Summary: Looking thru the song of songs and what it teaches us about relationships and sex.
INTRO: This morning I’m going to conclude the series of messages on The Song of songs. We’ve seen a country girl, Shulamith, working in a vineyard for her brothers.
The king is out visiting his vineyards on day, and he takes notice of this girl. He pursues her and they fall in love together. They get married and go through the usual struggles. The book closes with them reflecting on how God had his hand in everything.
-In this 3000-year-old letter we’ve learned:
: The right way to attract
-Men: your name, your character, is far more important than your appearance.
-Ladies: your servanthood, obedience, is far more valuable than your appearance. : The right way to court
-Singles: set standards and you won’t settle for anything less.
: The right way to fight
-When hurt you don’t react (or re-enact) what they’ve done to you.
-When hurt you respond to God, keep your focus on him.
-When hurt you allow God to take care of it.
: The right way to deepen your relationship
-Uplifting one another, taking care of their needs (spiritual, physically, emotionally) : The right way of commitment
-Realize you are committed because of God and nothing else. He is the one who brought you together.
TITLE: The Art of Commitment – Pt. 2
TEXT: Song of Songs 8:8-14
I. Setting – Shulamith has a flashback to her childhood as she was approaching puberty.
A. The author singles out this one conversation – a conversation among the brothers where they are concerned for Shulamith.
1. Shulamith’s brothers are concerned for their sister’s future marriage and happiness. -They want to prepare her for the day she is spoken for, the day of marriage.
-Shulamith’s father is never spoken of in this book. (It was her brothers who watched out for her).
-The brothers ask a question "what shall we do for our sister on the day she is spoken for?"
B. Their strategy depends on her character.
1. If she is a wall (impervious to boy’s advances)
a. They will simply encourage and praise her for her virtuous stand.
-To place a battlement of silver on a wall is to decorate it to make the wall more beautiful. They will attempt to increase her good character by praise.
2. Second strategy – if Shulamith turns out to be a door – easily entered, easily seduced –
-Then the brothers will barricade her with planks of cedar. In other words, they will be very strict with her to protect her from boys’ advances.
3. There is more – no matter what kind of home environment one is provided with, the youngster must begin to make responsible choices regarding their sexuality that represents their own values and not simply those of their parents.
-Shulamith made such responsible choices.
C. Shulamith’s own words of herself – v. 10a - "I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers."
1. Her brothers did not need to build a plank of cedar around her. She chose to be a wall.
2. Tommy Nelson gives us some insight into this text:
-"How do I know when the time is right for her to be married?" – a question by the brothers.
-Answer: Age does not necessarily determine whether you should marry. It’s an attribute of your heart.
-In other words, Shulamith was moral and pure. She could say no to advances because she had a set of standards and she would not compromise these standards to get married. She did not sell out on a wayside altar.
-Simply put, when are you ready to marry? When you can remain single before you compromise your standards before God.
II. Dream Come True – Now that Shulamith has chosen the right path
A. The correct path – v. 10 gives the idea that she is a fortress and no one will touch her sexually.
1. Hebrew poetry – OT use statement of God’s favor on somebody – "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."
-Picture God would reach down and bless.
2. In this example she says "Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment".
-She is saying she found grace, favor in Solomon’s eyes.
-Idea is that Solomon fell in love with her as a result of her being faithful to her standards to God.
B. Shulamith just a few years before – 1:5-6
"Dark am I, yet lovely, 0 daughters of Jerusalem, dark like the tents of Kedar, like the tent curtains of Solomon.
-Don’t stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun. My mother’s sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I have neglected.
1. Her perception growing up was her brothers were mean. "They made me take care of this dumb vineyard, and I can’t even take care of my own vineyard (my own feminine charms)."