He Is Altogether Lovely

Bible Book: Song of Solomon  5 : 1-16
Subject: Love of Jesus; Love for Jesus; Romance of God

The Song of Solomon is indeed a song – a song of love. Solomon wrote over 1,000 songs, but this one is titled, “The Song of Songs,” or, “The Song Above All Songs.” The song celebrate human love, but it has spiritual meaning. In fact, the Song of Solomon takes love between a groom and his bride and uses it to reveal the kind of love that should exist between us and our Lord. The Jews viewed this Book as expressing the love relationship between God and His people. Christians generally have viewed the Book in the same way, as a Book expressing the love relationship between our Shepherd-King, Jesus, and His Beloved Bride, the Church (or individual Christian).

One side-note should be stated from the outset. This Book, though it is an allegory, also upholds the beauty and purity of intimacy between husband and wife in marriage. No Book of the Bible is more expressive and detailed in discussing human love than the Song of Solomon. Because this Book is so unconstrained in the discussion of sexual behavior in marriage, many preachers and teachers avoid it completely. Actually, when viewed in its proper context, this Book can be of great assistance in helping us examine the intimacy we are meant to have with our Lord Jesus Christ. That will be our task today.

I want us to major upon one verse from this great Book. Song of Solomon 5:16 reads:

“His mouth is most sweet,

Yes, he is altogether lovely.

This is my beloved,

And this is my friend,

O daughters of Jerusalem!”

In this Book, we discover a beautiful Shulammite woman who is in love with a shepherd. Note with me some comparisons of her love for the shepherd and our love for our Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd, the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, our Lord!

I. An Emotion for the Shepherd-King

One cannot read this passage without sensing the deep emotion which the Shulammite bride feels for her Shepherd-King. She speaks with words which glow with loving emotion. Why does she express such emotion for her groom?

A. An Emotion Due to Practice (4:11 also)

This is an emotion which has grown out of experience, not hearsay. She knows the kisses of His mouth for she has experienced His love. Now let me compare that to our experience with Christ.

More than once in the Bible we see the kiss as an expression of our spiritual love. In the parable of the Prodigal Son we see the father, who is a symbol of the Heavenly Father, running out to kiss His wayward boy who has returned from his sinful escapades. The Father plants a kiss on the neck of the son as an expression of acceptance and personal love.

In Psalm 2:12 we read:

“Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,

And you perish in the way,

When His wrath is kindled but a little.

Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”

Here we see the sinner called upon to embrace the Son to remove His anger and judgment. It is a picture or example of what it means to come to faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior and King. It is not just an experience of believing in the head, but a giving of one’s heart to Him.

Also, we turn to the New Testament and find an example of the kiss as an expression of love for Christ. Love was shown to Jesus by a woman who had received much forgiveness of sin. We note in Luke 7:45 that Jesus said to those in the room, ”You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in.” Those in the room with Jesus were listening to Him but they had little or no real love for Him. The woman who knew the joy of being forgiven fell down and kissed in feet sin devotion and gratitude.

These passages reveal that the kiss is shown to be an emotional expression of deep appreciation for mercy when pictured as being given to our Lord; and, the kiss is an expression of forgiveness and mercy when given to us by our Lord. The Shulammite states that the mouth of her Shepherd-King is “sweetness itself.”

It would be wonderful if we experienced the heavenly kiss of our Lord upon our neck each day. Many of us do not even understand such symbolic language because we walk at such a great distance from our Lord. There is little emotion in our relationship with Christ because we view our connection to Christ so officially, dogmatically and doctrinally rather than fervently, passionately and energetically.

Oh, that we could be like Thomas who fell down at Jesus feet and exclaimed, “My Lord and My God.” Or that we could realize our sinfulness in the presence of His perfection and cry out as did Peter. “Depart from me, O Lord, for I am sinful man.” Note what emotion and feeling these men had for Christ.

Jesus once asked a crowd, “…What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?... (Matthew 22:42)” Indeed, what do we think of Christ? If we are saved, then we should be filled with emotion for Him - there should be a heartfelt love for our Redeemer. Matthew tells us that the women ran from the tomb when they had heard about His resurrection and suddenly He met them along the way. The Bible records that they fell at His feet, held to Him and did not want to let go of our Lord (Matthew 28:9).

Let me make this point very clearly. Emotion for Jesus, the Shepherd-King, was practiced and expressed in the New Testament church. It was no mere surface expression, it came from the heart and burst forth from experience. It is something we need to renew in our day – in our churches – yes, in our hearts!

B. An Emotion Determined by Passion (desire)

In the passage we note that the Shulammite bride desired to be near her Shepherd-King. In the preceding verses we see that the Shepherd-King has withdrawn Himself from her. Their relationship endures, but the fellowship is broken. This broken fellowship is a result of a mistake the Shulammite made. When her husband-lover came to the door she was preoccupied and did not let Him in. He departed and then she realized her mistake. She went out to seek Him, realizing that nothing on earth meant more to her than the close fellowship of her Shepherd-King.

We must maintain this kind of desire for our Savior. A longing to be near Him and to know Him better is the heartbeat of every child of God who is truly in a right relationship with Christ. Look at what Paul said in Philippians 3:7-15. “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.”

You hear passion in the words that Paul penned. He had an ardor, a fire in his bones for Christ. This is something missing in so many of us today.

Let us sing with the songwriter:

“My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;

For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;

My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;

If ever I love Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.

I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me,

And purchased my pardon on Calvary's tree;

I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;

If ever I love Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,

I'll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;

I'll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,

If ever I love Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.”  (William R. Featherston and A. J. Gordon)

II. An Expression about the Shepherd-King

We have seen the emotion in the heart of the Bride, now let us look at the depth of her expression of love. She states, “He is altogether lovely.” The word altogether is very significant and animated. It speaks to us in several ways regarding the Shepherd-King whom the Bride loved.

A. Exclusively Lovely

The word used in our text means that there is none as lovely as He. To what can you compare Christ? Where is One so pure, so mighty, so merciful, so powerful, so kind, so true, or so faithful? There is none to be found like unto Him! When Jesus was upon the earth, He watched as many so-called followers turned away from Him. Jesus turned to His disciples and asked if they, too, would walk away. Peter answered in John 6:68, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of life.” Indeed, there is none like Him, and no one else to whom we can go!

Does the term exclusively lovely mean that nothing else is lovely? It means that there is no one and nor anything which is as beautiful or which we love more than Christ! Jesus Himself taught us that we must not love even father and mother, son and daughter, more than we love Him.

B. Exhaustively Lovely

This simply means that there is no part of me that does not find Him to be lovely. There are many lovely things, or things to love, but in all of them there are some elements which disappoint me. I may love an athletic team, but they will in some ways disappoint me. I may love an automobile, but something about the car will fail to please me. I may love a person, but there will be something which at some point will not fulfill my expectations. But Christ and Christ alone is lovely in every respect. He pleases my heart, soul and mind.

Let me give you an example. Let us say that you have an illness and you go to the doctor for assistance. He gives you medicine, which you take as advised and you are pleased that you are slowly getting better. However, when you see the cost of the medicine, that part doesn’t please you at all! In addition, it may be that you are displeased with the taste of the medicine. Again, you may not like the side effects of the medication. Yet, you may say that you find the medicine to be pleasing. Jesus, however, pleases us in every respect. He is lovely altogether! That simply means that He is lovely in every way!

C. Exquisitely Lovely

This means that every aspect of our Lord is lovely.

I love Him in His preexistence glory.
I love Him for coming down to this old world to walk in human flesh for me.
I love Him in His virgin birth.
I love Him in His sinless, ,pure life.
 I love Him in His healing of the sick.
I love Him as He cast out the demons and restored people to sanity.
I love Him as He spoke only truth!
I love Him as He raised the dead.
I love Him for telling me the truth about heaven and hell.
I love Him for condemning self-righteousness, casting the money-changers out of the temple and correcting us when we are wrong.
I love Him when He is arrested for my sake, beaten, spat upon and taken to Golgotha.
I love Him hanging on the cross for me.
I love Him when He says, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
I love Him when He is laid in the tomb for me.
I love Him when he rises on Easter Sunday in glory and power.
I love Him when He promises the Holy Spirit to be His presence with all believers.
I love Him when He ascends to heaven. I love Him now enthroned in glory.
I will love Him when He returns for His bride, of which I am a part.

Glory, glory, glory! I love him in every picture, portrait and position he occupies!

There is no part of Him, no act He has committed, no word He has spoken, no event He has attended, no practice He has performed that I do not love. He is exquisitely lovely, perfect in everything, in every way and in every thought!

III. An Excitement Concerning the Shepherd-King

The Shulammite bride is a picture of the church, of the individual Christian. She cannot be silent about Him. Throughout the Song of Solomon she proclaims His virtues and her love for Him. Note just two things in closing.

A. A Public Profession

(see 1:1; 3:4; 5:16) She makes known her love, for she cannot keep quiet! On some occasions Jesus told those He healed to tell no one. They could not keep silent. Today, He has told us to tell everyone, and we say so little about Him.

A public profession is required if we would properly respect and love our Shepherd-King! One cannot have a secret relationship with Christ. He is your all in all or He is nothing all to you. You cannot be ashamed of Him. That is why we ask everyone who will trust Him and accept Him as Lord and Savior to do so publicly.

You see, when you love Him, you must tell it far and wide.

B. A Personal Profession

“His is MY lover...”.

We cannot tell what we do not know and have not experienced. The Shulammite could tell of her love because it was personal. The Shulammite bride could well have written,

“I would like to tell you what I think of Jesus,

Since I’ve found in Him a friend so strong and true.

I would tell you how He changed my life completely,

He did something that no other friend could do.

No one ever cared for me like Jesus…!” (Charles Weigle)

Can you say that you have a personal relationship with Christ? If not, why not come to Him now! And, if you do know Him, can you say that you passionately love Him right now, this very minute? We can say with John Newton,

“Weak is the effort of our heart

And cold our warmest thought;

But when we see Thee as Thou art

We’ll praise Thee as we ought.”


A story is told about William Jennings Bryan, that great American orator and defender of the faith. As he was having his portrait painted, Bryan was asked, "Why do you wear your hair over your ears?" Bryan responded, "There is a romance connected with that.  When I began courting Mrs. Bryan, she objected to the way my ears stood out.  So, to please her, I let my hair grow to cover them." "But that was many years ago," the artist said. "Why don't you have your hair cut now?" "Because," Bryan winked, "the romance is still going on."

Is the romance you have with Jesus going on strongly – mightily? It should be. Let us kiss the king – in our hearts. Perhaps you are one who needs to come to Him and trust Him as your Savior. His arms are open to you.

A pastor told once about his son who weighed himself every day. One morning the boy stepped on the scales while his dad was standing nearby. When the needle stopped, he called out with delight, "I weigh 39 pounds!"  When his father bent over, the little fellow wrapped his arms around his neck.  "Now stand up, Daddy!" he said. When he did, the child's full weight was suspended from his father's shoulders.  With beaming face the youngster exclaimed, "That's how much I love you--all 39 pounds!"

Put your arms around His neck, for you can throw all you weight on Him. Let all you are or hope to be rest on Him alone!