israel’s idolatry. It shows the longing, joys and sorrows that occur when we are separated from God. Both humans and God experience these feelings.

Five times in this passage, the Shulamite refers to Solomon as “my lover”-a title that pleases Solomon. Similarly, we can speak of Christ as the best beloved of our soul and feel that He is very precious to us. God is courting us. His love is not just a fling. It is for keeps. We are the beloved in this passage, and then God becomes our beloved. This love comes with great vulnerability. We will be changed by God’s love. Some changes will be wondrous, even ecstatic. Other changes will be devastating, such as suffering with someone whom we love and suffering because of someone whom we love.

The word “margin” represents Jesus Christ. The phrase “hind of the morning” refers to the coming of the kingdom of heaven as announced by John the Baptist. Christ’s voice is indirect. It comes through “the friend of the bridegroom.” Jesus often stands near to us, especially when our lack of faith hides Him from us.

This passage from the Song of Songs is a joyful celebration of love associated with the beauty of nature in springtime. There is a sense of a new beginning or a new and heightened appreciation of what God has created. None of this is experienced and appreciated until the male lover entices the woman to come and experience its delights. If the male lover represents wisdom, he is luring the woman toward an appreciation of the benefits of wisdom. For her this is like the appearance of spring in her life. The coming of wisdom is represented by the appearance of light and warmth after the darkness and cold rains and snows of winter. If the male lover represents Christ, then the lure is to take up the life of discipleship.

“The wall” refers to the prophecies about Jesus in the Old Testament church, especially in spite of the wall of separation that sin built. Both John the Baptist and Jesus gave clear glimpses of the kingdom, but the wall was not completely removed until Christ’s death. Even now Jesus is only seen through the window of His Word, ordinances, and sacraments. We won’t see Him clearly until He returns. His return is represented by the phrase “the rain being over.” Love is the key for each “new song.” In the individual believer now, joy and love are set forth in their earlier manifestation.

Verses 10-13 represent Christ’s offer of salvation to those who accept His invitation. The “little foxes” referred to in verse 15 are insignificant things that will stop the Holy Spirit from doing His work in our world. They can be anything from annoying co-workers to a piece of machinery that isn’t working. If we are aware of these minor annoyances, they won’t stop the Holy Spirit from working in our lives. We can’t neglect these little annoyances because they can cause a lot of damage in the future.

For example, researchers who made several dives to the wreckage of the Titanic challenged the theory that an iceberg tore a 300-foot gash in the side of the ship. The ship’s bow is stuck in the mud, but they used sound waves to “look” at the hull. They concluded that the damage is small-only six small gashes along the starboard hull. Unfortunately, the openings were made at the worst possible places-along six watertight holds.

Similarly, a little lie here, a little cheating there, a little stealing, a little gossip or a little unresolved conflict can lead to serious problems in the future. We must not neglect these holes in our lives. With God’s help, we can take care of them today before they sink us. Contrary to the old saying, sometimes we do have to “sweat the small stuff.” Small, sinful habits stifle small good intentions.

So what are the “little foxes” that can interfere with our relationship with God?  Here are three of them:

  1. Selfishness. “I want what I want when I want it.” Other people won’t make us happy. Things won’t make us happy. Only a relationship with God can make us truly happy.
  2. Unconscious neglect. In a marriage, husbands and wives must focus on loving each other. Similarly, in our relationship with God, we must focus on loving Him and everyone else.
  3. Unresolved conflict. We can’t truly love God if we have conflicts with other people. Unresolved conflict turns to resentment and bitterness. Once they set in, we are on the road to unhappiness and disillusionment if we don’t resolve these conflicts.

Jesus wants us to be sure-footed in our daily walk with Him. He doesn’t want us to allow anything to come into our lives and cause us to stumble on our walk of faith. He does not want us to worry. Worry chokes us and prevents us from living faith-filled lives. A little worry can steal our joy and cause us to distrust God. He can conquer doubt, fear, and worry. When we surrender our lives to Him, we don’t have to worry because He will provide all that we need when we need it.

We need to hear voices that speak boldly of true love; specifically, our love for God and His love for us. When Jesus visits us in tenderness and asks us to arise, can we refuse His request? He has risen so He can draw us to Him. He has revived us so that we can ascend to heaven and enjoy fellowship with Him. God wants to have a deep relationship with His children, but it is easy for us to get distracted by life’s clutter. When we realize that we have sinned against God and against other people we can take steps to correct the problem.

Bibliography

  1. Jeremiah, David: The Jeremiah Study Bible: New King James Version (Nashville, TN: Worthy Publishing; 2013; pp. 869-870)
  2. Hubbard, D.A. & Ogilvie, L.J.: The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Vol. 16: Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 1991; pp. 288-290)
  3. Jamieson, R., Fawcett, A.R. & Brown, D.: Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Vol. 1 (Oak Harbour, WA: Logos Research System; 1997; pp. 418-419)
  4. Stanley, C.F.: The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible: New King James Version (Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles; 2005)
  5. The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments. Part of Wordsearch 12 Bible software package.
  6. Vikki Burke, “Discouragement and Detours.” Retrieved form dbm@dennisburkeministries.org
  7. Richard Innes, “Little Foxes.” Retrieved from www.actsweb.org
  8. Alistair Begg, “How to Obtain Blessings.” Retrieved from newsleters@truthforlife.org
  9. Richard Innes, “Little Things.” Retrieved from www.actsweb.org
  10. Michael Youssef, Ph.D., “Catch the Foxes.” Retrieved from web@ltw.org
  11. Dr. Jeff Schreve, “Fox Hunting.” Retrieved from www.christianity.com
  12. Joni Eareckson Tada, “Little Foxes.” Retrieved from communicaitons@joniandfriends.org
  13. Alistair Begg, “A Spiritual Spring.” Retrieved from newsleters@truthforlife.org
  14. Joel Osteen, “The Little Foxes.” Retrieved from devotional@e.joelosteen.com
  15. Dave Branon, “Catching Foxes.” Retrieved from donotreply@email.rbc.org
  16. Amy Boucher Pye, “Catching Foxes.” Retrieved from donotreply@email.rbc.org
  17. Noelle Day, “Don’t Swerve for Squirrels.” Retrieved from Crosswalk@crosswalkmail.com
  18. Alphonetta Wines, “Commentary on Song of Solomon 2:8-13.” Retrieved from www.workingpreacher.org
  19. Kathryn M. Schifferdecker, “Commentary on Song of Solomon 2:8-13.” Retrieved from www.workingpreacher.org
  20. Br. Curtis Almquist, “Participation in Love.” Retrieved from www.ssje.org/category/sermon

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