Growing up, I was eager to study and learn my Bible like a lot of young Christian girls. I’m not sure if I was trying to read it in book order or if the title “Song of Solomon” intrigued me because it was suppose to be a song (or maybe perhaps it was because I didn’t remember ever hearing about this book in church, but however I came across it, I did. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is more delightful than wine.”- Song 1:2 (NIV). In my young, pre-pubescent mind, part of me wanted to shut my Bible right then and there, however, part of me was intrigued to read on since I had never come across this before… and it was in my Bible! But, being of the mindset if I did read it and my parents were to come in my room and catch me that it would be my utter demise, I opted to turn to a different book and never said a word about what I had read to my parents, because surely, since I had never heard of this book before, there had to be a mistake or it was something that I was not suppose to read, even though I thought I could read everything in my Bible.
Fast forward several years. Those words I read that day still clung to my mind. It wasn’t until I was quite older that I attempted to read the Song of Solomon again, still not ever hearing a sermon preached on it. That time, it was a bunch of flowery Shakespeare poetry that I had no idea what it was suppose to mean, even though I had an English teacher that encouraged us one time to find the hidden meaning in songs and poetry. Well, even though she was an ordained minister, I didn’t feel that this book would be appropriate for discussion in the classroom even though we were all in AP English and most of us were soon turning 18. Still curiosity loomed in my mind over this book in the Bible. Why would God put it in there and what exactly was it suppose to mean? Was this a mere book of mild “porn”, but if so, why was it in my Bible and why is it that preachers rarely preach on it?
I happened across He Calls You Beautiful: Hearing the Voice of Jesus in the Song of Songs by Dee Brestin when I was browsing some books to review and it immediately got my attention. Not ever fully understanding the contents of the book, a complete study of it had always intrigued me and this study guide did not let me down! Written for a group or individual study use, this study guide goes through chapter by chapter and sometimes line by line and depicts the meaning behind it and the similarities between Solomon the bridegroom and the bridegroom of the church, Jesus and between the Shulammite woman and the church as the bride of Christ, pointing out that this book is not only meant to depict the perfect marriage, but in the middle of the Bible in general, this book outlines the complete love story of the Bible and Christ’s love for his people. It even references other scripture that describes different attributes of God like a pillar of smoke and even details why the bride wants “dove’s eyes” (who knew they were very near sighted).
This study guide also features some of the most comprehensive examination questions at the end of each discussion chapter. These questions encourage whoever is studying it to delve deeper and really grasp the full meaning of the Song. The study guide is also very interactive with activities to open the group up and media usage to get in the mindframe for the questions. The study can be used without the group activities and media usage though. Through the study, it is the hope of Dee for the studier to understand just how much God loves them and sees them as a beautiful bride rather than who the Devil tells them they might be.
If you have ever desired to study the Song of Solomon in the Bible, since it’s not really talked about much at church, or even if you are at the pit of your life and think you are completely worthless to everyone, including God, I encourage you to pick up a copy of this study. You will be glad you did! This study is definitely for a more for mature readers as I feel that younger minds, even though they may benefit from understanding the Song, won’t fully grasp the meaning and will probably see this book in the Bible as nothing other than silly. A great study overall for groups or individuals!
To check out a preview of this book or order a copy, you can click here.
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.