Summary: Loving God as he deserves is so challenging for us. Our own human relationships can often give us clues towards this great goal.
BUILDING A LOVE THAT LASTS
Examining the ingredients necessary to loving God as he deserves
One of the greatest love stories in the Bible is found in one of the strangest of the books of the Bible …… THE SONG OF SONGS / SOLOMON. It is the story of how King Solomon fell in love with one of his poor and unworthy subjects.
Their poems of love, that form the book Song of Songs, express the deep intimacy of their love for each other.
At times confusion has existed as to why this book was included in the Bible.
Is it just a lovely love story to brighten a frustrating day ?
Is it a literary example of the beauty of eastern poetry ?
Does it contain an important message from God to us ?
I believe it does ! …. I believe it creates a picture for us, a type, of Gods love for his church ….. and the kind of love he wishes us to share with him.
The story itself illustrates the truth of Christ’s first appearing as a humble Shepherd to woo his bride, the church. And how he has promised to return as the King of kings to take his bride to his eternal ‘palace’.
The Bible presents to us this picture of the church as the Bride of Christ.
The truth is that we, the church, individually as children of God have been called to a LOVE relationship with God. This is not religious sentimentality this is the purpose we were made for.
Yet the truth is that we are guilty so very often of forgetting this and neglecting this love relationship with him. It would be wonderful if our relationship with God were always as fresh and intimate as we see Solomon’s with his beloved. Sadly we get caught up in trivial matters of religiosity and personal interest whilst neglecting to walk in love with Jesus.
As I have been meditating on the Song of Solomon I have begun to see afresh the kind of love relationship God wants with his church.
Throughout the book Solomon a picture (type) of Christ himself is continually telling his lover how beautiful she is, he points out the wonderful things about her he loves, rarely does he ask anything of her …. But he does on one occasion …..
“Show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely” (SoS 2:14)
God wants a face to face relationship with you !
HOW CAN WE KNOW GOD IN THIS WAY ?
(or What will make this relationship work ?)
In any human relationship certain vital ingredients are necessary if people are to share intimacy. When they are missing our relationship begins to die.
What first ‘drew’ you towards your partner ?
What qualities or attributes attracted you ?
What first attracted you to Christ ?
Isaiah said prophetically …… “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2)
This world never presented Christ to us as attractive … so what made him so ?
His unconditional LOVE
His promise of FORGIVENESS
His desire to HEAL us ……. etc.
Do you remember a time when you could not stop thinking of the wonder of God. His power and gentleness, his justice and mercy, his patience and tenderness ?
What has changed, has he ….. or me ?
Our first attraction to him was simple ….. much as it was humanly, there was none of the complexities of family life or financial responsibility just pure attraction.
God finds you amazingly attractive …. The Shulamite is so concerned about her appearance she wonders how Solomon could be attracted to her (SoS 1:6)
Solomon’s response is to tell her she is beautiful.
Has Christ ceased being attractive to us ? Is the world much more attractive to you ?
The Apostle Paul mourns over one over his friend Demas who this was true of …..
“Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me” (2 Tim 4:10)
Too easily when the partner we are with becomes unattractive we are in danger of looking elsewhere …. Israel was continually guilty of this in their relationship with God.
The story of Hosea tells of God’s command for Hosea to marry a prostitute, who is continually unfaithful to him, having children by other men. Yet God still loves Israel just as Hosea keeps taking Gomer back ….
(Hosea 11:7,8 NIV) “My people are determined to turn from me……How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboiim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.”