Today you should read: Song of Solomon 4
When Pastor Tim mentioned that early Jewish leaders advised young Jews to not read this book until they were at least 30 years old, they must’ve been talking about this chapter right here. After serving with teenagers for well over a decade I can also picture those young Jewish boys getting together at sleepovers in the middle of the night, huddling over the book by candlelight while their parents are sleeping. As mentioned already, there have been two types of interpretation for this book:
- A Pursuit, Engagement & Fulfillment in Marriage of a Covenantal Love Relationship as intended by God for man and woman.
- A Metaphor or Picture of Jesus’ love for His Church, the Bride.
Although I can accept a view of both in some ways, I have some real uncomfortableness reading chapter 4, where Solomon talks about his bride’s breasts as a picture of Jesus and the church. So with that said, we should read, at least this chapter, knowing that there is good romance and sex within a good, Christ-centered marriage. These things within a marriage are a gift from God and wouldn’t be included in God’s Word if it wasn’t a gift.
However with that being said, before one gets to enjoy such a gift within marriage, one must be ultra careful with how they treat their girlfriend or boyfriend before getting married in such areas as well. For example, look at how Solomon refers to his soon to be bride in verses 9, 10 and 12. He calls her his SISTER first, then BRIDE.
One time when teaching through this book, an unchurched person asked if this was justifying incest. I told them no, it was justifying how a man should treat his girlfriend and fiancé and overall view his wife first and foremost, as a sister in Christ. His wife is a sister in Christ first and foremost. They will not take that covenantal marriage into heaven but will be church family forever eternally. This view would help with not only sexual temptations before marriage but, an overall view and true purpose of marriage as you prioritize your faith over all other things. Now, of course, as this book has made abundantly clear, there are some pretty great physical and emotional benefits you have within the earthly marriage as husband and wife. But know that you’re bonded in Christ, adopted as His family first.
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor
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