July 28 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 46–48; Acts 28
Love is as strong as death.
Song of Songs 8:6
READ Song of Songs 8:6–7
In 2020, Alyssa Mendoza received a surprising email from her father in the middle of the night. The message had instructions about what to do for her mother on her parents’ twenty-fifth anniversary. Why was this shocking? Alyssa’s father had passed away ten months earlier. She discovered that he’d written and scheduled the email while he was sick, knowing he might not be there. He’d also arranged and paid for flowers to be sent to his wife for upcoming years on her birthday, future anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day.
This story could stand as an example of the kind of love that’s described in detail in Song of Songs. “Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave” (8:6). Comparing graves and death to love seems odd, but they’re strong because they don’t give up their captives. However, neither will true love give up the loved one. The book reaches its peak in verses 6–7, describing marital love as one so strong that “many waters cannot quench [it]” (v. 7).
Throughout the Bible, the love of a husband and wife is compared to God’s love (Isaiah 54:5; Ephesians 5:25; Revelation 21:2). Jesus is the groom and the church is His bride. God showed His love for us by sending Christ to face death so we wouldn’t have to die for our sins (John 3:16). Whether we’re married or single, we can remember that God’s love is stronger than anything we could imagine.
By Julie Schwab
REFLECT & PRAY
How do you feel knowing how much God loves you? What reminds you of His love for you?
Dear Jesus, thank You for loving me so much! Remind me of Your love each day and give me glimpses of it.
Song of Songs is traditionally attributed to Solomon (named in 1:1, 5; 3:7, 9, 11; 8:11–12). Therefore, this book is also called the Song of Solomon. Of the 1,005 songs composed by him (1 Kings 4:32), this is deemed his best. The New Living Translation begins the book by saying: “This is Solomon’s song of songs, more wonderful than any other” (Song 1:1). The traditional view is that this book is an allegory of Christ’s love for the church. But some interpreters today consider it an anthology of some twenty love poems, celebrating human love within the marital relationship (4:8–5:1). In Song 8:6–7, the bride celebrates her husband’s exclusive and immeasurable love for her. This love “burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame” (v. 6). The New International Version footnote gives an alternative rendering: “Like the very flame of the Lord ” (which is how the nasb and esv translate it), making this the only mention of God in this book.
K. T. Sim