The Strength of Love

The Power of Love. 

Song of songs 8:1-14

 

Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm.  For love is a strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol.  It flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord.  Many waters cannot quench love, nor will rivers overflow it; If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, It would be utterly despised.”  

 

            Vs. 6-7 provide the book's climax as the writer turns from the passion and expression of love to the nature of love to its enduring power.  Love is not just an emotional or physical response; it is a commitment and surrender of the will to the other person.  The verse begins with the bride affirming her loyalty to her husband.   IN asking him to put me like a seal over your heart, she is asking that her husband allow her to “own” him, not in the possessive, controlling sense, but in the willingness to give himself to her.  This is the same idea that Paul states in 1 Corinthians 7:4, “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise, also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”  In other words, there is a recognition that in the oneness of marriage, we are to surrender ourselves to one another.  Love is grounded in mutual devotion and surrender as each gives themselves to serve the other person.  This kind of love becomes an unbreakable body.  Just as death does not give up its hold upon the person, in the marriage vow, we do not give up our hold upon the relationship.  The word Jealousy is often used negatively to refer to one who is overly possessive and controlling.  But there is also a positive aspect of it where one is guarding and protective of the relationship.  God is a Jealous God and jealous of his people; that is, he does not tolerate any outside threat or intrusion in our relationship with him.  He does not desire any competition.  So, it should be true in a marriage relationship.  We want to make our marriage the highest priority in life so that there is nothing that infiltrates and causes a wedge between us.

            This is not to say that our marriage will not fast testing.  The implication of verse 7 is that there will be troubled waters.  We live in a broken world and are still affected by sin.  But biblical love is not destroyed by these tests.  Instead, the more the love is tested, the stronger it becomes.  When adversity strikes the marriage, godly love turns first to God and then to one another instead of turning away from one another.  The words used in this verse are also used in Isaiah 43:2 of God’s love for us, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”  Because of God's unconditional and unending love for us, we can also love our spouse with an unconditional endless love that stands firm in the face of grave obstacles. 

            The last characteristic of love relates to its value.  The attempt to buy love is scored, for it puts a price tag upon love.  Like God’s love for us, it is free but not cheap.  So invaluable is love that there is nothing we can trade for it, and no early possession or attainment is equal to it in value and worth.  Genuine love places the relationship with our spouse as our most valuable object, and we would rather forsake all the riches of the earth than forsake the love we have for our spouse.  Such is the nature of God’s love for us.    

 

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