By Caleb Faires
God is the God of literature, even of love poetry. He is the God of romance, even of the most intimate relations between a man and his wife. From the very beginning, God created us male and female. Why should we be surprised that God would inspire love poetry? The words in the Song of Songs are breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). So what do they tell us?
God gives us this love poem to drive us to His design for true romance. God’s design is not promiscuous. The celebration of marital intimacy is neither to be frowned upon nor exploited for unseemly purposes. While the Song of Songs is intimate, it is not vulgar. Indeed, the expressed mutual delight between the lovers is presented in the context of marital fidelity. The central declaration is this: I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.
The images in this passage reinforce this theme of intimate fidelity. The garden, while sensually evocative, is also full of Edenic overtones. Gardens are places of life, fruitfulness, and intimacy. There Adam walked with Eve and also with God. There Christ visits with His people—the Bridegroom calling to His bride. The bride is also said to be as lovely as Jerusalem, the city of God. The hills, full of the shepherd’s livestock, are both abundant and endearing. The descriptions are local, tied to familiar places of hearth and home, of those things dearest to the heart.
In a world of wandering eyes and wayward affections, God calls me to fidelity. He calls me to love my wife well, having eyes for her alone. She is my darling, my treasured one. This passage drives that home. As Adam sang his love song to Eve in the garden, as he celebrated her as “flesh of my flesh and bone of my bones” (Genesis 2:23), as the beloved delights in his lover, his dove, his perfect one, so also is every husband to woo his wife and remain faithful to her.
In the Song of Songs, God provides us with a rich celebration of faithful love between the bridegroom and the bride. The central declaration of the gospel is this: I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. This mystery is profound, as Paul remarks, and it refers to Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32).
Written By Caleb Faires
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2 thoughts on "In the Garden"
The world has made a business of sex and sexuality. It has made what was once special and pure and perfect into something that’s cheap and dirty and flawed. As a Christian man this world is enticing and its pleasures are everywhere our eyes turn. Only through focusing on heavenly things can we hope to escape.
These passages show us an example of biblical sexuality. Of the desire and passion that is pleasing to God.
Lord, help me to see my wife through your eyes. Help me not to focus on her flaws, but to focus on what makes her unique and special in your eyes. She is unlike any other woman out there and you’ve given her to me to love and cherish and lead and protect. Give me strength to guide her and raise her up. Forgive me for tearing her down and hurting her. Teach me more about myself so I can realize how inadequate I am and lean fully on you to change my heart.
Have only eyes for your wife.
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