“The Most Beautiful Bride”
LESSON 6 — January 10, 2016
TIME: about 970–960 B.C.
BIBLE BASIS: Song of Solomon 6:4–12KJV (Read Song of Solomon 6:1–13)
BIBLE TRUTH: Song of Solomon describes mutual adoration for inner and outer beauty,
MEMORY VERSE: “My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and concubines, and they praised her” (Song of Solomon 6:9).
LESSON AIM: By the end of he lesson, we will: EXPLORE love and adoration as pictures in the Song of Solomon; REFLECT on romantic relationships and the ways to nurture them; and SEEK ways to recognize and express appreciation, in appropriate ways, for inner and physical beauty in others.
Have you ever heard someone say, “What did she ever see in him (or vice versa)?” Perhaps you have either thought or said it yourself when contemplating the lack of beauty in someone’s spouse. All of us most likely would plead guilty to having such thoughts at one time or another. Each person is unique in many ways, and what one person sees as beauty is far from what another may see when looking at the same person or object. The axiom “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is certainly true. In this weeks lesson, we look at Solomon’s evaluation of a young woman who was about to become his bride.
1. An ode to beauty (Song of Solomon 6:4–8).
Solomon, king of Israel, was noted for his plethora of wives and concubines. The numbers are staggering: “Seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines” 1 Kings 11:3). Many of the wives became wives for political purposes, a common practice that to some extent reduced the odds of invasion by another country or tribe. Such political marriages were seen as advantageous by both sides. This practice persisted into the monarchal age in Europe, where royal families paired their marriageable offspring with royal families to keep the peace. The bride in our lesson text, however, had taken the heart of the king by her looks and comely features. Solomon was smitten, to say the least, by this young Shulammite woman. The language throughout the entire book has been interpreted in numerous ways over the years. The text contains many words that some see as allegorical, meaning that the real meaning of the verses is to be found not in the words themselves but in what they symbolize. The meaning ascribed to the book is as varied as the commentators who write about it, but one thing is certain, the king saw great beauty in this young woman and wanted to make her his wife. Her beauty was likened to that of two great cities in Israel, Tirzah and Jerusalem, and was as awesome as the sight of a large army with many banners.
2. An ode to uniqueness (Song of Solomon 6:9–12).
She was the only daughter of her mother, and Solomon saw further uniqueness in her beauty and features. She was like a new morning that brightens as the day progresses. She was also compared to the moon in its fullness and the sun in its purity. Throughout the book, various items from God’s creation are used to describe physical attributes, and the author delighted in making such comparisons. Some interpret the book as depicting Christ’s love for the church. Certainly in Christ’s eyes, the church is beautiful and made that way by His love and grace. The church is also unique, for there is none other like her.
Or previous lesson gave insights into the overpowering influence of the love between a man and a woman. Marital love, properly perceived and practiced, is the strongest human bond, for it is not only a physical union of bodies but also a spiritual communion of personalities. When God created Eve from Adam’s rib, Adam immediately acknowledged His intent. He exclaimed, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23). She was created in such a way that they complemented each other perfectly. The Song of Solomon celebrates the beauty of marital love. Its vivid imagery has sometimes made readers from Western culture uncomfortable, resulting in typological and allegorical interpretations. However it may picture a spiritual relationship between Christ and His church, it is primarily a poem of love between a man and a woman. This week’s text consist of a husband’s praise for the beauty of his bride!
Dr. Danette M. Vercher, Ph.D., Sr. Pastor
A Ray of Hope Ministries Christian Center-WC
Treasures of the Heart International Ministries-EC