A SACRED LOVE
My God, I want to experience a deeper relationship with You.
Read Song of Songs 4:1 – 5:1
4 How beautiful you are, my darling!
Oh, how beautiful!
Your eyes behind your veil are doves.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
descending from the hills of Gilead.
2 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn,
coming up from the washing.
Each has its twin;
not one of them is alone.
3 Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon;
your mouth is lovely.
Your temples behind your veil
are like the halves of a pomegranate.
4 Your neck is like the tower of David,
built with courses of stone[a];
on it hang a thousand shields,
all of them shields of warriors.
5 Your breasts are like two fawns,
like twin fawns of a gazelle
that browse among the lilies.
6 Until the day breaks
and the shadows flee,
I will go to the mountain of myrrh
and to the hill of incense.
7 You are altogether beautiful, my darling;
there is no flaw in you.
8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride,
come with me from Lebanon.
Descend from the crest of Amana,
from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon,
from the lions’ dens
and the mountain haunts of leopards.
9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
you have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes,
with one jewel of your necklace.
10 How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!
How much more pleasing is your love than wine,
and the fragrance of your perfume
more than any spice!
11 Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;
milk and honey are under your tongue.
The fragrance of your garments
is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
12 You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride;
you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.
13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates
with choice fruits,
with henna and nard,
14 nard and saffron,
calamus and cinnamon,
with every kind of incense tree,
with myrrh and aloes
and all the finest spices.
15 You are[b] a garden fountain,
a well of flowing water
streaming down from Lebanon.
16 Awake, north wind,
and come, south wind!
Blow on my garden,
that its fragrance may spread everywhere.
Let my beloved come into his garden
and taste its choice fruits.
5 I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride;
I have gathered my myrrh with my spice.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk.
Eat, friends, and drink;
drink your fill of love.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is your concept of beauty?
The images of goats and sheep may make us smile (4:1,2)! But this love song is no joke. Its celebration of the beloved woman is passionate and sacred. So, let’s spare our blushes! Here its inclusion in Scripture reminds us that we are fully human, and our physical, God-created world – sight, sound, smell, taste, touch – is good!
Imagine the young man walking through the countryside. A flock of goats streaming down the hillside reminds him of the girl’s long, dark hair; freshly washed, white sheep bring to mind her perfect teeth (unusual in those times) … and her lips, her cheeks (‘temples,’ 4:3); scents of flowers bring to memory her perfume. She is altogether lovely (4:7). So, he invites her to come with him (4:8).
The intimacy of their relationship is about more than physical appearance. She has stolen his ‘heart’ – the very core of his being. Her mode of loving is pleasing and he refers to her with deep affection (‘my sister,’ 4:9). Now she is also set apart as his ‘bride’ (4:10). The description of the garden of love (4:12 – 5:1) – with its luxurious fruits, scents and fountains of flowing water – is sacred. Here is a holy love which is only known and shared between the lovers. He has declared his love – its fulfillment depended on her willing response (4:16).
Christ loves His bride, the church (Ephesians 5:25–27). He also calls to each one of us. How are we responding to that love?
Jesus, You know me better than I even know myself. Teach me how to accept Your intimate love.