Song of Songs 8:7—Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Mighty waters cannot extinguish love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If a man were to give all his wealth for love, it would be utterly scorned.
Solomon composed 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs (1 Kings 4:32). Perhaps his finest piece is the musical production Song of Songs, a work of Hebrew poetry utilizing parallelism and wonderfully descriptive language. Jewish religious leaders held this wee book of Scripture in high regard. Note the words of Rabbi Akiba (50-135 AD), who wrote in the Mishnah (Yadaim 3.5): "... the whole of the world is not worth the day on which the Song of Songs was given to Israel; all the Writings are holy, and the Song of Songs is the holy of holies ..." Many commentators teach that this writing allegorically describes the love of Christ for His bride the Church. But let’s simply focus on the central theme of this writing—love. Andy Bannister wrote, “The primary message of the book is this: that human love, marriage, and, dare I say it, sexual love, are a gift from God.”
A beautiful Shulamite maiden,from the northern hill country of Lebanon, gains the attention of the world’s most powerful king. From her mountainous home, she travels to Jerusalem wooed by a lovesick Solomon transfixed by her physical beauty. He flatters her. He tries masterfully to seduce her favor. If only she will marry him. But she will have none of it. Her thoughts remain with her true love, a shepherd boy from her own village.
The Shulamite teaches us that love is not about sexual conquest or the gaining of all the wealth and attention one could achieve from a handsome lord. She resists Solomon’s advances because her heart belongs to another. Three times she reminds the young women of Jerusalem, “do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time.” True love is not to be manipulated or fondled by the fleeting passion of admirers! Her loyal and faithful adoration exquisitely ties memory and emotion to her shepherd friend. The thought of him consumes her dreams and sends tingles through her body. She will not compromise her convictions and feelings for the pleasure of Israel’s potentate.
Love is a sacred gift of incalculable value. To unwrap it merely for physical thrill or temporary pleasure is to cheapen its deep meaning and damage the spiritual wick from which its oil burns strongly through the darkest nights. With relentless chatter, the world depicts love through beauty, costly adornment, power, fame, and attaining our desires. Beware, too often, this is love’s sensual cousin lust. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and not Glamour magazine defines God’s treasure:
Love is patient; love is kind. Love does not envy; is not boastful; is not conceited; does not act improperly; is not selfish; is not provoked; does not keep a record of wrongs; finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
Palace dreams for her shepherd
Heaven’s love story
You don't love a woman because she is beautiful, she is beautiful because you love her. –Author Unknown
Let your love be like the misty rains, coming softly, but flooding the river.—Malagasy Proverb
©2008 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)