Song of Solomon Chapter number 1, the Bible reads there in the first verse, "The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's."
Flip over to 1 Kings, Chapter 4, and let me just say a few things about the Book of Song of Solomon as I get started tonight. In seven-and-a-half years of preaching I've only preached one sermon that dealt with the Book of Song of Solomon. I preached one sermon that pretty much covered the whole book in that one sermon.
There's just so much great information, and so much great teaching in the Book of Song of Solomon, I'm looking forward to being able to go through it week by week, and go into each verse, verse-by-verse, and tonight, I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about the Book of Song of Solomon in general, I'd rather just focus on going through each verse and getting the teachings out of Chapter 1.
But let me start out by saying that all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and the Bible says that "It's profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
Therefore, Song of Solomon provides doctrine. Now doctrine means teaching, meaning that this book needs to be taught, and this book will rebuke us at times, all scripture will, that’s what the Bible says, doesn’t it? All scripture will at times correct us, it will instruct us in righteousness, and I do not believe that Song of Solomon is an exception to that.
We just finished the Book of Esther which is interesting for the fact that it never mentions God one time in the Book of Esther. But yet we see God's hand evident all throughout the Book of Esther, and Song of Solomon is the same way, but it yet these books are both holy scriptures. These books are both written by holy men of God, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Now, first of all I just want to show you that Solomon is the author of the Book of Song of Solomon. It's interesting because if you look at 1 Kings, 4:23, and goodnight, I wrote down the wrong verse, because that is not the right one, 32, 1 Kings 4:32, it says of Solomon, "He spake three thousand proverbs and his songs were a thousand and five." So here the Bible tells us that Solomon actually wrote 1,005 songs. That’s a lot of songs.
Now if you look at the title of Song of Solomon, it's called, The Song of Songs, which is Solomon. So that could either mean this is his greatest song, because out of 1,005 songs, this is the greatest song. Obviously if it's God's word, it's better than anything else that he wrote. Obviously, all 1005 songs are not packed into this one song, but it could be a combination of multiple songs, that all deal with the same subject, involve the same theme, but Solomon is definitely the author of the Book of Song of Solomon.
It says in Verse 1 of Song of Solomon, "The song of songs, which is Solomon's. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for thy love is better than wine."
Now, the first thing I want to point to point out about the Book of Song of Solomon is that it goes back and forth between speaking from the husband's perspective and speaking from the wife's perspective, and you say "Well, how do I know who is talking?"
Well, when it talks about him kissing me, that’s her talking. Okay? So it's not really rocket science to figure out whether the husband is speaking or the wife is speaking, but what's funny about that, is that if you look at Chapter 2, Verse 1, it says, "I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys."
Now just as first blush when you look at that verse, who do you think is talking, the husband or the wife?
RESPONSE: The wife.
The wife, because she's calling herself a lily and a rose; well look at Verse 2, "As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the …" what?
So who is the lily here? The one that’s of the daughters, the female here, but yet there's a song in the hymnal called The Lily of the Valley, about Jesus saying, he is the lily of the valley. This is the only place the lily of the valley is mentioned, and it's spoken by a woman, saying that she's the lily of the valley.
You'll see I have some songs in the hymnal don’t really have any basis in reality or in the Bible, that’s why we never sung that song, and we never will, because I don’t think it's right to refer to Jesus Christ as the lily of the valley, or the rose of Sharon, because that is not a manly comparison, that’s a very feminine comparison. And as you read through the Song of Solomon, you'll see that the husband or the man is often likened onto very manly things, and the woman is likened unto very feminine things.
Look at the next verse … Goodnight, I'm preaching through Chapter 2, I'm supposed to be in Chapter 1, but it says in Verse 3, "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons." Now, would you rather be compared to a lily or an apple tree?
RESPONSE: An apple tree.
There you go, exactly. So anyway, let's go back Chapter 1 now. Just so you know there is a dialogue here taking place, this is basically the husband speaking to the wife, and the wife speaking to the husband. Now, you say, well how do we know this is husband and wife, because over and over again, in the book, the word spouse is used, and spouse is the term that means husband and wife.
Several times, for example, four -- I'm sorry -- five times in Chapter 4 the words spouse is used. The word spouse is used again in Chapter 5, so these people are married, these are not unmarried people, and that’s why they are expressing their love often in such a physical way, because they are married.
Now, there are other interpretations of the Book of Song of Solomon, some would say; hey, this is about a husband and wife, which is what it's actually about if you just read the book and just believe what it says.
But then there is another interpretation that says; oh it's this, it's about this shepherd boy. Okay, who has ever heard this shepherd boy interpretation? A few people have heard sermons like that, and they say, I've heard it said this way; it's this love triangle between Solomon, the Shulamite and the shepherd boy. Basically, it's like she's choosing between Solomon and so forth.
Now here is what's so foolish about that, the word "boy" is never found in this book, and yet all these preachers that have nothing to do with one another are all preaching this shepherd boy concept, when the word "boy" does not exist in this book. So it's actually, people are not getting their doctrine from the Bible, they are getting it from a commentary, they are all reading the same commentary that talks about the shepherd boy.
Now that doctrine is bizarre. I've read through this book many times, I have several chapters of this book memorized. I don’t see it, it isn't there, okay, there is no shepherd boy or love triangle. The whole book is about two people that are already married, so nobody is choosing here. We don’t have a woman who is choosing between two people, what we have here is a woman who is already married to a man, and that husband or wife, are expressing their love and affection one to another.
Now it says, in Verse 2, "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for thy love is better than wine."
One of the things that I want to point out first of all, and the theme of this book, is love, and here we see love being expressed in a physical way. Now many people, in their zeal to promote love that is not physical, which obviously there are many types in the Bible, and many types of love in this world, they would try to completely divorce the physical aspect from love, but here God is showing that kissing with the mouth is a way to express love unto your spouse, and in fact, it's a way that we should be expressing love unto our spouse.
Now, obviously we are talking about people that are married, we are talking about people that are husband and wife, but the Bible says here, let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, and you say, well, maybe he's just kissing her on the cheek or on the forehead, but it says, "For thy love is better than wine." Basically there, she's referring to the fact, and if you would, flip over to Chapter 5, Verse 16, the first words there it says, "His mouth is most sweet…"
So this is two people that are married kissing on the mouth, and every child is grossed out right now, but this is a husband and wife that are kissing reach on the mouth, and I'll say this, there are people who are married who never kiss each other, or rarely kiss each other, and if that’s you, there's something wrong with your marriage. Now the primary application of the Book of Song of Solomon is that it's the book about marriage, it's a book about a husband and wife.
Now there is a secondary, symbolic application of Christ in the church. I don’t want to discount that. There are some analogies and some parallels, but we never want to get too focused on symbolism and secondary applications to the point where we miss the primary application, where we can't see the forest for the trees. Where we can't see what's right there under our noses, what the Bible is actually, literally saying here, literally, this is talking about a husband kissing his wife, that’s what it says.
This is something that should be a part of our marriage, and if this is not a part of your marriage, then there's something wrong in your marriage that needs to be corrected, and that’s what the Bible teaches in Song of Solomon Chapter 1 Verse 2.
It says in Verse 3, "Because of the savor of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee."
Now, Verse 3 is very interesting. If you would flip back just a few pages in your Bible, to Ecclesiastes Chapter 10, it should just be maybe one page left in your Bible, because this idea of the savor, our modern word for savor would be smell, so it says, "Because of the savor of thy good ointments, thy name is as ointment poured forth," we are taking about the aroma or smell that’s coming off of ointment. But it's interesting because the ointment is likened onto his name. It says, "Because of the savor of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth."
Now compare that with Ecclesiastes Chapter 10 Verse 1, it says, "Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor, so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor." So here is a verse that also talks about the savor of an ointment, and in Song of Solomon Chapter 1m we see the savor of an ointment.
In Chapter 10, Verse 1 of Ecclesiastes it's talking about his reputation. Do you see that? And in Song of Solomon Chapter 1, it's talking about his name. Now, listen, your name in the Bible is your reputation. Like when the Bible talks about a good name is rather to be chosen than silver. What it's talking about is, that when people hear your name, it brings to mind someone who is honorable, someone that they respect; someone who has a good reputation.
So here we see that a little folly can destroy the reputation of someone who is in reputation for wisdom and honor, just like a tiny little fly can land in a pot of very good-smelling ointment and cause the whole thing to send forth a stinking savor.
Now, what's interesting about that is, if we relate that marriage, we see that the wife is primarily, in the Bible, told to reverence her husband. The Bible tells the husbands over and over again, to love their wives, and isn't that we saw in Chapter 1, Verse 2? Showing love, in this case, by kissing her, it says, "Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth, for thy love is better than wine, that’s, "Husbands love your wives," if we take that in the New Testament.
Then the Bible says in the New Testament, "and see that the wife reverence her husband." What's another word for the word reverence?
But reverence is a much stronger word for respect, but it means respect, so what's interesting here is that we see that his name is respectable here. We see a name or a reputation that has a sweet savor to it. Now if we look up every the word savor is used in the Bible, it starts out being used when people begin to sacrifice onto the Lord. When they get off the arc, Noah offers a sacrifice unto the Lord, and the Lord smells a sweet-smelling savor.
All throughout Leviticus, Numbers, all throughout Ezekiel, we hear about the sweet savor of the offerings that people make under God. Then when we come into New Testament, we see that the savor is often likened to, basically, how the world perceives us, or sees us from the outside. Our reputation, if you will.
Because, for example, the Bible says in Matthew 5:13, "Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid; neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Here we are talking people seeing your good works and glorifying your Father which in heaven.
Then go 2 Corinthians Chapter 2, I want you to actually turn there; 2 Corinthians Chapter 2.
While you are turning there, I'll read for you from Luke 14, it says in Verse 34, "Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
So God is saying it's important that we have the right savor. That means that we show our good works onto men, that we have a good reputation before men, that we live our lives in a way that is above reproach, where people see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven.
And 2 Corinthians 2:14, it says, "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish; to the one we are the savor of death unto death."
Let me ask you this. Does this mean that the unsaved are going to like us? Or that we are going to have a good reputation to the unsaved. No. When we have the right savor in our lives, when we are as salt that has the right savor, and when we are doing good works whereby men see our good works and glorify good, we are reflecting Christ, we are a sweet savor of Christ, people see Christ in us, but that’s not always what they want to see, and so to those that are unsaved, he says, "It's a savor of death," it's a savor that is not always pleasant to unbelievers to the ungodly, but it says, "To the other the savor of life unto life."
And in Verse 15, see how it says, "In them that are saved, and in them that perish." So that means the ones that perish were the savor of death. To those that are saved, we are the savor of life and the light.
And in Verse 16, it says, "And who is sufficient for these things?" Meaning, even though we are not worthy to be a representation of Christ, We are though, because we are His ambassadors according to Chapter 5. It says, "For we are not as many which corrupt the word of God, but as of sincerity, but as f God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."
So, we speak Christ's word, we don't corrupt it as others, and we are the savor of Christ unto this world, we should be a reflection of what Jesus Christ is.
So back to Song of Solomon, what we see in Chapter 1 Verse 2 is that, the husband loves his wife, and then Chapter 3 we see that the husband is respected and reverenced by his wife, because he has a name, and she's praising his name, and lifting up his name, and saying that he has a good name. "His name is as ointment poured forth," and look at the end of Verse 3, "Therefore to the virgins love thee…" look at the end of Verse 4 of Song of Solomon 1, it says, "The upright love thee." Does it say everybody loves you?
Everybody loves you. See how this ties in with Second Corinthians, it say no, "The upright love thee, the virgins love thee. God is saying here, you have a good name, your name is as ointment poured forth. So when the Bible teaches us that we should have a good name, and a good reputation, and be a good a savor, that’s not telling us to have that amongst the heathen necessarily. That’s not saying beloved by the world, beloved by the heathen, that’s for false prophets. That’s though the world will love you if you are of the world.
Jesus said, "You are not of the world, even as I'm not of the world." He said, "If they hate you, know that they hated me before they hated you." But we should have a good name amongst God's people. We should be respected by the people of God, respected by godly men and women, and the Bible is teaching here that a husband should be reverenced and respected by his wife. Look, God commands husbands to love their wives. Does he not?
And not just to show that through kissing them on the mouth, obviously there are many other ways, that’s just what we see in Verse 2. Plenty of other teaching on that in the Bible, but the Bible also commands wives to reverence their husbands. Now, look often when you tell a wife to reverence her husband, here is what she'll say; well, that he's just not very reverence worthy, that’s what they’ll often say. So, does the Bible say, reverence your husband if he's worthy of it?
No; because I'll say this, who is sufficient for these things? Who really is worthy of total reverence, but let me ask you this, what woman is worthy of total love? What it is, is it's all by grace. What we see is that we should love our wives even when they are not completely lovable, and our wives should reverence us, even when we are not completely reverence worthy or respectable.
But let me say this though, if you are a wise husband, if you are godly husband, you should seek to be the kind of man that is easy for your wife to reverence. Easy to respect, and as a wife you should seek to be a wife that is easy to love. Be lovable. And not just say, well, you just have to love me anyway, you just have to respect me anyway. It's true, you do, you most certainly do, but we should be strive to be worthy of that reverence, and worthy of it.
Look! When you are acting like a child, when you are lazy, when you are not providing for your family, when you are fooling around with the things of this world, when you sit around playing a video game, for hours and hours, yes, days on end, those are things that could be make it hard for your wife to reverence you, or respect you, when she sees you being a fool. When she sees that you lack Bible knowledge, she's going to struggle to reverence you.
When she sees you lazy and not able to hold down a job, it's going to be hard for her to reverence you. Now, look, if you are a lady in here thinking, well Pastor Anderson sees what I'm saying. No, I don’t, because the Bible commands you to unconditionally reverence your husband, just like the husband should unconditionally love his wife.
But I'm just speaking to the men right now. We should strive to be men that are worthy of respect and worthy of reverence. If you want to be respected, you’ve got to have a good name, and a good reputation with your wife, and with your children, and show them a godly example, and be someone that they can look up to, and where they don’t have to struggle and strive to have to look up to you. But try to be someone who is worthy of that praise and of that respect.
It says in Verse 4, "Draw me, we will run after thee. The King hath brought me into his chambers; we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine, the upright love thee."
And that’s just a great verse on the gladness, and joy that’s found within marriage. Marriage should be a relationship that brings a lot of joy and gladness to our life, and it can be. Or it can be a relationship that brings sorrow, when it's not biblical, when the love isn't there, and when the reverence is not there.
We already covered the upright love. If you look at Verse 5, it says, "I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon." Now, comely means that you are good-looking, but it's a really strong word for being good-looking. Do you know what I mean? Because there are other words, what's a stronger word that the Bible uses for being…?
Fair, or beautiful, or things like that; comely just means that it's just a lesser term, what she says here is, "I'm black but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Look not upon me, because I am black."
Now, this isn't saying that she's African, she's not saying I'm Black, like she's from Ethiopia or something, what it's saying here is that she's black because the sun, look at Verse 6 there, "Because I'm black, because the sun had looked upon me. My mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept."
So here, what we see is that this is one who is blackened by the sun, not saying she's of the Black race, if you want to use the word race, which is not a biblical word, but the Bible talks about people being black, or Ethiopian, or whatever in the Bible, that’s not what this is referring to.
Basically what we see when she talks about black because the sun has looked upon her, she says, "Look not upon me, because I am black." So she's using that basically to be down on her own appearance.
Now, look! If I ask for a raise of hands right now, whose wife has ever been down on their appearance to you? Don’t raise your hand, but every single husband's hand will probably go up. Isn't that true? I mean probably like, no. But anyway, you hear women constantly do this, don’t you? Now, they are not saying, I'm black, but they are basically going to say thing about their appearance that they don’t like.
Whatever it is, either their hair isn't right, or their skin isn't right, or their weight isn't right. Isn't that a big in this eating-disorder crazed society in which we live, where everyone is obsessed with looking like they just came out of a concentration camp or something. But anyway, the society presses forward this view of; all women have to look the same way. So women are down on their appearance, but even thousands of years ago they were down on their appearance. Now everybody wants to be tan, right?
RESPONSE: (Inaudible 00:22:28)
They go to a tanning booth so that they can black, and they want to be looked upon by the sun, they do it on purpose. But obviously this woman is down on her appearance and, by the way, that just goes to show you that not everybody likes the same appearance. There are obviously men out there who like a tanned appearance. That’s why people spend all this money to go to the tanning booth. Somebody must like the way that looks. Okay?
Then there are other cultures and societies, and people, where whiteness was what they were looking for, or something in between. Different people have different taste is what I'm saying.
So here she's down on her appearance, she's saying, don’t look on me, I'm black, I've been out in the sun, I haven't been pampered and preened as much as I should have. And it says, and I'll come back to what it says in Verse 6.
But look at the response in Verse 8, it says, "If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds' tents." Now this is one of the many, many times that you'll find in this book, the husband praising the wife's appearance. It's all throughout the Book of Song of Solomon. It's every chapter.
I remember when I was in high school my Bible teacher at Christian School, he told me, he said, I don’t compliment my wife's appearance much, I don’t tell her she's beautiful that much, because he said, "You know I don’t want her to think that that’s why I love her. I want her to know I love her for what's inside. So I don’t compliment her appearance that much, or tell her she's beautiful that much.
You are so wise and so smart, too bad what you are saying is completely contrary to what the Bible teaches, Mr. Bible Teacher, and there's no Bible verse that teaches that. But we have a lot of people who get up and say a lot of cute things, and call it a Bible class. You are sitting in a Bible Class where we are actually looking at the Bible, and we are looking at a book where there's a lot of time, for the husband to be praising his wife's appearance, and even if we were to step outside the Book of Song of Solomon, we are going to find many instances where God praises the appearance of women, and where husbands praise the appearance of their wives.
Look! This is something that we should be doing. This is something that should instruct us in righteousness. If you are smart you will praise your appearance. And look, your wife will be down, I'm sure that every in this room thinks that their wife is very beautiful. Do you know what? I'm not one of these that think, well, 1 percent of people, 1 percent of people are good looking, 99 percent look (inaudible 00:25:00). That’s the way some … it's bizarre. If God created us the way that we are, and we are fearfully and wonderfully made, we all have good attributes about our appearance.
Not as much the men, but all women have good attributes in their appearance because the way that God made them. Now, some women dramatically alter appearance, and then all bets are off. I'll say that you are beautiful the way God made you.
When you start dramatically altering your appearance, all bets are off. When you start getting the plastic surgery, and you start applying all the makeup, and you start, you are doing all the modifications. You can alter your appearance, but honestly, I guarantee you that every husband in this room would agree that his wife is beautiful, but you ought to tell your wife that she's beautiful, because she might be down on her appearance from time to time, so you need to let her know that you find her beautiful.
Do you know what? I'm not saying to lie about it, because I know that it would be from the heart. I know you believe that. And here is the thing, even if you wife is not perfect in every way, but you can praise about her appearance, the best attributes, and the part that you do find the most beautiful and emphasize that. So we can learn a lot from this Chapter about the fact that, here is a woman who is down on her appearance, saying, don’t look at me, I've been in the sun too long, my skin is (inaudible 00:26:29), and then he's praising or calling her the fairest of women in the next breath. So that’s a lesson for us to do the same thing.
But look at what it says in Verse 6, it says, "Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me. My mother's children were angry with me," talking about her siblings, "They made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept."
Now, sadly this is the case with many ladies where they are keeping someone else's vineyard, but they are not keeping their own vineyard. I even preached this sermon many, many, many years ago called, Keep Your Own Vineyard, and there's so many scriptures in the Bible that teach us to take care of our things, and so forth. But when I think about this in regard to marriage, which is what we are mainly dealing with in the Book of Song of Solomon, keeping your own vineyard.
I would say this is the difference between a stay-at-home wife, and a wife that is sent off to go serve someone else. That’s not popular preaching, but I'm not a popular preacher, so that’s why I'm preaching it.
And the thing is, the Bible does teach that wives should be keepers at home, and not to neglect their duties at home to go out and work and earn a living and have a career, and neglect the duties at home, and then expect the husband to do the work at home. No. That’s now how it works in the Bible.
Now you say, well, my husband makes me work. Well, okay, then that’s his problem. Blame him, but let me say this though husband, you shouldn’t send your wife to work, you shouldn’t make your wife work. You should provide.
You say, well, we just can't make it on my income. Get a second job. Many of us have done it for a long time; we've worked many hours, above 40 hours a week. I'd rather do the work of two people so that my wife could stay at home and raise the children, and be there for them, and home school them, and teach them, and keep my vineyard, and keep her vineyard, than to be keeping someone else's vineyard.
Now here what's funny about this though, when we think of this concept of keeping someone else's vineyard and not keeping your own vineyard. My wife and I were out to lunch last week, because my mother was in town babysitting. We rarely get to go out just the two of us, because we don’t just leave our children with anybody we only leave them with my mother. We just leave them with somebody that we know and can trust. And so we don’t just hire babysitters and drop them off to anybody.
So, my mom was in town, and she was watching the kids, so we were out to lunch together, and the waitress came and the waitress was dressed very nicely, and she was very polite, and she was very professional, and she served us very well, and treated us very well, and brought us our food, and my wife said to me, she said, do you know what's funny, she said; when I do this for you, basically I'm considered some kind of an anomaly, or I'm considered basically, oh, yes, she's just so degraded, serving her husband, how demeaning, what a doormat. Right?
But she said, it's funny how when you get hired to do this for strangers, it's considered a perfectly normal job, and it is a perfectly normal job. But here is the funny thing, what if a wife dressed up nicely, came over, brought the food to the table, put it in front of her husband, "Can I get you anything else? Oh, here let me top up your drink for you."
Then you say like, "Oh, man, what in the world, what kind of a male chauvinist, but you go to a restaurant and that’s what they do to you all the time, they serve you like that. Right? So, if a woman goes out and keeps someone else's vineyard that’s fine, she starts keeping her vineyard and all of a sudden, it's degrading, it's demeaning.
And you know what, let me just say it, let me just come right out and say it right now. If you feel that that you would be uncomfortable serving your husband a meal, are you listening, you are so feminist and you are so off the deep end, you need to get right with God, and you need to be in every single week of this series on Wednesday nights, and get every Chapter of Song of Solomon, and then you need to get married sermon I've ever preached and listen to it forward and backward.
If you think that is strange or antiquated or bizarre for a wife to serve a meal to her husband; what planet are you from? But today that’s the bizarre old world we live in America, with these liberated women, they won't even serve a meal to their husband, but they’ll go and do it for everybody else.
They’ll go put on a nametag, they’ll put on a hairnet, they’ll clock in, they’ll say, "Yes, sir," to the boss, and they come and … they will call you honey and sugar, you don’t even know them. Right? You know what I'm talking about. You go out to eat, and they say, "More coffee, honey? Honey can I top that drink up for you?" You know what, what if your wife came and topped your drink up at home. Do you know what I think? That would be great.
Keep your own vineyard. Why don’t you treat the one that you love the most, your husband, why don’t you treat him as well as a woman will treat a complete stranger, as a waitress. Think about that, isn't that interesting? Think about that, and dwell on that.
It says in the Song of Solomon, 1:6, "My mothers' children were angry wee angry with me, they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but mine own vineyard, have I not kept." So keeping the vineyard of others was a punishment, keeping your own vineyard is a good thing, or a privilege. So which one is better? Keeping you own vineyard, or keeping somebody else's vineyard? Think about it.
Okay. Let's keep reading. It says in Verse 7, "Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon; for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?"
Now this verse right here is a great verse where the wife is expressing to her husband that she's only interested in him. She is basically saying, "Look, I want to go where you are feeding the flock, I don’t want to go the flocks of your companions, I'm not interested in other men, I want to see you, and you alone." Do you know what this shows me? A wife who is expressing to her husband, that’s she's only interested in him as a man. That's what we see in Verse 7. You say, "Why is that important?" Because husbands are jealous!
The Bible says in Proverbs, that jealousy is the rage of a man. You say that’s sin. Okay, look up, every time the word jealousy is mentioned in the Bible, always positive. God is jealous, God's name is jealous. There is nothing wrong with being jealous. Now we often confuse the word jealous with envy. In the Bible these things are different. Here is the colossal difference between jealousy and envy. Envy is when I look at what someone else has and I want what they have. That’s envy.
Jealousy is when I look at what I have and I say, this is mine and I'm keeping it, because it belongs to me, and I'm not going to share it with anyone. Now, obviously there are certain things that we should share, right? Shall we share our food? Shall we share our money, if we have extra money should we give to the poor and give to them that have not? Okay. What if we had two coats, and then someone else has none, the Bible says, "Let him that have two coats impart onto him that have not."
So there are some things that we share, but let me tell you something, your wife is not one of them. And you know what, you say, "Well, I'm just not a jealous husband." Well then get right with God, start being a biblical husband, and let me know when you become one, because we ought to be jealous, we ought to be protective of our wife.
I have no problem with my wife hanging around with men, on the phone with other men, having lunch with other men. You are fool is what you are. I don’t want her going by the tents of my companions. Do you know what I mean? I want my wife … And by the way, men like to hear from their wives, because men do, sometimes the spirit of jealousy just comes over a man. Have you read that in Numbers?
In the Book of Numbers it explains how the spirit of jealousy will come upon a man, and how to deal with it. And let me tell you this. If you are a wife, your husband wants to hear that you are only interested in him, that you only have eyes for him. He doesn’t want to hear you tell him how great this guy is, and how great that guy is.
Now, you'll say: well, Pastor Anderson, I find this sermon… Well the sermon is going to get way more offensive in a few minutes, so you'd better just buckle your seatbelt. Let me say this though, if you are smart instead of looking at me like I have two heads, or thinking, "Oh, Pastor Anderson is extreme, and all that."
Do you know what, if you are smart you should be listening to what I'm saying, because this is how to have a good marriage. If you put the … Look, don’t you want to have a good marriage? Okay, wives, here is how you have a good marriage, wives. Tell your husband that you are only interested in him. Tell him that you only have eyes for him. Tell him that he is the only man that you are … Do you know what? Because that’s what he wants to hear, because men are jealous by nature, because they are made in the image of God whose name is jealous.
You want to be a good wife and have a good marriage? They say, "Yes, but my husband this, my husband that, but here is the thing, you do your part, and I'm going to get on the husbands in a second, but right now I'm talking to the wives. Serve your husband, treat him right, keep your own vineyard. Tell him that he's the only one.
Now look! Here is where I'm going to get into trouble in Verse 9 it says, "I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots." Now, that’s an interesting comparison to make, isn't it? He says, "I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots."
Now I've thought long and hard about that verse, because that’s and interesting verse, now you say, "How dare you compare women to an animal?" But here's the thing; Jesus Christ himself is often compared onto an animal. For example, Jesus Christ is called the Lamb of God. Jesus Christ is called the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Jesus Christ is compared unto an ox, Jesus Christ is compared onto an eagle, so if it's good enough for the Son of God to be compared to the positive attributes of an animal. For example, later on he says that his wife has dove's eyes. A dove is what?
RESPONSE: A bird.
It's a bird, it's an animal. So what I'm saying is, don’t be offended, saying, "Ugh, you are comparing her to an animal." No. No. Men are compared to animals too. It's just we can take attributes of animals and learn from them. We are not animals, we are human beings made in the image of God, but God tells us if we are lazy to go the ant, thou sluggard, and consider her ways and be wise, so can't we learn things from animals?
We can learn how to work hard, we can learn how to be a leader, we can learn these things. So the Bible says, "I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots." Now if this husband is comparing his wife to a company of horse, and she's not taking an insult, because this is an expression of love and affection, when he compares his wife to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots.
Now, I've been learning a lot about horses lately. I'll confess to you right now that I don’t a whole lot about horses. I did not grow up around horses. I've only been horseback-riding a few times in my life. So I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert on horses, most of what I know about horses I've read in the Bible.
But lately I've been learning a lot about horses, and the reason why, it's because a friend of ours is giving horseback riding lessons to my son, Isaac. So, once a week, it's just a friend thing, and once a week my son, Isaac, gets about an hour-long horseback riding lesson.
I take him. I'm the one who takes him to the lesson usually because it's real early in the morning, and it happens to fall on a day when I can do that. I take him over there, and I sit, and I usually observe all or most of the lesson, and I'm usually listening. So by listening to these lessons, I've learned a lot about horses, just by listening, as he's getting even more, he is the one doing the work and really doing the learning.
Here are some things that I've learned about horses, as we make this comparison, comparing her to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots. First of all, I learn that you have to earn their respect. They don't act the same for two different people. For example, the horse reacted very differently to the owner of that horse, than it does to Isaac. Isaac has to work to earn the trust and earn the respect of the horse. The horse does just instantly obey him, the way that it obeyed its owner, and so he has to earn that respect. I thought that was interesting.
I also notice that horses take a lot of care. First of all, horses are expensive. I think this is probably the primary application, when he says, "I have compared thee." If you notice it's not just one horse it's a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots, those are probably the best horses, probably cost a lot of money. Horses are expensive to buy, and very expensive to maintain. Not only are they expensive to maintain but horses … are you starting to see the parallels, but also, they take a lot of work to maintain.
You see, when Isaac goes to his riding lesson, it's great because he doesn’t just learn how to ride the horse, he actually learns a lot about horsemanship, and he also learns just how to care for the horse. Usually when he first gets there he does things like, brushing the horse, they are brushed very often. Sometimes he'll wash the horse, sometimes he'll lift up its feet, and he takes this little tool and picks out … Am I getting this right, Isaac? Take the dirt and stuff out of the bottom of hoof, and then he learns how to put the halter. What do you put on it, the halter and what else?
RESPONSE: The bridle.
Yes, that’s what I was looking for. The halter, the bridle, the saddle, you put all this stuff on, he learns how to use these various equipment, and he's not just riding the horse, he learns a lot by just walking around with the horse. He learns all the parts of the horse, and he studies the horse. He did a homework assignment where he had to fill out; how many parts of the horse?
He had to identify 30 different parts of the horse. Stuff I had never even heard of; the fetlock, and the pastern, and all this stuff that I didn’t know, so you have to learn all about the horse. And the teacher is telling you; you have to learn all about the horse, it's really important to know these different parts of the horse, and to learn about how to talk to the horse, and how to deal with the horse, how to care for it, you have to brush the horse, and clean the horse, and take care of the horse. There's a lot of effort and care, and expense, in maintaining a horse.
In fact, we met a girl the other day, she volunteers at this place, where she takes people on tours and riding, she works 12 to 15 hour days, unpaid, riding horses. He said, "But why would she do that?" Because she just wants to ride a horse, and it's so expensive to your own horse and maintain it, it just works out, she just volunteers and does what she loves, riding a horse, because it takes a lot of care to maintain.
I also noticed this, is that, with a horse, you have to establish yourself as the boss with a horse. As soon as you stop being the boss, they’ll take over and do what they want to do. If you are not in command, if you are not being the boss, they will take over, and they will not obey you, they’ll do what they want to do. I also noticed this, it's that when you try to have a tug of war with a horse, you don’t win by overpowering them in a tug of war, because what happens is, sometimes when you tug on them, they just become indignant and just start tugging back, if you don’t do it just right.
So his teacher is constantly telling him; it's not a tug of war, it's not that you are just trying to, ugh, just all the time, just cruelly, just making the horse do what you want it to do all the time. If you see people deal with horses that’s not what they do, because basically what they do is, it's more that they are signaling the horse. For example, when they are riding the horse and they squeeze it with their heels, or kick it with their heels, it's more of a communication that’s taking place. It's more of a signal that's being sent. Or when you pull the reins, pull it this way, it's not that you just like; you are going to go this way, grrr.
It's more like you just give him a tug, letting him know; hey, I'm telling you where to go, I'm telling you to go this way. I'm telling you to get going, and what it is, is it's more of a signaling, because the horse eventually respects you and wants to obey you and does what it's told, and realizes: hey, you are the boss. I'm going to follow you.
Now, there is a horse that Isaac is often riding, it's called Jester, and this horse, Jester, is a really difficult horse of Isaac, because this horse, he'll sit there, and he'll give it commands, and he's squeezing it with his heels, and he's pulling the reins, and it just doesn’t want to, and sometimes it just turns around and looks at him like: who do you think you are?
I was sitting there and thinking, because I don’t know much about horses, and I'm watching Isaac just really struggling hard to get this horse to do what he wants it to do. He's working so hard, and the thing just doesn’t want to obey. I'm just thinking. There's another horse that she has that’s really responsive onto commands. She's really responsive, and it will do what he wants it to do, but this horse, it's just like pulling teeth to get this thing to do anything, but that’s why she's using this horse to teach him, because if he can control this horse, then he can control any horse.
It's funny watching this, because I watched a lesson one time where Isaac was struggling to get the horse to do what he wanted. Well, in the very end, the teacher, she hopped upon the horse, and she just made this horse just do everything perfectly. It did everything. It went this way, it went that way, it trotted, it stopped, it was just so responsive to her. She told Isaac, she said, "When you’ve learned, this is how you will ride this horse, and the horse will do exactly for you what you want it to do.
Oftentimes, Isaac will be struggling to get it to do something, and he gets frustrated, but she'll say, "No. The horse is doing exactly what you are telling it to do." Because what it is, for example, he'll be accidentally pulling the rein one way, and kind of telling it to go another way.
Or, for example, he's pulling back on the reins and telling it go forward at the same time, he's got the brakes on, as it were, it's like pressing the brakes and the gas at the same time. Or for example, he'll be looking the wrong, because you’ve got to look the way you want the horse to go, because he can feel your body where you are looking.
She'll say about the horse, "He's doing exactly what you are telling him to do." But Isaac is thinking: that’s not what I want him to do though. Yeah, but he's doing what you are telling him to do.
So what we see with Jester is that the problem is not with the horse. Oh, no. The problem is with the rider, because you get the right rider on that horse, and that horse will do exactly as it's told, it will do what it's supposed to do.
Okay. "I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariots." Horses will do what the owner tells them to do, but if the owner doesn’t know what he's doing, he's not going to get what he wants either. Is it the horse's fault? No, because the horse is often confused, and oftentimes we send mixed messages to our wife.
We are pulling the reins, we are kicking with our heels at the same time, and she's like, doesn’t know what to do, doesn’t know what we want. So, this is what we have to be careful of, for example, here is a great example of a mixed message. You tell your wife: I'm the boss, I'm the head of the home, I'm going to lead here. But then every time there is a decision, or every time anything needs to happen you are constantly asking like; what do we do? What do we do? Or, is this okay? Is it okay if I do this? Is it okay if I do this?
And look, I'm telling you, it is epidemic in 2013 amongst husbands, I noticed this. I get around husbands I hear them asking their wife permission for everything. Stuff that, doesn’t even affect her, and you'll ask them: hey, can you do this at this time? It has nothing to do … it's a time that she's not even around; it has nothing to do with … "Honey, is it all right, if I do this?" They are constantly asking their wives' permission. Do you know what? You are basically sending the signal, "You are the boss."
Think about it. If I ask my wife's permission for everything I do, and every time there's a decision I ask her to make if for me, basically what I'm tell her is, "You are the boss." But then I turn around and say verbally, no, I'm the boss. Can I do this? Can I go outside and play with my friends? Can I go play down the street with my friends? I'm just joking, but you see what I'm saying, a mixed message.
And we could linger on this point all night, and I'm not going to. You say, well that’s a single horse, why a company of horses? Because you know what, a single horse would not be near complicated enough to describe how to handle women. So that’s why it has to be like, dealing with one woman is like dealing with a whole company of horses. I don’t know what Solomon was thinking when he got into polygamy, but anyway that’s another sermon.
Anyway, there's a lot that we can learn from horses, because horses are great animals, and they are very beautiful animals, they are very noble animals, and they are very helpful animals, and they are very obedient animals. They are not like the … What's the one that’s not obedient? The mule, or the ass. What's that?
RESPONSE: I'd say the cat.
A cat, yeah, I know, cats don’t do what you want them to do. Oh, man. Thank God women are not like cats. Goodnight. Cats are so annoying. I'm sorry. Can I tell you what I don't like about cats?
RESPONSE: You don’t (inaudible 00:48:43).
This deserves a whole sermon. This is what I don’t like about cats, they come up to you like: I guess I'll let you pet me, if I want. Whereas dogs, they are more meek, aren’t they? Aren't they more humble? They come to you and just tell you, I want to be petted. Cats are just like: Phew, I guess. They are so arrogant and prideful and haughty. Oh, man. Cats drive me nuts. Actually I love cats, they taste like chicken.
All right, anyway, back to Song of Solomon, Chapter 1. It's an interesting comparison, and I don’t have all night, and I'm not really an expert on horses, you are going to have to do your own research, but I just thought that was interesting, some of the parallels that I saw between learning how to ride a horse, and basically learning how to have a good marriage. You can't just: grrr, and send all these mixed messages. And do you know what? You shouldn’t be cruel to a horse, right?
You don't just sit there and just beat the snot out of your horse, and just kick it and beat it, and just: ah, (blankety-blah ? 00:49:46). Usually you see people that are good with their horse, and you can tell they love their horse, and they treat it well, they brush it and take care of it, and they love it, and in return it's obedient to them. It serves them well.
Similar to marriage, husbands love your wives, and the wife is to obey and reverence her husband. Anyway I don't want to spend the whole thing on that, I'm almost out of time.
It says in Verse 10, "Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold. We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver." Now this is talking about expensive jewelry upon the wife.
Now one thing that we have to think about when we look at this is what the New Testament teaches about this, very clearly, in 1 Timothy, Chapter 2, and 1 Peter 3, he warns that women should be dressed in modest apparel, and he says, "Not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but which becometh women professing godliness with good works."
So, the Bible teaches very clearly in the New Testament that, women should not go out publicly … Are you listening? Publicly displaying fancy clothes, fancy hairdos, and fancy jewelry, the reason why, it's because of modesty. You shouldn’t go out and like, just trying to get everybody's attention. Hey, everybody, look at me. Look at me everybody. That’s how some women dress, and that’s what the Bible calls, immodest apparel, immodest clothing.
When they are basically showing off their wealth, or showing off how much money they have, or how great they look; or you see women that are scantily clad, that’s also immodest, showing off their bodies.
But here is the thing; this is a woman being beautiful for her husband, in Song of Solomon, Chapter 1. Do you see that? In Song of Solomon, Chapter 1, she's being beautiful for her husband, because if you get the context in Verse 12 it says, "While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof."
This is dinner with her husband, but again, also the Bible talks about in the New Testament that the ornaments that a woman should wear are the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, are also being adorned with good works. So, being adorned with godliness, so this could also be used symbolically to teach that; that we should be, or that the lady should be adorned with godliness, meekness, quietness and so forth.
It says in Verse 12, "While the King sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof." That is like a perfume. Then it says in Verse 13, "A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts."
Let me just teach something very practical from this verse, is that a husband and wife should be sleeping in the same bed. This isn't like the '50s TV show, where they have the two separate beds. Okay, if there's a snoring issue, or if they beat you up at night in their sleep, because they don’t know what they are doing. But that’s a rare case. I think in most cases the husband and wife should sleep in the same bed, and we see that in the scripture, because it says, "He shall like all night betwixt my breasts."
Then it says in Verse 14, "My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi. Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes." That’s more complimenting of the wife's appearance. Then it says, "Behold, thou art fair, my beloved," so now she's speaking unto the husband, "Yea, pleasant; also our bed is green."
Now, personally, I don't look at Verse 16, and just think: oh, by the way, why don’t I tell you what color bed is, it's green. When things are green, what does green represent? What's that?
RESPONSE: (Inaudible 00:53:21)
What's that? What do you think green represents, oh, thou listener.
Plants, plants are green, life, plants. You are on the right track. Anybody else?
Vegetables, okay, those are plants too. Anybody else have anything?
Growing; when I look at this, I'll tell you what I think of, when I look at this, when he said, "Also our bed is green," and I remember reading this even as a teenager and just instantly I understood what this verse meant, our bed is green is basically referring to the fact that it's fruitful, is the way I look at it, because when we think of green, we think of plants and growth, we think of growth, multiplication.
So I look at this, I think this is basically referring to children being the product of this union, that’s my interpretation, and you may disagree, and that’s fine, you could have a different interpretation. But I look at this as she's saying: our bed is green, meaning that there's basically … because obviously the bed is used to refer to the physical relationship between husband and wife.
Like the Bible says, "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled." He's not talking about the physical bed, he's talking about what goes on in the bed. He says, "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge."
So you say: well, that’s not very romantic, bringing up the fact that children are produced, that’s the last thing we want to think about. The bed is green, man, get a different bedspread.
And look, my wife and I have been married for 13 years, we have seven children, our bed is pretty green. But let me say this though, let me say this, I don't have an attitude that says that children are, oh, children are just so unromantic. Oh, children are just so, oh, man, let's not think about it.
Honestly, I like the fact that basically, that what goes on the bedroom produces children. I think that’s great. I think that God has created that in a marvelous way. I think it's great, and I often like to think of our children as the product of the love between my wife and I; and I think that’s a great way to think about it. But we have such a warped view today, in 2013, of children, and basically it's like they want to separate children from where they come from. Enter birth control, and enter, basically people who want to go to bed with their spouse, but they don't want the bed to be green. They don’t want to produce the children.
That's not the way that I look at it. I look at it as a positive thing. And look, the Bible says, "Children are a heritage of the LORD, and the fruit of the womb is his reward." That’s a positive thing, having children is a positive thing. So our bed is green is a compliment there.
Today that would almost be derogatory: oh, you guys are very prolific, and people are kind of, "Are you guys going to stop?" I'm thinking to myself: no, I got married and this is what we do, and we are going to keep doing it, and we don’t need Walgreens' help to do it.
So this whole attitude, and people say, "Are you trying for another one?" Okay, stop and think about that. You don't have to try for them, they just keep coming. Here's what it is, you do what comes natural, and they keep coming, and they keep on coming. Don’t sit there and say, are you trying for it, you have to try not to have one.
People put forth a lot of effort and try very hard not to have kids. You don't have to try to have one, you are supposed to be doing that anyway, and when you do it, eventually children are produced. And so you don’t have to try for one, so don’t ever ask me if I'm trying, I've never tried for any of them. I'm not like standing in front of a spinning wheel, come on, come on, like I'm just trying for one. Yes!
Look! And this is what it is, you live your life, you have a natural relationship, a marital, physical relationship with your spouse, children are the product, and you praise God when they come.
Now look, perhaps you’ve not been blessed with children, then patience is what is advised, because there were people in the Bible who had to wait as long as 20 years before they had a child. Isaac and Rebecca prayed for 20 years, without having children. And every single person in the Bible who was unable to have children eventually was able to have a child.
And I now people who've tried and tried and tried, for years and years and years, and we have some friends from California, she just got pregnant, they’ve been married 15 years or something like that. So you don’t give up hope, you don't give up faith, but here's the bottom line though, if God gives you one, you praise God for the one. And if God gives you 21, you praise God for 21, and you say: ah, you are so ignorant, you barbarian. You are having kids every nine months.
Okay, look at my kids, they are all two years apart approximately, naturally spaced, we don't use any birth control, none of them are spaced through birth control. And we do not use abstinence method, or the rhythm method, or the natural family planning method. We use no method of birth control. We don’t have any charts and thermometers, we don’t do all that, we just do what we do and the children come, and they are spaced accordingly, because my wife nurses the children, she breastfeeds the children and that causes them to be naturally spaced, because she can't get pregnant while she's exclusively breastfeeding, the way that she does it.
That’s a whole other subject in and of itself. So, I like that statement, "Our bed is green," that’s what I think it means. If you think it means something then come up to me after the service and tell me what you think it means, but that’s what I believe.
It says in Verse 17, "The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir." Here, do you what she's praising, his provision, the fact that he's providing, right? Because cedar, rafters, fir. That doesn’t sound cheap, does it?
No. So do you know what she's doing? She's praising. And listen, you ought to praise your husband for his provision. Husbands, you ought to love your wife, praise her cooking, praise her good looks, praise everything you can about her, praise her for doing well, and doing right. And wives should also praise their husband and basically praise him for his provision.
Because we as husbands, we identify ourselves a lot by our work. If somebody asks you: who are you, or what do you do? It's usually your occupation that kind of defines you in a lot of ways, so we as men take great pride in our work, and we like it when our wife appreciates the work that we do, and maybe says, "Hey, thank you for providing X, Y and Z. Thank you, for providing the cedar, beams, and the fir rafters."
Nothing in the Bible is there by accident. Do you think Verse 17 is just this randomness about building materials? No. She's praising him for his provision, for what he's earned and worked hard to provide, and this is the model.
So isn't there a lot we can learn from this chapter. It's packed. Chapter 1 alone, I mean there's so much to implement in Chapter 1 alone, to help you in your marriage, there is a whole list for the husband here, to work on, saying okay, here I can do this, I can do this, tell her this, do this, and then a whole list for the wife, just in Chapter 1 alone. The Bible has the answers folks, we just need to learn from it and put it into practice.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father we thank you so much for your word, and we thank you for the wisdom that’s found therein.
I know I've been married for 13 years, and I've also studied the Bible for many, many years, I've read through the Bible many times. I've read through Song of Solomon many times, and it just never ceases to amaze me how much I can learn. Every time I come back to Song of Solomon, every time I come back to Proverbs, I'm constantly learning new things, and I'm constantly growing as a husband and as a Christian.
I pray that we will continue to read, continue to study, continue listening to the preaching of your word, and never get to the place where we think that we know everything, where we can't be taught something new.
Help us go always be willing to change and become a better husband, and a better wife, and not to just say: oh, this is how we are. Help us to change, Dear God, and to become better and to grow. And in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.