Sermons

Summary: Solomon sought to persuade the beautiful Shulamite girl to yield to lust, but she remains steadfast in her loyalty to love. This is a story of a great temptation, and a powerful testing of love.

A French pilot, by the name of Guillaumet flew over the

Andes on a regular basis. One time he disappeared for a

week, and hope that he would be found was given up.

He was eventually rescued, however, and his first intelligible

sentence was, "I swear that I went though what no animal

would have gone through." For two days and two nights he

lay helpless. Then he walked five days and four nights

through deep snow. When he was found his hands and feet

were frozen. He had no food and no tools. He had to crawl

up walls of ice in 20 degrees below zero. Many times he said

it would have been pure pleasure to give up and go to sleep,

yielding to the cold hand of death. He had not read the Song

of Solomon 8:6 which says, "Love is strong as death." But

he was demonstrating it, for it was love that kept him going.

All he could think about was his wife. He knew that

when a man vanished his death was not legally

acknowledged for seven years, and so if he died where no

one could find him, his wife would be left in poverty. He had

to get to a place where his body could be found so she could

get the insurance. It was this loving concern for his wife

that drove him to super human efforts, and it save his life.

He lost his memory, and was little more than a frozen

vegetable stumbling through a wilderness, but still he kept

going because of love. Had he not been a loving man, he

would have been a dead man.

Very few ever have to put their love to that kind of test,

but there are enough such examples to prove the truth of

what the Shulamite girl said, "Love is strong as death." This

is the kind of love that the Song of Songs is all about. It is

not about wishy washy sentimental infatuation; and not

about superficial lust, which when satisfied forsakes its

object, but true love, which is able to overcome all obstacles

which threaten to detour it off its course of faithfulness and

loyalty.

In verse 4 the Shulamite girl gives us the first hint as to

her predicament, and why it is she is separated from her true

love, and why she so desperately longs for him to come to

her. She says, the king has brought me into his chamber.

King Solomon has brought her to his chamber to try and

persuade her to be one of his wives. Many would be

flattered, and would have forsaken their country lover

without a tear. It was the chance of a lifetime, but here was

a rare girl who wanted love rather than riches in a royal

harem. That is why she cries out for her Shepherd lover to

come and make haste, for it is his love alone in which she

rejoices.

Solomon, no doubt, sought to weaken her resistance to his

charms by the use of wine, but she is not taken in by this, for

she has tasted love, and what it wine compared to love?

Love is what she will sing about. Let those who give up love

to be in Solomon's harem sing songs of the glory of wine, for

that is all they have to keep them warm and happy. The

choice between love and wine is one that is the theme of

thousands of love stories and films. Four times the word love

is used in the first four verses of this song, and two of them

refer to the conviction that love is better than wine. This

conviction is a challenge to the values of many in both the

ancient and modern world.

Wine was as a god all through ancient history, and every

nation had its wine songs, including Israel. Wine was the

source of joy and happiness. It was the means by which

sorrows were escaped and burdens endured. It even helped

cure physical problems. It was to the ancients what the

doctor, psychiatrist, and TV is to the modern man. It is

entertaining, exhilarating, and a means of escape. Spurgeon

said, "The fruit of the vine represents the chiefest of earthly

luxuries." The Shulamite girl says, however, what good is all

of life's luxuries without love. To wine and dine and live like

a princess is no match to goats milk, lamb chops, and the

Shepherd man I love.

Love is personal, but wine and the luxuries it represents

are impersonal. Those who try to find fulfillment in the

impersonal, pervert their own nature which was made for

love. They turn to drugs and sex, and in their search for

what only love can provide, they develop loves greatest

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