In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon described his search for the meaning of life. Many of us can relate to that frustration and the desire to understand life’s purpose. But there is another side to our search, and it is centered on our hearts. We long to be loved. For the rest of the month we’ll turn our attention to the Song of Songs, also attributed to Solomon.
Many have said the key purpose to life is to love and be loved. In Matthew 22:37–39, when asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. . . . And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” His answer featured heart language: Love. We want to experience the satisfaction of loving and of being loved. This is the central subject of the Song of Songs.
Chapter 1 sets the scene as a conversation between several parties. Verse 1 identifies Solomon as the author; verse 2 lets us hear the voice of his beloved. The book lets us listen in on the romance between a young woman and the man she adores. The book is filled with deep passion and yearning for physical love: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is more delightful than wine.”
Love, at its inception, is intense and overwhelming. She uses sensory details here, like wine and perfume, to describe the heady feeling of being drawn to another person (vv. 2–4). We also learn a bit more about who this woman is. She works in the fields (v. 5) and her skin is darkened from the sun (v. 6). She feels neglected by family and longs, most of all, to be loved by her suitor.