In the movie “Michael,” John Travolta plays the Archangel. All the girls are drawn to him in the movie because of his smell. The girls all said he smelled like cookies and they all wanted to be close to him. This reminded me of the third verse of the first chapter of the Song of Solomon. His lover says, “Your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore, virgins love you.” I’ve never had aftershave or cologne that smelled like cookies, but I always tried to smell good around the girls. I don’t worry too much about that anymore, although my wife advises me at times when I should do something about my odor. Man, I hate getting old!

Many of the commentators will allegorize this book and make it the general description of God’s deep and sacrificial love for his bride the church. Yet, when reading this book, it’s really hard not to see it as a human love song. The subject of our music in my life has been dominated by the subject of love. My parent’s generation had the same focus and I’m thinking that it’s always been that way and always will be. The music group, “Wings” led by one of the Beatles sang, “You’d think that people would’ve had enough of silly love songs. I look around me, and I see it isn’t so. Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs.” I would venture to say that from the dawn of man the only adequate expression of human love has been poetry and often poetry that’s set to music.  Isn’t the song of Solomon an ancient love song? Another 70’s group, Three Dog Night sang an “Old Fashioned Love Song, “Just an old-fashioned love song playing on the radio, and wrapped around the music is the sound of someone promising they’ll never go. You swear you’ve heard it before…” Well, of course, we’ve heard it before, in every tongue in every generation. Yes, Hubbard is correct, “Lovers have always known that song was the only adequate expression for feelings so strong, delight so high, commitment so deep. Only poetry with its combination of excess and austerity, of release and discipline can capture the aspirations and frustrations of love.”[1]

After a discussion with my teenage grandson about all the questionable behavior in the Bible, disappointed that I couldn’t fully answer all his questions, I simply told him I don’t have all the answers about why there is evil in the world and why God called for war in the Old Testament, but I’ve been persuaded through the love of God demonstrated through Jesus Christ that He is real, He loves me, and He will care from me even through the confusion of this life. Yes, there is evil in the world, but there is more good than evil. That good is only appreciated in a positive view of God. I don’t have to know much. I just have to know that he loves me. I think that might be the subject of the Song of Solomon. I can’t help but notice how all the physical senses come into play in this song. I believe they are all part of God’s expression of his love for me. God filled the world with color and gave me eyes! God filled the world with sound and music and gave me ears. He filled the world with fragrances and gave me a nose. He filled the world with great things to eat and gave me the ability to enjoy it. He made us male and female and created an attraction that finds fulfillment in the pleasures of marriage. Isn’t that enough to prove that God loves us? No, wait. Even more than all that. When we ignored all those things and turned against God he so loved us that he moved with the greatest act of love possible. God so loved us, that He gave His only begotten Son so that anyone who would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. Believing in Jesus means understanding and accepting God’s wonderful love for each of us. Paul adds more to John’s declaration of God’s love and says, “While we were yet sinners, (ignoring the obvious expressions of God’s love” Christ died for us, thus demonstrating the greatest possible love. There is no greater love!

[1] Hubbard, David A., and Lloyd J. Ogilvie. 1991. Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon. Vol. 16. The Preacher’s Commentary Series. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.