Preaching The Song Of Songs -- By: Mark McGinniss

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 18:2 (Fall 2014)
Article: Preaching The Song Of Songs
Author: Mark McGinniss


Preaching The Song Of Songs

Mark McGinniss

Associate Professor of OT Languages,
Literature & Exegesis
Baptist Bible Seminary
Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

Introduction

To introduce the topic of this article,1 I would like to propose a multiple-choice test. There is only one question. It has six possible choices.2 Which of these choices would be a legitimate and literal application of these various verses from the Song of Songs to a contemporary audience in your church?

A. Preaching on 7:8: “But let us for the time being understand ‘palm tree’ to mean the cross, an interpretation that both makes plain sense to the unprejudiced mind and points to a hidden profundity of unfathomable Wisdom.”

B. Preaching on 8:6-7: “This strong, enduring love is presented in a context that includes marriage, but it is broader still…. For the Christian, Jesus is our Model of love…. The One who loves all and gave himself for us sets the bar for love in our relationships.”

C. Preaching on 7:10: “‘I am my beloved’s and his desire is toward me.’ Every doubt and fear is gone. She has found her satisfaction in him and he finds his in her. What a wonderful picture of communion between the Christian and his Savior.”

D. Preaching on 7:9: “In the morning the ‘sleepers’ will awake to see the blossoms that signal new life in the spring, even as divine love (8:6)—manifest most fully in the spring

time resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter, celebrated with flowers that adorn the chancel—brings new and eternal life.”

E. Preaching on 4:12-5:1: “In biblical context, a garden can also suggest Eden. We are not living there now. The fall has damaged sexuality…. Yet love and sex are still gifts from the Creator, and a good marriage is like sneaking back into paradise. Similarly, in the overall story of the Bible, the gospel restores believers to a superb garden, a new Eden with ‘no more curse’ (Rev 22:3).”

F. Preaching on 7:1-4: “Sexual intimacy can and should continue to increase throughout marriage. In contrast to what contemporary culture supposes, sexual intimacy is not just the special prerogative of the young, but should bring increasing delight over tim...

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