“I Am My Beloved’s,
and My Beloved Is Mine”

THE Song of Songs is a unique book of Biblical literature, and as we consider this love song we will discover why it was inserted into the Old Testament. It is clear that Solomon wrote the book and that its purpose is to give us some idea of the close relationship of love that exists between Christ and his church.

The structure of this writing is unusual for a prophetic message, with various repetitions in verse, themes, images, and its expressions of pure earthly love between a man and woman. Some consider the work only a form of poetry, and many others differ greatly as to its interpretation.

We will consider it here, however, in an allegorical sense, as relating to Christ and his church. The love of Christ for his church is the model for the highest and purist forms of love, as we will see through a consideration of this beautiful book. The objective of the poem, quite apparently, is to demonstrate the intimacy and harmony found in their spiritual communion.

The Shulamite

In this writing we find only two characters: one is the writer, who speaks in the first person, and is Solomon. The other is the Shulamite woman. (Sol. 6:13) Both of these names come from the Hebrew word shalom, which means ‘peace’, and describes a state of serenity, and contentment. It can also be interpreted as meaning ‘prosperous’ or ‘perfected’. The Shulamite was considered as perfect, one who was worthy of becoming the companion of the ‘perfect one’, symbolic of Christ. It is as though the Shulamite woman is saying, “I have found at the side of Solomon a haven of peace.”

In this she represents the true church who has pledged her fidelity and submission to Christ, and in this state finds blessed peace. This woman, then, does fittingly represent the church, who makes no secret of her present spiritual riches, and her bond with Christ, which will result in her future joining with him as his ‘bride’.

In chapter 6, verse 3, the Shulamite woman says, “I am my Beloved’s,” in expression of her genuine and profound love, which is reciprocated in kind by her beloved. Oh, how sincere and deep is the expression of Solomon’s devotion to her; and in turn hers for her Beloved.

Another picture describing this love, and illustrating the conditions of the heavenly calling is given to us in Psalm 45:10: “Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people and thy father’s house; so shall the king greatly desire ‘thy beauty; for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.” This passage relates to all those whom God calls during the Gospel Age. He has brought them out from among the midst of corrupt humanity and invited them to renounce their wills, and all their present and future earthly hopes, in order to receive a heavenly reward from their spiritual Bridegroom. But in order not to jeopardize this calling, they must conform themselves to the requirements of the Bridegroom, renouncing everything of earth for the spiritual calling. Let us, then, give attentive ear to the voice of God and heed his call, because he is ready to accept us just as we are, to reshape us in his image and likeness.

The king greatly desires thy beauty, O beloved Shulamite—he would like to make you his ideal bride. Could we receive a better or grander proposal? This is the unique offer made to us during this Gospel Age. Are we ready to accept the exceptional opportunity which will come to an end forever at the close of this age? The bride does make a vow of obedience, accepting her Lord as her king as her bridegroom, evidencing this by her behavior and her words as she says, ‘I am my Beloved’s’.

The members of the church particularly delight to carry out their vow of consecration through their faithfulness to his will and ways. These individually promise to conduct themselves properly in life as children of God (I Pet. 2:12) and to have a good conscience before God. (I Pet. 3:21) They strive to resist the many varied temptations which are scattered throughout the course of their lives. Through the promised grace to help from the Bridegroom, they seek daily to carry out their sacrifice of earthly interests.

“Forget thy father’s house [father Adam],” we were told in Psalm 45. We do this by mortifying earthly lusts, aspirations, hopes, and inclinations, and with confidence placing ourselves at the disposition of our kind Heavenly Father and his Son, for it is our subordination to his will that will result in glory and honor. All our efforts, all our sacrifices offered for the sake of pleasing our Bridegroom will receive reward.

Could we find a more beautiful, grander proposal than this, which invites us to leave all, abandon everything earthly, sacrifice our earthly pleasures now, and accept the marvelous promise to be united with Christ! These promises are sure, but to obtain them each of us must express personal proof of faith by developing the requisite Christian character.

The perfect beauty of the king complements that of the Bride, as indicated by verses 13 and 14 of Psalm 45: “The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework.” Here gold symbolizes the divine nature, to which is linked a far superior glory than that of angels, and other principalities and powers. It represents the glorious body that will be received by the members of the Bride class, whose spiritual disposition will also be like her Bridegroom’s. This is the essential thought of this psalm, showing the position to which the elect aspire, and the reward which will be granted to each as appropriate to them.

The Superior Position of Love

The Apostle Paul considers this same picture, saying: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”—Eph. 5:25-27

Love here is given a place of distinction. The love of Christ is manifested toward his church by his sacrifice for her, giving his perfect life to bring her to a high, pure and holy status. She has been set apart, consecrated, purified, and washed. In the Orient, a bride-to-be is bathed and adorned before the marriage ceremony. The Apostle Paul here alludes to this custom. The church is likewise washed and purified, glorious in her holiness, as a pure bride, resplendent in all her moral and spiritual beauty.

“God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) God loved us while we were yet sinners. He gave his only begotten Son as our Savior to lead us to grace divine, to bestow heavenly blessings upon us. It is truly a very real source of comfort to know that God is a God of love. What a great privilege to know God as he truly is, a God full of love and compassion, one who desires to save us and all mankind, and who has the power and wisdom to save everyone who evidences faith in him. His profound grace is there to help all who have a desire to live by his Word.

By obeying the principles of righteousness learned through study of his Word, we acquire the nobleness of character which our Lord so admires. If the law of love is absent from our hearts, we will not be accepted by the Son of God as his co-inheritors. We must possess a spirit in tune with his—a spirit of mercy, meekness, gentleness, kindness, benevolence; in a word we must have love. Love is in fact the fulfillment of God’s law.

What are the elements that must shape the holy disposition of character we should possess, and without which we will neither inherit the kingdom of Christ, nor belong to the Beloved? The Scriptures tell us what we must put off from ourselves the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life. These are negative characteristics which could cloud our spiritual life. The members of the Royal Priesthood will attempt with their fullest efforts to keep their beautiful garments clean from spots such as malice, guile, envy, or slander. It is certain that each of us possesses at least one of these weaknesses to a degree.

How scrupulously must each seek to eliminate these defects by examining every act, word, or thought, and every motivation. How carefully must each of us try to clothe himself with the positive things of the Holy Spirit: humility, meekness, longsuffering, fortitude, brotherly love, benevolence, embroidering our robes with the needlework of the fruits and graces of the Spirit We should seek to possess these character traits to the greatest degree possible, although we will be successful in our endeavors only through God’s help and grace.

The Lord is seeking for the Bride of his Son, individuals gifted with strong determination and solid characters, who are dedicated to do his will only. This is why our experiences, overruled by the Lord, teach us to employ mere and more of our time and talents in the service of God, and to truly live our entire lives in his service. Thus our fidelity to his purpose will be tested. We must seek first the interests of the Lord and his kingdom—it must take first place in all that we do. Only a small number are able, through God’s grace, to achieve this blissful condition, and to say, “I am my Beloved’s.” This relationship implies first, repentance and justification by faith, which we have received through the merit of Jesus Christ, as well as complete consecration to do his will.

It behooves those in this blessed condition to respect the covenant or contract they have made in consecration to do God’s will only, and to carry it out. This contract binds us until the end of our earthly lives. Are we able to appreciate the real value of this privilege? The answer must be in the affirmative, because the pleasure of knowing one so great, and to be accepted by him truly unsurpasses any other condition in which we might find ourselves.

Our benefits from being in this relationship with God greatly exceed our ability to comprehend them—the mercy and kindness of God is boundless. But if we do indeed remain faithful to this contract of consecration, we will be able to say with confidence and assurance, “My beloved is mine!” The Apostle Paul confirms this, lending great confidence and certainty to this point: “All things are yours, … things present, or things to come; all are yours, and ye are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.”—I Cor. 3:21-23

Joint Heirship with Christ

We are called to be heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ! The church will participate in everything that our Savior possesses, because we are Christ’s, and he is God’s. Through faith in the blood of our Lord, our sins have been graciously pardoned, and we enjoy divine protection and assistance, blessings, joys, and peace that strengthen our hearts. Let us now appreciate these privileges, even while we look forward to receiving the prize of future glory.

To become joint-heirs with Christ at the close of our earthly walk, we must assume certain obligations now. We must renounce our own will, and accept the will of God. We must place our all on the altar of sacrifice, otherwise we will neither be accepted nor presented to the Father, we will not be begotten by the Holy Spirit, nor will we ultimately be named sons of God, nor be treated as such.

These are the conditions that must be fulfilled in order to become joint-heirs with Christ in his coming kingdom, or even in the present life to be called the sons of God. Let us not forget that each will receive his reward according to his faithfulness, according to his activity and the faith structure he has built. This structure is very important, for it is the formation of Christian character based upon the pattern Christ gave us while he walked upon Earth.

Men in general recognize the value of a resolute and determined character. Those who have no goal, no ideal in life, are seldom successful. But many of those who are active, energetic, enterprising, and who do have earthly goals and strive to reach them, are not satisfied by their achievements once they have attained them, and find life void of fullness. This is more or less the experience of each human being. But the goals and hopes offered to the Christian are much higher than human ones, and are of far superior value, and will be satisfying beyond measure when attained.

Those faithful will secure the glorious condition described by the Apostle Peter: “If these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. … Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”—II Pet. 1:8-11

Our, Developmental Experiences

Do we not read in Psalm 23:4: “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”? Our Heavenly Father takes wonderful care of us. As long as our hopes, desires, and aspirations are fixed on spiritual things, we will not need to worry ourselves with present misfortunes, nor others to come. God is with us and gives us his blessings. He watches over us, and picks us up when we fall. Those who trust in God will be able to say with certainty: When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. The ‘rod’ represents the tests and practical exercises necessary for our development. The ‘staff’ is a symbol of our hope, and the promises that are given to us. Both are designed for our ultimate good.

The church is actually on trial for life, or death. The testing of each of us lasts until this life is over. Each act influences the decision that will eventually be made at the end of the testing period. Consequently it is necessary for those who aspire to the prize of the high calling to fortify themselves so that they may meet successfully the tests of faith and patience which can suddenly bear down upon them without warning. The only preparation any can make to resist under such circumstances consists of constant vigilance and a putting on of the whole armor of God.

From our experiences we frequently learn lessons we could never have learned solely from studying the Word of God. The lessons we learn are the practical application of the principles laid down in the Scriptures. These must be deeply lodged in our hearts, and eventually will furnish us with lasting benefits. All who remain faithful, have within themselves a deep conviction of belonging to the Lord—“I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine!”

Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” These words are the solemn promise of Jesus to be with us at all times, helping us through his mighty power and by the Holy Spirit, giving us assurance that he will indeed exalt us to be with him in his kingdom. What a great privilege this is for all of us, to realize the reliability and steadfastness of the promises of the Word of God. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”—II Pet. 1:3,4

The Bridegroom is faithful. The promises are sure. He will guide the church into his palace, and introduce her as his Bride with rejoicing and delight. This will be the wedding ceremony which we so much anticipate as a time of unmatched joy. This is why the sufferings of the present time cannot be compared to the future glory which will be gained by all the overcomers, those who now submit voluntarily to the trials that are brought upon them, enduring sufferings and learning lessons of self-denial and humility. These will be the ones who participate in the kingdom of Christ with its joy, glory and splendor!—Contributed (from France)

Dawn Bible Students Association
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