I am not a huge opera fan but I do enjoy a good musical. There’s something about beautiful words put to the perfect music that delights me. Isn’t it true that whatever we forget the lyrics of our favourite songs are as fresh as the day we first sang them? Isn’t it true that we learn scripture through worship songs that have us repeating words with a catchy tune?
The Song of Songs is – unsurprisingly – a song. Many people have a hard time reading it because it is amazingly sensual for a book in the Bible (maybe we think God shouldn’t talk about things like that). It is a blatant love song of a man and his bride proclaiming their love to everyone who will listen. It is both a song for flesh and blood couples and a song for God and His Church. The passionate love a man and woman can feel for each other is a reflection of the unsurpassed love Jesus feels for His bride, the Church and that she feels for Him, her groom, her husband, her Lord.
4 He placed me at his banquet table,
for everyone to see that his banner over me declares his love.
Song of Songs 2:4
When we read this book it ought to convince us of the extent of God’s love for us. It reinforces the truth that God so loved the World (John 3:16). It drives home that God loved us first when we had nothing to offer Him when we were helpless in our sin and that God’s love and our relationship with Him are the absolute best and most glorious things we can have, seek, want and they are all we need.
The song is extravagant in its language but God’s love for us IS extravagant. He laid down His life for us. Why? so that we could be forgiven, healed, restored to the relationship with Him that gives us a hope and a future. Think about that for a moment: Who else accepts you just as you are? Who else makes it possible for you to live a life characterised by love, hope, joy?
Who else will proclaim that we are beloved, accepted and precious to Him? Who else offers that same love, acceptance and value to those who don’t know Him? The banner over our lives is His love for us but the point of a sign, a banner is to show what’s going on. God’s love is for you and for me but it is a love that is big enough for everyone. He proclaims that He loves us and He wants us to proclaim that His love is also for others.
What God has done for us is too big, too important, too precious to keep quiet about. He proclaims His love for us in every moment of our lives. Let’s proclaim our love for Him the same way so that others can see this love and perhaps wonder how they can experience it too.