We can probably all agree – nobody is perfect (except Jesus that is). We may try to be perfect or beat ourselves up if something we are working on isn’t perfect, but bottom line—we are not perfect. In our passage today, we see that Solomon is telling Shulamith she is even more perfect than before.
I come up with the word “perfect” because of the number of attributes used both times we see these words of affirmation. On their wedding night, the number was 7. In the Bible, that is a word to show “perfection” and completeness. Already on their wedding night, Solomon was thinking his wife was pretty wonderful. Now that time has passed, the couple has gotten past the “honeymoon phase” of exploration. They have entered a new season in their relationship and now we see ten attributes he’s sharing. The number 10 signifies even more perfect!
We’re about to embark on a new discovery of the wedding gift God gave to a husband and wife. As we read through these beautiful and sometimes odd descriptions of lovemaking and how best to cherish our spouses, remember the intention. It’s a love song of a couple, King Solomon and his bride, Shulamith. Some say this is an allegory for God’s love to his people. It can be both, and when we truly enjoy each other as God intends, we can’t help but thank him for loving us that much that he gave us such a gift.
Being part of Scripture, we can be certain that God intends for us to see the beauty in sexual relations within marriage. So much of what we see on television, in steamy novels, and in other forms of media would lead us to believe that sex outside marriage is okay, that perversion is normal, and that sexual escapades are open season. I could go on and on. Rather, God created sex for more than procreation, and it is certainly not dirty or perverted. He wants us to enjoy it, treasure it, and be blessed by it. Could I be so bold to say, sex is holy?
Sexual purity is the topic today. I’ll never forget my “birds and the bees” discussion with my mother. Awkward to be sure! It was no easier having the “talk” with my own daughter. There was a common thread in both, to “save yourself for marriage.” Now, I understand it was a Biblical thing that God ordained for his people. Although today’s reading suggests it was serious business.
Again, I am in awe of our God who is so thorough in his protection. He truly cares for us and wants the best for us. I would have to say that in this day and age, it is harder and harder for young girls to stay pure until their wedding day. And, when virginity is lost, it is not a life or death situation, at least in the culture I was raised in. There was disapproval, and girls had a “bad reputation” when they were promiscuous outside of marriage, but death did not result.
Adultery. It’s one of the top 10 biggie sins. We recently walked through the book of Exodus (see other posts) and we learned how God gave Moses the law he wanted for his people. Adultery was one of the 10 Commandments. It is a sin that requires another person. This is a big subject to unpack. But I’ll try.
Divorce. Another huge subject. One that I’ve struggled with for 20+ years now. Ever since my own divorce, I wondered how my sinfulness was affecting my salvation. You know, a broken vow is a broken vow (stay tuned for a future post in Jesus’ sermon on the mount). So what does Jesus really say about divorce? We’ll see.