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lovers on their wedding day June 5, 6 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Psalm 45; Song of Solomon Note: Because this is a two day Bible study, it is suggested that today’s Bible reading be read on June 5 and the Devotional be read on June 6.

Keeping Love Strong

Young lovers share an abundance of compliments with each other and their words drip like honey from their mouths. There is a strong physical attraction for each other and they want to be close all the time. They talk very positively and animatedly about their love for one another. There is a gleam in their eyes and a dreamy look on their faces. They give gifts to one another. They have butterflies twittering in their stomachs and joyful feelings in their hearts when they anticipate being together. Love is fresh and new. Over time, however, romantic love seems to wane. How do we keep love strong?

Romantic and erotic love is the kind of love which the author of the Song of Solomon describes in his dramatic lyrical poem. The language of the book, however, is obscure to many because most people in America do not live in an agricultural society of sheep herders, wheat and barley farmers, and wine growers. Nationally known Pastor Tommy Nelson has free podcast sermons on the Song of Solomon or you may buy his six disc set. Today's Chronological Bible study will help you understand and apply the lessons of the Song of Solomon.

The Song leads us to believe that Solomon’s beloved is from Lebanon (Song of Solomon 4:8, 11, 15). Apparently, she is not his first wife, for his first wife was from Egypt, and Solomon has many wives and concubines (secondary wives, 1Kings 11:1-3). She is, however, the most loved (Song of Solomon 6:8-9). Note: Because Solomon is a godly king in his early reign, his example does not prove that God condones multiple marriages; he does not (1Kings 11:4-14; Mark 10:6-12).

In their desire for physical love, King Solomon and his new bride exchange words of love between each other in quick erotic expressions which make the heart beat faster in anticipation. Because of this, many of us are uncomfortable with this love song. Why would God put such an erotic story in the Bible? Because, physical love within the boundaries of marriage is sacred with God. Physical love in marriage is a gift from God to be cherished and enjoyed (Hebrews 13:4, Proverbs 5:15-19).

Besides their intimate times together, they also share their admiration for their lover’s character with others. It is common for lovers to boast to their friends of the great relationship and thoughtful actions of their lover. Lovers look forward to being together and cannot bear to be apart. The same is true of Solomon and his new bride. Sometimes an over obsession with a lover, however, can lead to suspicion and fears of losing him/her. This is the case with the young bride, as is manifested in a dream she has (see chapter 5).

How Do We Overcome Our Fears and Suspicions?

Trust, continual reassurance, and careful attention to the relationship are necessary for a young marriage to succeed, and this is what Solomon does after the dream to comfort her. Neglect and suspicion, unloving attitudes and actions, flirtations with the opposite sex, criticism and self-will are some of the little foxes that can creep into our love gardens and devour them. To keep from losing love, we must express compliments, praise, and be careful to be totally devoted to our spouse in all our words and actions. Men should know women like compliments on their beauty, their character and what they do for their household. Ladies should know men like compliments on their strength, their honor, and their achievements. Whether we are newlyweds or have been married longer, we can learn from this Song that we should encourage one another with words and actions of love.

Principles for Singles

Although much of this Song focuses on the erotic love between a husband and his wife, there are principles which single people may apply to their lives. To the unmarried women (and this could easily apply to unmarried men) Solomon’s wife gives this advice: Do not awaken love until it so desires (Song of Solomon 2:7; 3:5; 8:4). In other words, do not force love. Wait on the LORD to gently bring it to pass. Singles of whatever age or station in life can also learn the importance of encouraging and speaking appropriate words of love to those who need to hear it (not erotic words, of course).

Forming a Family Unit

When two people get married they must each leave their father and mother and cling to their spouse to become one flesh and form a new family unit (Genesis 2:24). In describing the wedding of Solomon and his new bride (Psalm 45) this is the advice the Psalmist gives to her. Some men and women have difficulty leaving their mother or father because they are emotionally dependent upon them. This leads to trouble, unhappiness, anger and jealousy. They each need to break these emotional ties and cling to their spouse so they might have a happy marriage.

Lessons to Live By (to keep love strong)

  • Married couples should enjoy the gift of physical love which God gives to them.
  • Married couples should speak endearing words to one another and assure each other of their devotion.
  • Husbands and wives, beware of the foxes of neglect and suspicion, unloving attitudes and actions, flirtations with the opposite sex, criticism, self-will, and other things that can creep into your love gardens and devour them.
  • Married couples should cling to their spouses and sever the emotionally dependent relationships of their father and mother, while not failing to honor them.
  • Singles should not force love but should wait on the LORD to bring it to pass.
  • Singles should encourage others with appropriate, non-erotic, loving words.
  • In a spiritual, non-sexual way, we can have an intimate relationship with God (more...). Are you attentive in your relationship with Him?

Today’s Bible Memory Verses

Song of Solomon 8:6a “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.” (NIV)

Song of Solomon 8:4 “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” (NIV)

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