God As A Lover?
In recent years, the Song of Solomon has become viewed as an instruction manual for romantic relationships. Whereas there are some good points to be learned from it for that purpose, most of Christian history has not treated it that way.
Solomon, whose proverbs, psalms and other wisdom writing is all aimed at turning people to God through the lens of his personal wisdom or folly. For his greatest work, he titled it the “Song of All Songs.” Given how much he spoke of the vanity and deception of romantic love throughout his proverbs, it seems highly unlikely that he intended it to be anything but an allegory of Israel’s relationship to God, and as such, an allegory of the church’s (called the bride by Jesus Himself) relationship to Jesus.
If we can overcome a Westerner’s view of some of the book’s language and see it through an Eastern mindset (from which it was written), we can more clearly see Solomon’s intent. Solomon’s Song of All Songs is intended to show God in His most amazing form: as a lover.
Can We Call Him That?
Again, looking past the scandalous way a Westerner perceives that, God truly is above all else a lover. He, from the depths of His deep love, created us all, gave us a planet to inhabit and subdue, gave us a creative nature like Him to express ourselves with and has even made a way for us to approach Him.
When we consider our truly wretched, sinful, fallen nature, there is nothing greater that can describe God than a lover when we understand what He has done to redeem us. Not content to rightly condemn us for our sins, He has made a way for us to approach Him by shedding His own blood.
Jesus, consumed with His great love for us, first stepped away from the unapproachable glory (1 Timothy 6:16) where He lived to become a human—the very beings that rebelliously rejected Him. Next, He spent years on earth teaching a rebellious people the truth of God that they had perverted, only to meet rejection after rejection. Finally, overwhelmed by His passionate desire to have a “bride,” as He called us, to be forever joined to, He willingly offered His flesh and blood on the cross to atone for our sins so that God the Father would accept us into His presence.
The Greatest Love
God is not only a lover, but the greatest of lovers who has ever existed. It was, is and will forever be His great love that invites us into His presence and gives us eternal life. I encourage you to read the Song of Solomon (it’s a short book) through the lens of God’s great love for you. You will see God and yourself anew as you explore the magnificent glory of His deep love for you.