Bro. Caleb Taft
Loving Our Lord | Song of Solomon 2:4-6
Song of Songs 2:4-6
4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
5 Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.
6 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me. (KJV)
As I read these verses of Scripture I noticed that every verse deals with two things. Verse four speaks of a banqueting house and a banner, verse five speaks of flagons and apples and in verse six the right hand and the left hand is embracing the lovesick Shulamite. Every one of these things is meant to comfort the Shulamite, and it seems that she isn't satisfied until she is finally in his embrace in verse six. The banqueting house and the banner are beautiful and the flagons and apples are sweet but they are no comparison to the master of the house and the dresser of the vineyard. All the things he could offer her were wonderful beyond belief but they were still no comparison to Him, the one who had the house built, the banner sown, the flagons pressed and the apples grown. These things were the product of Solomon and offered to her out of his love for her, and truly, Solomon's offerings would have been the best the world had to offer.
Remember the words of the Queen of Sheeba.
1 Kings 10:6-8
"And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom."
When she saw Him and the works of his wisdom she said that the half had not yet been told. Even his servants and men were happy. Now if the servants and men were happy to serve Him, imagine the attention and detail that was paid to the one whom his heart loved. She was the apple of His eye and there would have been no expense spared if it would comfort the Shulamite. Yet, the best he had to offer was still no comparison to the very person of the king whom her love was set on. It seems that the Banqueting House and the Banner and the flagons(date or raisin cakes) and apples only made her long for him more until at last, she felt his left hand holding up her head and his right hand embracing her.
This study is to love our Lord and this seems to be the theme of the Song of Solomon. In the pages of this book, we have a greater story told of a greater than Solomon and the Love for His bride, The Church. Think how wonderful are the things Christ has given to us, His Bride. He brought me into His Banqueting house. Not just anyone in the kingdom could attend a royal party. You had to know somebody. She wasn't a friend of a friend who knew some official in Israel. She was there by direct invitation of the King Himself. Notice the words in verse 4: "He brought me to the banqueting house." Even further than being invited, she was ushered in by him. A poor Shulamite, being ushered in by the King, can you imagine? There was no room for question, he let His love be known to the congregation that had gathered in the hall. It seems as if he had a special banner made for her, and it didn't read beauty, mercy, or grace but Love. His banner over her was love because in love is wrapped up greater themes like grace and mercy and condescension and sacrifice. Love covers many many other lesser graces and so in this banner reading love, she didn't just have the kingdom or just the king but she had his heart and all that he had to offer.
Is this not so of our heavenly Solomon, Jesus, The King of kings, and the fellowship he has brought us into? He came to where I was and brought me into His fellowship, into the fellowship of kings and priests. Imagine a poor farm boy from the middle of nowhere, and He has left no room for question, his banner over me is love. He has my heart and I have His. He is the richest of the rich and, before I met him, was the poorest of the poor but now his banqueting house and his banner are comforts to me. I am a fellow citizen with a royal court and it seems as if I am his esteemed guest. Of all the people I feel as if He loves me most, but so do all of His bride.
Verse 5 reminds us of the fruits of his righteousness. Flagons were a cake of raisins or dates or some other fruit that was pressed into a cake and the apples remind us of what was said in verse 3, "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons." Not only has he brought us into the fellowship of saints and the royal priesthood of believers, but He has fed us with the fruits of His righteousness. Once you had tasted of the food prepared by the king and in the king's court the meals of the peasant's shacks would no longer satisfy like they used to. The Shulamite had come up poor and eaten the things that poor people would eat, but now she has tasted and seen that king's food is to be desired above any other. This is spiritual comfort food! She says "Stay me with Flagons." That is "satisfy me with the fruits you have prepared!" "Comfort me with apples." Comfort me with your fruits. She didn't find comfort in her fruits but His.
So is it with us and our beloved, The fruits of The Spirit are the things my heart longs for these days. I have tasted of that heavenly gift and the things of this earth have grown strangely dim. The things that once satisfied me, no longer do. Our Lord has ruined our taste for the things of this world. We have tasted and seen that the Lord is good! At times when I have tried to satisfy my longings with my fruits or the fruits that this world has to offer it has only made me desire more the fruits that He has given. There has never been a satisfaction this world has to offer that even compares to the joys and delights and peace that I have tasted in the King's court!
Lastly, we see her swept off her feet in the embrace of her beloved. The banqueting hall and the banner and the fruits can't compare now to the one who holds her in his arms. So is it with us, I have tasted his fruits and it has ruined my appetite for this world, I have fellowshipped with Him and the saints that are in him and the fellowship of this world has lost its glimmer, but still my soul longs more and more for the day that He will hold us in His embrace. When He Presents us "spotless before the throne." If the joys he has given us on this side of heaven have been greater than anything we have known here, how much greater will be the joys of His felt and seen presence. When not just spiritual he ushers us, His Bride, into the banqueting house of Glory and we sit down at the marriage supper of the Lamb. When we, The Church, are brought in, not by a friend of the King, but By the King of kings. There will be no question who it is that He loved so much that he was willing to die, He will usher us in and His banner over us will be love! What a day that will be! These joys and fruits of His righteousness down here comfort and create a hunger at the same time. They comfort my longings here and make me hunger for the day that faith ends in sight and He holds us in his embrace for all of eternity. We will say like the Queen of Sheba "The half was not told."