Song of Solomon 8:6-8
“Seal me in your heart with permanent betrothal, for love is strong as death, and jealousy is as cruel as Sheol. It flashes fire, the very flame of Jehovah. 7 Many waters cannot quench the flame of love, neither can the floods drown it. If a man tried to buy it with everything he owned, he couldn’t do it.”
I peeked outside for just a moment as my husband was working on our outside wood deck. Texas has some harsh weather at times. In the summer it is humid and hot, tempered with occasional thunder storms. Winters are cold and sometimes it snows in our north east area of the Lone Star State. The fluctuation in temperatures, with water in the air and ground, can be very hard on wood outside. Without something to seal the wood the harshness of the weather would rot it out and soon it would have to be replaced. Basically, it falls apart.
I was reminded of the Scripture in Song of Solomon in the Bible where two lovers are talking to one another. The relationship is a type and shadow of Jesus’ love for His Bride the church, and the church for Him. The speaker asks to be sealed in permanent betrothal, expressing the desire to be completely protected from the harshness of anything exterior that would cause any harm. Betrothal is the state of engagement before marriage. The author asks to be sealed in a betrothal that is permanent and lasting.
In Christ, we are sealed through His grace and mercy, in permanent betrothal. We, as the Body of Christ, and as His individual treasures, are protected from anything that would sever our relationship with God. The author in Song of Solomon states that love is as strong as death, meaning it is permanent and unchanging. This speaks of the type of love that God has for His sons and daughters. He is a jealous God and His jealousy can be as harsh to those who attempt harm on His children as the elements are on our wooden deck outside. His jealousy could destroy anything that is unprotected by His promise through Christ and anything that attempts to harm His protected creation.
How could a loving God even consider destroying any part of what He created? The answer is pretty simple. He hates sin. This does not mean He hates what He created. He hates the rebellion within what He created. Sin rots anything it touches and those who are unprotected from the elements through Christ live outside of the gate regarding any type of betrothal. Eventually all of sin will be destroyed and those who are in Christ will be married permanently to Him. As that time draws more near, the world experiences a form of rotting that the elements of sin bring to it.
Belonging to Christ and being sealed permanently through Him guards us from that permanent rotting. It does not stop us from sinning. That is our job until the day we meet with Him face to face. While we are on this earth as it is, it is our free will choice to remind ourselves of whose we are and work toward a more excellent walk in Christ.
His love, as described in Song of Solomon, is permanent, fiery, and is as strong as Jehovah God Himself. Through the grace of Christ we are protected and saved for the moment when His Kingdom is completely realized on earth as it is in heaven. We are loved with an everlasting love that nothing could ever put out. While we are in this “in love” state, there is nothing of this world that can destroy it. It is strong and interwoven with fibers that will never fail.
When two people are in love, the world could be falling a part and its as if nothing is even happening. Somehow that protective “in love” state causes a type of cocoon that seems to guard us from the outside elements. Love creates a protective barrier that keeps us from fully experiencing the wrath of this world. So it is with God’s love between us, only stronger, deeper, wider, and higher.
How fortunate we are to live in the knowledge that through Christ, we are forever doing the dance of love in this world and in the Kingdom to come. Within this love we are permanently betrothed for the day that approaches and we will be married to our Lord, our Savior, and our King! Until that day, we inwardly groan, as all creation groans, in longing for our Bridegroom’s love to be made complete as we look upon Him and finally see Him as He is!
In Hope and Longing,
Pastor Jenine Marie Howry