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Welcome to 2016 and to a book that can change your life!

Do you realize how different your life would be if you realized, to your core,

how deeply loved you are?

That, indeed, Jesus sees you as beautiful?

You are altogether


Up until the 1800’s, The Song of Songs

was the most preached on book in the Old Testament.

It was a pearl to be treasured.


Nothing, pastors thought, was more important for his flock’s walk

than seeing the depth of Christ’s love for them.

Seeing that love would help them face trial and temptation with victory.

Jesus Comforting

But in time, the primary focus of the Song shifted from Christ to marriage, and preachers didn’t feel it was as important. Some, in fact, belittled its value. When the value of the Song was questioned by the interviewer who interviewed C. S. Lewis in his final interview, C. S. Lewis responded strongly.

The great saints and mystics of the church have felt just the opposite about it.They have found tremendous spiritual truth in the ‘Song of Solomon.’ … what is meat for a grown person might be unsuited to the palate of a child.[1]

How do you know if you are ready for this study? I don’t think Lewis would say that the length of time you have been a Christian is what matters, but rather, the depth of your hunger. Often new Christians, and I have seen this in prison, put those who have been Christians many years to shame with their hunger. So if you are hungry to know more of the Lord, and willing to do homework, come!

The Song is definitely a book that has been trampled upon. Dr. Michael Reeves, from whom you will watch a short video this week, says there are errors on both sides, when people fail to see both levels. Some who see only marriage have turned it into soft porn, and some who see only Christ have gone to great lengths, to, for example, spiritualize her breasts to mean the Old and New Testaments. This week we will look at the genre of the Song, and why good hermeneutics demands we see both levels.

It is my view that earthly marriage is there, but it is a pointer, as Ephesians tells us, to Christ and his Bride. Every other book is about God and His people, every other book has Christ hidden or revealed, and I cannot see why The Song would be an exception

The language of the Song is so private and yet that is also the key to its power. I believe you will be greatly refreshed by seeing how a beautiful earthly marriage can illuminate Christ’s love for you and His desire for your responsive love for Him.hermeneutics

We put our toes into the water of this book in 2013. Many of you may have been with us, and so some of this, especially initially, will be review, and I’m asking you to mentor our newcomers to The Song, for it is a challenging book. Here were a few of the responses from our first time around.

Does Jesus love me? I have been contemplating this question as my “sorrows like sea billows roll,” and I have come to see that this question is KEY. Do I believe that He loves me, desires me, even when suffering does not make sense and every alternative is dark? The Song of Songs keeps telling me He does.     

Diane from Canada 


 A veil has been lifted and made me see God’s love in a whole new light. . . . He calls me to come away with Him, to come away from idols, from the safety blankets I have clung to for so long.

Staci from the Netherlands


I had previously thought of Song of Songs as being primarily about marriage, a book reflecting the beauty of romantic love. However, there’s so much I was missing. After all, the Bible from beginning to end is a cohesive story of God’s love for His people. So of course the Song should contain whispers of Christ. From that viewpoint, I can see Him pursuing me, rescuing me from my own sense of inadequacy and failure, delighting in me, and declaring His love for me. It is amazing to think of myself as His beloved, and the Song sings it loud     and clear.

Jon from South Carolina


We also, during our first time around, made this Song our theme song, a song from Jesus Culture called “Song of Solomon.” Here is the official You-Tube version that has come out since 2013.

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

Monday-Wednesday: Approaching Poetry

A basic principle of good hermeneutics is to interpret according to the genre. For example, some would say that the Bible supports polygamy, for there are examples (including Solomon) of polygamy practiced. The error is that they fail to see these are historical accounts rather than didactic commands. God does not command polygamy but his plan instead for marriage, repeatedly stated, is one man and one woman for life. The fact that the Bible historically records sin  such as polygamy, rape, murder, etc. is not a license to do those things.

It is also vital to know that prose should be interpreted differently than poetry.

2. Let’s look at the same truth expressed first in prose and then in poetry. What does it say and what does it mean in each case?

A. 1 Peter 5:7

B. Psalm 91:4

3.  With the above example in mind, answer this:

A. What advantage does each genre have (prose and poetry)?

B. How could Psalm 91:4 be mis-interpreted if you didn’t see it as poetry?

Those who wish to discredit the Bible will often take a poetic passage and claim it is not scientific. Tim Keller has some wonderful sermons in which he says Genesis 1 is often mis-interpreted because people fail to realize it is poetry. They think it is teaching “how” the world was made rather than “why” it was made. Likewise, I remember a family member I love being misled by her minister who said the Bible couldn’t be trusted because it said the world was flat. He quoted Job 28:24: “God’s eyes run to the ends of the earth.” He was interpreting poetry as prose, perhaps to advance his own sinful agenda.

The genre of The Song of Songs is explained immediately in Song of Songs 1:1. It is a song! And a single song, though some have said it is many songs strung together. Songs, by their very definition, are poetry set to music. 

4. Since poetry is multi-layered, and since the Song is poetry, what does that teach you about how to interpret it correctly?

I’d like your input on this. I plan to use this excerpt from John Donne’s on a preface page to my upcoming book:

Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,

Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

John Donne

Holy Sonnets:

“Batter my Heart, Three-Personed God”


5. What do you think Donne is communicating with this? What is the first level and what is the second?

6. Are you shocked that Donne would ask God to “ravish” him? What do you think he means and how might this correspond to the Song?

7. One of the strengths of poetry is its word pictures, for word pictures are able to slip into the heart, helping us feel, and love the Lord with all our heart, or fear HIm, or trust Him. They also tend to be memorable. Can you think of a word picture from Scripture that has impacted you?


8. Let’s put our toe into the water with the opening of the 1st chapter, realizing we will plunge in fully after these intro weeks. But, see if you can see the multilayers in Song of Songs 1:1-4.

         A. Describe the feelings this peasant woman has for this earthly king.


      B. We understand earthly love – but what might this be communicating

           concerning what God longs for from us, His Bride?


      C. How would Matt. 22:36-37 support this?


     D. Challenge question: If the Song were only about earthly marriage, what

         problems might occur in interpreting, for example, verse 3?



9. Take a verse or passage from this week and pray it into your life.

Thursday-Friday: 15 minute Video

10. Watch and share notes and comments:



11. What is your take-a-way and why?

Leave a Comment

Comment * If this is your first time here, please comment then fill out your name and email as stated at the bottom. Dee will approve you within 24 hours.


  1. 8A.  Describe the feelings this peasant woman has for this earthly king.      Many here have used the word “intoxicated” and I can’t think of a better descriptor – especially with the “your love is better than wine” piece!  She is carried away, exhilarated and completely in thrall to this king!  “Draw me after you, let us run”…..her one desire is to run away with him!  
    B.  We understand earthly love – but what might this be communicating concerning what God longs for from us, His Bride?  
    He wants ALL of us!  And He wants us first, foremost and always to want ALL of Him!!  
    C.  How would Matthew 22:36&37 support this?   It helps me look differently at the Law – for after all, Jesus’ response was to the question about the greatest commandment in the Law!  There is love dripping down even from the Law…..for if it were POSSIBLE for us to love God with all our hearts, minds and souls, where would be the need of the cross?  The Law showed us what we could not, in our humanness, do.  The cross showed us what Christ was willing to do for us.  His gift of the Holy Spirit shows us the beauty of the Law…..and the desire and ability to live it, however brokenly, in this life.  🙂  

  2. D.  Challenge question:  If the Song were only about earthly marriage, what problems might occur in interpreting, for example, v.3?
    Ok.  Perhaps more thought on my part is needed here!  But, like Jill, I’m going with not seeing much of a problem here!  🙂  Many, many times I’ve seen what Jill described when her husband first asked her out …..others being resentful as they would have desired to be the one asked out!!  ?  Just where my mind is taking me…..but again, I see some of the Song’s difficulty in interpretation in that BOTH earthly marriage and Christ and His Bridegroom (and perhaps even God and Israel??  ) are here.  Parsing through how that all contrasts and yet weaves together is exciting and perplexing at times!  

  3. C. How would Matt. 22:36-37 support this?
    ““Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:36-37‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    He wants us to love Him completely, without reservation; as He loves us.

  4. 9.  Take a verse or passage this week and pray it into your life.   “Draw me after you, let us run.”   Oh Jesus.  I need You desperately right here in the thick of things.  In my mundane.  I know in the core of my being that the people and circumstances in my life are chosen by You for Your mighty purposes.  I want to be faithful.  I want to persevere in what You have called me to do.  But most of all, I want to want YOU.  I want to be drawn away with You and You alone.  I want to RUN with You!  I think of the word “perseverance” that You gave me for this year, the Scripture Hebrews 12:1&2….”Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  I can only run with perseverance if you draw me after You…..and I know You will.  You never fail.  Your love never runs dry.  Draw me after you, let us run.  

  5. D. Challenge question: If the Song were only about earthly marriage, what
             problems might occur in interpreting, for example, verse 3?
    “your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you.”
    ‭‭Song of Solomon‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    Well, I don’t really know what this phrase means, so, on the surface, at the earthly level, one could take it as getting wrapped up in another person (their smell, their looks, their being) and having to “protect” my mate from others because of their attractive characteristics. 

    “…We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine; rightly do they love you.”
    ‭‭Song of Solomon‬ ‭1:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    Dearest Jesus, I praise You above all other things! You are my Savior! You are my Healer! You are my kinsman redeemer! Thank You for keeping me near You at all times. I know and feel Your presence daily, when I allow myself to stop and pay attention. You always have the answer to my problems. I just have to be still and follow Your lead. Many times this means I need to stop talking! It means I need to slow down. It means I need to pray. I love You more than my earthly things, although I struggle sometimes with this. Thank You dearest Jesus for being everything I need. Amen.

    1. That is a lovely prayer Laura….Jesus will not fail to answer you…and I think He is already working out all of this and so much more in your life!  🙂  

  7. 10.  Wow, just wow!  I tried listening to this message by Mike Reeves twice earlier this week and only got about 5 minutes in before getting interrupted.  Just this moment got through the entire teaching and am SO moved and edified.  HOW I wish I could have heard – and my heart would have been receptive-  to this decades ago!  Yet even so, God is so patient with us and meets us right where we are…..and so thankful that this is right where we are as a community of women….right now!  Falling more and more in love with our one and only Bridegroom!  May the things of earth grown strangely dim….in the light of His glory and grace!  

    1. Yes, Jackie.  He is indeed our one and only Bridegroom, the only One able to offer such a holy exchange.
      I started humming that old tune when I read your words,  “may the things of earth grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”  

    2. Oh how I agree with your statement: So rich and beautiful, and I,too, wish I had heard this message long ago. The beauty of the language escaped me, and I agree with the prayers.
      Abba, you are the bridegroom who is altogether lovely. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, oh yes!

  8. Saturday:
    11. What is your take-a-way and why?
    Susan, thanks so much for the sermon notes. I copied them for my own reference. So much to think about here.
    I really love this sermon and need to ponder how we as Christians taint the gospel by emphasizing the “get out of hell free” card and not the importance of longing and falling in love with Christ. Why are we “wearied, joyless Christians” I like too his reference to the “great marriage swap”.

  9. 11. What is your take-a-way and why?      
    She is delighted to sit in his shadow.   Just to be with him.    (from Song of Songs 2:3)
    Can’t do a lot of commenting right now.  But I am so  grateful for Susan’s notes which really helped me focus when I listened to the message the second time.   Mike Reeves is so gifted.  His manner always speaks to my heart.   I am SO moved by the column of smoke and the frankinscense and myrrh references.    What powerful, amazing references to the three personed God.  

  10. My take away:  The last sentences from Reeves: “He gives us all that is His.  He gives us himself.”  Also glad to get back into SoS.  Thanks for warm welcome back 🙂

  11. My internet has been out since yesterday, it is back on for now. I was able to watch the video on my phone and wow! I ate it up! He is communicates such enthusiasm…it is infectious. I really loved it.

  12. 10.   Just listened to Mike Reeves for a second time.   
    This holy exchange.    He willingly takes my rags and clothes me with his finest and most beautiful   Unspeakable mercy and kindness.   He offers to take on my anxiety and gives me rest.  
    And it isn’t only once.  It is every day. Every hour. Moment. Its even every time that I fail. He doesn’t call me failure. He only offers that holy exchange ………… again.

    1. Nila, SO true: Unfathomable.  And yet, in some ways, so (not sure I have the right words) familiar & comfortable.  It was as if I knew that/know Him so well that this refresher provided immediate encouragement.  I thought, “Yeah, that’s right.”  Plus, I listened so many times before that it was familiar.  There were a couple times when I wanted to speak along with him.

  13. My take-away–from Reeves, (really, from the truth of the Gospel!)–He is leading his people through the wilderness…and arriving for he wedding now He says, ‘all that I am I give to you, all that I have, I share with you’. And because the Bridegroom is a King, as I give him all that is mine, and He gives me, all that is His, I becomes a Queen! We are the Bride of Christ! He takes all that is mine…and I get all that is His. He wears my crown, the crown of thorns, and gives me His crown of glory–His royal robe of life, blessing and honor. Reminds me of how Keller says the Gospel in “unfair–in our favor”. When the enemy declares I deserve death and hell, I can admit yes, I deserve it–but with a happy boldness, I can declare I know One, who suffered on my behalf, and where He is, there I am as well. OH. I need this. Every day, every hour, I need Thee, how I need Thee..”What does she want from a relationship with Him? With all her heart, HIM”!!

    1. Just love your take away, Lizzy. Your words say it all!

      1. Shirley I agree Lizzy said that beautifully:) He loves us wanting HIM. It was nice talking with you today Shirley Lets talk again soon:)

  14. Lord I want to run with You. Keep taking me away into your chambers. I want to share your name Jesus as it is a sweet fragrance and attractive to drawing others. Keep kissing me with the kisses of your mouth, keep me longing for You. Your love is better than anything else I may have been drawn to. I will be glad and rejoice in You. Let me remember Your love more than anything else. May I forever be longing for You. In Jesus Name I pray.

  15. Been under the weather and busy at school so been quiet here. Followed along and read the exchanges and love the deep insight into the songs that I have never seen before. Still struggling with some verses as I read all the chapters so looking forward to learning more from the Spirit as He moves these conversations along.
    Mike Reeves is a delight. Happy story… happy boldness…happy confidence…great marriage swap (Amazing love how can it be? That thou my God should’st die for me!) Entering a loving relationship with the living God… the benefit of union with Christ is Christ. Amen!

  16. I don’t usually do takeaways, but here is my one comment about the sermon.  I love this line… We give him the crown of thorns. He gives us the crown of the king.  So moving!

  17. My take-away from this week is the marriage metaphor so beautifully described in The Songs and in Mike Reeves’ message. I’m still processing, and also when we read the passage in Matthew 22, I was convicted of how many other things compete for my love, affections, time, and devotion, and how often I am like a lukewarm bride, or a distracted bride. I really struggle with this picture of marital intimacy with the Lord because intimacy is what is so lacking in my earthly marriage. I love how Reeves’ put it, that Christ asks, “Will you love, cherish, and obey Me?” I still haven’t learned how to thrive spiritually in spite of the fact that there is no spiritual oneness, intimacy, deep companionship in my earthly marriage, and I have been running to other things to fill up the emptiness inside. I was reminded this week of Rebecca’s journey (Idol Lies) and how she replaced eating and watching the news with spending time with Him. Her example is always so powerful to me, and I need to do the same.