Just an old-fashioned love song - Hope 103.2

Just an old-fashioned love song

By David ReayMonday 12 May 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Song of Solomon 1:9-16

  9 I compare you,my love,
         to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.
10 Your cheeks are comely with ornaments,
         your neck with strings of jewels.
11 We will make you ornaments of gold,
         studded with silver.

12 While the king was on his couch,

         my nard gave forth its fragrance.
13 My beloved is to me a bag of myrrh
         that lies between my breasts.
14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
         in the vineyards of En-gedi.

15 Ah,you are beautiful,my love;

         ah,you are beautiful;
         your eyes are doves.
16 Ah,you are beautiful,my beloved,
         truly lovely. (NRSV)

There are still some who want to see the Song of Solomon simply as a description of our relationship with God and his with us. But there seems no avoiding the fact that it is a celebration of romantic,even erotic love. This is the language of people in love,a dialogue between a man and a woman who are passionate and sexually aroused.

Rather than pretending that such eroticism has no place in Scripture,we do better to rescue erotic love from its trashy connotations. What is being described here is a world away from cheap one-night stands,shallow flirtations,and the demeaning directness of pornography.

God made men and he made women and he made them to be sexually attracted to one another and to express that attraction: always in the proper God-given context. Erotic love is one of God’s good gifts. Like all gifts it can be misused,but that is no reason to push it aside and condemn it to a twisted existence amongst sex-crazed individuals who are ignorant of its God-given essence.

We need not be embarrassed to have texts like this as part of the inspired word of God. As has often been said,sex was one of God’s better inventions. The dangers and the pitfalls of out-of-control eroticism need not blind us to the blessings of it. Solomon’s eyes were wide open to all its God-given goodness.

David Reay

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