A Wild Heart – Part 1
“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. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.”—Song of Songs 8:6-7
The Song of Songs is a love song—and love is the best song.
Set in the middle of your bible, after the songs of Psalms, and the wisdom of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon) is a wedding song inspired by the Holy Spirit that lifts the biblical view of sexual intimacy higher than anything our culture could offer to us in regards to sex, desire, marital intimacy, and joyful love.
According to the Song, marital love is mutual, exclusive, total, and beautiful. It is a celebration of marital love, most likely sung during the seven-day marriage festival—each day, as the bride and groom exit the marriage chamber, the wine is poured again, the music starts, and the singers sing, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine!” (1:2).
A Song for the Single Ladies
Though the Song is a celebration of marital love, it is addressed primarily to young women. Three times in the song, the “daughters of Jerusalem” (who never seem to leave the scene) are instructed: “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.”
While the book of Proverbs is primarily written to young men, the Song is primarily written to young women—and the chorus to them rings out clearly: “uncompromised purity now; unquenchable passion then.” Paradoxically, the Song doesn’t encourage singles towards purity through rings, Love Waits conferences, or fear-mongering the dangers of premarital sex; instead it holds up the erotic, passionate, unrestrained, God-designed marriage bed as the glorious standard of sexual expression that paints a more satisfying picture than any other sexual experience.
Additionally, while it’s the woman in the Song who sings first and sings most—evidencing strong, godly sexual desires for her (future) husband—she also sings of restraint, self-control, and protection of her body and sexuality. She is enclosed as a locked garden (4:12), a vineyard (1:6; 8:12), a palanquin (3:7–10), a locked room (5:5), and a walled city (8:9–10). She brings her lover into such an enclosure, the room of her mother (3:4). Around these images are scenes of protection: tenders of the vineyard (8:12), sixty warriors (3:7), sixty queens (6:8), watchmen and walls (5:7), lattice (2:9), locks (5:5), and towers (4:4; 7:5; 8:9–10).
Because the Song addresses singles, we will preface our study of the Song with three sermons (primarily from 1 Corinthians 6 and 7) on singleness and dating:
- Singleness is a Gift
- Why You Can’t Date a Non-Christian
- Dating as a Christian
We are in a culture where if you own a smartphone, you’re carrying a 24-7 singles bar in your pocket. We need to “graciously demand” an obedience to God’s call for purity in our dating relationships. We must graciously demand from one another that we will date Christians and not practice sexual immorality.
With the number of same-sex attracted men and women in our church who, for the name of Jesus, lay down their desires to be obedient to the Word, how much more so should our hetrosexual relationships be pursued in a sacrificial, holy manner? Why do they have to be severe with their sin, but we don’t with ours just because it’s more “socially acceptable” in the church?
So the Song (and our series) will both admonish and encourage the single among us to see both the glories and beauties and gifts that are their singleness, and their future marriages and passionate intimacy in their marriage relationship.
Read Part 2 here.
Read Part 3 here.
Read Part 4 here.
Read Part 5 here.