No. I’m serious. Do it. If you haven’t ever studied it before, you can find Mike Bickle’s notes on it here (Feb 16-Sept 2 2007). You can buy any session of the series on MP3 here. It’s worth giving some time to.
My worship team just went through a class on the Song, taught by the one and only Stuart Greaves. It was fantastic. Though I missed a week of class due to being out of town, I listened to some of Mike’s messages on MP3 while I was gone, and can I just say that it “messed me up” (to borrow the IHOP-ism).
If you read this blog, you probably already know that the Song of Solomon has profound relevance to us as believers today. Many modern scholars interpret it to be a biblical examination of married love — which is a fair interpretation, but not the only right interpretation. Marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for His church (see Ephesians 5), and so the Song of Solomon is brimming with valuable insight into the affections of Jesus for us, His bride.
For three solid weeks, because of this class, all I’ve been hearing is, “God loves you! He likes you! He enjoys you, even in your weakness and immaturity. In the sweet times in life, He is encountering you. In the dark times in life, He is encountering you. He is committed to you. He is working to bring you into mature love with Him.” etc. etc. etc.
Because I’ve been so pounded with this message, I’m seeing it everywhere. It’s finding its way into my prayer life. As I pray-read the Gospel of John for our Word of Life Bible study, I keep seeing themes from the Song of Solmon cropping up. It’s glorious. If you’ll allow me to use a ridiculous term for it, I feel a bit like I’m spiritually twitterpated right now. I’ve always known that God loves me, and for as much as my life as I can remember, I’ve always loved God. But there’s an extra zing on it these last few weeks as I’m just drinking in the language of it all over again.
This Christian walk, it really is all about love. It’s not about checking off a list of rules. It’s not about striving to impress God, or our peers, for that matter. It’s about receiving the affections of a God who is completely and purely in love with us, and loving Him in return. It’s about growing in love and entering into greater maturity in our relationship with God. It’s about a holy romance.
It’s so simple, and yet so easy to forget. How easy it is to get distracted by so many “important” things, like Martha — a well-intentioned woman who genuinely cared about Jesus but managed not to actually enjoy His presence. All that serving honestly needed to get done, but it needed to come second to actually being with the God-Man. In our lives, it is painfully easy to become caught up in the swirl of everything that truly needs to get done — meetings to attend, ministries to serve in, people to speak to — that the First Commandment slips out of first place in our lives. It takes a daily remembering, a continual calling to that place of intimacy in order to keep our little hearts on track. A huge part of our journey of becoming mature lovers of God is learning to keep an alive, lovesick heart, even in the midst of service to others.
Again, I have to say it: PRAYERFULLY STUDY THE SONG OF SOLOMON. It will totally change the way you look at life in God.