Song of Songs 8 provides an interesting corollary to the earlier truth about my sister, my Bride.
Here the Laodicean bride says to Christ, “O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised” (verse 1).
The Bible does reveal that Christ is “the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). He is the “elder Brother” of the people of God. But this verse in the Song of Songs reveals a major Laodicean problem: O that thou WERE as my brother, she says. Christ is not as this woman’s brother! She has a lukewarm love for Him, but she doesn’t have the depth of the God Family love. She has lost the understanding of the Father and the Brother. If you’ve lost that, you’ve lost everything!
Christ called her sister four times in Song of Songs chapters four and five. We really are God’s Family in embryo. What depth there is in this spiritually rich understanding!
In a good, strong physical family, brothers and sisters love each other. They talk intimately at times with each other about the family, they uphold each other, they fight for each other, they have reunions, and there is harmony among them. A sister and brother certainly should love each other and look after one another.
That also must be true within God’s spiritual Family. When we marry Jesus Christ, we are going to help the Father expand His Family! Brotherly and sisterly love will abound. That is exactly the love we need within the congregations in God’s Church today! As in a good physical family, when problems arise we have to look out for each other and help each other. My sister—my brother! We have to build the love of our elder Brother—for each other. We must love as Christ does. If we don’t look after each other, we are neglecting the very Body of Christ, of which He is the Head!
In Matthew 12:50, Christ says that “whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Hebrews 2:11 says that Jesus Christ is not ashamed to call the people of God brethren, or brothers. Christ is not ashamed to call you brother! He certainly looks after you. And the lesson is, we must follow His spectacular example. It’s all about family, and learning to love the way Christ does. We are brothers and sisters! If there are problems, we must look after our brothers and sisters.
The Bride of Christ should be saying, My Brother, my Husband! If you love Christ, the Head of the Body, as a brother, then you love all the members as brothers.
I have never seen the depth of God’s love in quite this way before! When you truly understand these verses, they are some of the most beautiful scriptures you have ever read! Here is some of the deepest love expressed in the Bible.
The people of God must love each other. When the love of God builds there, it enables those people to then go out and love those saints who are rebelling against God—who, right now, even hate those who are faithful! And then that love extends even to the unconverted in the world, who also so often hate God’s people.
That is what Jesus Christ did. He died out of love for a world that hated Him! We all need more of that love. Only God’s love motivates a person to die for people who hate him!
Everyone in this world is a potential brother or sister in the Family of God. We need that expansive family perspective in order to love them the way Christ does!
Christ even said that if we go to a prison and visit a criminal who wants to be led to conversion, we have visited Christ Himself! (Matthew 25:34-40). That is hard for a carnal mind to understand—it takes the Spirit of God. Jesus Christ died for that individual, and He is beginning to live in that prisoner!
My brother, my husband—my sister, my bride—my beloved, my dove. It’s all about family. That’s what this book is really about: the Family of God. This book teaches all of us how to deepen our love for God and each other. It is some of the most inspiring thinking I have ever read, and it challenges us to grow in and to nurture the love of God in our lives.
In Song of Songs 8, you see this bride’s attitude coming around: “I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother’s house, who would instruct me,” she says (verse 2). She wants to be instructed. Finally she realizes what a terrible sin she has committed and repents. Once again, she is thrilled to be taught by God. She wants Christ to come in and sup with her! What a beautiful conclusion. There is good news here at the end.
Verse 5 talks about her repenting. In the Revised Standard Version, Christ says, “Under the apple tree I awakened you. There your mother was in travail with you, there she who bore you was in travail.” He brings her back to the place of her birth, and wakes her up!
Here is how she responds: “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death …” (verse 6).
This is truly inspiring. It staggers the mind. There is coming a time when this repentant Bride of Christ will become a courageous witness for her Husband in the face of death, amid the nightmares of the Tribulation. She will look her persecutors squarely in the face, and say, Love is strong as death! I can love God, and I can die for Him because I love Him so much!
The verse concludes: “the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.” This is speaking of the flame of God. Soncino and Lange’s actually include “the flame of God” in their translations, and that is accurate. This is about the flame of God! God is a consuming fire, and His face shines like the sun in its full strength! That is the radiant, majestic future for all those saints who endure to the end. “[W]e know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him …” (1 John 3:2)—we will be God as God is God!
Many Christians of this world call that teaching blasphemy. That just illustrates how ignorant they are of their own Bibles!
Even those Laodiceans—who today are ensnared in self-delusion and fantasy—are going to reawaken to this reality. They are going to prove themselves by surrendering their lives for God, and then will inherit that wonderful reward! That is very good news.
“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned” (Song of Songs 8:7). What a breathtaking scripture. If we are loyal to God, nothing can destroy true love—NOTHING! Not even death.
The passage continues to depict this woman’s repentance. When this woman is grown up spiritually, it asks in verse 8, what will happen? “If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar” (verse 9). This woman has finally learned that there is only one door that opens to God, and that’s the door that is Jesus Christ (e.g. John 10:9). If another door presents itself, then board it up! Don’t let anybody take you away from God’s open door. Only one door will lead us into the Kingdom of God—there is no other! Maintain a laser focus on it!
We must never let Satan seduce us into trying another door. If he opens another door even only slightly, then board it up immediately—it is an eternal death trap! We must leave no openings for the devil.
Verse 10 of Song of Songs 8 shows how this Bride becomes the perfect beauty to God: She says, “[T]hen was I in his eyes as one that found favour.” In these verses God again uses physical beauty to illustrate this woman’s stunning spiritual beauty. This is the beauty that the Song of Songs is all about. This is the only beauty that really matters. It is the ultimate beauty—and it lasts forever!
In verses 11-13 you see this woman hearing God’s voice and simply walking away from the spirit of King Solomon. She has ended that grotesque spiritual adultery; she no longer wants anything the king has to offer. She asked God for strength to hear His voice. And He gave it.
“Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices” (verse 14). She has set her heart wholly upon the sweet-smelling mountains of God and the eternal glory that awaits her.
What a beautiful love song this is. I have no doubt that this message will do much to help those beloved people of God take heart in the midst of their worst suffering, and to turn utterly back to their Husband, who is waiting for them with open arms.
This could be the message that really grips the Laodiceans during the Great Tribulation (and some of them before that time). They will finally see how completely God loves them—in spite of their rebellion.
When the Laodiceans see this aspect of God’s love, it will trigger many wonderful memories of the past, when they were receiving God’s blessings.
Another Note of Great Hope!
In conclusion, I believe there is some more really good news here.
Remember that God told Solomon, If you forsake me, I will cast you off forever (1 Chronicles 28:9). From everything we can tell historically, Solomon certainly did forsake God for a significant period in his life—just as the Laodiceans have done.
However, Solomon also wrote this book, the Song of Songs. Most authorities agree that he probably did so in his old age.
I believe it was written by a repentant Solomon. Otherwise, how could he have written the Song of Songs?
This king really puts himself in a bad light in this song. I believe this shows that he did recognize that he had allowed all the physical things he possessed—the goods, the wealth, the women, anything you could imagine—to waste him spiritually. There must have come a point when he was so thankful to repent that he put his repentance out there where everybody could see it! He wanted to reveal to everybody just how barbaric that kind of life is compared to what God is giving us.
I think Solomon made himself look very bad here because he had become truly contrite, humble and repentant before God. This certainly looks like a book of repentance to me.
If this is true—and I honestly believe it is—then you can imagine what it will mean to King David!
I believe that Solomon himself is a symbol of those 50 percent of the Laodiceans who will repent. These lukewarm saints can study the example of Solomon and say, Look at all the terrible things that man did. If Solomon can repent and make it into the Kingdom of God, I can, too.
Why is God giving this message to us today? He is testing our love. To those involved in the Work of God today, God issues this challenge: Do you love the Laodiceans the way I do? Would you call them “my dove, my love, my sister, my bride”? Would you talk to them that way while there is time to get this message out before the Great Tribulation? Do you have enough love to do that?
Now the responsibility is on our shoulders to visit God’s lukewarm saints and give them this love song from God!