Formations Lesson for August 14- The Bride and the Beloved- Partners in Intimacy
August 2 2011 by DuPre Sanders, pastor, Roxboro Baptist Church

Focal Passages: Song of Solomon 1:2-4, 9-2:7

To observe that we live in a society that is suffering greatly from sexual confusion, and also sexual misconduct, is not a novel insight. A few minutes spent watching television; listening to any rock, pop, or country music station; or perusing the corner-store magazine rack reveals that we live in a sex-saturated culture. Unfortunately, the Christian response to the sexual excess we see is to offer condemnation without providing biblically sound guidance as to how one can have a healthy, active sex life.

The Song of Solomon offers us help in understanding sex in a positive way. Although this book is often interpreted allegorically to illustrate Christ’s love for the church, it is clearly written as a love poem containing several segments. The book reveals the way men and women in love should conduct themselves in attitudes and activities.

As the book begins, the young woman and young man have already met and “fallen in love.” In verses 2-4, the girl voices her desire for her betrothed’s affection. The girl speaks first, and there is a sense that she is the major character in the poem. She seems to see herself as of equal stature with her beloved. Much more of the text comes from her mouth and mind than from his, though there is no failure on his part to declare his love and admiration for her.

In verses 9-11, the young man thinks of his betrothed as a person to cherish, comparing her to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.

Although this would probably not be received as a compliment today, the Pharaoh’s horses were decorated to show off their beauty and splendor.

In 1:12-2:7, the love of the young man and his beloved continues to intensify. The metaphors at the beginning of chapter two show that the young man satisfies three needs of his betrothed: protection, intimacy, and public identification as her beloved.

Perhaps the outstanding characteristic of this first major section of the book is the sexual restraint that is evident during courtship. The restraint contrasts with the sexual intimacy that characterizes the lovers after their wedding (3:6-8:4).

Solomon, as author of the poem, offers a charge: “Do not stir up or awaken love until it is ready!” In regard to matters of the heart, patience is needed. Wait for love to blossom; don’t hurry it!  
8/2/2011 3:41:00 AM by DuPre Sanders, pastor, Roxboro Baptist Church | with 0 comments

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