Today you should read: Song of Solomon 2
Song of Solomon, along with Revelation, are two of the hardest books to understand in all of the Bible. They use intense imagery and are subject to much misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Even I struggle to understand completely so I will be referencing Christ Centered Exposition… Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs written by Daniel Akin – President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary – as a guide as we walk through this chapter and then draw some application from it. Song of Solomon 2 is a beautiful dialogue between a man and a woman in love.
It opens up with the woman being insecure that she is just another flower, another girl (v.1). The man responds in verse 2, “No, you are one of a kind”… you are a “a lily among brambles [thorns].” He was affirming her uniqueness (Akin, 34). As he affirms this in her she responds to him.
She called him “an apple tree among the trees of the forest” (v.3). An apple tree in this context is rare, it’s life giving, it’s sustaining. This is what she thought of Him. She affirmed that he made her feel safe (v.3) and loved (v.4-6).
There is an intense love between them going on but they have committed to wait until it is time to “awaken” it. We know this because in verse 7 she charges the young women of Jerusalem to learn from her and to not “stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” God has a plan for sexual relations and this always involves a marriage between a man and a woman. Anything outside of this is dangerous. Sex is not bad. God created it. God commands it in marriage. But just like fire is good inside of a fire pit and dangerous outside of the fire pit, so sex is good in marriage and dangerous outside of it. We must resolve to honor God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).
The story continues and she begins to adore her beloved as he expresses his love to her in 3 ways (Akin, 48):
- He expressed love in his actions (v.8-9)
- He expressed love with his eyes (v.9b)
- He expressed love with his words (v.10-15)
We too need to express love in these ways to our spouse but also to God. We need to love with our actions, eyes, and words.
We also see that we are to be proactive in catching the “foxes” – dangers – that threaten our “vineyard” – love. He uses the word catch. This is a command. This was a proactive action to protect the sweet love that God had given.
“Foxes, we are told, “were notorious in the ancient world for damaging vineyards…” Solomon knows the beautiful vineyard of marriage is susceptible to destructive little foxes that can sneak in without our noticing them.” (Akin, 53) We must be proactive.
We are also told to “Enjoy the delights of love” (Akin, 56). Now this couple was not yet married but it did not mean that their life together hadn’t started and that they could not enjoy love. They were told to enjoy, in this betrothal period, that:
- You belong to each other (v.16)
- That you want each other (v.17)
It is clear that in verse 17 they longed for marital sexual love. This is normal. This is good. But they chose to honor God by abstaining and waiting until the day for it to “awaken.”
This is a beautiful chapter of the pursuit of love. We learn so much about how to love our spouse but also how to date well and to love God well.
To the married couples:
- How can you express your love to your spouse well today?
- What “little foxes” need to be addressed before they get out of control?
To the singles:
- How can you prepare to love your spouse like this?
- How can you date well in this season?
- What do we learn about how to love God well through this?
- What impacts your heart most about the mutual pursuit of love seen here?
- What do you learn about God through this?
By: Nick Parsons — Pastoral Ministry Associate: College
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