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“The title of this book is ‘the song of songs,’ which indicates that it is the best song of all (compare with similar phrases: ‘King of Kings,’ ‘Lord of Lords,’ ‘Holy of Holies’). It is the song of the intimate love between Christ and His Church, most sweetly expressed in the act of worship, and there is no grander theme in the world. Yet, for all of its glory in expressing the intimacy between Christ and His Bride, this song was never incorporated into the public worship of the Church. This fact has two important implications for our consideration of worship song:

(1) It was God’s intention to provide a particular collection of songs to be used exclusively by the Church in its corporate worship
(2) God approves of the use of songs, aimed at His glory, in settings outside of public worship

That the main concern of the analogy presented here is the most intimate communion which the Church has with Christ in the ordinances of worship is seen in the opening lines of the song, culminating in the phrase, ‘The king has brought me into his chambers.’ This phrase not only makes it clear that the affections described in the song are to be understood in the context of the holy relationship of husband and wife, but also frames the analogy in terms of the Bride’s approach to her Beloved ‘in His chambers,’ indicating the closest possible communion between them.

When the Church, as a corporate body, draws near to God’s presence in the act of public worship, she meets with Christ, the Bridegroom, in His chambers, as it were. Yet as soon as the Bride is in the chambers of the King, she is struck by the contrast between His perfect beauty (‘rightly do they love you’) and her own blemished appearance. She comes to her Beloved as one whose appearance bears the marks of forced labor, and who offers nothing of substance to the King, and yet is declared by Him to be fair and lovely, because He has covered her with ‘His banner’ of love.” (Comin, 212-213)

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