Love is STRONG.
Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
~Song of Solomon 8.6,7
How strong is Love? Really? Does love go away? I don’t have a Hebrew Lexicon in front of me, nor do I have a commentary, so I’m just taking these 2 verses at face value.
Love is a word that is thrown around all over the place. I love you, I love this, I love that… we love to love. Right? Love makes the world go around. Love makes life better. Love is a many splendid thing right? (Sorry, that is an old soap opera title) Nevertheless most of us if not 99% of us love and enjoy love, love to be loved and love to give love right?
I have thought about these 2 verses over the past few weeks. I have thought about the context of this passage, love for another, a strong powerful love for someone as in this passage. A love that “is as strong as death” a love that “burns like a might flame” a love so on fire that “many waters” cannot quench it. Now that is a powerful statement. A powerful picture, indeed, a powerful love that is almost inconceivable. Right?
After all haven’t we all “been in love”? Used the word Love, expressed the word love, felt this kind of love?
The longer I live this life, I’m starting to get a fuller (not complete) but a fuller idea of this strong, powerful, unquenchable kind of love. Really? Well, yes. I was once told by either my dad or a very important person that I believed in– not to throw those 3 words around to just anybody. “I love you” is a powerful statement and I did listen to those words. I didn’t throw those 3 words around because I somehow innately knew that those 3 words represented something much greater than I. That those 3 words were not just a statement for 2 people that were getting closer, or were “possibilities”. No, I think I understood in some form that God was love, that God loves so much that He was willing to show the statement “I love you” to the fullest. God does love, and His love is a blazing fire that cannot be quenched. Meaning that love lasts, and lasts and goes on as fire that will never be put out.
You know, I feel that. I actually understand that kind of love a little bit more these days. How long does love last? I know I have had my fleeting moments of love and then on to the next thing to be passionate about, or the next cause to embrace with love, or the next person that needs to know they are loved and on and on. But this love in Song of Solomon is a picture of God’s unfailing and immovable love towards us and that it can be a reality to love.
When I look back at love in my life, I actually understand this kind of strong love. While yes these verses are about 2 people, and yes this book Song of Solomon is about 2 people, and yes this love is strong and powerful and this kind of love does not go away because while this love from this passage of Scripture could be taken as romantic or for only 2 people, these verses to me actually point to the definition of love. Love is strong, unquenchable through, good, bad, hard times, through mistakes, through failure, through time…. really? I know first hand that many waters cannot quench it, that love may burn sometimes very dim, but it cannot be put out, that love does not go away regardless of life’s tough, unrelenting ticking. I know first hand this kind of love because it does not go away– ever. Now that is love. Now read the words from David Crowder and consider the love defined in Song of Solomon–
He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I Realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.
And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all
Yeah, He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us
We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy, wet kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…
What can stop that kind of affection that kind of love? What can put out that kind of Love?
That kind of love lasts forever! I love it!