Song of Songs 8: Love can’t be bought, love can’t be sold.
Romantic love is one of the highest of human emotions. The Song of Songs is a testimony to the power of romantic love plus sexual attraction. The opera pictures a man and woman who are irresistibly drawn to one another. She can’t sleep for thinking about him and he daydreams only of her. The imagery here is compelling and sometimes “R-rated.” The woman observes that love like this can’t be found in the marketplace. That is, it doesn’t come along every day. Our society has separated sexual attraction from real love and has, in fact, mislabeled it alone as “love.” The truth is that sex without love and commitment cheapens rather than elevates life. Song of Songs gives us the whole package. Since it’s all dressed up as an opera we might be tempted to dismiss it as unrealistic. It probably is unrealistic to envision the average guy and gal singing opera to one another; at least it doesn’t happen at our house! However, it’s right on in its depiction of the power of love, romance, and sex as God intended it.
Take Away: Sex without love and commitment cheapens rather than elevates life.
Night at the opera
Song of Songs 1: The Song — best of all — Solomon’s song!
I confess here and now that I don’t know what I’m going to do with Song of Songs. I can tell you this; my devotional journey through these eight chapters isn’t going to take long! As my beloved wife will tell you I’m not the most romantic fellow in the world so this portion of Scripture doesn’t really resonate very well with me. I can write about the technical side of things though. Song of Songs is, basically, an opera. There are different characters and they interact in telling of the passion of two lovers. The woman, the man, and a chorus sing to one another all through the opera. The KJV doesn’t make this very clear, so, for us who were introduced to this book by that translation, this was a very confusing book. The Message, and most current translations tell us who is singing when and that helps a bit. Some have “Christianized” Song of Songs by making it an allegory of Christ’s love for the Church. I’m not knowledgeable enough to debate the point but it seems to me that it’s more of a celebration of God’s gift of human sexuality than anything else. To be honest about it, I’m a lot more comfortable with the sexuality of Song of Songs when it’s left in that realm and not made into a spiritual allegory so I intend to leave it at that. Finally, Solomon is the writer and apparently the male character in the opera is based on him. Because of that, this book is also called Song of Solomon. When I remember how many wives Solomon had I have to smile and wonder which of his wives inspired this opera. However, I do understand that many of his marriages were political in nature, basically arraigned to seal some treaty between Israel and a neighboring nation. The actual identity of the woman is, so far as I can see, unknown to us.
Take Away: We believe this book of the Bible is the inspired Word of God, so we read it and consider it even when we don’t fully understand it.