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Song Chapter 2: A Covenant Love

Posted by Lorraine Serra on May 18, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Around my neck of the woods, one can often

catch a glimpse of a most lovely demonstration

of serenity and peace: mama deer and their

fawns grazing and resting and playing in an

open field.


Solomon clearly enjoyed watching these

timid, gentle animals. He alludes to them

three times in his Song Poem, creating

a repeated refrain which causes us to

wonder at its meaning.


Let's take a look at Song Chapter 2 verse 7.

“I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem. By the

gazelles or by the does of the field,

Do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases.”


The Shulamite offers what seems to be a

warning to the daughters of Jerusalem. But,

is it a warning, or a plea, or something else?


“I charge you”, she says. Sounds pretty strong

and a bit threatening. Other translations read,

“I adjure you”. Sounds just as rough. I get

visions of an arrest and conviction!


Yet, another translation I found states,

“Promise me!” What a difference!


Studying God's Word is an adventure, sometimes

a challenge, but always worth the effort to

be enlightened and changed by it's life-giving

instruction.


So what do deer, gazelles, promises, and

passion have to do with anything here? What

does this refrain mean? What does it teach?


Among the interpretations I have studied

in various commentaries by church fathers

and theologians a key theme arises in this

repeated refrain:


A Call to Rejoice in the Purity

and the Power of a Covenant Love.


Two words: Purity and Power.

One exceedingly wonderful word: Covenant


The model is Christ's love for

the church, and ours for Him. The blessings are

available as practical advice for passionate lovers,

as well.


First, because this verse has been debated, here is

something to consider:


“Do not awaken love” can be interpreted as a call

to self-restraint and responsibility. It is truly a

protection from the devastating effects of feeling

used and abandoned, rather than cherished and treasured.


Purity keeps couples clear-minded

in evaluating the depth and sincerity of a relationship.  How committed is each person.  Is there evidence of sacrificial love, mutual respect?


The power of the covenant of marriage is God's

design.   By that design,  a covenant is unbreakable.   While that may seem dauntingly frightening, we can see why God directs us to listen to His guidance and apply it.


Yet, even if we have sided with the culture in

this area, it is always possible to turn back to God, and

receive His unbreakable, always available covenant love, forgiveness and a fresh start.  That's good news!  


Today, if you need it, if you want it, confess your weaknesses and failures to the Lord who already knows, and already loves you unconditionally!  Come to Him, bow before Him and receive new life.  Obey Him, and find the peace that surpasses all human understanding!


Now then, let's look at how the Shulamite woman addresses her girl friends, and

other women who may be watching with a critical eye.  


From my study, I have brought her possible meaning into our modern language:


“Promise me! Don't you dare

disturb the beautiful relationship that I have

with the king! Our love is tender, authentic,

and peaceful as the deer resting in the shade.   Do not act like dogs

who flush out the does for the hunt, trying to

destroy what we have.”


Wow! I sure didn't get that the first time I read

the refrain. But, this warning not disturb or stir up trouble makes sense. As the saying

goes today, “Haters will hate.” It can be pretty

difficult to ignore the haters, the critics.


In today's culture in particular, our love relationship with

the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, is under constant attack.

But, we are called to press on and stand strong in our

faith, armed with the truth of God's Word, the unique

sacrifice of Jesus, and our testimonies of His hand at

work in our lives.


His pure and powerful covenant

love is unbreakable, indestructible, and unfailing, even though at times we

may fail or grow weary.


This proved to be the case when Solomon got a bit lost and failed. (1 Kings 11).

Oh, he suffered the consequences, but, God still loved him and even

had a plan to set him forever as an example

of His covenant love towards the wayward and rebellious.


I find it quite intriguing that the man who had a thousand

wives obviously knew in his heart that his lifestyle did not

honor God, the One he served in humility and with passion

at the beginning of his reign.


Though he made poor choices, and indeed, set himself up for

destruction, Solomon returned to his first love, the

Lord God Almighty.  In his Song, Solomon cries out

about an authentic love....a covenant love...a one and only love.


The Shulamite and the King are the beautiful picture of what God

intends for couples, and for all His believing children.

 

Wow. With a heart full of wisdom born of regret, Solomon

wrote for all the world, by God's inspiration, critical lessons for life, both in

this Song, and in his book Ecclesiastes.


A genuine covenant relationship grows and deepens

over time and blooms when God centered, God

ordained.  The marriage covenant takes time and commitment. 


Take it from me, at 38 years and counting, all the rocky roads in my marriage to John were only straightened, smoothed and satisfied in Christ.  I have found my peace in God's covenant love.  John has, too.  It is Christ's covenant with each of us that has taught us to honor the covenant with one another.


When we humbly seek God's will, He has promised He

will direct our steps and make our path straight....in

relationships, in our work, in every area of life.


As a much wiser Solomon wrote: “I have amassed everything

to delight the heart of man, but have found it all meaningless.

Fear the Lord, obey his commands. This is what brings

true joy to man.” (paraphrased Ecclesiastes Chapter 12)


Lord, I thank You for the beauty of Your Word. Rich instruction

for our joy, our peace, our prosperity in mind and heart. 


As we meditate on it today, Lord, let it come alive in our hearts to make us genuinely

open to Your covenant love....a Forever Love....and to give

thanks. Amen.

Categories: Song of Solomon

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1 Comment

Reply Maureen
5:27 PM on May 18, 2016 
Thank you Sister for the wisest words. Amen & Amen