As I made my way through the Song of Solomon, it occurred to me that the culture of the day must have been very different from our day and age. The comparisons, for example, as quite foreign to us. And the book talks about certain anatomical body parts that in our culture wouldn’t be mentioned…
As a matter of fact, I am quite hesitant to even write this particular devotional, because of its emphasis on parts of the body that aren’t considered to be acceptable to talk about! But it is the Bible, and I firmly believe that everything in this Book of all books is inspired and is for the purpose of teaching us the difference between right and wrong. This is, after all, a Biblical teaching: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT). So, because all Scripture is inspired and useful to teach us, that includes these passages of the Song of Solomon, despite the fact that they mention “unmentionable” body parts! Having said all that, I hope and pray this devotional doesn’t make anyone feel uncomfortable, because I feel that the lesson from these “unmentionable” verses is vitally important.
It is the woman speaking here: “I was a virgin, like a wall; now my breasts are like towers. When my lover looks at me, he is delighted with what he sees.” (Song of Solomon 8:10 NLT)
If you are like me, you are probably thinking, “What possible lesson can this be teaching me today?”
Bear with me. Let’s think for a moment: What is the primary purpose of this “unmentionable” body part?
If you said it is for sexual pleasure, you are wrong. The primary purpose is quite simply to provide nourishment for babies. And as such, it is a very vital part of the woman’s anatomy. Especially in the day this was written, when there wasn’t such a thing as baby bottles or formula!
The apostle Paul makes reference to “infant” Christians, those who need “spiritual milk” and who aren’t ready for solid food: “Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger.” (1 Cor. 5:1-2 NLT). Here we actually see that Paul is reprimanding them for not being ready to feed themselves. However, we can’t expect new-born Christians to be able to “feed” themselves, any more than we can expect a new-born baby to feed itself. Of course we want those babies, be it literal babies or a baby Christians, to get to the point where they can feed themselves. That is the goal of every literal parent, and it should be the goal of spiritual ones as well. Nonetheless, there is that initial period where the baby cannot feed itself. It needs to be fed in order to grow.
This “feeding” of baby Christians is not just some idea someone came up with either. It is actually something that Jesus expects of us: “After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ Peter replied, ‘you know I love you.’ ‘Then feed my lambs,’ Jesus told him.” (John 21:15 NLT). In fact, Jesus repeated this command twice more (See John 21:16-17)! It is interesting that this command is actually given as a “proof” of Peter’s love for Jesus! If he truly loves Jesus, he will “feed” His “lambs”!
And I would like to suggest that this is the meaning for each of us today of these “unmentionable” passages of the Song of Solomon. Babes in Christ cannot be expected to feed other baby Christians. They are, however, expected to reach the point where they can. And when they do just that, the lover of our souls is happy: “When my lover looks at me, he is delighted with what he sees.” (Song of Solomon 8:10b NLT)
If you’re not quite on board with this, than let’s go back a couple verses: The woman’s brothers are speaking: “We have a little sister too young to have breasts. What will we do for our sister if someone asks to marry her? If she is a virgin, like a wall, we will protect her with a silver tower. But if she is promiscuous, like a swinging door, we will block her door with a cedar bar.” (Song of Solomon 8:8-9 NLT). In other words, when their sister was young, they felt they needed to protect her. They needed to protect her from those who would take advantage of her, but they also needed to protect her from herself. This is what we must do when we “feed” God’s lambs! We need to protect them as they grow in their walk with the Lord!
Do you want to make the lover of your soul “excited” when He looks at you? Then reach out and feed His sheep! Protect them from those who would draw them away, and protect them against any false believe they may latch on to that will lead them astray! Help the baby Christians come to the point where they can feed themselves! For in so doing, you will be following Jesus’ command to Peter. You will be proving that you love Him because you are caring for His tiny newborns, helping them along the way in their personal relationships with Christ!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Author, Moderator, Associate Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries
(To access the entire “Unveiling the Song of Solomon” mini-series, click here)