Song of Solomon 8 (Listen)
8:1 Oh that you were like a brother to me
who nursed at my mother’s breasts!
If I found you outside, I would kiss you,
and none would despise me.
2 I would lead you and bring you
into the house of my mother—
she who used to teach me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
the juice of my pomegranate.
3 His left hand is under my head,
and his right hand embraces me!
4 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
that you not stir up or awaken love
until it pleases.
5 Who is that coming up from the wilderness,
leaning on her beloved?
Under the apple tree I awakened you.
There your mother was in labor with you;
there she who bore you was in labor.
6 Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the LORD.
7 Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
he would be utterly despised.
8 We have a little sister,
and she has no breasts.
What shall we do for our sister
on the day when she is spoken for?
9 If she is a wall,
we will build on her a battlement of silver,
but if she is a door,
we will enclose her with boards of cedar.
10 I was a wall,
and my breasts were like towers;
then I was in his eyes
as one who finds peace.
11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
he let out the vineyard to keepers;
each one was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver.
12 My vineyard, my very own, is before me;
you, O Solomon, may have the thousand,
and the keepers of the fruit two hundred.
13 O you who dwell in the gardens,
with companions listening for your voice;
let me hear it.
14 Make haste, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle
or a young stag
on the mountains of spices.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised. (Song of Solomon 8:7)
When it’s God’s covenant love, it’s for better and for worse, it’s for richer and for poorer, it’s in health and in sickness. It’s a love that the world would ridicule. Such love cannot be bought or earned – rather, it is given. Have we received – and do we remember the power of God’s love for us – and does it lead us to offer the same sort of covenantal love to others (even if it is at our own expense)?