The Delights of Love

Song of Solomon Bible Background

09.23.2018 – Old Testament: Song 7.6–9a

To read the Bible in a year, read Song of Solomon 6–8 on September 23, In the year of our Lord 2018

By Don Ruhl

The Bible teaches us to love even when others do not love us, but the Song of Solomon is more about loving one who loves us. As you read the Song, you will not hear either Solomon or the Shulamite speak of faults in the other, but only of good things. Yes, we should love those who do not love us, but it is also okay that we definitely love one who loves us, especially our spouses.

Solomon said to the Shulamite:

How fair and how pleasant you are,
O love, with your delights!
This stature of yours is like a palm tree,
And your breasts like its clusters.
I said, “I will go up to the palm tree,
I will take hold of its branches.”
Let now your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
The fragrance of your breath like apples,
And the roof of your mouth like the best wine.
The wine goes down smoothly for my beloved,
Moving gently the lips of sleepers.
(Song 7.6–9)

First, notice that love praises (v. 6). God referred to Ezekiel’s wife as the delight of his eyes (Eze 24.16). He loved looking at her, and all that she was. Is it wrong for a man and a woman to appreciate the natural beauty in the other? Is this necessarily fleshly? While it may deal with the flesh, remember that God made the flesh. The flesh is not inherently evil. What is evil is what we do with the flesh.

Love also enjoys the object of his love (vv. 7–8a). Here he introduced two more comparisons, this time her stature, which he compared with a palm tree, and her breasts again, which he compared to the date clusters on a palm tree. He wanted to enjoy her as one would a palm tree, and the fruit it gave.

Finally, love releases (vv. 8b–9a). What good is marriage, if a man and a woman cannot enjoy one another? Therefore, he lovingly encouraged her. This time he compared her breasts to the grapes on a vine. He also spoke of her mouth and her breath.

Questions:

  • How do you speak to your spouse?
  • In matters of the church and worship, do you believe we should speak as the Bible speaks?
  • Should we speak as the Bible speaks when it comes to marriage?

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