Song of Solomon 4:8-16: How Delightful Is Your Love
October 20, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Remember that we are interpreting the Song of Solomon through the lens of both human, idyllic, wedded love, and also divine love. For discussion on why and how, see the introduction to this book on October 16.
Today we are going to take a deeper dive into the second half of this chapter, verses 8 to 16. Yesterday we overviewed the chapter as a whole. Today we are looking specifically at the second half, turning up the microscope to examine these words in greater depth and pick out some of the key aspects.
To consider this, take this single verse:
“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!” (4:10).
In terms of human, idyllic, wedded love, consider then the comparative delights offered by marriage. We tend to think that there are greater experiences on offer than simple faithfulness to our spouse. The world tells us that we can upgrade to a better model—a thinner, more attractive wife; a stronger, more powerful man. Sometimes people become so fixated on their careers that they ignore their spouses and their families, thinking that real delight will be found in career achievement. Other times people give themselves to alcohol, to wine, thinking that joy can be found at the bottom of a shot glass. To all this, this verse—and indeed this whole section—gives a resounding wake-up call. No! The real delight is found in none other than the spouse that has been given to you. The choice is not between faithful (but boring) allegiance to your spouse, and unfaithful (but exciting) pursuit of someone different or something different. Actually, the choice is between experiencing real lasting joy through faithful allegiance to your spouse, or wasting your life on things that are not only worse, they are also worse for you. Therefore, you who are married, invest in your marriage, commit again to your marriage, give yourself to love your spouse—“how delightful” is such faithful, covenant love!
In terms of divine love, consider that God loves you with a strong delight. It is possible to think of God’s love in mere sentimental terms. We tend to think of his love as a mere passing emotion that we feel when we are in the right mood, or we picture his love as some emotional experience that is associated with sunsets or a certain kind of musical instrumentation that we like. It is, then, possible to think of God’s love in mere sentimental terms. But it is also to dismiss the importance of God’s love as a doctrine to preach or an experience to savor. But you, O Christian, are loved. You are loved with a passion. You are loved not because you are so worthy of love but because he is such a God of love! That means that his love for you is unshakeable, for it is not based in your own personality or worthiness, but is based in his character and nature. He loves for he is love. It is worth spending time each day reflecting on this great truth. And if you are not yet a Christian, it is worth considering that by trusting in Christ, you are giving yourself to a God of love! This love is the secure basis for our lives such that we can now live with a confidence and courage towards the world around us. You are loved! Therefore, Christian, face the challenges of today, not from a place of insecurity, but from a place of confidence founded in the great, passionate love that God has for you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
To receive God Centered Life devotionals directly in your inbox, as well as other resources, enter your email address in the form at the bottom of this page and click "subscribe."