Sunday, November 4, 2012

Overview of Song of Solomon: You are beautiful

1. Lesson (based on Song of Solomon)

  • HOOK: 
    • Ever heard couples who are very much in love talk about each other? What do you think they talk about? 
    • “He is the most wonderful guy I ever met!” “She is the most beautiful girl in the world!”
    • Show examples of people in love, e.g.:

o   Video: Shrek and Fionain love
o   Nick Vujicic on his wife Kanae Miyahara: “She has the most beautiful, wise, and warm eyes I’d ever seen. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She is enchanting, confident and kindhearted”.

  • God loves us so much that he uses so many examples of close human relationships to show us His love for us and tell us what He thinks of us. 
    • Father and Son: Remember the son who left the father after getting his share of the father’s money? He ran away, spent all the money , finally came back home to his father who still loved him despite what he had done and welcomed him back as his son. 
    • A friend: Jesus calls us his friends (John 15:13-14) – Jesus is our true friend who loved us so much that he laid down his life for us. 
    • A husband and a wife: This is one of the closest relationships which we have on this earth. A husband and a wife have covenantal relationship, just like what God has with us. God wants us to know that our relationship with him is also like a husband and a wife because it is a very close relationship. God also uses the picture a bridegroom and his bride — just like Christ is the bridegroom, and we, the church, are His bride.

  • King Solomon wrote a book called the Song of Solomon or the Song of Songs. This book is unlike any other book in the bible. It’s a special love story of a man and his bride.
  • Here King Solomon appears as a young shepherd, falls in love with a Shulamite girl. He promises to marry her on his return. When he returns, much to her surprise, he appears as a king and takes her back to Jerusalem to be his bride.
  • Throughout the book, Solomon talks about the girl, how beautiful she is; and she talks about Solomon, how beautiful he is.

  • He calls her beautiful. 
    • The Shulamite girl was a beautiful lady. However she was also abused and bullied by her brothers who forced us to work in the vineyards. She worked in the fields every day under the sun. After being under the hot sun every day, her skin became dark and tanned. As a result, she was self-conscious of her appearance. 
    • Don’t stare at me because I am dark —
      the sun has darkened my skin.
      My brothers were angry with me;
      they forced me to care for their vineyards,
      So I couldn’t care for myself — my own vineyard.
      Song of Solomon 1:6

    • However, her beloved lover (Solomon) thought otherwise. “You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. (Song of Solomon 4:7)  
    • Solomon calls her beautiful and lovely over and over again — the “fairest among women”, “all beautiful” and flawless.” “There is no flaw in you”. (Songs 1:8, 15, 4:7,9) 
    • Despite her insecurity and imperfections, Solomon deems her worthy of his love. He praises and recognizes her beauty and character. He compares her to a lily among thorns. To him, she is beautiful beyond words. The Shulamite woman captivated his heart. He invites her to rise up and go away with Him. 
    •  Solomon paints for us a picture of how God sees us, His precious love.   
    • God loves us, saves us and blesses us whatever our imperfections may be. Whether our nose is too long, our hair too frizzy or our head is too big. Or whether you think you are not smart enough or good enough. Or maybe you have a bad temper, or are clumsy or lazy. Or maybe you’ve been abused or bullied by others who make you feel small and worthless. 
    • The truth is: God has loved you from before you were in your mother’s womb. He loved you as He formed you and knit you together. He loved you when you were born. He knows your coming and going and is intimately acquainted with all your ways. He knows every word you are about to say and every thought in your mind. He sees and knows the pain, the hurt and the tears you cry. He knows all the naughty things you’ve done or are going to do. He knows that you are not perfect and yet He still loves you. He has loved you and will forever love all of you despite your insecurities and imperfections.
    • In fact, when we were at our ugliest, Christ came to die for us and give His life and love to us. He rose from the dead, and His life and beauty shines in us and through us.
    • God looks at us today and tells us: You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way, and there is no spot in you.
    • Our value lies in being wholly and dearly loved by God. We cannot earn God’s approval — we already have it. No amount of striving, accomplishments, or external beauty can make you more valuable or loved in the eyes of your Lord.
    • To God, you are beautiful beyond words. You have captivated His heart. And He invites you to rise up and go away with Him.

  • She calls him beautiful 
    • The Shulamite woman also gives an elaborate description of her lover and how lovely he is. 
    • What can Song of Solomon tell us about Jesus?  
      • Jesus is our Bridegroom and our Shepherd King 
      • Jesus is attractive and altogether lovely
        (example SOS 5:10-16; there are many others too)
        • My beloved is radiant:  Jesus is completely pure and holy and glorious  
        • He is outstanding among ten thousand 
        • His head is purest gold: Gold symbolises Jesus’ eternal kingship.   
        • His hair is wavy and black as a raven: symbolizes youth and health — blessings from God.  
        • His eyes are like doves: He has compassion for us, is wise and discerning, pure and clean.  
        • His lips are like lilies, dripping with myrrh: The words He speaks are pure and pleasing and bring healing to our wounds.

      • Jesus ‘s banner over us is love (SOS 2:4)
        • The Shepherd covers the Shulamite woman with love. 
        • Picture a great banqueting house filled with distinguished guests, and above his bride’s place is a banner for all to see. And upon the banner is written the word “love”.
        • Similarly, Jesus loves His Church, His bride, so much that He gave Himself for her and shed His precious blood for her. 
        • One day, He will bring us into His banqueting house, and He will sit us down in the best seat that He has prepared for us. And above our seat will be His banner of love.
      • Jesus calls us away with Him (SOS 2:10-13)
        • Just like the Shulamite woman’s lover calls her away with him, our bridegroom Jesus calls us with Him too. 
        • He loves us so much that He wants to spend time with us. Whether it’s to chat (pray) or to sing songs (worship) or to read His love letters to us (word) just to enjoy what He has prepared for us.  
        • And He’s coming back one day to bring us to stay with Him forever.
    • After the Shulamite woman starts telling others about Solomon, how wonderful he is, her friends want to look for him too. (Songs 6:1) When we tell people about how wonderful Jesus is, they would want to know Him too.

  • Today, we’ve learnt that: 
    • Jesus sees us as lovely: 
      •  Sometimes we may think we are not good in many areas of our life and feel sad about it. We should see ourselves as Jesus sees us — lovely and righteous — not as how we see ourselves nor how the world sees us. 
    • See Jesus as lovely:  
      • Jesus is altogether lovely, wonderful, beautiful and radiant. He covers us with His unconditional banner of love. As we fix our eyes on Jesus, the Bible tells us that “those who look to him are radiant” too (Psalm 34:5) — transformed by His glory. When we see him as lovely, we can’t help but tell others how wonderful He is. When we do that, others will want to know Jesus too.

2. Suggested Activities

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