Read Song of Songs 8
8 If only you were to me like a brother,
who was nursed at my mother’s breasts!
Then, if I found you outside,
I would kiss you,
and no one would despise me.
2 I would lead you
and bring you to my mother’s house—
she who has taught me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
the nectar of my pomegranates.
3 His left arm is under my head
and his right arm embraces me.
4 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.
5 Who is this coming up from the wilderness
leaning on her beloved?
Under the apple tree I roused you;
there your mother conceived you,
there she who was in labor gave you birth.
6 Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of one’s house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.
8 We have a little sister,
and her breasts are not yet grown.
What shall we do for our sister
on the day she is spoken for?
9 If she is a wall,
we will build towers of silver on her.
If she is a door,
we will enclose her with panels of cedar.
10 I am a wall,
and my breasts are like towers.
Thus I have become in his eyes
like one bringing contentment.
11 Solomon had a vineyard in Baal Hamon;
he let out his vineyard to tenants.
Each was to bring for its fruit
a thousand shekels of silver.
12 But my own vineyard is mine to give;
the thousand shekels are for you, Solomon,
and two hundred are for those who tend its fruit.
13 You who dwell in the gardens
with friends in attendance,
let me hear your voice!
14 Come away, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle
or like a young stag
on the spice-laden mountains.
The final chapter of Song of Solomon continues to speak to the gift of sex through the lens of when it happens, and who it happens with. Although this is on the surface shocking and even indecent language, this chapter shows us the design for sex. It begins with a woman wanting to show affection for her lover. However, this wasn’t just some passionate one night stand. The gift of sex is that it took place in the midst of commitment.
Verse 6 says, “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.” These are words of finality, not of a flimsy decision based on emotions. God’s design for sex is that it would be enjoyed with someone who has committed an enduring love to you. He never desired for sex to be shared with others. This sex took place in the midst of a love that was as strong as death.
The second part of this chapter describes the role that others have to play in assuring we make the correct decisions in regards to sex. It’s easy for emotions to lead us astray in this area which is why accountability is essential. Here, we read about brothers who take on the role of protecting their sister. They say, if she is a wall we will build towers of silver and if she is a door we will enclose her with panels of silver (v. 9). This describes their response to her openness to sex outside of marriage. If she is a “door” they want to protect her, whereas if she is a “wall” they want to celebrate her. While this could be read as controlling, they eagerly desire for their sister to experience God’s best. It’s their kindness to her that they would care enough to love her in this way.
Similarly, we all need people who will step up and walk alongside of us in holding us accountable to sexual faithfulness. If we fail to be a wall against certain sins, we will be caught in the cords of those sins, and never know the goodness of becoming as one who found peace (Enduring Word).
- Was there anything surprising to you in this passage?
- What is the difference between the world’s idea of sex and God’s idea of sex? Why do we struggle to believe that God desires the best sex for us?
- What do you have in place to assure you are living faithfully in your sex life? Do you have anyone to hold you accountable? Do you flee from shows/music/media that displays sex in a way that is contrary to Scripture?
God, thank you for outlining in Scripture the way you desire sex to be. Would you allow me to trust you that your design is best for me? When I’m tempted to stray into sexual sin, would you give me the courage to flee and pursue what is better? Father, give me the openness to allow myself to be held accountable, and the willingness to help my brothers and sisters in Christ in this area as well.
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