All Roads Lead To Jesus - Song of Solomon

Reading: Song Of Solomon 1, Psalm 139

When my wife became pregnant with our first child, we were so excited. For some reason, we decided to keep it quiet for as long as possible. We enjoyed having this major secret in our lives just between the two of us. It was a way in which we could build intimacy. We would exchange knowing looks in public without anyone knowing what was going on between us. We would dream what it would be like to be parents without letting anyone else in on the secret. We knew something about one another that no one else knew and it was pretty awesome.

We waited to tell our family and friends until she was almost 4 months pregnant. The secret was harder and harder to keep because even if Laura wasn’t showing, those who were closest to her could tell that something was different. The more intimately you knew my wife, the more you were able to see that difference.

But those early months were some of the most intimate of our young marriage. It was fun, maybe even scandalous, adventurous, and ornery. But more than that, we really enjoyed that we had this unique knowledge of one another that no one else had.

The Song of Solomon is a book about falling in love, staying in love, and sexuality in the context of true love. It’s a book that isn’t preached about all that often because many modern Evangelical churches aren’t sure how to handle it.  

Solomon knew a thing or two about sex and intimacy.  At the end of his reign, the Bible says that he had been sexually involved with many women from many different nations. In Ecclesiastes, he writes that he acquired many concubines as he tested whether or not sexual pleasure would bring meaning to his life.

Song of Solomon must be read in the context of intimacy, sexuality, and love without too much over-spiritualization. The original intent of the story was to describe what it was like for two people to be in love. The two lovers describe their feelings and sexual attraction, their physical attraction to one another, and ultimately their desire to be with one another all of the time. They just can’t get enough of one another. They enjoyed the secrecy of their sexual trysts and being the only two people in the world who knew one another in this way.  When we read Song of Solomon, we should not attempt to steal away any of the sexual overtones, otherwise, we lose the original intent the author had for his audience. The reader is let in on the secret and is meant to know what it means to be loved, desired, courted, and ultimately known by someone else. What is it like to be fully known without any fear of rejection? This is true intimacy.

We are all looking and searching for intimacy. We want someone to know our secrets and we want to share in their secrets. Intimacy is being fully known by someone without fear of rejection. Intimacy is also knowing someone fully without rejecting them. To truly be intimate with someone you must be willing to travel a two-way street. Intimacy allows us to be honest and truthful with someone. Intimacy allows husbands and wives to give their bodies to one another for pleasure and to enjoy one another. Intimacy means we can be ourselves and we can become better versions of ourselves as we allow the people we are intimate with to “go there” without any fear.

There are various levels of intimacy that we have with people in our lives. This is why we don’t share every single private detail with everyone in every sphere of life. Some things, some actions, some thoughts, and some conversations are reserved for those we are most intimate with.

God created us to be in an intimate relationship with Him. He desired to be known and to know us fully. We long to be intimate because we were created to be intimate. This is why adultery and sins against those closest to us are so devastating. All of a sudden, what was meant to be a safe relationship for intimacy has become a source of great hurt and distrust. Broken intimacy is one of the hardest places to return from. But it is possible. The reason I know it is possible to return from broken intimacy is because the Gospel has restored an eternally broken relationship.

Adam and Eve experienced intimacy with God in a way that no other human being (except Jesus) has experienced since the Garden of Eden. They were fully known, and God did not reject them. But then the ultimate act of betrayal broke their relationship. They sinned against God and as a result, the intimacy they once had was now darkened.

But God loved his people with an everlasting and long-suffering love. He longed for us to be intimate again. Throughout the Old Testament we find the idea of God’s covenantal love. The Scriptures call this love “hesed”. God’s hesed was the driving force behind his patience with Israel and his interactions with His people. God’s hesed is the foundation of his sending his Son Jesus Christ to die for his people. God’s hesed is the reason we have redemption and salvation. God wants us to know him and he wants us to be known fully without any fear of rejection. Jesus has made true intimacy possible as the author of love that never ends.

This kind of love is what we find in the Song of Solomon. It seems as if these lovers will never fall out of love. We want that kind of love. The problem is that we know the lovers in the Song did not have perfect love. Most scholars believe that King Solomon was writing about his own experience with falling in love. Sadly, King Solomon fell in and out of love many, many times. Why? Because the intimacy he was after can only be found in knowing God.

We cannot experience true intimacy with one another if we do not have intimacy with God. The reason for this is because unless we know that our sins have been dealt with unless we know that we have no reason to be ashamed unless we know that we are no longer under judgment, then we, like Adam and Eve in the Garden, must hide. If we are hidden, we can never truly be intimate with God or with others.

This is why the Gospel is such good news. The Gospel finds hidden people, exposed them, redeems them, and dresses them in new clothes – the righteousness of Christ.

Through the Gospel, God, rich in mercy, has given us a pathway to intimacy. Jesus is the author of this pathway for he is the author of perfect love. You see, Jesus dealt with all of our shame and guilt on the Cross. Every last one of our sins and we all have many sins, have been paid for. God has accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and by faith has redeemed us and restored us into a loving relationship with himself. In other words, through Christ, God accepts his people no matter what their past, no matter how they struggle, and no matter how imperfect they are. God knows us fully, loves us fully, and accepts us fully because of the work of Jesus Christ.

If God knows everything about us and accepts us fully, then we can carry this into our relationships with others. We don’t have to hide anymore. We can be confident under the Gospel that we are truly known and truly loved.

So many of us are trying to hide from God and from others. We know what we are really like. We know what would happen if the people around us could see our deepest thoughts. We know that we are all fronting and trying to keep it together so that we won’t be rejected. But what if we didn’t need to front any longer? What if we could be accepted for who we really are?

The Gospel is the only way to have true intimacy. Make no mistake, the Gospel does not leave us the same people for the rest of our lives. There are things that need to change. But that change is not the basis for God’s love for us. We end up changing because God has loved us. We end up changing because we want to know God more. We change because God does know everything about us and has not rejected us.

The intimacy you desire is possible. It is possible by knowing Jesus who already knows you fully. Here is what is so incredible about the Gospel. God knows everything about you and he still wants to be in a relationship with you. There is no greater intimacy. There is no greater love.

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