The Power of Love

OPENING PRAYER

King of my heart, I love You. May my love never waver through all of life’s ups and downs.

 

Read: SONG OF SONGS 8:1–14

8 If only you were to me like a brother,
who was nursed at my mother’s breasts!
Then, if I found you outside,
I would kiss you,
and no one would despise me.
2 I would lead you
and bring you to my mother’s house—
she who has taught me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
the nectar of my pomegranates.
3 His left arm is under my head
and his right arm embraces me.
4 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.
Friends

5 Who is this coming up from the wilderness
leaning on her beloved?
She

Under the apple tree I roused you;
there your mother conceived you,
there she who was in labor gave you birth.
6 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.
7 Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of one’s house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.
Friends

8 We have a little sister,
and her breasts are not yet grown.
What shall we do for our sister
on the day she is spoken for?
9 If she is a wall,
we will build towers of silver on her.
If she is a door,
we will enclose her with panels of cedar.
She

10 I am a wall,
and my breasts are like towers.
Thus I have become in his eyes
like one bringing contentment.
11 Solomon had a vineyard in Baal Hamon;
he let out his vineyard to tenants.
Each was to bring for its fruit
a thousand shekels of silver.
12 But my own vineyard is mine to give;
the thousand shekels are for you, Solomon,
and two hundred are for those who tend its fruit.
He

13 You who dwell in the gardens
with friends in attendance,
let me hear your voice!
She

14 Come away, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle
or like a young stag
on the spice-laden mountains.

 

Reflect: HOW DO YOU DEMONSTRATE LOVE TO YOUR LOVED ONES?

Verses 8–12 are reminiscent of chapter 1. The woman’s brothers speak of preparing her for marriage or providing her with a dowry. In the ancient Near East a young woman’s brothers would be responsible for her if her father had died. In verse 10 the woman declares her readiness for marriage, with verses 11 and 12 possibly referring to the financial side of the marriage contract. It is also possible that the “vineyard” she offers to give to Solomon is her own body; in 1:6 it was not yet mature enough for marriage, but it is now fruitful.

The lover describes love’s indestructibility. Like fire, it cannot be stopped but rather overcomes all obstacles in its path. Like death, love has the final word. A seal speaks of exclusivity; her heart belongs to him alone. Love is worth more than wealth.

Whether the Song was written by him or for him, if Solomon is indeed the lover depicted then we know that his love was not as exclusive or as long-lasting as the poetic ideal suggests. Sadly, he was distracted by the excitement of love with many other women who led him to worship other gods (1 Kings 11:1–4). Solomon’s example reminds us of our fallen human condition. “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).

 

APPLY

Is there an area of your life in which you have allowed your love for God to wane? Rededicate your love to him today.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Thank You, God, for Your grace and forgiveness when I have fallen short of my own ideals. Help me to stand firm in You.

Terry Schneider