Song of Songs


Love Song

As we arrive at Chapter 8 all is well. The bride, Israel, has connected with the bridegroom, God. Her struggle, her love, and the love of God has been seen by the onlookers, or friends, and they are asking questions about God and His love for them. The bride is working in her vineyard and the vineyard is producing fruit for the King.

In Isaiah 5 we read that Israel and Judah are a vineyard. God had called them to produce fruit for Him. The fruit He was looking for was justice and righteousness but when He looked for the fruit He found oppression and a cry for help.  God gave the nation His Law to bring to a lawless world. They were to proclaim the Law and live the Law. God promised that if they followed the Law that He would bless them in such a way that the world would see the goodness of God and want God to be their God as well. But that is not what they did. Rather than shine the Light of the world they joined with the world in darkness and blindness to God, so God put them out of the vineyard and the nations were destroyed. The people were taken into exile.

After years in exile the remnant of the nation that seek God are allowed to return to the land and rebuild the temple where they can worship God. Though they are still under the rule of other nations they have a long period of religious freedom but not without opposition and difficulties. Jesus, in Matthew 21, explains in a parable that God has again given the nation a vineyard to work in and produce fruit for God. They started out well by preserving the law but over the years they corrupted God’s law with their interpretations and traditions to the point that their law had essentially replaced God’s Law. God’s attributes of mercy, love, and grace were lost and people were taught they must work to receive God’s approval. Jesus said that this vineyard would be taken from them and given to a people who would produce fruit for God. Those people are the Church.

In John 15 Jesus tells us that He is the vine and the Church is the branches. So Israel and Judah are the first vineyard and the religious rulers from the exile until the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome in 70 AD is the second vineyard.  The Church is a third vineyard and again, like Israel, we are to produce fruit for the Lord. Jesus makes it clear that in order to produce fruit we must remain in Him and so He has given us the Holy Spirit to abide with us. The Holy Spirit is given in love and the fruit of the Holy Spirit begins with love. Galatians 5:22&23

We cannot produce fruit if we do not abide in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit.  The branches that do not produce fruit are pruned off and taken away from Christ where they wither and dry out.

The bride in this book illustrates this separation. Though she longs for her bridegroom she does not connect to him. She struggles. She drifts away. She sleeps in. It is not until she fully surrenders her will to him that she connects with him, is united with him, and she is able to truly receive his love and blessing. When she does, her life is put in order and peace and love abound.

One day, in the middle of the Great Tribulation, Israel will forsake everything they have trusted in and surrender to the Lord. At this point they will make Him Lord of their lives and complete the task they have been given in Daniel 9:24. They will find themselves in the vineyard of the Lord and this time they will produce fruit for the Lord as a witness to the world of the patience, love, grace, and mercy of God.

Let me be perfectly clear. The Church does not replace Israel, but at this time the Church has the same task. We are to be a witness to the world of the goodness and love of our God. We are, not only to proclaim the gospel, but, to live the gospel in total surrender and commitment to God based on our love for God. We need to also be aware that as God removed Israel from the vineyard twice that we will not get a free pass if we do not abide in Him as the Lord made it clear in John 15:2&6.

So let me ask you this. Does the world around you see your love for God as the friends of the bride did, or do they see a love for the world? When the Lord comes for His bride the Church and we are taken from this world and rewarded for the fruit we produced will we be watching for Him or will we be sleeping in with casual indifference?

As we read through the Old Testament it is easy to look at what Israel did and judge them for their failures, but when we judge, we have a tendency to become blind to our actions when we do the same things. This is pride and presumption.  It is important that as we read the Old Testament that we look at ourselves and see if we have allowed something or someone to draw our love away from God. It is not about a list of laws to follow it is about loving the Lord and making Him our first love. Almost everything we do is ultimately based on one of three motivators, faith, hope, and love. The Apostle Paul said the greatest and most important of these is love. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to Love God with everything we have within us. The second commandment is to love others as we love ourselves.

The Apostle John in 1 John said we are able to love because God loved us first and God continues to love us no matter what. Love for God and one another is our witness to the world.  

This song is a love song. It is the love song of all songs! We can love because we are loved!

Pastor Dave