Song of Solomon 8:5-14 – Endurance and Grace

ENDURANCE IN MARRIAGE

This passage begins with the woman coming up from the wilderness again, but this time she is not alone. The arms of her beloved are now wrapped around her, embracing and protecting his bride. A wedding ring reveals a man’s commitment to be united with his wife, and here, the bride desires to be the public “seal” of her husband (8:6a). She is his unique possession. Their love is stronger than death (8:6b). This is a powerful statement. All mankind fears death, but perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). We also hear from the brothers of the bride for the first time (vs. 8-9). They seemed concerned for the purity of their sister when she was younger. The bride ferociously reveals her chastity before marriage, which is also why she had previously adjured the daughters of Jerusalem to “not awaken love before its time” (vs. 4). Solomon and his bride waited and now they experience marital bliss together.

The book comes to a unique end, with Solomon knowing his bride. Though her “vineyard” could have multiple keepers, she is devoted uniquely to her husband (8:12). Her husband is not present with her, but longs to hear her voice again, and to be reunited with her (8:13). His bride freely invites him to herself for their mutual enjoyment (8:14), and our minds go back to the romance they have shared throughout the book. Unlike in fairy tales, here, there is no way to bring this story to a conclusion and tie up loose ends. Rather, the last verse is meant to deliberately force us to think about what has already occurred throughout this book that describes the beauty of marriage and our relationship with God. All marriages have ebbs and flows, and what makes them last is not necessarily compatibility or romance, but rather a life-long selfless commitment to one another, a commitment that seeks God’s grace in times of conflict and enjoys God’s blessings in times of bliss. Regardless of the season we are in, endurance in marriage means trusting in God’s grace and not in our own strength to uniquely enjoy the spouse that God has given us.

A SHADE OF GRACE

As the bride was solely devoted to her husband, we were created to be solely devoted to our good Creator. Jesus is the perfect Groom who lovingly sacrificed His life for us, His bride. Even when we sought satisfaction elsewhere, which left us empty, He still pursued His adulterous bride, and He always desires for us to return to Him in repentance and trust. Even though we have all married idols and forsaken His love, He will forgive us and accept us, because we are His treasured possession and have been sealed with His Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22). Jesus is the One for whom we were made, and only in Him can we find eternal joy, satisfaction, and life. As believers, we should ponder the magnificent love that God has shown to us.

Song of Solomon is a beautiful poetic book about marriage and relationships. The truth is, in this broken world that longs for Jesus’ return, marriages and relationships are difficult, because they involve sinners, who desperately need Jesus. Time and time again we hurt others and are hurt by others. And time and time again, we should run back to our Bridegroom to stir our hearts to sacrificially love our spouse and others, as He sacrificially loved us. May we long for the day when we experience the ultimate bliss of being with Jesus, when He returns for His bride and makes all things new.

Study Questions

LOVE – GOD LOVES US

The image of a “seal” upon a person’s heart is a strong image of unbroken commitment. Believers are likewise sealed for redemption by the finished work of Jesus. How is this sealing accomplished? Read 2 Corinthians 1:21 22; Ephesians 1:13-14 and 4:30 to find out.

How do we see a picture of the gospel in Song of Solomon 8:6-7? How should this verse bring us comfort in our doubts?

DEVOTION – WE LOVE GOD

Scripture teaches us that only those who endure in Christ and continue in Him will be saved (Colossians 1:22-23; Hebrews 3:14). What guarantees that we will endure with Christ if we have trusted in Him? Read 1 Peter 1:5 and Jude 24-25 for encouragement.

Song of Solomon 8:12 is a clear picture of the bride’s devotion to Solomon. How can we guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) and keep them free and clear to worship Jesus?

PASSION – WE LOVE OTHERS

Married: How can enduring with your spouse in difficult times be a reminder to him/her of God’s faithfulness to them? How can you build the faith of your spouse? How can repentance strengthen your marriage?

Single: How can you endure in faithful use of your single life for the Lord? What will it take in order to “go the distance” with and for Christ? How can you draw strength from your fellow believers?

LEGACY – LOVE LIVES ON

Our journey with Christ is not just about us. Who else in our lives will be encouraged and drawn closer to Jesus because of our walk with Him? How can we build a legacy for Christ through these relationships? How does the local church help us to do this?