I want you to read the Song of Solomon, because this book in your Bible is a gift from God, given to you out of his love, and it will lead you into wonder, worship, and wisdom.
The Song of Solomon is also known by the title, Song of Songs, for it is a song about love, and it’s one you want to hear! Since we refer to it as a book, we might forget that it’s a song, and thus, a work of art.
Although it is a precious portion of God’s Word, sadly, many people neglect this book. We may lack the faith that it is truly God’s Word, and profitable for us to read. We may mistake its content as inhospitable, because of its intimate language. We blush and shut the book because you wonder if it’s something we should be reading. We may miss out on wonder and worship because we puzzle over its meaning, perplexed.
So, I would like to tell you several reasons why the Song of Solomon is in the Bible—why it is in your Bible. My hope is that you will believe that when you open this book, you are hearing the voice of God through Scripture, and thus you will be compelled to read it. And in discovering this book, I pray God leads you into wisdom, wonder, and worship.
So why is this song included in our Bibles?
- God Wanted to Give Us a Love Song
You find the Song of Solomon in your Bible because God wanted it to be there. This might sound obvious, but I think we do not reflect upon this fact enough.
Hebrews 1:1 reminds us that “long ago, in many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets” (ESV, emphasis added). Through his Scriptures, God speaks many things to us. Notice God does not only speak to us many things, he speaks many things to us in many ways. God is so brilliant and interesting—he gave us a diversity of revelation.
God decided to say something to us through this poetic memoir of a married couple in love. He knows that sometimes a ballad would do us better than a lecture. Perhaps there are wonders better sung about than studied. And so, God the Holy Spirit wrote us a love-song among the many other works in his Scripture.
What a wonder! What might God have to say to us here? Do you want to know?
- God Wanted to Make Us Wise
God put the Song of Solomon in our Bible not only for the joy of singing us a love song, but also to make us wise.
You might notice the title of the song has Solomon’s name in it. In 1 Kings 3:12 God says this to Solomon: “I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.” God gave Solomon a gift of wisdom that he gave to no one else in that same measure. Although people wonder about Solomon’s role in this book, whether he is writing his personal experience or not, his association with the book indicates that it belongs to the genre of wisdom literature.
God wrote us a book about being in love, to make us wise in romance. He did so because we need to know how to handle the gift of love and intimacy that he gave to us. God has stored up sound wisdom for you in the Song of Solomon if you will seek him for it (Proverbs 2:1-10). God has serenaded us with a love song, and it will make us wise!
Do you want to learn about love? The one who wrote romance into our experience has given you his own perspective on it through this love song. Does that not compel you to hear it?
- God Wanted to Equip Us for Life
God sings us a song through this Scripture, and in singing to us, he aims to make us wise. He also promises us that listening to this song will be profitable for us.
We learn from 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that all Scripture—including the Song of Solomon—is profitable, and can teach, reprove, correct, train, and equip you. So in the Song of Solomon, you will find lines, thoughts, and lyrics that God authored to change you and make you more whole, and to mold you into the person he wants you to be.
God desires your wholeness, and so has given you the Song of Solomon.
If the Wonderful Counselor has authored this lyrical masterpiece to bring wholeness to your life and depth to your character, are you not drawn to receive his words?
- God Wanted Us to Know His Love
Ultimately, God gave us the Song of Solomon to tell us something about his Son, Jesus—to help us know him better. We learn from Luke 24:27 that all of Scripture testifies to Jesus—which includes the Song of Solomon.
The Bible describes Jesus as the ultimate Husband (Isaiah 54:5), the ultimate Lover, who not only gave his life for his bride, the Church, but also lives to beautify her (Ephesians 5:25-27). It describes the end of all things for God’s people as a wedding ceremony (Revelation 9:21-27).
We know from other Scriptures that God loves his people. God is love (1 John 4:8), he invented love, and he reveals himself to us through his Word as a Lover. The Song of Solomon invites us to ponder and wonder at the love relationship between God and his people. God created romantic love as a means to help us understand his love for us.
No, it’s not weird to think that this intensely intimate book about human love could have something to say to us about the love of God. I don’t think we can emphasize enough the love of God for his people. For God is love (1 John 4:8). And when Paul prays for us, he prays that we would experientially know the love of God that cannot be rationally ascertained (Ephesians 3:19).
And so, Song of Solomon, as with any part of Scripture, reveals to us something of our dear Jesus, our Savior, Lord, and King. Jesus is a lover, a brother, a friend to all who know him. He is all these things in their finest form.
And as we hear the song, we are led to worship him and understand the great love he has for us.
Ready to Read the Song of Solomon?
The Song of Solomon is in your Bible, because God wanted it there, and creatively chose to reveal himself and his wisdom to you through a love song. Through this book he has equipped you for life. He has also intended to help you know him and his Son, Jesus through it.
Rather than explain the meaning of this book, what it teaches, and how it points to Jesus, I want you to discover such things for yourself. The Holy Spirit will teach you, as he promises to do (John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:7-16). As you open this book, ask God to lead you into wisdom, to help you know something more of himself and his Son Jesus, and to teach you his thoughts on love.
Songs aren’t meant to be explained but heard, and they invite you to sing along. Let the Lord serenade you through this Scripture, and may you grow to love this song as something familiar, precious, and that leads you to meditate on the love of God.
If you would like resources to help you learn to love the Song of Solomon, I highly recommend two books. The first is Song of Solomon: An Invitation to Intimacy, by Douglas Sean O’Donnell, and Song of Songs: A Biblical-Theological, Allegorical, Christological Interpretation by James Hamilton (don’t worry, this is an easy read despite its verbose title!). Both of these books are written in a warm tone by men who love the Lord and handle his Word with care. Both of these books highly influenced this article and wooed my heart to want to read this beautiful book in the Bible!