Tucked away between Ecclesiastes and Isaiah is a book of the Bible that I have skipped more than once.
I tried reading it but couldn’t quite make sense of it. And I didn’t understand why in the world it was in the Bible. So like you may have done, I breezed past it or would occasionally read a few verses with my eyes closed, just in case they said something I shouldn’t be hearing.
The book is the Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon.
It wasn’t until recently, when I finally asked God to show me what He wanted me to know, that the book and its significance were revealed.
And to my surprise, it was not what I expected.
In Song of Solomon, we are invited into an intimate dialogue between a young man and young woman, but this is much more than two lovers talking. In this devotional we will focus on Chapter 1, but my hope is that you will be inspired to read the rest of the book after you complete this short study.
In reading the chapter through fresh lenses and with an open mind, I paused at how the woman begins a conversation with the other ladies in the court in Chapter 1:5-6 (NLT). She says,
5 I am dark but beautiful,
O women of Jerusalem—
dark as the tents of Kedar,
dark as the curtains of Solomon’s tents.
6 Don’t stare at me because I am dark—
the sun has darkened my skin.
My brothers were angry with me;
they forced me to care for their vineyards,
so I couldn’t care for myself—my own vineyard.
Reading this made me think of how we often share our flaws with other people so we can protect ourselves from their hurtful words or thoughts. It’s as if the young woman feels that she isn’t worthy and is expressing the issues she has that may make the young man turn her away.
This is her posture throughout the book—insecure, fearful of abandonment and scared of rejection. And it’s through these lenses that she believes he sees her.
She is not alone. I believe many of us convey this same posture and similar language in our relationship with Jesus.
We often come to Jesus or delay in coming to Him because we don’t feel cleaned up enough. We allow what we believe to be true about ourselves to become the truth we carry into our relationship with Him.
But like the young man in this book, He (Jesus) has a different story to tell.
Pause and Ponder: Next we will talk about the young man’s side of the story, but for now, I want you to consider what story you tell yourself or other people to protect yourself from rejection, disappointment or abandonment. Be it at home, work, or with friends. How do you preserve yourself from hurtful words or thoughts?
Song of Solomon 1:5-6