Lesson 7

The Royal Love Song

(Song of Solomon 1 & 8)
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Introduction: Recently, I saw a book title in which the author seemed to add the word "sex" just to help it sell better. When a read a little note about the book, it admitted this. Well, this lesson is sort of about sex, so let's hope more people are encouraged to read it! Does the Bible talk about sex and romantic love? You bet! Why? Let's plunge into our study and find out!

  1. The Pleasure of Romance


    1. Read Song of Solomon 1:1-2. Why does Solomon's wife want him to kiss her? (It is delightful. Notice that the Bible endorses the physical side of romance.)


      1. To what does the wife of Solomon compare love? (Wine.)


        1. Why? Is this like saying "your love is better than milk?"


        2. Have you ever heard of someone getting "buzzed" from alcohol? (The suggestion here is that physical love gives a lift to your attitude. It gives you a "buzz.")


    2. Read Song of Solomon 1:3. What other physical sense is involved in romance? (The sense of smell. Guys, if you are interested in romance, make sure you smell right!)


      1. What does it mean "your name is like perfume poured out?" (By the way, this is great writing!)


        1. Ladies, do you remember when you were dating and you wrote the name of your boyfriend down a few times? Then you wrote your name with his last name as yours? Why did you do that?


        2. Why would his name be important? (This is a theme of the Bible. God often refers to His name being important. The idea is that your name symbolizes you. Here, Solomon's name is like perfume for his wife. He is just wonderful.)


        3. Speaking of the importance of names, I trust that all of you noticed that if you re-arrange the letters in my last name (Cameron), you get "romance." How great is that?


        4. What about the last line of verse 3. Put yourself in the wife's place, is this good or bad? Does the answer depend on your gender? (Pretty often I run into a spouse who is terribly jealous and cannot stand anyone admiring his or her spouse. If you have a strong marriage, you have a sense of confidence about it. Your attitude is that your spouse is more valuable to you because others see the value in your spouse. If you are the only one in the world who thinks your spouse has any worth, odds are your marriage is not very good.)


  2. A Confident Marriage


    1. Read Song of Solomon 1:4. What is Solomon's wife's attitude about others admiring Solomon? (She says that they are right! Here is a wife with a confident attitude.)


      1. Assume that your attitude is that if your spouse looked around a little, your spouse would drop you and choose someone else. What signal does that send to your spouse?


      2. Although Solomon's wife says other women adore you, who gets to "into his chambers?" (This is the confident attitude. All you other women can adore my husband, but I'm the one who gets to sleep with him.)


    2. Read Song of Solomon 1:5-6. Why is Solomon's wife dark? (She has been out working in the sun.)


      1. What does she mean when she says that she has neglected her "own vineyard?" (It means she has neglected her own appearance. I think we have a cultural issue here. In my culture, a "healthy tan" (healthy is in quotes because of the cancer issue) is admired as beautiful. In some other cultures, it is a mark of beauty for a woman to seem as if she has never been out in the sun.)


        1. Is Solomon's wife bad looking? (No, she starts out saying she is "lovely.")


          1. Then why is she complaining about being in the sun? (She exhibits a healthy concern about her appearance. Remember when I asked if only you could appreciate your spouse? If you are the spouse and you think only your spouse could appreciate you, then you need to work on your appearance.)


  3. Solomon's Response


    1. Read Song of Solomon 1:9-11. Guys, Solomon compares his lovely wife to a horse. Good idea or not?


      1. What does Solomon say improves the looks of his lovely wife? (His wife must be from California. <grin>)


      2. Read 1 Timothy 2:9-10. Would Paul agree with Solomon?


      3. Read 1 Peter 3:3-4. Would Peter agree with Solomon?


      4. How can you reconcile Solomon, Paul and Peter on the issue of wearing jewelry? (Of the three, Peter (1 Peter 3:3-4) explains God's thinking about jewelry. He teaches us that true beauty comes from our character and not from what we wear. This is a caution to focus on developing character rather than carats. The Bible Exposition Commentary says "a woman who depends on externals will soon run out of ammunition!")


    1. Men, what do you learn from listening to what Solomon said in Song of Solomon 1:10-11? (Compliment your wife on her looks - or at least on what she is wearing.)


  1. Lovely Responds


    1. Read Song of Solomon 1:12-14. What is the purpose of perfume? (To attract.)


      1. What does Solomon's wife say he is to her? A bag of flowers? (She says that she is attracted to him.)


      2. What do you think is important about the placement of the "sachet of myrrh?" Careful, now. (This is below her nose. She is saying that Solomon is constantly on her mind.)


      3. En Gedi, according to the Bible Knowledge Commentary, is an oasis. What meaning does this suggest about the wife's comment? (That Solomon stands out from the other men - like a good-smelling, beautiful oasis in a desert.)


      4. Ladies, do you tell your man how much you appreciate him? Do you compare him favorably to other men? Or, do you suggest that he is a desert and other men an oasis?


  2. Excitement in Marriage


    1. Read Song of Solomon 1:16-17. Are we learning something about the way Solomon's palace was built? Does King Solomon have a green (verdant) bed? (No. This means that the lovers are enjoying each other outdoors.)


      1. The man has a palace. Why would they be outdoors? (Adventure, excitement.)


      2. Is there a lesson in this for your marriage?


  3. Flashback


    1. Obviously, we cannot study the entire book of the Song of Solomon in one short lesson. From what we have seen so far, Solomon and his wife (by the way, her name is Shulamith) have a good marriage. This solid marriage is built on a solid foundation. Let's move ahead in Song of Solomon to the place where we have a "flashback" to the time before their marriage. Read Song of Solomon 8:8-9. Shulamith's brothers are talking about what they can do to help her have a good marriage. What does the discussion of "walls" and "doors" in verse 9 mean? (This is a reference to their sister being chaste (wall - keep others out) or wild (door - let others in).)


      1. How do the brothers react if their sister is a wall? (There are several suggested meanings here. One is that the "tower" means that the sister will stand tall in their opinion. Another is that the brothers will reward her with lots of jewelry to make her even more attractive. Another is that this refers specifically to a type of head ornament. The bottom line is that the brothers will give her freedom and reward her if she is a "wall.")


      2. How do the brothers react if she is wild? (If she is a "door," they will lock her in her room! I think the sense is that they will restrict her freedom.)


      3. Parents, is there a lesson in here for you?


    2. Read Song of Solomon 8:10. What is she? (A wall - even though she asserts that men would be interested in her body. Her brothers do not need to worry about her.)


      1. Who else does not need to worry? (Solomon. She says that the fact that she has been a wall before marriage brings him "contentment.")


    3. Read Song of Solomon 8:11-12. What does this discussion about vineyards mean? (Solomon has an actual vineyard which brings him money from its fruit. She says her body is also a "vineyard" capable of producing "fruit.")


      1. What is the girl's attitude towards her "vineyard?" (She is specifically speaking about her virginity and she realizes that it is something of great value - just as a regular vineyard would be. She saved it to give it to Solomon.)


      2. Do we teach our children that their virginity is a valuable gift? Something of great worth?


    4. Read Song of Solomon 8:14. Since this is a flashback, what is Solomon's wife suggesting? (She is harking back to the days of their youth. The Bible reminds us that being chaste until marriage, and then faithful to our spouse, lets us have this private memory garden for when we are old.)


    5. Friend, the Bible has something to teach us about sex. It tells us to be pure, save our self for marriage, and then in marriage pay attention to the romance! Are you paying attention?


  4. Next week: Keys to Family Unity.


Discussion

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