WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday October 23, 2011
(True love is a gift from GOD, and can only be achieved with GOD)
(Song of Solomon 4)
The Song of Solomon, or, “Song of Songs”, is, quite simply, a love song, written by King Solomon, to his bride. It does not mention GOD, nor claim to be a message from GOD. Instead, it is a drama in poetry, of a love story that captures the yearning of a bride and a bridegroom for each other, and celebrates the mystery and joy of human love. Here in chapter 4, the lover, Solomon, responds with praise for his beloved bride.
True love is the gift that GOD gave to mankind when HE shaped Adam for Eve, and then, formed Eve from Adam. It is, in all honesty, a refreshing affirmation of the biblical view that, in the union of a husband and wife, there exists, a rewarding and total intimacy that can be cherished for all time.
Jewish scholars treat this book of scripture as an allegory of GOD’s love for Israel, or CHRIST’s love for the church, rather than accept it for what it is. They apparently feel uncomfortable with the explicit sexual references that are found here in this poetic rendering. However, it is probably best that we accept this beautiful poem for what it is, and that is, a wonderful celebration of GOD’s gift of “married love”.
The Song of Solomon is scripture’s most explicit exploration of human sexual relationships. In fact, with the exception of this book, the Old, and the New Testament tend to speak of sex indirectly. Scripture, for the most part, deals with, and honors sex as a private and rather personal matter, which, I agree that it really is. And this observation does not even begin to suggest that scripture has a negative view of sex. In fact, the creation story itself, affirms the sexual nature of human beings, and at one and the same time, carefully guards the mystery of sex, so that its special nature and power to bond husband and wife as one, would not be lost to sin.
GOD, through HIS Word, condemns all sexual expressions outside of marriage between a man and a woman (Leviticus 18 & 20:10-21). Adultery, pre-marital sex, and prostitution, as well as sexual perversions such as homosexuality, incest, and lying with animals are forbidden. However, within heterosexual marriages, GOD affirms our freedom to enjoy the gift of pleasurable sexual activity.
The Holy Bible identifies three specific functions of sex in human life:
(1). Procreation (Genesis 1:28),
(2). To satisfy urges that are implicit in human nature (1 Corinthians 7:3-5, 9).
(3). Sex is “sacramental” in the bonding of man and woman as one spirit (Genesis 2:24).
By preserving sexual expression for marriage, GOD is giving it a unique power to unify man and wife, and, as this act is repeated, commitment is constantly re-affirmed, trust grows, and two actually do become one on the most profound levels of their personalities.
This literary masterpiece by Solomon, invites us to lift the veil off sexual intimacy and partake in the joy and unity that sex can help create in a marriage. Marriage is the institution that brings GOD to human sexual relationships. It seems quite obvious that when we look at the state of human relationships, marital statistics, and the general state of the world, and the Church, that, we are still not grasping what GOD is trying to teach us, through HIS word.
With all of the sexual immorality and sexual perversion by professed Christians and non-Christians alike, accelerating at an alarming rate, and, with the divorce rate of both being almost identical, it becomes quite apparent that we still have not conceded to that great fundamental truth, that, without GOD, even in love, mankind can’t do anything right, for too long.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
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