19 September 2011

The Shepherd of The Hills, part 1

This week, Dr. Brian Green, pastor of Calvary Free Grace Baptist Church in London, England, has been at Temple Baptist Church teaching a course on the book of the Song of Songs (also known as the Song of Solomon). He has written a book called The Shepherd of the Hills , and it has been a huge help to me. I only started reading it this morning, but it is such a wonderful book! If you ever have a chance to read it, take hold of it. I wanted to share some of the notes that I wrote down this morning. I'll write the rest of them on here, hopefully, tomorrow.

Part 1: "The View of the Book"
Solomon's Song is the most important song that will ever be sung. The first verse of the song says, "The song of songs, which is Solomon's." It is so important to the Lord that He Himself calls it the Songs of all other songs. He wrote over 1,000 songs, but this is the only one that we still have a written record of. It is an extremely beautiful song that we should all know of.

Although this book is a picture of Christ's love, it also involves true people and places. It is not strictly allegorical! Unlike what I always though, this book of love is not that between Solomon and his Shulamite bride. It is, though, a love story between her and the Shepherd from whom she was taken away. This was most likely written by Solomon after being rejected by her. She couldn't let go of the great love she had for the Shepherd of the hills. (Song of Songs 1:7 "Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?) In this book, Solomon is NOT a picture of Christ but of the sinful world. The Shulamite bride is a picture of the Church which is constantly battling to remain faithful. The Shepherd of the hills is a picture of Christ, truly loving and caring for His bride.

There is a beautiful relationship between God and His Church pictured in this great book. The church is called a building (Eph. 2:19-21), a family (Eph. 3:15), a body (Eph. 4:4) and, most importantly, a bride (Eph. 5:23). The Shulamite woman (the Church) belongs, body and soul, unto the Shepherd of the hill (Christ), but Solomon (the world) always tries to steal her away. The world will NEVER stop trying to get you away from your Beloved. The Song of Songs is pre-eminently about the Beloved, the Shepherd of the hills. Charles Spurgeon once said that "This [The Lord] is the soul and heart of this divine composition." He was so very true. We need to pray to be more and more in love with our Beloved, the Lord Himself! Even when we leave our Beloved standing at the door as the Shualmite woman did, He still loves us. He will NEVER stop loving us. The Song of Songs 2:16 says "My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies."

Part 2: The Vision of the Bride

The young Shulamite woman only desired to run away from Solomon, her dangerous captor. His castle, regardless of its unnatural beauty, was her prison. She hated herself. Many times, she calls herself "black"; she is comparing herself with the fair-skinned beauties on Solomon's court. She couldn't stand any distance from the Shepherd. In the Bible, there is never a mention of any form of "farewell" or "goodbye" kiss. Our Lord will never leave us! His love is much more precious than any earthly pocession or position.
"How wonderful it is that, even in our locak, the Lord works through us!"-Dr. Brian Green

Part 3: The Visitation of the Beloved

On the Shepherd's first visit, he comes to reassure the Shulamite woman. He comes smelling of sweet perfumes, of spikenard, myrrh, and camphire (henna). His sweet smelling savour was so inviting to her. "Is Christ the sweet frangrance of our souls?" (Dr. Green) He whispered words of love to her, calling her "my love", "my dove", and telling her "thou art fair!" He loved her so very much, regardless of how much he had to work to attain her love. Our Lord, our Beloved, loves us so much! I can't believe that He lets me call Him my Father and my Friend! How amazing is that! Dr. Green told us this simple but unbelievable truth: "Christ takes the common, He takes the ordinary, and makes a lot of it!"

One of my favorite hymns is called "Dear Saviour, Thou Art Mine". Most Americans have never heard it, so I'll put the lyrics here:
♪Dear Saviour, Thou art mine,
How sweet the thought to me!
Let me repeat Thy name,
And life my heart to Thee.
Mine! Mine! Mine!
I know Thou art mine;
Saviour, dear Saviour,
I know Thou art mine.♪

I am so thankful that the Lord is mine!
Song of Songs 6:3 "I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies." 

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