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Love Acceptable (8:1-4)

We begin chapter 8 still wondering if the invitation of the end of chapter 7 was accepted. It is interesting to note that in this chapter there seems to be a continued longing for love and it appears that they are not able to fulfill these desires at this moment. The girl has now brought herself to a mental place of passion and she begins to see herself in his arms, embraced by her lover. The text never says that this is taking place, but rather that the girl wants it to come to pass. Again, she pleads with her conscience to not let desire run wild until the time and place are appropriate. As we mentioned earlier, the Song does not have a plot and or a storyline that must show a sequence of events to be followed from start to finish. It is probably most accurate to see this next section as the time when the two young people are in the pre-marital state, looking forward again to the marriage day and love they will share. It could be that they are thinking of that time when they fell in love and re-igniting similar feelings from the time before their marriage. While it may seem like a strange request, and at first, we may not understand it, the beloved tells the lover that she wishes he was like a brother to her so that she could kiss him and not be despised by others. We must understand that the public display of affection was despised by the local community unless it was within a family unit (ex. between a brother and sister). While she wants to be more than a sister to him in their lovemaking, she wishes for a time when they can have the acceptance of the locals in their passionate expressions. Even if you were married, the open display of love was not acceptable to other onlookers, although it is becoming an acceptable practice today. She wants to forget about all manmade stipulations, and she wants to be intimate with her lover (See 7:11). Next, verse 2 builds on the previous one as she says that if he were a brother to her, she could even take him into her own home and be intimate with him. Now to us, this makes no sense because we would expect the boy to be on his best behavior in front of the in-laws. Yet, once we understand that the mother’s house is poetically referring to the womb where motherhood is housed, we will see this passage in a vastly different light. Since we already know that the spices mentioned here had to do with their intimate sexual activity, we should not wonder what she has on her mind here. She demonstrates the closeness she desires with her lover by repeating the words, “Let his left hand be under my head and his right hand embrace me” (See 2:6). She is not speaking of this as a reality, but as a possibility that she desires to transpire. She says, “I would lead you, …I would give you…”. It is almost like we are repeating the sequence right before the wedding again, as passion is running high, and they are looking for a way to fulfill it. In verse 4, the call to the daughters is heard again to not arouse love until it pleases. Something is keeping them from intimacy. What else could it be besides marriage? Verse 4 begins the final cycle of the Song as there seems to be a clear break at this point in the text with the plea to the daughters of Jerusalem. Notice the similarities between verse 5 and the previous wedding scene (See 3:6). The question here is asked, “who’s coming up?” while the answer is already known. It is the beautiful girl that they are referring to in this text. It is even better rendered as an exclamation than a question, “Look who’s coming up!”. Once again we see the couple looking for public approval as the girl arrives with her lover in the public arena. We will cover this at greater length in the next episode. Many questions are asked by onlookers in these situations. Will he be able to provide for her? Is she going to be a good wife and mother as she cares for the home? Are they truly in love with each other or is this simply infatuation? SPIRITUAL APPLICATION: Often in our relationship with the Lord, we find it challenging to nurture our love for Him in the midst of a world that has made it more and more strange or even illegal in some areas to openly express worship and service to Him. We long for the day when we are eternally together and out of the limitations placed on us in this world. While we long for Him and His eternal presence where there will be no holds barred. We will be safe in the arms of Jesus and no barriers will stand between. QUESTIONS: 1. Do you think that new couples often experience similar feelings as the girl in our Song? Do people judge you if you openly express affection in public circles?

2. While we find it odd that she wants to be his sister to allow them to show affection to one another, how can we relate this to relationships in our modern world?

3. Do you think it is important to wait until marriage to enter intimacy?

4. Why do you think the lyrics of the Song seem to have reverted to a time that appears to be prior to their wedding day?

5. Reflect again on why it is important to put a restraint on awakening love before the time is right?

This brings our show to a close for today. If you enjoy these messages and want to continue listening, next time we will study Song of Songs 8:5-7 in a lesson titled, “The Sealing of Love”.

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