Song of Solomon Chapter 4, we continue this dialogue between husband and wife. It says Verse 1, "Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.
And to show, of course, that this is a husband speaking onto his wife, if you jump down to Verse 8, it says "Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse," and of course the word spouse means husband or wife, we are talking about people that are married. He says the word spouse again in Verse 9, Verse 10, Verse 11, Verse 12, all of these verses use the word spouse.
So this is a husband expressing his love unto his wife, and here he is praising her for her beauty, and praises different parts of her beauty. He starts out talking about her eyes, he talks about her hair, he talks about her teeth, he talks about her lips, all these different things. What we can learn from this, of course, when we read the Book of Song of Solomon is that we should be taking lessons from this about how to have a good marriage, because this describes the love and affection between husband and wife, and many marriages today are severely lacking in this area, and so we can go to Song of Solomon and understand a little bit how to improve our marriage.
And one thing that I've noticed is that some people just don’t have any interest in improving their marriage. Some people just aren’t really that interested in having a great marriage, they just don’t really care, and they are not really willing to put a lot of effort into it, because they don’t see the point, but let me say this, you are not going to have a good marriage unless you put effort into having a good marriage, and in order to put into something you have to care about something.
We spend time and energy and effort on the things that are important to us, and things that are not important to us, well those are the things that we just don’t have time for. People often say, oh, I don’t really have time to go to church, I don’t have time to go soul winning.
What they are really saying is, church is not a priority in my life. Out of the 168 hours in the week, church just isn't important enough for me to devote a few hours to it. And we always find time and make time for the things that are most important to us in life, and in order to have a good marriage you are going to make an investment in your marriage. Of your time, of your energy, and the only way you are going to do that, is if it is important to you to have a good marriage. If you care about having a good marriage.
So, some people might even that Song of Solomon preaching through Song of Solomon, reading Psalms, they just don’t have any interest in it, because their marriage just isn't that important. But you know what, that’s a very foolish decision to make that marriage isn't important and you just put all your time, into everything else in your life. Business, and fun, and maybe exercise, or maybe church, or whatever, and I mean, look, obviously serving God is number one, no question about that, but you know what, I believe firmly from my study of scripture that your marriage should be number two.
That it shouldn’t just be down at the bottom of the list after bowling. Your bowling buddies and after everything else, your marriage should be very high on your priority list. Marriage is an important relationship that pictures Christ love for the church. Does Christ have us on the backburner? Do we have Christ on the backburner? It's an important relationship if we study scripture, and so I believe that we should look at the Book of Song of Solomon, and the whole Bible in general to try to understand how to have a better marriage and improve our relationship with our wife and with our husband.
So, first of all, the first thing I see here as this husband is praising his wife's beauty is that he is being very specific, not just you are beautiful, period, you are pretty. He is going into a little more detail than that, right guys? He is actually being very specific, and if you want to express love to your wife in this way, you should also be specific and wax eloquent and not just, do you want to give your wife … you are beautiful honey. You could go into a little more detail.
Now, every woman does not look the same, and as we read though some of these descriptions of both husband and wife, in Song of Solomon, they might not necessarily fit the bill of your spouse. For example, she talks about how her husband's hair is black like a raven, well that’s not going to work if your husband has blond hair. But what we see here is not as important what is being praised about the wife or the husband, but just the fact that the husband is praising the wife's appearance and that he is being specific.
So don't get so hung up on exactly what's being said, because frankly everybody looks different, every woman is beautiful in her own way, some of it is not all going to match up exactly. And some of these also maybe not really fitting in with our culture today.
I'm reading this, look at Verse 1, of Chapter 4, it says, "Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks." So he's telling her that her eyes are beautiful, I don't really know what that means about having doves' eyes. I guess I have not really paid that much attention to a bird's eyes.
Now I've looked at the chickens in my backyard, I've looked at their eyes, and I'll tell you what I think, when I look into their eyes, when I look into those chickens' eyes, here's the thought that always comes to my mind, the lights are on, but nobody is home. Those chickens have got to be the most unintelligent animals that I've ever seen.
But anyway, he says that she has doves' eyes within her locks, he says, "Thy hair is as a flock of goats," and again, maybe I'm just a city boy, but I've never looked at any woman's hair and thought of a flock of goats. I don't really know, necessarily, what a flock of goats looks like, I haven't really seen a lot of goats in my life. I did drink a glass of goat's milk with my dinner last, that’s the closest thing.
Again, I'm not getting too hung up of understanding the culture, of saying that your wife's hair looks like a flock of goats, that appear from Mount Gilead." He said, "Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them. Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet…" Okay that makes sense, he's talking about the redness of her lips, the whiteness of her teeth. Okay I can understand those thing.
"Thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks." Locks referring to hair. "Thy neck is like the tower of David." I don’t know if necessarily women in 2013 would take this as a compliment. And again later he uses the same thing, in Chapter 7 where he is telling her, her neck is like a tower, but different cultures view different things as beautiful, and obviously he's complimenting her.
He says in Verse 4, "Thy neck is like the tower of David, builded for an armory, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies."
So he's listing all these different parts of her body, her lips, her breast, her hair her eyes, and he's praising her for her beauty, and here is the thing, you say, well my wife I just not that beautiful, you might think to yourself, or whatever, I hope you don’t think that about your wife, that’s an awful thing to think.
But let me say this, you know, our society has a very narrow view of what beautiful is, right. because our society through television and magazines, and so forth, has this homogenization of the culture where there is a certain model, or a certain actress that’s kind of put out there as like, okay, this is the standard, this is what is beautiful, this is … and the closer you look to that standard, the more beautiful you are, and the further away from that standard you are the less beautiful you are.
But in reality, God has made all of us differently. All of us as men do not look the same. All of the ladies do not look the same. What is beautiful, the expression goes, beauty is in eye of the beholder. Also the Bible talks about that a woman who is a beautiful woman, but she's without discretion, she's without godliness. She's beautiful on the outside but she doesn’t have any character, the Bible says that is like a jewel in a pig's snout. You are decorating something that’s dirty, that’s disgusting, and it doesn’t really make it any better just for that jewel or the way that it looks.
What we need to understand is that God has made different types of women, different types of men, and if that’s how God made you obviously it's not an accident or a mistake, obviously you are beautiful in your own as a woman, and as a man, you are handsome in your way. So, obviously if you look at a woman who is perhaps beautiful on the outside, or beautiful by the world's standards, but you know how wicked she is. You might still be repulsed by that person.
Well the opposite is true too. Somebody who may be on the outside is not necessarily that beautiful by the world's standards. But when you love that person, when you love them for who they are on the inside, then you will start to see the things about them on the outside that are beautiful.
And look, everybody has some attributes about them that are beautiful because we are all created by God and the Bible says that we fearfully and wonderfully made. And so you can't just get this idea in your head of just, everybody has to look like e every guy has to look like … who are the good-looking guys of this world, Brad Pitt…
Arnold Schwarzenegger, really? Who thinks Arnold Schwarzenegger is a handsome man?
Anyway the men of this world, the Tom Cruise and the Brad Pitt, and these guys that women … By the way, if you knew these guys in real life, you'd be disgusted by them, they are such fools, they are such ungodly, wicked men, and often on the movies they’ll play like a macho man or a tough guy, and then in reality they are a little wussie or whatever in real life.
Because everything on TV is not real, so what I'm saying is, we as men don’t have to look like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt and whoever, and obviously the ladies don’t have to look like, what, Angelina Jolie, or whatever before she mutilated herself in the chest. Whatever other women?
RESPONSE: Jennifer Aniston.
Jennifer Aniston, or Angelina Jolie, what are the other women that are idolized as beautiful today.
RESPONSE: Judge Judy.
Come on, we are trying to have a serious sermon here, people. Let's get serious about this sermon. I'm just saying everybody doesn’t have to look like this anorexic, Angelina Jolie look, where you just fit this certain mould in order to be beautiful. That's why today I seems like I've known more women that have eating disorders that don't have eating disorders. It's almost like … it's not notable if you have one, it's notable if you don’t. Because it's just everybody is so obsessed with the way that they look and they feel like they have to be a certain way, in order to be … instead of just being themselves.
I'm all for being healthy. I'm all for staying fit, and trim, and I'm all for eating healthy and everything like that that, but do you what, you don’t have to just sit there and look like this certain look. Do you know what? There are men out there who like a woman that’s very slender. And then there are men out there who like a woman that's more full-figured. There are men that are short and tall, and there are women that are tall, short, big, small, and everybody has different taste.
There are people that are white, there are people that are dark-skinned and different people have different preferences about what they think looks nice and what doesn’t, so don’t let the world teach you that there's just this one certain standard. You are married, obviously you married your wife because you found her to be beautiful in your eyes. And so you should express that to her, and if there's something about her that’s not beautiful, well then focus on the part of her that is the most beautiful.
And I'm sure that you could find many things to praise about your wife's appearance. I'm not saying to make things up or to be insincere, you should be sincere in your praise, it should be real, it shouldn’t be fake, and you are just like, what did Song of Solomon say? If you try to copy, if you try to copy Song of Solomon you are going to sound pretty weird in 2013.
If you are just like, okay, well, I'm going just going to say this, the stuff Solomon said. It's not going to work, and maybe God did it that way on purpose, maybe you did in a way where you can't just copy it. You are going to have to come up with your own, because none of these are going to work. You are going to have to come up with your own compliments to give you wife.
Also, later in the book we see the wife even complimenting her husband's appearance, in a different, but she's complimenting, strong arms and strong legs, and the way his hair is, all the different things, so we see here that the husband is praising his wife's appearance, we should do the same thing, we should be specific about it, it should be real, we should just find the things that we like the most about our wife's appearance and praise those things, and express those things.
And a lot of times we have a lot of good thoughts in our mind toward our spouse, maybe we have a lot of loving feelings in our heart toward our spouse, but we should express those things verbally. We should actually say those things, and express those things. Because remember back in Chapter 1 of Song of Solomon, this woman was very down on her appearance. In verses 5 and 6 of Chapter 1, she was down on her appearance, and then he's basically coming in and telling her how beautiful she is, okay, and that’s the same thing that we see in Chapter 4.
It says in Verse 6, "Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense." Verse 7, "Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee."
Again, praising her appearance, but what's interesting is, let's compare to Ephesians 5, there is a similar scripture in Ephesians 5, flip over there in the New Testament, because although the primary application of Song of Solomon is the relationship between a husband and wife, there are also other symbolic or spiritual applications that are going on beneath the surface of Song of Solomon.
But lesson 1 from Song of Solomon Chapter 4 is to praise wife's appearance, be specific, wax eloquent, you say, well, I'm just embarrassed, just do it anyway. Pray for boldness.
But in Ephesians Chapter 5 we see a discussion about husband and wife, and we see something very similar to what the Bible said in Song of Solomon 3:7, when it said, "Thou art all fair, my love, there is no spots in thee."
That made me think of Ephesians 5, it says in Verse 22, " Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; "That he might sanctify and cleanse it," pay close attention to Verse 26, "That he might sanctify and cleanse it, with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church," look at the next three words, "Not having spot," remember what it said back in Song of Solomon 3:7, "There's no spot in thee."
Here it says, "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself."
Now, look, what we see here is that when the Bible is telling the husbands to love their wives, that is being compared to Christ loving the church, and one of the examples of how Christ love the church, is that he gave himself for it, that’s talking about the fact that he died on the cross. But that’s not only example of Christ love that’s given here.
Number one is that he gave himself forth, but then look what it says in Verse 26, that he might sanctify and cleanse it, but first of all Christ's love toward us is manifest in the fact that he gave himself forth, that he died for us. But he didn’t even just stop there, did he? He also sanctified and cleanses us on a continual basis with the washing of water by the word, and the reason that he does that, Verse 27 is, " That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
So, what the Bible is referring to when it talks about having a spot or a blemish, we all know what that is don’t we. "We talk about imperfections physically, and we know that of course all of us, none of us like Absalom, who just had no blemish or spot in him, or like the woman in Song of Solomon 3:7, that supposedly, according to Solomon, had no spot or blemish in her.
But do you know what, all of us have spots and blemishes, and that is imperfections in our skin, or in our complexion, of our face of our bodies, we have spots, and what God is referring to there, is that the church represented by the wife, because husbands love the wife, just like Christ love the church, those spots or blemishes physically, or something that God is using as an illustration of sin in the church, or imperfections in the church.
Today, our church is not perfect is it. The people of our church are not perfect. Our church has spots or blemishes, physical imperfections are used here as an illustration of spiritual imperfection in our church. None of us is perfect we have spots, spiritually, we have spiritual blemishes, we have sin in our lives, imperfections in our walk with God. And the Bible is saying that Christ loves church, he died for us, but he's also in the process of sanctifying us, cleansing us up, and trying to get the sin out of our lives, trying to make us more like him, so that basically we can be a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.
He is not talking about literally removing spots and wrinkles from the church, but he is using those physical imperfections of spots and wrinkles as an illustration of spiritual problems in the church. Basically in our lives once we get saved we are supposed to be constantly improving. When we first get saved obviously it's not just this instantaneous change, all of a sudden all the sins out of our lives, all of a sudden we are just living a marvelous Christian life.
There is a process of sanctification, of growth, of cleansing, where God is removing spots and blemishes from our lives and cleaning us up, and you see when this is compared to marriage here, in Ephesians Chapter 5, what I see from this is that if the husband is the leader which the Bible said, as Christ is the head of the church, the husband is the head of the wife. If Christ is the leader of the church, that doesn’t mean that he just wants to be served, and that he is just obeyed and that’s it. His leadership is also taking the follower and leading them somewhere better, to greener pastures.
So, we, as husbands, being the leader in our home doesn’t just mean that we are the boss, I mean that’s part of it, obviously if the husband is the head of the home that makes him the boss, but being the boss is not just all about being served, or just all about being obeyed, even though that is part of it. Being a leader is about serving the follower and leading the follower and helping the follower.
For example, I strongly believe that the husband should be a spiritual leader of his wife, and help her to be without spot and blemish spiritually, just as Christ does so for the church. You see, the Bible even teaches in 1 Corinthians 14, that women should keep silence in the church, and it says, "If they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home."
Well what good is it going to do for the wife to ask her husband at home, if he doesn’t know the Bible, and he doesn’t know what he is talking about. If every time the wife asks the husband a spiritual question and he said, well I don't know, is that really helpful? No. Is that being the leader that he should be? I'm not saying this so that wives can stand in judgment of their husband, and be that, my husband he is, I wish you were here to hear this sermon, or whatever.
I'm preaching to the men right now. Don’t insult your husband, I'm preaching to men right now, and I'm assuming that if you are a man and you are married and you are here on a Wednesday night, you are here because you want to be a godly leader in your home, that’s why you are in church on Wednesday night, to learn these things.
And those men in the room that are single, have a desire to someday be married and to be a godly leader of their wife, and being a leader is going to involve you spiritually leading in your home. Knowing the Bible well enough to answer those questions, and to be able to teach the Bible to your wife, to your children, and to be a spiritual leader that’s going to help her grow and be a better Christian.
Because if Christ loves the church he gave himself for it, he said he's going to sanctify it, cleanse it, with the washing of water by the word. That sounds like I should preach the word of God onto my wife, help cleanse her, help sanctify her, help her get the spot and wrinkle out of her life. Not that I'm better than her, but you know what, I do need to get ahead of her spiritually if I'm going to be the right type of husband. That's what I believe.
I do not believe that the wife should be ahead of her husband spiritually, and I'm not saying for the wife to slow down, I'm saying for the husband to speed up, and I'm saying that we, as men, need to understand that it is our job to spiritually lead that home, and God requires more of us as men spiritually. We need to be in our Bibles more, we need to be taking a stronger stand, we need to have a strict view of the word of God by which we live our lives and lead our family and direct our family.
Look, we should not be a bad influence on our families spiritually. Are you listening? We should not be increasing the blemishes, and increasing the spots in our life. We shouldn’t be teaching her to sin and leading her into sin, and brining sin into the home, bringing into the home, bringing home movies and putting them on, hey, let's watch this movie, and hey, let's drink alcohol together, and hey, let's go out to the club.
Introducing all this sin that was perhaps even unknown unto a wife, and we are dragging her down, and being a bad influence. The contrary should be true, that we should be a positive influence on our wife, trying to lift her spiritually, teaching her new things from the Bible, leading her to be a better Christian, and look, not just leading by telling her, but showing her, be an example.
Christ left us an example that we should follow in his steps, isn't that part of how he cleanses and sanctifies us, he showed us how to do it, he didn’t just tell us how to do it. We as husbands need to be a spiritual leader in the home, we need to model the way, we need to demonstrate the Christian life, we need to be a godly example for our wife to follow. We should be worth following, and then we should teach and preach the word of God to our family.
Men today that are listening to me, maybe you are one that wants to pastor a church some day. The first church that you ever pastor is your family. Don’t take that and say, oh, I'm going to quit going to church. Don’t even get me started on that. Obviously our family is not church, but it is a good illustration of church, and God said, if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of God.
You see, the ruling of the home, notice how it's synonymous with the taking care of the home. It's not just a self-serving rule, it's just I'm ruling, I'm the boss, I'm to be obeyed, it's all about me, but rather it is one where I'm going to use my position of authority in the home, to help bring my whole family closer to God, help bring them all into greater service for God, I'm going to lead, and I'm going to show them, and say, come with me and see my zeal for the Lord, and to be an example, to lead by example, to be right there, leading the way, not saying, do as I say, not as I do, but showing as a example.
That’s Ephesians 5 teach us, so part of being a husband is being a leader and that means being someone that’s worth following, and do you know what, to lead, you’ve got to be in the front. If you are back of the pack, you are not leading, are you? Have you heard the expression, leading from behind. Good, it doesn’t make any sense. You should be out in front leading. You don’t want to be trailing behind the group, you are way behind, guys wait, let me tell you where to go guys. No, you should be out there in the front if you want to lead, you’ve got to get in front of her if you want to lead.
That's good advice for leadership right there, get out front and it's going to be a lot easier for you to be leader. I see a lot of marriages, where the wife is ahead of the husband spiritually, you see a wife that’s doing a lot of Bible reading, going to a lot of church, doing a lot of soul winning, and then the husband is just really not that interested in spiritual things, and he is way behind her spiritually. That is a really unhealthy situation to have.
Then the woman will sometime say, why do you have to be the leader, because he's just so far behind me. That’s a tragedy, that’s a bad situation. You say, how do I fix it? Look, that guy is going to have to … that guys is going to have to get out front and start leading, and take over, and he's got to study his Bible, and get interested in church, get interested in the things of God, so that it can be effective spiritual leader.
So the first thing we learn tonight, go back to Song of Solomon Chapter 4, the first thing we see that the husband should braise his beauty, he should be specific, he should wax eloquent, he should find attributes about his wife to praise, whether it's her hair, whether it's her lips, whether it's her breast, whatever it is the Bible is listing all these different things, these are just examples of things that can be praised about the wife's appearance to make her feel loved and to express your love to your wife.
The he also uses that phrase in Verse 7, "Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee." Obviously that’s referring to physically, but so much the more spiritually, they should be without spot and blemish, we should be a leader, help them achieve that status.
Verse 8 says, "Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards."
Again, leadership, come with me, follow me, go where I'm going, and again, that ties in perfectly with Verse 7. Look at Verse 9, it says, "Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck."
And you say but why is he calling her my sister, my spouse, well obviously this is not his physical sister, this isn't West Virginia, or Kentucky, but he's saying here, my sister my spouse because of the fact that those of us that are saved, are brothers and sisters in Christ, because God is our Father.
So, we need to understand the importance of marrying a woman that is a sister, because of the fact that if we marry one that is not a sister, that is not in Christ, we are being unequally yoked together with unbelievers. And the Bible says, "What fellowship hath unrighteousness with righteousness? What concord hath Christ with Belial? What part hath he that believeth with an infidel," and the Bible says, be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. How can you as a godly Christian have fellowship and conquer and be going the same direction with someone who is not even saved?
Now if you are a very backsliding worldly Christian you can probably get along with unsaved people just fine, because you are living like you are unsaved anyway. But you know what, down the road one day, you might actually decide to start wanting to serve God, and the more you want start to serve God, the more you put on the new man and walk in the spirit, all of a sudden you and your spouse are going to be going two very different directions, and you are going to have serious problems in your marriage.
Do you know what? If that’s your situation, you are in a bad situation, if you are married to someone that’s not saved, the mistake you made was marrying someone that wasn’t saved. And a lot of times now you are in a position that’s difficult, you’ve got to just do the best you can within that situation, let's say your husband is not saved, he's not leading you spiritually, he's not even saved, but you should do the best you can to submit to him, and obey him in all things, and be the most godly righteous wife that you can be, hopefully your example can eventually help win him to Christ.
If you are a saved husband, and your wife is not saved, you can be the best leader, and the best example you can be, and eventually, hopefully, you can win your wife to Christ, I mean that’s the goal, but it's a bad situation, and so young people, and teenagers, and young singles do not play around with this. Don’t take a chance, don’t even marry somebody or date somebody, or date somebody, where you are like, well, they are saved. They are kind of … they go to so-and-so, first church of the deep freeze, I don’t know maybe they are saved, they kind of believe the gospel over there.
Oh, she's Episcopalian, that’s Christian, right? Do you know what I mean? She's United Methodist, I mean, like this, she says she believes in Jesus. Why not try to find somebody that you can be pretty confident to say actually saved.
And do you know what is amazing, people will be … Christian young people will date someone for months, and then you ask that person about the person they are dating. So what's the spiritual background, what kind of church they go to? Oh, we haven't really talked about that. What have you talked about? What are you talking about, what meaningless unimportant things are you talking about for months, and you don’t even know whether they’ve grown up going to church. You don’t even know what they believe about salvation, or about eternal security, or about church, and what their doctrines are.
Look! If you are dating, talk about spiritual things, with someone that you are thinking about spending the rest of your life with, so that you don’t just wake up one morning, and you are married to somebody who believes completely differently than you. And it's too late to make that decision. So, make sure that your wife is a sister, make sure that your husband is a brother in Christ. Try to, of course, make as certain as you can that the person that you are marrying is saved, first and foremost. That's the most important criteria in a spouse, is that they are save.
He says in Verse 9, "Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! How much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!"
Now look! These are very strong feeling that he's expressing toward his wife. I mean, the word ravish is a pretty strong word, it's like that word that I alluded to last week, do you remember that also starts with an R, that’s another synonym for the word ravished. Ravished is a very, very strong word about the intensity and the passion of the love that he has from his heart unto his wife.
Now if you would look … let's go forward a little bit, because I want to tie in Verse 9 with Verse 12, let's keep reading. He uses the word ravished about he feels about his wife. He says, "How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! How much better is thy love than wine! And the smell of thine ointments than all spices!"
Do you know what? If you really love your wife, and have a great relationship with your wife, you don’t have go out and get drunk to have a good time. I see people go to the store, husband and wife, with a whole bunch of booze in the cart. I saw one time this soldier that had just got home from being deployed he just got home, and he's coming home to his young wife, and they just have all this liquor in the cart. Let's just get so drunk that we forget how much we don’t like each other. Is that what it is?
Look! If you really love your wife, do you have to just get drunk in order to spend any time with her. I mean what a … it's so ridiculous. I'm sorry, I just don’t understand drunkenness. Do you know what? God hates drunkenness and God has a lot of very negative things to say about drunkenness. Do you know what, we as Christians we shouldn’t need alcohol at all in our lives.
RESPONSE: That’s right. Amen.
The Bible says, "It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes strong drink, lest they drink and forget the law and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember his misery no more."
Drinking is for losers, because they have to just forget the misery and forget the poverty of their, and just forget what they are loser they are, they have to drink to just numb themselves to reality. He said here, that his wife's love is better than win, it's better than going out and drinking for a good time, why don’t you spend a good time with your spouse. And if you really love your spouse you don’t need to drown your sorrows about how miserable you are.
Anyway, it says in Verse 11, "Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb; honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon."
So without being graphic in Verse 11, this guy figured out what his wife's lips and tongue taste like, and she figured out what his lips and tongue tastes like. Enough said. This is the type of relationship that we should within marriage. He said, I can't believe … what else am I supposed to preach about Verse 11. I'm trying to go verse by verse through the Song of Solomon, you kiss your wife on the cheek. What's wrong with you, and he would say, well, when you’ve been married as long as we have.
You shouldn’t let marriage get to that point. You kiss your wife on the cheek once a month, it's time … Do you know what, let me give you a tip guys, if you go to kiss your wife and she tries the Sermon on the Mount and turn the other cheek. Do you know what, just grab the back of her head, and just tilt it the way it needs to be, friend, and she'll thank you for it.
But anyway, turn if you would to … keep your finger on Song of Solomon 4, and turn to Proverbs Chapter 5. And this is just good, practical from the word of God, by the way. You try to kiss your wife on the mouth and she turns her cheek to you, you grab the back of her head, and tilt it around and kiss her where you ought to kiss her. The same thing goes the other way. I don’t believe in this thing that the world teaches that basically, yeah, it's your wife, it's your husband, you just act all cold to each other. That’s not what the Bible is teaching.
In Song of Solomon 4:12 it says, " A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed." Now the Bible interprets that in Proverbs 5. Now notice the adjectives there Song of Solomon 4:12, "A garden enclosed …" what does it mean to have an enclosed garden. Like a wall around it, right. Isn't that what it means like a fence around it or a wall. A garden that’s no enclosed with be what? Open to the public, a garden that’s not enclosed is open to the public. A garden that’s enclosed is sealed off, it's walled, it's fenced in, it's private. Isn't it what that means?
Look at the next phrase, "A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed." So we see that it's enclosed, it's shut and it's sealed, meaning that it is private, meaning that it is for him alone and no one else, doesn’t that make sense? This fountain is for him along, this garden this spring is only for him and no one else.
Look at Proverbs 5, where the same exact thing is taught, Remember the word fountain in Song of Solomon 4:12, it says verse 15 of Proverbs 5, "Drink waters out of thine own cistern," Now cistern is an old word, it's like one of wells that’s made out of stone, the well that you picture with the bucket that lowers down, and it's like a round stone deal, that’s what a cistern is.
It says, "Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets."
And then look at Verse 17, and tell me if it reminds you of Song of Solomon 4:12, "Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee." Do you see that? The concept of being enclosed or sealed. And then it says, "Let thy fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of thy youth."
Now, look! If the Bible is saying rejoice with the wife of thy youth, do you know what that sounds to me like, it sounds to me like they are not young anymore. Because it's saying the wife of thy youth, meaning the wife that you are married to, since you were young.
Keep reading, it says, " Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love." Now see the exact wording from Song of Solomon about being ravished with her love. " And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?"
So what the Bible is teaching here is that as we get older, we should still rejoice in the wife of our youth, and say, well I'm sick of her, I loved her when I was young, I loved her when I first married but I'm not if I love her anymore. I'm not sure I love him anymore, because the newness has worn off. Yeah, when I was young we were young and n love, now we are just cold to each other, we don’t have strong feelings toward each other. We are not ravished with one another anymore.
But the Bible is teaching that we should keep love alive in our marriage, and that we should rejoice in the wife, not just stay married … look, staying married to the wife of your youth is a great place to start just staying married. But does the Bible here just say, just stay married. No. It says you should also rejoice in the wife of thy youth. That means that we should be happy about the wife of our youth, we should be happy thankful to be married to the wife that we are married to.
Not to just be indifferent about our wife, or indifferent about her husband, but actually rejoice in the wife of thy youth, and it says, " Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love."
The all times there, is referring to throughout the course of life, and then when it says, always, what that means, if you look at the word always in the Bible it's like when Jesus said, "Lo, I'm with you always even unto the end of the world." When it says, be ravished always with her love, it means that even as time goes by, always meaning, basically until the end.
It doesn’t just mean always, like morning evening and night, it means always like 5 years from, 10 years from now, 15 years from now, 20 years from now, 30 years from now. She is still as a loving hind and a pleasant roe onto you. She is still someone that you rejoic3 in. She is still one with once you are ravished by her love.
Then look at Verse 20, it says; "And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings. His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holding with the cords of his sins. He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray."
God is giving a real strong you need to stay with your original wife. The key to not desiring to be ravished with your own wife's love. That’s what the bible says here. Because he says, "Drink water out of your own cistern, then you will not be tempted to drink out of someone else's cistern." Does everybody understand that?
Now look! If you are neglecting your own cistern and you are not drinking water out of your own cistern, you are going to get thirsty, and the next thing you know, you are looking at other cisterns, and the next thing you know you are going out to the strange woman, you are getting divorced and marrying someone else, or you are committing adultery or what have you.
It's amazing, people go out and they look for a new spouse, they divorce their old spouse and then they go out and look for a new spouse, and then all of a sudden they are just willing to put all this time and effort and energy into meeting and wooing some new spouse and then they marry that spouse and they spend all kinds of time and money and energy on the new spouse. If they would have just put all that time and energy and money and effort into their original marriage they could have just fixed it. They could have just rediscovered the love that they had with their original spouse.
But people don’t care about their marriage. And do you know what? You might just think, I don’t care about this sermon. I'm not interested in Song of Solomon, this is a boring book, these are boring sermon series, I will say we just finish up with the other four chapters and move on to, like, I don't know, the Book of Revelation or something. Hell fire and damnation. Why are we even learning about this? But do you know what, you might sit there and think to yourself that, I don’t care about any of this, my marriage isn't that great, but I really don’t care, I just have other things going on in my life, but your spouse might not feel the same way.
So, you need to realize that both you and your spouse need to get what you need out of marriage. And the Bible says here that the best way to prevent the desire to trade up spouses. And look, you say, why are you preaching on this? Because like 75 percent of marriages end in divorce, because it's more common in America for people to trade up spouses than to stay with their original spouse, it's more common; the norm, the norm is to change spouse in the course of your life.
When somebody has stayed married to the same person since their youth, that’s an exception, that’s when we say, wow that’s great, because that’s less than half, and why is it less than half, because the things that I'm preaching are not being implemented or thought of, and do you know what, it's not being preached, people aren’t practicing it, people aren’t listening. But the Bible has got all the answers, my friend, if you are listening.
Go to Song of Solomon Chapter 4 again, we see the importance of having strong feelings towards your spouse, and you say, I don’t have those feelings, you need to develop those feelings, because otherwise either you are going to have a problem or your spouse is going to have a problem, eventually, and so you need to work on this.
It says in Verse 12, "A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed." That means that we, as husbands, should be protective of our wife, and not just be one that just says, well, you know, I'm just not really the jealous, husband type, so if my wife wants to go and hang around with other guys, or go out to eat with other guys, and hang on the phone to her male friend, that’s okay with me. You need to be more protective of your wife and enclose her and shut her up. No, I'm just kidding.
Anyway, enclose her, seal up. Do you know what? You should have a possessive mentality of your wife, and wives also should have a possessive mentality of their husband and not want to share them with someone else, and that’s what we see in Verse 12.
It says, "Thy plants are an orchard…" And by the way, I think that this also refers to the fact that what goes on within marriage, especially in the bedroom which is what is being alluded in the next several verses, should be kept private within marriage. It shouldn’t just be on display for the world. When he talks about having a physical relationship with his wife, in this passage and other passages, in the Song of Solomon, he often refers to having a physical relationship with his wife, and as entering into the garden. He uses this metaphorical term of basically a private place that is just shared between husband and wife and no one else.
That tells me that we should not speak openly about the things that go on privately between us and our spouse, that should be a private matter between the husband and wife that should not be shared with anyone else, this is not … and I don’t think that Christians are usually guilty of this, but people would get together and chat about … women chatting with other women, or men chatting with other men about intimate things about their marriage, that’s something that should be kept private.
The details should be gone into. That’s why as I preach and as we read the Song of Solomon there's no detail. The concept is there, like I would be very comfortable to speak onto another man of biblical concepts, and to say, well the Bible says this about what goes on the bedroom, nothing detailed, nothing about the specifics, just basically to go as far as the Bible goes. To say, here is what the Bible says about the physical relationship that you should have with your spouse, and not to go further than that, because there's a privacy there that should not be breached.
Where we are just going around talking about the things, and the Bible talks about having discretion, and not talking about things that shouldn’t be talked about, and I don’t think that the specifics of the bedroom should be spoken of outside the bedroom. I think that should be kept private a husband and wife. And there are people out there in this wicked world that we live in, that thing that basically children, even, need to be taught the specifics of exactly what goes on in the bedroom.
If you send your kid to the public (fool ? 00:49:11) system, they are going to sit there a class called you know what education, where they are going to sit your kid down and give them just every detail of what goes on in the bedroom and then they’ll detail stuff that doesn’t even go on in the bedroom of normal people. Do you know what I mean?
They’ll detail sodomy, they’ll detail all kinds of weird stuff and they’ll teach that to your kids, and they’ll say, well kids need to know about this stuff, and then you'll even see fundamental Baptist today basically teaching the young people, okay, here is what, when you get married you’ve got to do X, Y and Z, and just, going into graphic detail about exactly what they need to do when they get married.
Now, here's what's funny. Here is what I think is so funny about that, basically these fundamental Baptists they do all this preaching, to try to get kids not to commit fornication. They preach, don’t fornicate, and they have to just really make sure that these kids don’t commit fornication, but then when they get married it's like, oh, if we don’t tell them how to do it, they are not going to know what to do.
How are you so worried about them committing fornication if they are not going to know what to do? But then when they get married it's like, oh, man, we've got to give them all this instruction of exactly what to do, or they are not going to be able to figure it out.
Do you know what? Like I said about the chickens in my backyard, that are probably the dumbest animals in the world. Sorry, I'm not trying to offend you kids who take care of the chickens, but they figure out how to reproduce. They’ve been reproducing for thousands of years, in fact, every animal in this world knows how to reproduce, but apparently human beings just can't figure it out, like you are just going to get married and you just never figure it out, brrr-brrr. Like, you're just going to get married and you just never figure it out, it's just, I don’t know. I can't figure it out.
It's called instinct, I mean animals figure it out without being taught, it's like, look, when a baby … and I know people are laughing but this is not … some people are laughing just because they always laugh, but I'm not trying to be funny here, I'm being dead serious right now, that when a baby is born it knows how to eat, but look, babies live under water for nine months, and then they come out the womb and all of a sudden they know how to breathe.
And then all of a sudden they know how to breast feed, right. Do you have to teach them how to breastfeed, how to breathe? No. Isn't it just automatic, because it's instinct, because God has created us built in with a certain level of knowledge built in just like animals, they just know what to do, I mean, they just start flying. It's not like the bird has to sit there and teach them everything about how to fly, I mean, one day they just start flying, they hatch from an egg and they just walk out of that egg, and they just start eating, and they know, I eat this, I don’t eat this, it's just programming from the creator.
Look! We as human beings are more intelligent than animals, not less intelligent.
Oh, the dolphin. Well, shut up. Human beings are far more intelligent than any animal on this planet, and there's not an animal on this planet that goes to a you know what education class, and sits down and, okay here is how you are going to do it. They just figure it out.
Do you know what I'm saying? And do you know what, you are going to figure it out too when you get married kids, you are going to know what to do. You don’t need this graphic instruction where somebody just goes into every detail, do you know what I'm talking about, and just sits there, and just tells you just every graphic day, here is, let me show you drawings, and let me explain it all to you, and just tells you exactly what to do.
That stuff should be kept private within marriage, and it should be something that’s talked about openly and preached about from the pulpit. And these liberal churches that’s how they get a crowd now, they just do seminars on what to do in the bedroom, and then they have all these people show up. That’s not something that God ever commanded us to do, and it's not something that God ever taught in the Bible.
Anyway he says in Verse 12, "A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices." These are all basically just tastes and smells; what's being listed there, just taste and smells, just more compliments that he's giving to his wife.
"A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon; awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits."
It's a metaphor, it's an illustration, going into the garden eating the pleasant fruit, it's just talking about a private place between husband and wife in marriage.
So let me just summarize what we've gotten out of this Chapter and what we've learned from this Chapter, and really, there are some great truth in every Chapter of Song of Solomon that can be helpful to you in your marriage. The first thing we saw is that you should compliment your wife's appearance, and that you should be very specific about it, and find things about your wife that you like the most and compliment her about that.
The next thing is that you should be the spiritual leader of your wife, and try to not just be boss, although that’s important or just, hey, I'm here to be obeyed, rather, it's to lead her somewhere to take her somewhere spiritually to take her to greater heights spiritually, to teach her the things of God, to set the example for godly and righteous living. Getting the sin out of our life, getting the sin out of my life, getting the sin out of my wife's life, getting the sin out of my children's life, just leading the whole family unit toward holiness, toward righteousness, toward godly living. That is what being the spiritual leader of your home is. We saw that.
The next thing we saw is that you should be married onto a believer, a sister, you should make sure that before you get married that you are equally yoked together in Christ Jesus. The next thing we saw is very strong, intense feelings that the husband has toward his wife.
Last week we saw intense feelings that the wife had toward her husband. This week we see the intensity of love and feeling that the husband has for his wife. We saw that those feelings should exist even after many years of marriage, they should always be there the Bible said, all the time they should be there, even when you are old, you should still rejoice in the wife of your youth, and not let this thing of; well, the newness has worn off and just become bored with your spouse and start looking to another well, you should continue even after many years of marriage to invest in the marriage, have strong feelings about your wife, make it a priority, and drink waters out of your own cistern, be ravished always with her love.
Next, we saw that the wife should be a garden enclosed, a spring shut up, and a fountain sealed, meaning that you should be protective of your wife, she should be for you alone and not for others, you should be jealous and possessive of your wife, and then we also saw that that also refers to the fact that the bedroom and the things that go on between you and your wife, in the bedroom should be kept private between you and your wife, and that it should be something that is just between you and her. And it should not be shared publicly, or just openly discussed and talked about, and, oh, blah-blah-blah. It's totally indiscrete to do so.
Let these lessons be something that can help you have a better marriage, because it's very important and it should be a high priority to you to have a good marriage.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, thank you so much for this passage and the things that we could learn, you’ve told us that all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine. Please just help us to apply these doctrines and to learn these truths, and to allow them to improve our marriage and improve our lives, and that both husband and wife would learn most of sermon was geared toward the husband's an help both husband and wife to learn these principles in Jesus' name we pray.