If only I could treat you like my brother,
one who nursed at my mother’s breasts,
I would find you in public and kiss you,
and no one would scorn me.
I would lead you, I would take you,
to the house of my mother who taught me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink
from my pomegranate juice.
His left hand is under my head,
and his right arm embraces me.
Young women of Jerusalem, I charge you:
do not stir up or awaken love
until the appropriate time.
(Song of Songs 8:1–4, HCSB)
There are two ideas in this passage that naturally lead us to meditate on that which we have in Messiah Jesus. One we see directly and the other by contrast.
First, Shulammite says she wishes she could treat her Shepherd-King like her brother, like a very close intimate friend. Well, the good news of the gospel is that not only can our Shepherd King Jesus be treated like a brother—He is our brother! In Hebrews 2:11 we are told that those who have been saved and call God their Father have a Savior who also “is not ashamed to call them brothers” (also 2:12, 17). What a wonderful truth! The One who is my Savior, Lord, Master and King is also my brother. I have a brother who is a King! He is my King. What Shulammite wishes for in Solomon we have in Jesus.
Second, Shulammite informs Solomon she would be delighted if she could take him home “to the house of my mother” (8:2). Here is a bride taking the bridegroom to her home. Well, for those who are in Christ, just the opposite will someday take place. The Bridegroom will take his bride to His home, to an eternal home He has prepared just for her. In John 14:1–3, the Lord Jesus said to His disciples, “Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. You know the way to where I am going.” What amazing grace! I truly do “belong to my love, and his desire is for me” (7:10). He has redeemed me and some day He will take me to His house—“His Father’s house”—where we will live together forever and ever. With “His left hand under my head and His right arm embracing me” (8:3), I am safe and secure. He will never let me go. This is our brother. This is our lover. This is the Great Shepherd King who has a love for us that “mighty waters cannot extinguish” (8:7). This bride in our text is remarkable indeed. She is what she is because her king loves her the way that He does. One question remains: Do you want to go home and live forever with King Jesus? He is preparing a home for all who do, and someday He will take us there.