For the past ten years, Christ has drawn me again and again to Song of Solomon. I believe He strategically placed this book at the center of the Bible because its message is central to His heart. No other book of the Bible reveals our Bridegroom’s extravagant affection for His bride, the church, like this one. It brims with descriptions of the divine romance.
I love romance! I have often wondered why the Lord created me to be such a romantic. At times, I’ve even thought, There must be something wrong with me because of my strong desire to be romanced. My teenage years were spent dreaming of the day when the perfect man would ride into my life on a white stallion, sweep me off my feet, and then whisk me away into the sunset of Happily Ever After.
I really believed that life was supposed to happen like it did in the movies, the Harlequin and Danielle Steel romances, and the soap operas (except for the unbelievable stuff, like people coming back from the dead again and again). Nobody ever told me any different!
I accepted Christ when I was nine but because of not knowing who I was in Him, I sinned greatly and hurt a lot of people in my search for my Mr. Perfect. I have been married three times, so the ministry Christ has called me to in communicating His Bridegroom love to His bride may seem ludicrous to those who have no idea how He has faithfully romanced my heart, causing me to fall head over heels in love with Him. It is amazing how God can take our greatest weakness in the natural, cause us to seek Him as the fulfillment of that need, and then use us to help others do the same. Only He can do that.
Most of us can identify people in the Bible with whom we most closely relate. The sinful woman in Luke 7:36–50 is the one with which I most identify. In fact, I have a Home Interiors’ “Tears of Repentance” figurine in my office to serve as a frequent reminder of the pit Jesus brought me out of.
There have also been several Christian songs written about this harlot. I’ll never forget the first time I heard CeCe Winans’s “Alabaster Box.” I was sitting in church one Sunday morning just a couple of years after the Lord brought me out of that shameful lifestyle. I was moved to tears as our worship leader’s daughter sang it with incredible passion. Jesus embraced me with His fiery love through the melody and the words. The heart of this song is the thankfulness of someone who has been rescued from a lifestyle of deplorable sin. I completely identified with it, feeling like I could have written the words myself.
Throughout this study, I will share the names of songs and videos that are relevant to the material. I highly recommend that you listen to or watch them in order to help you experience Jesus’s affection for you. Doesn’t it make sense that you would want to add music to your study of Song of Songs (another name for Song of Solomon)?
In Winans’s “Alabaster Box,” the harlot’s name is Mary, but Luke doesn’t actually name her. Some believe it is Mary Magdalene, from whom the Lord cast out seven demons (Luke 8:2). But the likelihood of Luke’s introducing Mary Magdalene by name for the first time in 8:2 is slim if she were the main character in the Luke 7:36–50 account. She certainly cannot be Mary of Bethany, whose life was characterized by faithfulness (John 12:1–8). I believe this woman was unnamed on purpose. She represents one who realizes the extent of her own sinfulness and her absolute inability to do anything about her condition, apart from the extravagant grace offered through Christ.
If I had to choose one verse that characterizes my life, it would probably be Luke 7:47: “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love” (NLT). I never want to forget Jesus’s faithfulness in pursuing me all of those years, even though I was busy pouring my life—as Winans’s song says—into this world’s “treasure box.”
I realize that some of you can relate to my story and some cannot. If you can say, “I don’t have a great testimony of the Lord’s delivering me out of a shameful, sinful lifestyle,” I think that is nothing short of miraculous, given all the temptations of today’s world. Praise the Lord that you were spared the heartache and pain that comes with those choices.
In either case, though, every one of us must come to grips with a vital truth—the truth that we are all born into this world, dead in our trespasses and sins, living in the lusts of our flesh, and are, by nature, children of wrath (Eph. 2:1–3). Whether our sins are despicable or respectable, we must realize that we are as much in need of a Savior as the sinful woman who anointed Jesus’s feet, Judas Iscariot (the disciple who betrayed Jesus), and the thief on the cross (Luke 7:36–50; 22:48; 23:39–43).
Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed this excerpt of my study. Now I would love to interact with you concerning its content by asking you a couple of questions:
- Is there a person in the Bible that you most closely relate to? If so, who is it and why?
- Do you have a favorite song that reminds you of your own story of coming to faith in Jesus?
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Until next time,
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Kim K. Francis
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