Selah. That simple word in scripture that invites us to pause, weigh and value what we have read. Selah is a suspension of music – and here in Solomon’s Song, here in the vineyard, let’s have a selah moment…
The Word of God is rich in its truth. Like the Shulamite in Vineyard Days, the Lord’s intention and desire is to cause the letter of His Word within us to experientially become a part of who we are. There is, however, a key to His truth. It does not belong to us until we have experienced it in our lives. Then and only then does it become a solid foundation from which we cannot be moved because we have personal knowledge of its reality. Satan and humanity cannot take away from us what we know in Him to be true.
Solomon’s Song is an historical story with which we are well acquainted because we’re familiar with the chronicle of Solomon. As for the Shulamite (a title largely held as the feminine form of Solomon), her place of origin may have been from the town of Shunem.
Shunem was the lot of inheritance given to the tribe of Issachar, one of Jacob’s twelve sons. Issachar means he will bring a reward. Intriguingly, Issachar points to the feminine of a Hebrew root meaning govern, have dominion, and give (have) power. And let us not forget the scripture that in this context expands even more greatly our understanding – I Chronicles 12:32 that describes “..the children of Issachar, which were men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…”
Oh, do not miss the richness of what the Lord is saying to us as we consider the Bride of Christ and that which she is to be and to do alongside her Bridegroom King! Wise governing, return to the dominion Adam and Eve forfeited in the Garden of Eden, understanding of our times to know what to do…this is a now Word for the day and age in which we believers live. Will we choose to apprehend our inheritance?
Shunem was also the place of two women whose stories are recorded in I and II Kings. One was the unnamed woman whose son Elisha raised from the dead (II Kings 4:8-37). She is also the same woman whom Elisha saved from impending death due to a seven-year famine that was coming to the land. She was instructed to take her family and go stay wherever she could during that time. It is not by chance in the Word of God that she stayed in the land of the Philistines, no friend of the Israelites, for seven years. Seven means completion. No doubt there were things she came to know were true, even while it could not have been easy living in that place so foreign to her. Could it be it was her time of testing even as she was kept safe through obedience?
She listened to the voice of the prophet in both instances; because she did, she and her household were saved. Not only that, but her land was ultimately restored by edict of the king, who told the official assigned to her case, “give back everything that belonged to her including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.” Full restoration, as only the King can do on our behalf.
The other woman from Shunem was Abishag, best known as the young and beautiful maiden (I Kings 1:1-4) brought in to nurse and attend to King David in his old age. I Kings 2:13-25 tells the story of Solomon’s brother, Adonijah, asking for Abishag as his wife after David’s death. Long story short, Solomon had Adonijah killed for that request. Opinions abound, but it could be that Solomon wanted her for himself.
Abishag was a Shunammite, with the rendering of Shulamite potentially from the same origin. It is entirely possible that Abishag is the historical Beloved in Solomon’s song. Considering the spiritual significance of the Beloved’s journey that will continue to unfold in Vineyard Days, it is not impossible.
Abishag means “my father wanders, or errs.” As the Beloved, is that not both a picture of her story and ours? To be restored to the heart of the Father through the heart of the Son is our calling and identity.
The word of God is active and alive, and I am finding it is a thin veil that lies between this natural life and eternity planted within us. To live life looking for the parallels and asking Holy Spirit to apply them to your life experience is to enter a yet greater realm of discovery of the eternal Story of which you have a part. My heart is that you do not miss the purpose of your story and His.
Which brings us to the spiritual underpinnings of this beautiful poetic song penned in holy scripture…
I happen to believe that Solomon was writing under prophetic inspiration. Even though his depressed end was far removed from his glorious beginnings, he left us a poignant depiction of the Lord’s covenant of love toward us and His desire for intimate communion and outpouring of ministry with Him.
Historically, the Shulamite was in love with someone else. I wonder if it was her longing for that one that led to Solomon’s searching after everything his heart desired – wine, women, and song. He already had the greatest wealth of any king who had ever lived. What more was there to attain but true love?
The Shulamite got caught up in his search but she is the one who ended up finding and proving real love.
The Song of Solomon is a guide to our spiritual growth. We live in this world with two suitors wooing us: the enemy of our soul – the world, the flesh and the devil – who would keep us from seeking out and returning fully to our first love (Rev. 2:4-5), and the Lord Jesus Christ who paid the full Bride-price (paid by the groom) to pave the way back to forever, unbroken love-relationship with Him and His Father.
Solomon’s Song is not a message to the unbelieving world. It is an account of the Lord’s search for and calling to those of His children who are no longer content with spiritual laxness or simply basking in the blessings and gifts of the Spirit. It is for those who desire to become all He has determined them to be.
This is not some fairy tale. The meat of the truth of who we are and what our purpose is in Christ is revealed in Solomon’s inspired account. At the end of the Song, the Shulamite testifies much differently and with more power than we will find in her beginning stages. The reach into the New Testament is astounding and confirming to those of us who live and walk with Christ today. Herein is our challenge.
I thank the Lord for Solomon’s God-given wisdom expressed in such imagery. For he left us a road map that leads straight into the inner chambers of the heart of our Bridegroom King.
Shammahs Field LLC/Shammah Ministries is the biblical counseling, life coaching, and spiritual growth ministry entrusted to Wayne & Nancy Bentz. You can learn more about the resources they have to offer at www.shammahsfield.com.