Song of Solomon 5-8
Saturday, February 4
As I mentioned yesterday, there is quite a discrepancy of opinions among Biblical scholars about SOS (Song of Solomon). Commentators such as Matthew Henry and James Durham believed SOS was solely allegorical. Whereas, in the “Passion Pursuit” class, the ladies referred to the Shulammite woman as a “Smokin’ Hot Mama”. In his commentary, Ray Stedman states that the Bible, especially here in SOS, handles physical passion frankly and forthrightly. In my research, I found an excellent commentary that blends both lines of thought (it was also mentioned several times on the Authentic Intimacy website). How to Love God With All Your Heart by Keith Simons and Mark Kirkpatrick analyzes each verse in both its literal and allegorical interpretations.
I really appreciate being able to pull from both interpretations when it comes to real life applications. If you are single, the literal application may not apply. If you only take the allegorical application, you will miss the beauty of physical love and permission from God to be a “smokin’ hot mama” or “dude” in the marital realm.
It makes a lot of sense that SOS follows the other poetic books of the Bible not only because of its poetic nature but also because it offers wisdom for living as do the other books. Ray Stedman refers to the 5 books of poetry as each containing a “cry.” Job is the cry of the spirit. Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes are the cry of the soul. SOS is the cry of the body for love. He goes on to say that because the devil pushed this beautiful gift to extreme evil, Victorianism pushed sex into prudishness, as if it were something to be ashamed of. SOS represents “sex as God intended it to be, involving not just a physical activity, but the whole nature of man.”
When having “the talk” (one of many) with our son, we described the reproductive purpose of sex and the bonding purpose. Husbands and wives need to “reenact SOS” to bond. In fact, I learned in the “Passion Pursuit” class there are many studies that show that the same hormone that bonds a mother to her child, oxytocin, is released during sex and plays a role in bonding a man and woman together. Of course, discussing the bonding purpose of sex with our son was a little harder than the reproductive purpose. Both of our children were adopted so he knew that wasn’t an issue… was hoping he wasn’t going to put 2 and 2 together for the other purpose! But alas….
SOS is also a beautiful allegory for God’s love and want for intimacy with his people. The New Testament also compares Christ and the church as a groom and his bride. So clearly, God created marriage as an allegory for this relationship. I cannot state all of this nearly as well as Simons and Kirkpatrick, so I really encourage you to read How To Love God With All Your Heart ( http://www.easyenglish.info ) or just Google it!
I didn’t recall signing up for writing a devotion on SOS at Family Camp. I just wanted to do the devotions between school semesters. But I’m really glad I did. I got to use some of the stuff I learned in “Passion Pursuit” and I did research I probably wouldn’t have gotten around to doing if I didn’t have to write about it. We all make jokes about King Solomon’s pick up lines, but in truth, SOS is a beautiful book to be read on several levels. I think God included SOS in scriptures so that we know that “every good and perfect gift is from above.” (James 1:17)
God bless you and the reading of His Word!
(Maria’s devotion shared this week were originally used as part of a year-long Bible reading plan following 2015 COG Family Camp at Camp Mack. We thank her for permission to reprint them here).
(photo credit: http://www.godswordimages.com/wallpaper/love/song-of-solomon-8-6/)