My Own Vineyard

Today's devotion from Song of Solomon 6-8.

The story of love has come to a conclusion. The bride and groom have established their relationship, consummated it, defended it, and come to a place of peace. However, more has happened. We find a type of closure in the ending of the chapter 8 as identified by Duane Garrett:

"She begins as a virtual slave, tending the vineyards of her brothers (1:6), and ends the Song tending her own vineyard (8:12). At the beginning she defends her dark skin before the Jerusalem girls (1:6), but near the end they describe her as being fair as the moon and radiant as the sun (6:10). At the beginning she is aware of how the other girls admire her beloved (1:3), but at the end he notices how his friends admire her (8:13)." (Garrett)

The story overtly celebrates the outcome of this relationship. She has been transformed and changed through her marriage. Her husband has had a tremendous impact on her life. Her self-perception is altered as is the way others view her. These closing words are bold and sure, not naive or timid. There is a confidence in who she has become.

As we wrestle once again with the place of this book in our spiritual formation, we see the typology at play. We, too, are transformed by our relationship with Christ. We are freed from the slavery of sin in which we were initially ensnared. We were marred by the stains of our guilt, but have been washed white as snow by His atoning work. He has made us grow in His image and likeness to the point that we will not be out of place when we enter His eternal Kingdom.

Instead, His work in us transforms us from the pitiable fools of the Fall to a place of honor that led the author of Hebrews to write, "What is man that you remember him, or the son of man that you care for him? You made him lower than the angels for a short time; you crowned him with glory and honor and subjected everything under his feet." (Hebrews 2:6-8, CSB)

When you feel the gaze of the world questioning, remember: you have been transformed by your relationship with Christ.