If you have been with me awhile or read several of my devotionals, it's quite possible you guessed I'm not a big fan of King Solomon, which makes it even harder for me to read The Song of Solomon. But that is our text today.
Why do I struggle so much with this book of the Bible? I mean, "God, how am I supposed to see this as a beautiful love story when I know the dude had like a gazillion wives? It just doesn't feel authentic to me!"
But in order to read the Bible from start to end, I have to read it sometime. At least it's only 8 chapters, and I was so happy when chapter 8 rolled around. I was almost done! Except, there was a disquiet in my heart as if God whispered,
"Dienece, you ought not to be so pleased to leave this book behind. It's My love letter to you."
"Yes, yes, God," I complained back. "I know it's supposed to be a love letter from You, but what's with saying her temples are like pomegranates and her teeth like newly shorn sheep?(4:2-3) What does that even mean!"
Do you know what He said back to me? "Dienece, put your prejudice against Solomon aside. Stop trying to picture this literally as how it happened to Solomon and his wife, and
listen to what I am saying to you."
So, I did, and the last chapter came alive.
Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. 8:6
Set God as a seal upon our hearts. Why? Because we are prone to wander away from God. We let our affections be entangled elsewhere without once stopping to think how this makes God feel.
Jealousy is a strong emotion especially in love. A man made the news in Melbourne recently for murdering his girlfriend when he found out she had been seeing other men. That's sinful, lustful jealousy, but it still shows us how strong that emotion is. How unfaithfulness wounds a part deep inside us that cannot be healed quickly.
And we wander so carelessly from God. Oh, that we would set Him as a seal upon our hearts! To stop and consider that He is a jealous God, who loves us with a consuming, vehement flame (v.6).
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.
God did that for us. He sent His Son to die on the cross. All the storms the Devil threw at Christ could not drown out His love for us. He gave everything and was utterly contemned for our sakes.
How wonderful a picture of God's love for us is this verse! It bleeds with the passion of the cross. No matter what comes nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Is your love for God that strong? That no matter what comes, no matter what it costs, you'd give it all for God?
The chapter finishes with an interesting picture.
"Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices." Song of Solomon 8:14
Have you ever watched a deer skip along the mountainside? In terrain where we would stumble and fall in a heartbeat, the deer is sure-footed and swift. Deer run with sweet, delicate abandon.
The Song of Solomon urges us to,
Love God with abandon.
Image with Bible verses by https://pixabay.com/users/imstudio1989-27175543 altered by Dienece Darling in Publisher.
Image of the running deer by https://pixabay.com/users/rottonara-596655