Song of Solomon 2:8-17 – Waiting and Grace

DO NOT AWAKEN LOVE BEFORE ITS TIME

Remember the warning of verse seven before reading the remainder of chapter two. The bride adjures her friends not to awaken love before its time. We now see the bride take her own advice. Solomon comes to her. She sees him on the other side of the wall and peering through the lattice to get her attention. He calls out to her. His words are sweet poetry that would melt the heart of any young maiden (vs. 10-13). His intention is clear. He wants her to come to him. The time is right he proclaims. “The spring is here and everything is in blossom and so should our love also bloom,” he says. He longs for her and he is ready for her. We know from chapter one that the bride shares the same desires to be with her groom. However, she answers him, “Not yet.” Her response is not a harsh rejection. She reminds him that she is his as he belongs to her (vs. 16). Their hearts are united in desire, and spring has come, but there is still work to do in the vineyard. The little foxes could spoil the vineyard and the blossoms. The foxes must be caught, the day must break and the shadows flee before it is time to awaken love (vs. 17). She tells her love to go. She knows he will be her man and be thinking of her as they wait for love to ripen and please them both.

WHY WAIT?

In the ancient world, families would betroth their children. This was much like the engagement period that occurs before a wedding in our current culture. There are two springs that occur within this song. The first happens within our text (vs. 2:11-13). The second occurs near the end of the song (vs. 7:12). There are no other time markers with the song to suggest time extensions, so we can reasonably believe that the song takes place over the period of one year. This would have been the betrothal time the families had agreed upon. Notice what the bride says in verse nine, “there he stands behind our wall.” The bride is not alone. We know her brothers have been unkind to her (1:6), but even so, the betrothal requirements must be fulfilled. Community is a huge theme in the Bible, as well as this song. We live in a very individualistic world where we focus only on our own wants and desires, but we were made for community. What we do affects other people. The only “little fox” the world sees is sexual disease and teaches that people should engage in sexual activity as long as they desire it and are “safe.” Scripture teaches that sex is for marriage (Hebrews 13:4). It also teaches we should honor our families (Ephesians 6:1-3). Further, the community of faith (church) should be free from sexual sin (1 Corinthians 5:1-13).

A SHADE OF GRACE

Many reading this may feel like they have allowed the “little foxes” to trample their vineyards and destroy their blossoms. Some may say, “I have already blown it, so there’s no point in tending to my vineyard now.” You need to know that Jesus loves you (Galatians 2:20). He forgives any sin we bring to Him (1 John 1:9). You may feel like a damaged vineyard, but Jesus makes all things new (Revelation 21:5). Forget the past and trust Jesus with today. Today you can go forward living in purity because of what Jesus Christ has done for you.

STUDY QUESTIONS

LOVE – GOD LOVES US

We have all fallen short of God’s glory and failed to honor Him, causing our lives to be impure before Him. How does the fact that Jesus has sought you out to be a part of His new family speak to the depth of His love for you?

Read Psalm 103:11-12. How does the cleansing power of God’s love for us in Christ separate us from our sin?

DEVOTION – WE LOVE GOD

What “little foxes” are in your own life right now that prevent your pure devotion to Christ? How does allowing them to run free through your vineyard create patterns of sin in your own life?

Why is it important for the Church to be free from sexual sin? Why does the sin of an individual affect others? Read 1 Corinthians 5:6; Galatians 5:9; Ephesians 5:26-27 and Philippians 2:15 for ideas.

PASSION – WE LOVE OTHERS

When Jesus renews our hearts, our attitude towards others changes. How does our individualistic culture prevent us from seeing others as important? How does the same culture prevent us from seeing the community of believers as important?

Married: What are some little foxes that are invading your marriage right now? How can you act in obedience to Christ and protect your marriage?

LEGACY – LOVE LIVES ON

What would you say to someone who believes that they are too impure for Jesus to love them or to welcome them into His family? What Scriptures would you use to show them God’s true intentions towards them?