March 8, 2023
Thank you for committing to prayer each Wednesday for our prodigals and for revival. Your praying is an expression of your love to your God. It shows that your heart is in sync with His heart, and that you love the ones that He loves and the things that He loves. Best of all, when you pray, you are in communion with Him!
Love is the theme of the next book study in our series, the Song of Solomon or the Song of Songs.
This little book of 8 chapters is love poetry that extols the virtues of love and intimacy in marriage. Scholars have debated as to its purpose and meaning. According to The Bible Knowledge Commentary, it has been viewed in a variety of ways: as an allegory, an extended type, a drama, a collection of Syrian wedding songs, and an anthology of disconnected songs extolling human love.
Is this Song about literal human romantic love or figurative divine love? The primary interpretation of the Song celebrates the beauty of physical love and uses vivid and sensual imagery to describe the lovers' experiences. It explores the emotional and spiritual dimensions of a romantic relationship, as the couple express their deep affection and commitment to one another. It portrays marriage as a joyful and fulfilling union between a man and a woman and affirms the importance of sexual intimacy within the context of a committed relationship.
Having said that, the imagery of marriage is used throughout Scripture to explain the greater story of redemption. It is used to describe God’s relationship with Israel (Jeremiah 2:1-3), and later, His relationship with the church (Ephesians 5).
Love is at the foundation of every good relationship, and God’s love is the theme of the whole Bible, so it is not surprising that He devoted a small section to the same.
One of the keys to enjoying this Song more fully is to know who is saying what. The woman is the primary speaker. The man is also a major speaker. The maidens are a group that are the woman’s peers and the woman’s siblings.
Another way is to see the man and woman interact more at the level of thematic cycles and dialogue. The editors of The Abide Bible suggest that “The song consists of poems in which lovers speak to and about each other (1:15–2:3). Thus the Song talks about love by portraying a man and a woman in love using their own words. In this way the Song explores the emotional, psychological, and sensual aspects of love.”
The Song of Songs may just be the book that husbands and wives need to read together in order to get the flame of love ignited to a higher level. While sexual intimacy is not the only way of expressing love in the marriage relationship, it is a great way!
At the close of the book, Solomon reminds us that love is not a force to be reckoned with. “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised” (Song of Solomon 8:6-8).
We live in a world that has turned sex and marriage on its head. A world that has changed the wonder of God’s gift to married couples into a perverted, self-gratifying activity of individualistic pleasure.
The message of this Song is an important one for each of us. Enjoy it in the sanctity of marriage!
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel