Saturday 19 January 2013

Bible Book:
Song of Solomon

it would be utterly scorned." (vv. 6-7)

Song of Solomon 8:5-7 Saturday 19 January 2013


In our final passage this week, it's not entirely clear whomight be speaking. Perhaps it is the maiden's friends or family;watching her approach with her beloved and reminiscing about herbirth and childhood ("I remember when she was knee-high to agrasshopper, look at her now!").

But in verse 6 we appear to be hearing the maiden's voice onceagain as she speaks of the strength of her love for her husband:"Set me as a seal upon your heart...". The act of placing a seal onsomething was a sign of ownership: she wants to own his heart as healready owns hers. As with yesterday's passage, perhaps there is asense of insecurity over her place in his affections, but the textgives no other reason to suppose that they are not totally andequally devoted to one another.

The final, beautiful verses give a stunning picture of the sheerforce of the couple's passion. The force of their love appears togo beyond mere emotion to something much more decisive andpowerful: it is "strong as death" and "fierce as the grave". It ishard to imagine any suitor that might want to compete for theiraffections for fear of being burned!

Although it is perhaps difficult to find anything explicitlyspiritual in the Song of Solomon, time and again we have had theopportunity to learn from the text concerning with our godlyrelationships, as well as our own human ones. But perhaps no lessonfrom Song of Solomon can be as striking as the one we see intoday's passage. If anything can convince us that love is as strongas death, it is the empty cross of Christ crucified and risen,sacrificed to redeem humanity and overcome the grave.

To Ponder

  • Do you believe that love can be "as strong as death" and "asfierce as the grave"? What might that mean for you in your lifetoday?
  • Have you ever experienced the priceless love of which theauthor of today's passage speaks? What was it like?
  • Read John chapter 19 and consider the true meaningof a love "as strong as death".
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