Peter Barnes | Song of Songs 3:1-5:1
Praise, Invitation, and Intimacy
(Song of Songs 3:1-5:1)
G. K. Chesterton: ‘The first two facts which a healthy boy or girl feels about sex are these: first that it is beautiful and then that it is dangerous.’
1. Desire is both good and dangerous.
– 3:1-5; may be a dream, but she is fearful here
– 3:6-11 – the splendour of Solomon’s wedding or a warning? (note 8:11-12)
2. There is a prelude to love-making.
– 4:1-7; he praises her beauty; the images are not so odd in the ancient near east
3. The consummation is both wonderful and exclusive.
– she is his bride (4:8, 9, 10, 11, 12; 5:1)
– her sexuality is not for others (4:12), but she is responsive to him (4:16). He responds (5:1)
– C. S. Lewis: God is ‘a hedonist at heart’. Joseph Hall: ‘God loves to see his creatures happy; our lawful delight is his: they know not God, that think to please him with making themselves miserable.’