Song of Solomon 4:7 ESV
Proverbs 31:16-18 ESV
Luke 8:2-3 ESV
Romans 16:1-2 and 16:3-5, Romans 16:15; Acts 18:1-3 (Women who were praised by the Apostle Paul for their support of the Gospel)
When we read and study Song of Solomon 4 (also called Song of Songs) we must recognize the perspective of King Solomon.
He was indeed a wise man.
King Solomon did not approach his beloved from the perspective of what she did for him. It was quite the opposite.
He wrote about her. He remembered her beauty. SHE was the focus.
In Song of Solomon 4:7 the King wrote, “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”
I have lived in a man’s world. Modern man could well take a lesson from the good and wise King Solomon.
The good news is that ever so gradually perspectives in our world are changing.
My granddaughters know that nothing holds them back. They do not need to be silent in the classroom because women are supposed to be silent.
They have read about what it was like to be a woman in the first half of the 20th Century, Anyone who has watched the movie ‘Hidden Figures’ understands what it was like for a woman to live in a man’s world.
Think June Cleaver. (Ever so often I have to watch old reruns to remind myself just how far we’ve come.)
Think Katherine Johnson, the former mathematical genius at NASA. I first learned about her work when I watched the movie ‘Hidden Figures’.
For me, sitting with my granddaughters gives me hope. They do not need to be reminded how smart they are and how far women have come.
Their parents told them and they believed it…you are beautiful, my love. There is no flaw in you.
King Solomon was indeed wise. He understood the value of a woman.
In Proverbs 31:10-31, King Lemuel wrote about an excellent wife. When he spoke of his wife he said in Proverbs 31:16-18:
“She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.”
This king knows the value of his wife. He praises her for her intellect and tenacity. He loves her for her strength.
The woman described in Song of Solomon and in Proverbs 31 had value because she was valuable.
The truth is that we now know that it takes a strong secure man to recognize value in a woman. A man who does not see beauty and strength in a woman who does not recognize her value is often insecure of his own value.
See, when people make a habit of criticizing others they are often the one who is secretly afraid. In their mind they need to bring that woman or man down to their level. They fear if the truth about them came out they might not measure up.
What’s remarkable about Jesus is that he spent a good part of His ministry in the company of women.
Jesus saw their value and he defended them. He knew the truth about the woman at the well. Jesus gave value to women (and children) at a time when they were sorely overlooked.
I was surprised the first time I was told that many wealthy women funded and supported Jesus and His ministry. We read in Luke 8:2-3, “Also, some women were with him. They had been cured from evil spirits and various illnesses. These women were Mary, also called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out; Joanna, whose husband Chusa was Herod’s administrator; Susanna; and many other women. They provided financial support for Jesus and his disciples.”
The Apostle Paul in particular also relied on women who included Phoebe who was a deacon (Romans 16:1-2), Prisca or Priscilla (Romans 16:3-5 and Acts 18:1-3), and Julia and Olympas (Romans 16:15) who supported and even funded the missionary journeys in the early church.
Women, especially wealthy women were a blessing to Jesus and to Paul. We know that because those women were specifically named in scripture. When I’m asked if men and women are equal I think well…yes, and no.
God created both and gave men and women individual and very different strengths. What I do know is that God blesses both.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: One Woman
Name one woman you’ve known or read about who blessed you. Thank God for that woman.
In God, Deborah