Song of Solomon 6:13-8:4 – Bliss and Grace
December 9, 2019
The remaining verses in chapter six transition to an ancient and sacred dance the bride performs for her husband. She gazes upon Solomon and becomes aroused, which motivates her to perform this dance. The community wants to witness the beauty of the bride, but Solomon declares their request inappropriate as the dance is only for him and his lover. Chapter seven begins with Solomon alone with his bride. It is clear in the text that the only article of clothing the bride is wearing is her sandals. Solomon has an unobstructed view of the rest of her body. He begins to describe her. Unlike chapter four where Solomon begins with her head and moves down, here he begins with her feet and moves up. The Hebrew word for feet, pa’am, suggests her feet are already in graceful motion as the dance has begun. Solomon’s description not only compliments the body of the Shulammite, but also reflects her strength of character, which is also attractive to him. This couple has had problems in the past (5:2-6), but now they are in perfect harmony. Chapter seven ends with beautiful and reciprocal love as the husband and bride enjoy one another in marital bliss.
PATIENCE AND COMMUNITY
Chapter eight begins with the bride being overwhelmed by her love for Solomon. When they are in public together it is hard for her to control herself. She wishes he was her brother so she could kiss him without breaking the social norms of her day. It is important to note that social norms were important in Biblical times. The voice of the “others” throughout this song emphasizes that betrothal and marriage are not just individual events, but community events. God’s people are meant to celebrate and encourage one another in their marriages and relationships. This leads the bride to want to take Solomon home to mom and introduce him to the family! She wants her family to see how happy she is, as well as how much Solomon loves her. She also wants others to see her story of love and intimacy. She reminds the Daughters of Jerusalem that there is an appropriate time to awaken love, and that is in the context of a devoted marriage between a man and his wife (8:4). For those that are not married, but desire to be married, trust in God’s grace to strengthen you to not awaken love until you are married.
SHADE OF GRACE
The Holy Spirit used Solomon to pen this song so that God’s people could understand human desire, patience, marriage, and human sexuality as God intended them. Many parts of this song may have surprised you. Remember, that sex is a beautiful expression of marital bliss that God has designed for us to experience and enjoy. This world is full of copycat substitutes that claim that only they can lead to happiness and fulfillment. But God tells us differently: the Word of God is true and every man is a liar (Romans 3:4). There is a way that seems right to a man, but that path leads to death (Proverbs 14:12). If you are single, be patient and trust the Lord. Singleness is a gift and it’s good for you to enjoy the time you have to devote yourself to God (I Corinthians 7:32-35). If you are newly married, enjoy one another and allow God to help you work through the disagreements that are sure to arise. If you are married professionals, or have been married for a long time, ask God for the passion and intimacy of marriage to never grow cold. In all things keep Jesus first. Daily set Him on the throne of your heart. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Never forget that Jesus is the truest fulfillment, and all earthly pleasures point to Him.
LOVE – GOD LOVES US
Song of Solomon 8:4 is a verse about displaying patience and trust in God’s timing. Jesus also has a “timing” involved in waiting for His bride, the Church. What does 2 Peter 3:8-9 tell us about God’s patience in the return of Christ? Why does He wait? How does this speak to the patient love of Christ?
DEVOTION – WE LOVE GOD
All sin is counterfeit worship (devotion of our time, efforts, affections, money) towards a false god (or idol of our hearts) that makes promises that never deliver. How does this picture of true joy and pure bliss remind us that obediently following Jesus offers us enjoyment in this life and in the life to come?
Read 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. How does the right use of our bodies before God constitute and act of worship and devotion to Him?
PASSION – WE LOVE OTHERS
How does the enjoyment of God’s good gift of sex within the bounds of marriage point to His goodness and faithfulness?
How would it be a sin against others to sexually gratify ourselves with those we are not married to, even with their consent? Given that God has designed sexual intimacy to signify and strengthen lifelong marital commitment, how is sex outside of marriage a fraudulent act? Read 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 for help.
LEGACY – LOVE LIVES ON
Marriage is supposed to be a picture of the covenant love between Christ and His Church. How does a right view of God’s design for sex within marriage help us to preach a good gospel? How does a biblical view of sexuality help make healthy disciples?