UNDERSTAND the ‘REAL’strength of ‘TRUE LOVE’
July 15 Bible Reading: Song of Solomon Chapters 7-8
"Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave; its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised." (Song 8:6-7)
The above verses describe the climax to the story of the Song of Solomon. In words of great beauty that have been widely quoted, the Shulamite maiden affirms that there is no rival for her love. She describes in the most vivid terms the unquenchable nature of true love: it cannot be destroyed by death or the grave; it burns like a blazing fire that cannot be extinguished; and it cannot be bought with any price. So, here is found one of the most beautiful and heavenly tributes to love!
The Shulamite maiden wants her beloved to feel a total ownership of her in his heart. She is committed only to him; and she wants him to be totally committed to her. As long as she resides in his heart, she feels secure. She knows that love deeply rooted in a heart commitment is intense—strong as death—and passionate—like flames of fire.
Solomon used three images to illustrate true love. The seal speaks of ownership, two lovers belonging only to each other until separated by death. This is the permanence of love. The fire reminds us of the power of love—nothing can quench it. And the wealth illustrates the preciousness of love. Thus, the permanence, power and priceless value of love completed in union between the Shulamite and her beloved is stressed in this passage.
God’s word has much to say about the real strength of true love:
- It can be “better than wine” (Song 1:2).
- It is “as strong as death” (8:6).
- It is greater even than faith or hope (1 Cor. 13:13).
- It is the root of great evil when its object is money (1 Tim. 6:10).
- It “covers all sins” (Prov. 10:12).
- It is the only debt we ought to owe each other (Rom. 13:8).
- It “does not envy” (1 Cor. 13:4).
- It is the essence of the commandments of God (Rom. 13:9; Gal. 5:14; James 2:8).
- Its absence is evidence that one does not know God (1 John 4:8, 12, 20).
- It empowers people to give their lives for someone else, even as Christ did (John 15:13–17; Eph. 5:25–28).