Eternal Love Story!
Scripture reading for July 16th: Song of Songs 1-8
Everyone loves a good love story. I first met my wife-to-be at a state science fair in Iowa. Mary had a project right next to mine, but I had another girlfriend at the time. We enjoyed talking for the two days of the science fair. Two years later, we both enrolled at Iowa State University. We had classes in the chemistry building and seemed to run into each other frequently there. (I am sure she plotted it that way!) We began to do lots of things together and found ourselves in love! The summer before we got married, I had to go away for basic training at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. Mary wrote often and I loved getting the letters. Being apart was hard but the letters, sometimes laced with perfume, brought fond memories and kept love growing! We have been married for 41 years and still love each other!
The Song of Songs is a love poem or play, the greatest of many songs that Solomon composed. It tells the story of his courtship and marriage to one of his many wives. It details the interaction and passion between the two of them. I have always enjoyed reading this book and have a few favorite passages. “Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out.” Song of Songs 1:3 Perfumes have a fragrance that can bring pleasant sensations and arouse passions. How lovers say each others names or even give each other “pet” names can be a special form of communication that is pleasant to the ear and heart! “While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts.” Song of Songs 1:12 The beloved wife used her perfume to entice her husband at dinner. Her vision of him was one of pleasant and close intimacy! “He has taken me into His banquet hall, and His banner over me is love.” Song of Songs 2:4 The beloved is invited into the banqueting hall and enjoys the covering of his love!
“I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My lover is knocking: Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one.” Song of Songs 5:2a Often time when sleeping, we are still aware of our lover even when they are not there . Our heart is awake with love. This time, the beloved wife fails to respond to the knock and call for intimacy. She hears the call, but her own comfort is more important. She delays responding until she realizes as she awakes that the fragrance of myrrh is on the door latch arousing her desire for him. “I opened for my lover, but my lover had left. He was gone. My heart sank at his departure. I looked for him but did not find him. I called him but he did not answer.” Song of Songs 5:6 Love drove her to action to restore the intimacy!
The love story ends with a call to intimacy and permanence. “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) “Let me hear your voice”. . . “Come away, my lover. . .” Song of Songs 8:13-14 Listen closely, Jesus is calling!