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‘LET MY BELOVED COME TO HIS GARDEN …’ – Song of Solomon 4:8-5:1

Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on October 25, 2017 under PM Bible Study |

PM Bible Study Group; October 25, 2017 from Song of Solomon; Introduction; 1:1-4

Theme: The great motivation of our lives should be the prospect of being the exclusive delight of our Savior.

(All Scripture is taken from The New King James Version, unless otherwise indicated).

We have been looking at the Song of Solomon as if it were a great ‘photo album’ of the love between King Solomon and his Shulamite bride. And in our last time together, we began looking at the section of this great ‘photo album’ that we are calling ‘The Wedding Day’. It’s a section that begins 3:6 with the coming of the king, in great honor and glory, to receive his bride to himself. That section—going all the way to verse 11—is an appropriate part to have in a ‘photo album’.

But with the beginning of Chapter 4, we have suggested that the subject matter becomes far to intimate to be treated in that way. Instead, we considered it a ‘poem of love’ inserted in this section of the album; because it describes the joys of the wedding night. In it, Solomon expresses his overwhelming delight in his beloved bride. This section runs from 4:1 all the way to 5:1; and in it, we have seen a symbolic expression of the love that the Lord Jesus has for His redeemed people, and the delight He has in the prospect of the day when they will be presented to Him “a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27).

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In our last study, we were only able to consider the first seven verses of this poem of love. And in it, we thrilled to see the symbolic description of our own future glorification in Christ—with the full perfection of every aspect of His redeemed ones being to the delight of our Savior and Redeemer. If we see in those words a portrait of the glory that the Lord Jesus will bring about in us through His sacrifice for us, then we ourselves can’t help but thrill in all the benefits that are ours through a relationship with Him.

And indeed, that is a great motivation in our Christian life; isn’t it? The closer-drawn we are to the Lord Jesus, the more blessed and enriched we are in every way. His love fulfills us and benefits us immeasurably—and, if we fully embrace that love, it leads to our full salvation and full glorification throughout eternity. How blessed we are in Him! What pleasure we have in Him! This should be a great motivation to Christian living.

But have you ever considered that there is an even greater and more worthy motivation than that? Have you ever considered that we are not fully spiritually mature in our Savior’s love until we take the matter a step beyond our own benefit, and make it our greatest and chief desire and motivation that He be fulfilled in His pleasure in us?

You see; it is certainly not wrong to be motivated in our relationship with the Lord by the blessings and benefits we gain from a relationship with Him. That ought to be a great motivation in our lives. But if it is the only thing that motivates us, we are destined to suffer disappointment; because there are—and even must be—times when, in order to perfect us and make us to grow in His love, the Lord allows us to suffer times of trial and testing and difficulties. And if we make it our greatest desire—even greater than the blessings and benefits we receive in our relationship with our Savior—to pursue His pleasure and His delight in what He produces in us and the fruit He gains from us, then the trials and difficulties will not frustrate our love for Him. Our willingness to yield ourselves completely to His loving program of refinement for us will be our highest expression of love to Him. As the apostle Paul says in Romans 5:1-5;

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:1-5).

This higher motivation—that is, the desire for our Lord’s delight and pleasure in what He produces in us—is what we find illustrated to us in the later half of this ‘poem of love’ in Chapter 4.

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So; Solomon is speaking in this section of the photo album to his Shulamite bride on their wedding night. And in it, he is relishing the delights he has in her. After all, it was he who took her from out of the humble vineyards, placed his love on her, and lavished her with his own glory and majesty; and all so that she would be blessed in his love for her and be made into the delight of his heart.

Notice first, then …


He says to her,

Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse,
With me from Lebanon.
Look from the top of Amana,
From the top of Senir and Hermon,
From the lions’ dens,
From the mountains of the leopards (Song of Solomon 4:8)

Lebanon is a forest area in the northern regions of the land of Israel. And Solomon seems to be telling his bride that as he has come to take her from the mountainous and wild places into his own palace. He is taking her away and making her exclusively his. And there seems to be even more in this. You’ll notice that he calls her from ‘the lion’s dens’ and from ‘the mountains of the leopards’. These are dangerous places to be; and it suggests that he is calling her from the dangers of the wilds of this world to the safety of his love and care.

One of the ways that we must grow in the pursuit of the delight of our Bridegroom is to come away with Him from the values and priorities of this world, separate ourselves from them, and enter into fellowship with Him where He is. Pastor James puts it in very strong words when he writes;

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? (James 4:4-5).

Our Bridegroom loves us and delights in our fellowship. It’s what He died on the cross to secure for Himself. He longs for our total devotion to Him; and He will not share us with this world—things which, indeed, “war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

May He have the increasing devotion of our love—which means increasing separation from this world. If we make His desire for us and pleasure in us the thing that most motivates us, then we won’t ever mind separating ourselves from the things of this world in order to more fully give Him what He delights in from us.

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And notice, next …


Solomon expresses the matter this way to his bride;

You have ravished my heart,
My sister, my spouse;
You have ravished my heart
With one look of your eyes,
With one link of your necklace.
How fair is your love,
My sister, my spouse!
How much better than wine is your love,
And the scent of your perfumes
Than all spices! (4:9-10).

Do you notice the name that Solomon gives to the Shulamite in these verses?—and in fact, even speaking that name twice? He calls her “my sister, my spouse”. One name speaks of a tender affection, the other speaks of a committed relationship.

And may it be that we can see in this something of our Lord’s attitude toward us? When He rose from the dead, after having died on the cross for our sins, He wanted it declared to His followers that “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God” (John 20:17). He brings us into a family relationship with Himself. Jesus makes us much more than His family members, however. He brings us into the closest possible relationship of intimacy with Himself that there could be. As Solomon says,

Your lips, O my spouse,
Drip as the honeycomb;
Honey and milk are under your tongue;
And the fragrance of your garments
Is like the fragrance of Lebanon (4:11).

Likewise, our Lord Jesus delights in the prospect of the fullest possible closeness and fellowship with us throughout eternity. Jesus expressed this desire when, in John 17, He prayed to the Father about His apostles and then added;

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me” (John 20:20-23).

Our Lord didn’t lay down His life simply to save us from our sins. Our salvation from sin (as wonderful as that is) is really a means to an even greater end. He saved us from our sins in order for us to enter into the deepest possible fellowship with Him throughout eternity—even to the point of sharing His own eternal glory with us.

May we long for and pursue that which will so delight Him, in our glorification, that He was willing to give His all to have us for Himself.

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Note further …


Solomon, in delighting in His bride, said;

A garden enclosed
Is my sister, my spouse,
A spring shut up,
A fountain sealed (4:12).

A garden was a precious thing in those days—a place of delight. But because it was rare, and because there was the danger of damage to the garden from animals and vandals, it was often enclosed. That way, it was kept and preserved for the exclusive delight of the owner. The same is expressed in a “spring shut up” or “a fountain sealed”. It wasn’t available to just anyone who may want a drink. It was the exclusive property and delight of the owner.

God describes His chosen people, Israel, in those terms. In Isaiah 58:11, He says of her, “You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Similarly, in Jeremiah 31:12, He says of His people, “Their souls shall be like a well-watered garden …” Because of the investment He has made in His people, our Lord Jesus is very protective of the delight that He draws from us. We might think here of how Mary of Bethany sat at our Lord’s feet—delighting in Him as He taught her. Her sister Martha sought to draw her away; but Jesus said that there are many things someone can be worried and bothered about; “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42).

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Not only is Solomon delighted in his bride; but we see next …


Solomon speaks of his bride in this way;Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates

With pleasant fruits,
Fragrant henna with spikenard,
Spikenard and saffron,
Calamus and cinnamon,
With all trees of frankincense,
Myrrh and aloes,
With all the chief spices— (4:13-14).

It may be hard for us to imagine, but our Lord draws satisfaction from His people. It’s not just that we—as His redeemed people—are fulfilled and satisfied and enriched by Him; but He is also fulfilled and satisfied and enriched by us. We may look at ourselves—as we are now—and not see how we could possibly be a source of satisfaction to Him; but He looks ahead to the full glory that He will bring about in us. And in that sure and certain glory—His own glory which He places upon us—He is satisfied and fulfilled.

Look further at what Solomon says. He declares that his bride is …

A fountain of gardens,
A well of living waters,
And streams from Lebanon (4:15).

Where Lebanon was in the north, there were the snow-capped mountains from which the streams of water flowed down—watering the land and keeping the gardens in which Solomon delighted fresh and flourishing. Jesus also spoke of the living water that He promised to those who believe on Him. He announced;

If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive (John 7:37-39).

It is this same Holy Spirit who produces the fruit in our lives in which He delights (Galatians 5:22-23).

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Now; these are the things that the bridegroom Solomon delighted in with respect to his bride. And they symbolize the delights and pleasures our Lord has in us—certainly even now; but most of all, with respect to the full glory He will bring about in us and enjoy in us forever. And if we love Him as we should, and if we are motivated toward Him as we ought to be, then the greatest motivation of our hearts will be that He receive—to the fullest degree—what He desires in us. We see this, next, in that the bride speaks in response to the bridegroom’s words. Notice in verse 16 …


She says,

Awake, O north wind,
And come, O south!
Blow upon my garden,
That its spices may flow out.
Let my beloved come to his garden
And eat its pleasant fruits (4:16).

And what a lesson there is for us in this. The north winds were cold and sometimes bitter. They were necessary, however, to produce certain kinds of fruit in the land; but they certainly were not pleasant to experience. In a similar way, the bridegroom was willing for the cold north winds to blow—when necessary—to produce in her that which delighted her bridegroom. Are we also willing to allow the Lord to send the cold northern winds of trials and and affliction and difficulties into our lives, if those things are necessary in order to produce the fruit He desires in us?

But it’s not just the cold winds that He sends. He is a merciful and loving Redeemer. He also sends the warmer, comfortable winds of the south to come at their proper time to also produce what is needed for the garden to grow. Similarly, the Lord sends the warm winds of blessing in their due time too. Are we willing to wait on His timing? If His pleasure is the first motivation of our lives, we will be.

And notice how the bridegroom responds to her willingness to be his delight. He declares,

I have come to my garden, my sister, my spouse;
I have gathered my myrrh with my spice;
I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey;
I have drunk my wine with my milk (5:1a).

When the Lord Jesus has our hearts fixed on His own pleasure and desire first, then He responds. And we can be very sure that our greatest happiness and blessedness will always be found—both now, and eternally—in His delight and pleasure.

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Notice in closing that a third party speaks in all of this. It may be that these words are spoken by the ‘daughters of Jerusalem’ that we find often speaking in in this song. They seem always present to advance the love between the king and his Shulamite bride, and to celebrate its fulfillment.

And so we note finally,


This third party looks on and declares,

Eat, O friends!
Drink, yes, drink deeply,
O beloved ones! (5:1b).

And possibly, this symbolizes the Holy Spirit; whose ministry it is to shine the spotlight on the glory of Jesus Christ, and to secure us—as Jesus’ redeemed people—in His love forever. The Holy Spirit will, Himself, delight in the pleasure that the Son of God has in us as His glorified bride—and also in our eternal delight in Him.

May it be then that—increasingly; and through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit—we will seek more and more to be the delight of our Lord Jesus forever. May it be that we increasingly submit to His process of refining us and perfecting us for His eternal pleasure. And indeed, may His pleasure in our full glorification be the great motivating force in our lives right now!

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