August 18, 2013
Focal Scripture Passage:
Song of Solomon 1:1-17; 2:1-10, 14, 16; 3:6-11
To lead students to discover ways Solomon displayed his love for his bride
and how those actions portray Christ’s love for His children, and to either
(a) thank the Lord Jesus for loving them or (b) place their faith in Jesus
Christ so they can become part of His beloved bride.
Read the notes on Song of Solomon 1 – 3 found in the Sunday School
Teacher Book. Enlist a member to read Ephesians 5:22-32 to the
class. Write the words “Marriage,”
“Husband,” and “Wife”
in a column on the left side of the marker board or chalkboard.
(Create Learning Readiness): Ask:
“What is the first song most preschoolers learn at church?” (“Jesus
loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”). Tell the class from a
very early age most of us were taught that Jesus loves us, but that love is
often hard to comprehend or understand.
Ask the previously enlisted member to read
Ephesians 5:22-32 to the class. Note that these are familiar verses
describing the proper relationship between a godly husband and his wife.
These verses also tell us marriage is a picture of another relationship.
Ask: “What relationship does the Bible say marriage illustrates?”
(the relationship between Christ and His church). Write this beside the
word “Marriage” on the
board. Ask: “Who, then, does the husband represent?” (Jesus
Christ). Write this beside the word “Husband.”
Ask: “Who does the wife represent?” (the church – Christians). Write
this beside the word “Wife.”
Tell the class in today’s study of the Song
of Solomon they will discover things Solomon did to display his love for his
bride. They will also think about how those actions portray Christ’s love
for His children.
HEART OF THE LESSON
Introduction to Song of
Read Song of Solomon 1:1.
Tell the class that Solomon – soon to be the king of Israel – owned a
vineyard in northern Israel.
He hired keepers to tend his vineyard, but made periodic visits to
the area to check on its progress. Over time, he met and fell in love with
the sister of the keepers.
Solomon’s father King David died, making Solomon king of Israel.
The Song of Solomon describes Solomon’s love for this young maiden,
including their betrothal and marriage.
It is imperative that your students understand ancient Jewish
marriage customs. Explain the following process.
The process began with a legal
betrothal ceremony. This might include a special betrothal banquet.
Betrothal could only be broken by legal divorce.
After the betrothal ceremony
the groom departed to prepare a home for his bride.
The betrothal lasted 9-18
months, during which time the couple had no contact with each another.
At a time of his choosing, the
groom would return to claim his bride. He would then take her to his home
where they would live together as husband and wife.
Tell the class Solomon represents the Lord Jesus and his bride
represents Christians. Write those things beside the words “Husband”
and “Wife” on the board.
Drawing and Accepting.
Ask a volunteer to read Song of Solomon 1:2-4.
Ask: “Did the maiden have a desire for Solomon?” (yes).
Christians should have a desire and love for Jesus Christ.
The words “Draw me” were spoken by the maiden, reminding us that no
one can come to Christ apart from the drawing of the Father (John 6:44).
Solomon displayed his love
for the maiden by drawing her, and Jesus Christ demonstrates His love for us
in the same way.
Say: “If you have ever felt a drawing to Jesus Christ, that is
evidence of His love for you.”
Read Song of Solomon 1:5-6.
Ask the class how the maiden felt about her appearance (she felt
unworthy of Solomon’s attention because she was tanned from working outside
in the vineyard).
Ask: “How does this relate to believers?” (we recognize our
unworthiness to receive Christ’s affection).
Solomon displayed his love
by accepting her as she was; Jesus does the same for us.
It is impossible to make ourselves worthy of Christ’s affection, but
He accepts us just as we are.
Compliments and a
Ask a volunteer to read Song of Solomon 1:8-10, 15.
Ask the class how Solomon felt about the maiden (he thought she was
beautiful and he told her so).
Solomon displayed his love
by complimenting the maiden’s beauty; amazingly Jesus feels the same way
about His children.
The maiden responded in Song of Solomon 1:16-17. Read those
Explain that the bed mentioned in verse 16 was actually a
reclining couch used when dining at an ancient banquet. At a betrothal
banquet the couch would be covered with flowers and green leaves.
Note from verse 17 the sturdiness and beauty of the home Solomon was
building for his bride-to-be.
Just as Solomon prepared a magnificent house for his bride, Jesus
is preparing a home for us (John 14:2).
Identity and Protection.
Ask a volunteer to read Song of Solomon 2:1-7.
The familiar terms rose of Sharon and lily of the valley
describe Jesus Christ.
In verses 2-3 the bride and groom complemented one another.
Ask: “How did Solomon demonstrate his love for the maiden in verse
4?” (by bringing her into his banqueting house and placing his banner
over her head).
Explain that the banner was a flag used in military campaigns
to indicate possession, ownership, and identity.
Just as an army would capture a hilltop and plant its flag to declare
to the world “This hill belongs to our kingdom,” Solomon’s banner over this
young maiden identified her as the object of his love. The banner gave her
identity and protection – she belonged to Solomon and was protected by him.
Similarly, Christians have been brought into the Lord’s banqueting
house and placed under His banner of love. That banner identifies whose we
are and assures our protection.
Solomon identified his
bride as his possession, just as Christians are gladly claimed as the
purchased possession of Jesus Christ.
Verse 7 stresses the importance of sexual purity before marriage (we
will give more emphasis to that truth next week).
“Rise Up and Come Away!”
Read Song of Solomon 2:8-10.
When the betrothed bridegroom was ready to claim his bride and
complete the wedding ceremony, he would go to her home with the joyous cry,
“Behold, the bridegroom cometh”
This is what the excited bride-to-be heard in verse 8.
King Solomon came with
speed and majesty to claim his bride,
seemingly “leaping upon the mountains,
skipping upon the hills.”
Tell the class that as believers we look forward to the time when we
will hear our heavenly bridegroom shout “Behold, the bridegroom cometh!”
This will take place at the rapture of the church (note the shout and the
voice 1 Thess. 4:16).
Ask: “What did Solomon say to his bride in verse 10?” (“Rise
up, my love, my fair one, and come away”).
One day Christians will
hear the Lord say the same thing,
either at death or at the rapture.
When we hear His voice we will joyfully arise to spend eternity with
Longing and Rejoicing.
Ask a volunteer to read Song of Solomon 2:14, 16.
Ask: “According to verse 14, what did Solomon want to see and
hear?” (her face and her voice).
Amazingly, the Lord Jesus actually longs to see our face and hear
Ask: “When does He hear our voice?” (when we pray).
In verse 16 the bride rejoiced in that she and her husband belonged
to one another.
We should rejoice that we
belong to Jesus.
A Glorious Appearing and a
Read Song of Solomon 3:6-10.
The bride saw the royal procession that would take her back to
Jerusalem coming out of the wilderness toward her home.
Explain that the bed in verse 7 was literally a traveling
couch carried by servants.
Ask: “Who surrounded it?” (Solomon’s mighty soldiers).
Solomon also built a splendid chariot for the occasion.
Tell the class Solomon displayed his love for his bride by sending
a magnificent procession to bring her to his home, just as Jesus will one
day return clothed in glorious white raiment accompanied by an army of “ten
thousands of his saints”
Read Song of Solomon 3:11.
Tell the class when the bride saw her bridegroom approaching wearing
his magnificent crown, she cried out “Behold king Solomon!”
When we see our Lord return wearing his crown (Rev. 14:14; 19:12), we
can joyfully cry “Behold King Jesus!”
Tell the class that Solomon’s love for his bride is a picture of Christ’s
love for believers. Direct the class’ attention to the board and remind
them that a godly marriage relationship also portrays this. Read the
following to the class.
If you are
a believer, it is because the Lord Jesus Christ betrothed you in
eternity past, gave you a desire for Him in your life here on earth,
and drew you to Himself. He has brought you into His banqueting
house, where you enjoy the wonderful spiritual food He provides for
you. He has placed His banner of love over you, identifying you as
His purchased bride, paid for with His loving sacrifice on the cross. He
came and took you to Himself, and you became His beloved bride. You
have enjoyed unending fellowship with Him ever since He saved you.
Amazingly, He wants to see your face and hear your voice. Even
though you know you are unworthy of His affections, He considers you the
most wonderful and beautiful sight, and He wants to spend time with you.
Some day He is coming back for you. Either through death or through
the Rapture of the church, you will one day hear the cry, “Behold, the
bridegroom cometh!” He will say to you in that day, “Arise, my love, and
come away with me.” You will go to be with your beloved Savior, where
you will spend eternity in His presence.
These truths should cause believers to thank
Jesus Christ for such undeserved love. It should also cause us to examine
ourselves to see if we are actually part of Christ’s bride. Say: “If any
of you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, then none of these wonderful
things apply to you. Sadly, you are not a beloved and desired bride,
and you will not spend eternity with the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Tell the class the Good News is that anyone
who wants to turn his or her life over to Jesus may do so right now.
Encourage them to respond to the loving call of the Savior. Lead a closing
prayer of thanksgiving and commitment.
Urge everyone to thank the Lord Jesus every day this week for loving them.
Whenever they feel neglected or unloved they should thank the Lord that He
loves them and wants to hear their voice.