Thursday, December 28, 2017
Daily reading assignment – Song of Solomon 7-8
Today’s reading brings us to the close of our Old Testament “Read Thru the Bible” daily scripture reading assignments. What a wonderful accomplishment on your part! Not only did you persevere in your commitment to read the scriptures, many of you followed the daily meditational meanderings of this pastor’s daily devotional commentary.
As a reminder, there are three methods of interpretations for the Song of Solomon. The Allegorical interpretation suggests the Song of Solomon describes God’s relationship with His people and is a story or parable meant to describe either God’s relationship with Israel or Christ’s relationship with His bride, the Church. A Typical interpretation suggests the bride of Solomon is a type or picture of the Church and the groom is Jesus Christ.
The third, and the one I settled on for my devotional commentary, is a Literal interpretation. In other words, I suggest the Song of Solomon is a true love story; the romance of Solomon as a young king and his love for a young Shulamite peasant girl who will become his queen.
The phrase, “Love is blind”, is often credited to William Shakespeare who employed it on several occasions in his plays; however, the phrase first appears in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Merchant Tale (1405) and states in the old English, “For loue is blynd alday and may nat see.” [i.e. “Love is blind all day, and may not see.”]
Author Pauline Thomason, perhaps more realistic than the previous quote, weighed in with her own observation: “Love is blind, marriage is the eye-opener.”
An anonymous author states a sentiment for the state of blind love more fitting to the love expressed by Solomon in today’s scripture reading:
“They are wrong who say that love is blind. On the contrary, nothing – not even the smallest detail – escapes the eyes; one sees everything in the loved one, notices everything; but melts it all into one flame with the great and simple: I love you.”
I will not take the time to write an extensive commentary on Song of Solomon 7; however, anyone who has been in love will no doubt identify with the king’s words. Solomon is “in love” and he takes no time to notice, let along number, the blemishes of his beloved wife.
Some might spin an interpretation of the opening verses of Song of Solomon 8:1-3, into an insidious attempt to suggest an incestuous love; however, I assure you it is not!
The Shulamite’s desire for Solomon to be as her brother, one whom she could show public affection, reminds us her husband is king and his office demands a certain reserve and decorum in public. Of course, her’s is a young love and she yearns to shower her love upon Solomon; he is not only her king, he is her beloved husband (8:4)!
Song of Solomon 8:6-7 states what should be true of every marriage; the covenant of marriage is singular in nature… “forsaking all others”. “Love is strong as death” (8:6b) and only death can quench its flame. The love of husband and wife is a lifelong passion whose embers can never be quenched, save by death alone (8:7).
This wonderful portrait of love and romance between the young king and his queen concludes with a beautiful sentiment…
“Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices” (8:14).
Hollywood’s portrayal of love and marriage is lust and a far cry from what the Creator intended for husband and wife. Sadly, the Millennium generation’s demand for instant gratification and pleasure has embraced lust. Having no moral boundaries, young men and women are sacrificing innocence, passion, and joy for empty, no commitment “one night stands” that inevitably leave them hollow and abandoned.
It is my observation the testimony of the 21st century church is hardly better. I have known many portraits of lasting love and romance in the course of my ministry; however, this generation is a different story. In fact, the rate of divorce in Bible-preaching churches rivals the world. What a sad testimony of love and marriage we give the world. After all, Christian marriages should be earthly portraits of Christ’ love for His Church…self-sacrificing, passionate, honorable, and enduring.
Ephesians 5:25, 33 – “ 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it… 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
I close by taking liberty that comes with being the author of this devotional commentary… To the wife of my youth, who remains my joy after 40 years of marriage, “I love you more than ever!”
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith