Read: Song of Songs 8
[She] Solomon had a vineyard in Baal Hamon;
he let out his vineyard to tenants.
Each was to bring for its fruit
a thousand shekels of silver.
But my own vineyard is mine to give;
the thousand shekels are for you, Solomon,
and two hundred are for those who tend its fruit. (Songs 8:11-12)
Throughout Songs, the bride and groom have talked of her body figuratively as a vineyard. So as I thought about these two verses, I thought I should read them as a comparison between the taxes citizens pay and the voluntary giving over of herself to her husband which a wife does – even if that wife be a royal princess married to a king.
As well as royal brides, however, the vineyard stands in Scripture for all Israel, in the prophetic literature (Isaiah 5:7) for example.
Furthermore, Jesus expounded upon this idea in a parable of a rented vineyard (Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12 and Luke 20:9-19). Jesus applied it not to carnal generosity but from the position of one who saw the rightful rents being refused to the landowner’s messengers, even to the point of the landowner’s son being murdered.
Jesus turned this metaphor of a rented vineyard into a parable that prophesied his own death.
The Jews didn’t want to submit to the King, so they killed him. And, through a miracle of God, the death of King Jesus made it possible for his chosen Bride (the church) to respond willingly to him.
Christians may own their own ‘vineyards’ as Christ’s gift to us, but we should – nay, must – surrender all to Christ: “In view of God’s mercy, offer yourselves as a living sacrifice,” Paul wrote in Romans 12:1.
All I am and have must be surrendered to Christ.
LORD God Almighty,
Worthy, worthy, worthy,
is the LORD God Almighty,
to receive praise and honour and glory –
may the whole earth be full of your glory!
LORD, you created everything and it was all subject to you, yet you handed authority over to Adam and Eve to care for the Garden of Eden, despite knowing they would sin.
You created the vineyard that was your people Israel and they were subject to your law, yet you allowed them to ask for Moses to be their mediator and to appoint Saul as their king, despite knowing Moses would stumble and Saul would fall.
You have granted me authority over the limited sphere of my own body, despite knowing I too would stumble and fall into sin. Wretch that I am!
Yet you have done this so I might be redeemed by your Son and granted his righteousness. You have called me to surrender all that I am and have to you. You call me to live as a sacrifice to you – wholly given over to your will and into your service.
I owe all that I am and have to you. Please allow me grace to serve you in all that I do, with all that I have: my skills and passion, my intellect and education, my heart and soul, my hands and feet, my ears and mouth. May all of me be submitted to you, my King.