bible.cod: Song of Solomon
Intimacy in Marriage
Eat, friends, and drink! Drink freely, O lovers!
(God to husband and wife, Song of Songs 5:1)
The five Books of Poetry bridge the past of the seventeen Books of History with the future of the seventeen Books of Prophecy. One-third of the Hebrew Bible was written in poetry. The five Poetical Books deal with the present experience of the authors in ways that speak to the experiential present of believers of all time. Though they come from an ancient culture they are timeless in their application. They do not advance the timeline of the nation Israel. The poetry erupts from the hearts of God’s people going through some of the eras and experiences documented in the Books of History.
Song of Solomon, or Song of Songs is a love song written by Solomon. It is a celebration of marital love in Hebrew poetry full of metaphors and imagery depicting the love between husband and wife. Though some feel uncomfortable with a literal interpretation of this highly erotic poem, God created man and woman and personally established and endorsed marriage (Genesis 2:20-24). It shouldn’t surprise us that God included a manual to guide marriage partners in love and lovemaking in His Word.
Admittedly, Solomon seems an unlikely author of a poem on the joy of pure and wholesome love. I believe Solomon wrote this about the only true and pure romance he ever experienced. Song of Songs is a beautiful affirmation of sex in marriage. “The song fills a necessary vacuum in the Scriptures because it endorses sex and celebrates it beyond all expectation. Although abuse is possible and to be avoided, sex is not inherently evil, nor is it limited to a procreative function. Instead, sex enables an experience of love whose intensity has no parallel in this cosmos and serves as a signpost to point to the greater love that lies beyond it. (Richard S. Hess, Song of Songs, p. 35).
The Song of Songs illustrates the God’s love for Israel and Christ’s love for the church. Still, “God’s primary purpose in inspiring this book was to give us revelation concerning the way love between a man and a woman should look.” (Constable, p 5):
Song of Solomon: Sex is a gift from God with a purpose—
to enhance intimacy between husband and wife!
The Song of Solomon dispels the erroneous contention that sexuality is sinful while simultaneously reminding us that illicit sex debases one of God’s most precious gifts to humanity.
I. LOVE GROWS: The story begins and unfolds. The reader witnesses the age-old theme of man and woman falling in love through the interplay of cameos by the main characters. (1:1-3:5)
II. LOVE CELEBRATED: God’s manual on sex includes a most glorious wedding celebration and a most pointed message—sex is limited to the institution of marriage. (3:6-11)
Messiah: A Type of Christ. In the Old Testament, Israel is regarded as the bride of Yahweh (Isaiah 54:5-6, Jeremiah 2:2, Hosea 2:16-20). The New Testament views the church as the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:23-25; Revelation 19:7-9, 21:9). The Song of Songs illustrates both.
III. LOVE CONSUMMATED: The lovers come together in a beautifully written dialogue picturing their joy in each other in vivid detail. God speaks a blessing over them as they enjoy His gift of sexuality and intimacy in marriage. Eat, friends, and drink! Drink freely, O lovers! (4:1-5:1)
IV. LOVE STRUGGLES: Always practical, the Bible also depicts the tensions and troubles of this “marriage made in heaven.” Misunderstandings following the honeymoon strain the relationship. The sorrow of the lovers and the meddling of friends is an all too familiar pattern for the realities of marital love. (5:2-6:13)
V. LOVE RECONCILED: Realistic but uncompromising, the divine record of love reveals what God expects from troubled marital lovers—the hard and messy work of reconciliation. (7:1-8:4)
VI. LOVE MATURES: The final picture is hopeful and encouraging. A love that overcomes tough times is stronger and able to experience the full blessings of intimacy before God. (8:5-14)
SONG OF SONGS AND YOU: The practical wisdom of Solomon’s Song is vital in a world gone crazy with illicit sex and a church sometimes embarrassed by the subject of sex.
A. The Bible unashamedly endorses sexual intimacy between husband and wife. There at least six reasons for sex between husband and life:
1. Procreation—to create life (Genesis 1:28)
2. Intimacy—sex increases the emotional and spiritual intimacy between husband and wife (Genesis 2:24)
3. Knowledge—communication between husband and wife concerning sex can increase understanding and appreciation of one another’s needs and desires in other areas of life. (Genesis 4:1) The Hebrew word for “sexual intercourse” is the word “to know.” Through God’s gracious gift of sexual intimacy, a wife and a husband gain intimate and exclusive knowledge of one another they have with no one else. NOTE: THE ENTIRE POEM IS DIALOGUE!!!!!
4. Pleasure—sexual intimacy brings mutual pleasure to husband and wife. (Proverbs 5:15, 18-19; Song of Solomon)
5. Defense against temptation—sexual availability and attentiveness protect both spouses from temptations to adultery. (1 Corinthians 7:2, 5)
6. Comfort—sexual intimacy comforts during difficult times. (2 Samuel 12:24)
B. The Bible unashamedly forbids sex between anyone other than your legal, heterosexual spouse. Here are the reasons for sex between any other two people on earth or in history:
NONE! RUN, STUPID!
(1 Corinthians 6:18)
There is no more lovely, friendly, charming relationship,
communion or company than a good marriage.