Song of Songs, or Song of Solomon if you prefer, must be one of the most controversial books in the whole Bible, and whether it is meant to be literal or allegorical (or both) is one of the great debates of every age. But what we must know and believe is that the book is a good gift of God and relevant for our day and every day. In the opening chapter of his new commentary, James Hamilton has this to say about the book’s contemporary importance.
The people of God need the Word of God, and we desperately need the Song of Songs today. Our time is notable for massive sexual confusion, distortion, and perversion. Pornography is pervasive. Adultery is celebrated in the cultture at large, the devastation of divorce normalized, the fiction of same-sex marriage legalized—all satanic attempts to make immorality moral through the permission of the legislature. In this subverted moral universe, those who adhere to morality as the Bible asserts the Creator intended it are regarded as bigots, or worse.
As a result of the Fall, we who are Christians experience deeply distorted and destructive instincts and attitudes about sexuality. Even among the redeemed we can find broken and damaged marriages. Some members of the bride of Christ harbor unrealistic expectations about what marriage will be like, about what our needs are, and about how to achieve satisfaction.
How are we to straighten out our crooked thinking, find healing for old wounds, and be renewed in our minds when it comes to marriage and sex? God’s Word is living and active. God’s Word is relevant. God’s Word is able to make us wise unto salvation. And I am confident that God has given us the Song of Solomon so that we will think rightly about sexuality. As we present the living sacrifices of our lives—even in our sexuality—to the One who showed us mercy (Rom. 12:1-2), the Song of Songs is one of the tools the Spirit of God will use to conform us to the image of Christ, to transform us from one degree of glory to another, to enable us to take every thought captive to the knowledge of Christ.
God has given us the Song of Solomon so that His glory in Christ will shine in our marriages and in our sexuality. We want the glory of God in Christ to shine in the way we think about and live out the emotional and physical intimacy God intends for husbands and wives by the power of the Spirit.
The Song of Songs is inviting, exciting, and daunting, and God will use it to make us love Him, to make us long for Christ, and to make us better single people and better spouses, better adolescents and better adults, better children and better parents. The Bible is more real than the world, and the way to live in the Bible’s account of reality, which is the real world, is to steep ourselves in it, to understand it, to relish it, meditating on it day and night.
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