HOME PAGE   |   CONTACT PAGE   |   OUR CALENDAR 

OUR SITE MAP ... DOZENS OF BIBLE STUDY PAGES

RECENT MEETINGS

 STANDING WITH THE BAGWELLS 

 
 

To e-mail, call or write the Bagwells, just visit our "Contact" Page.

 
 

SONG OF SOLOMON 8:6-7

WHAT LOVE!

"Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned."

Words of the Shulamite Woman, Solomon's first love, His Bride, words sincerely spoken to her new husband!

 

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1:

It's only a two-verse Text. But is has great potential! That of course is a silly thing to say. All God's Word has potential, absolutely unlimited possibilities!

No one on earth will ever plumb the depths or scale the heights or measure the breadth or traverse the length of a single verse of Scripture! Not in its entirety!

The Psalmist assured us, "God's Commandment is exceeding broad," using the noun "commandment" as a synonym for the Word of God. The whole sentence is found in Psalm 119:96.

Remember that Paul once used such "dimensional" terms about the Love of God, too! Here's part of his prayer that day: That we "being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19

If God's Love can be so considered, so measured, perhaps God's Word can as well! Or at least we can joyfully "attempt" to do so!

Anyway, here are our verses for the next two or three Lessons. Maybe even more, depending on how the Holy Spirit develops the truths herein contained. "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned." Song of Solomon 8:6-7

There is little doubt that these words are being spoken by the Bride of Solomon, the Shulamite Woman. I call her that because the Book itself does, "Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite?" Song of Solomon 6:13

By the way, "Shulamite" means "peaceful one," maybe even "complete one," whole and undivided.

She, in our Text, is talking to her lover, to King Solomon! She is describing the level of love she has for him!

A love that has been developing and growing and maturing since chapter one, I might add. Back in Song of Solomon's first chapter she is "infatuated" with Solomon, in love, but in a shallow superficial sense. But by the time we reach this last chapter, chapter eight, her love has ripened and morphed into something quite awesome!

It might be expressed this way. At first she reveled in the fact that "Solomon was hers!" She could control the King!

But later, she delights in the fact that "She belongs to Solomon!" Feminists will have trouble with this one! The King can control her, doing anything he wishes with her. She is all his!

So is it in the Christian life, too. At first we love the Lord because of all He has done for us, to us, through us! It's very much about "us," in other words. But as we mature, deepen in our appreciation of Him, it soon becomes "What can I do for Him?" By this time, it's all about "Him!"

Wow!

Back to our Text, tell us again lovely Shulamite. Describe your love to your Bridegroom, express your desires directly to him. We will eavesdrop! "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned." Song of Solomon 8:6-7

But what do these words mean, these metaphors and ancient figures of speech?

"Seals" on a man's "heart" and "arm?" Why does she correlate "love" and "jealousy?" And, really now, can love be that "hot," like coals of fire? Is love, true love, really unquenchable? Can "many waters" and even roaring "floods" not "drown" it? Is true love really worth all she says? Worth more than all a person could ever own?

These questions, along with a few others, will be discussed in the next few days.

And, be sure. If this girl loved her man that much, and apparently she did, then he really did not deserve her!

Think with me. Solomon, the man in question here, did not love her back! Not in the same way she loved him! Not if we take the Bible literally. I am talking about the Solomon of history now. Not Solomon as a Picture of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bride here, the Shulamite Lady, says Solomon is her everything!

And here's how Solomon responds. "And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart." 1st Kings 11:3

See?

She love him only!

He eventually loved her as one among nine hundred and ninety nine others!

Big difference!

But she kept on loving anyway!

Though she would get the "short end" of the straw, so to speak, she would still be faithful and kind and devoted to her Groom, her Husband, Her "Lover," using the term loosely by now.

When a man has that many "affairs," can you truly call him a "lover" to any one person? 

No doubt, the Shulamite was Solomon's first love!

But not his last!

But she stayed determined!

Tell us, Sweetie, one more time. Describe your resolve to that philanderer! We can already see you are going to do right, even when he does wrong!

Wow!

 "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned."

I've never seen anything like this in all the Bible!

What love!

                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

And I have no doubt ...

That today a lady is reading these pages who is in a similar situation. You love him, your Mate. A whole lot more than he loves you. And he has proved it so many times. Still, you are doing right, obeying God, trying to live faithfully and properly exhibit your Christian faith! All to the Glory of God!

More power to you!

I for one certainly admire you!

You are a better person, you and this darling little Shulamite, than your men will ever be. That is, apart from the Grace of God!

God can change him, you know!

I once hear an old Preacher say, "Do right, even if the stars fall!"

And some of you are living examples of that advice, day after day!

I salute you.

We all salute you.

Your faith, and your love, certainly, are genuine!

Wow!

 

 

LESSON 2:

The wife is talking to her husband, probably the Shulamite lady talking to Solomon, to be more specific.

They are newlyweds at this time.

"Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned." Song of Solomon 8:6-7, giving her exact words.

She is asking him to do something.

Something personal!

Let's begin with that first clause. It alone will occupy our thoughts today. It's a complete sentence, too.

 "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm." So she asks of her lover, her mate.

The verb here is an imperative. She is earnest, almost desperate it seems. Maybe too a little bit insecure. "Set," in Hebrew "sum," is the very first word in the sentence, both in Hebrew and English. This fact alone gives it great significance, great "weight," grammatically. She hungers to know that he has done this! "Set" me there, please.

In the ancient world a "seal" would have been vitally important. "Chotham" means a "sign, a signet," even at times a "signet ring," worn on an authority's finger and used to "authenticate" his signature or "mark" his approval on certain documents or transactions.

It comes from a verb meaning "to mark" something. To indicate that it is real, genuine, even authorized! It also can carry the idea of protection! Do not tamper with this item!

This seal she so badly wants would have been a source of great security to her! It would have brought her peace and assurance.

Now historically the Shulamite might have been sensing Solomon's propensity to have a "wandering eye," already!

Solomon indeed loved her, probably the first of all his loves.

But, truth be told, the King did not comply with this pure little girl's request. We can all remember that Solomon eventually had hundreds of wives and concubines.

That's sad.

All she wanted was some positive signal of his love.

A love that he did indeed gave her for the eight chapters of the Song of Solomon. But, regretfully, it did not last.

Still, to her credit, she kept on loving her man!

No matter what he did to her, she would remain faithful to him!

No matter what!

And, as far as we know, a thousand love affairs later, she still was loyal to her "first love!"

Wow!

That tops our Lord's "seventy times seven" rule!

"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." Matthew 18:21-22

Seventy times seven equals four hundred ninety. She has more than doubled that total, with one man!

"And Solomon had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart." 1st Kings 11:3

A King often wore his "seal" on his shoulder or upper arm! And often too on some sort of garment that would drape across his mid-section, thereby resting the medallion near his heart.

That's what she is asking of her new husband.

"Let me be as important as that seal," she wishes.

"I need that kind of security," she longs.

But it was not to be!

Now, that's enough today about Solomon.

In our closing comments we are going to talk about Another King, different from Solomon. King Jesus, to be specific!

And that dear bride, the Shulamite lady, is now going to represent someone more than a little country girl! She will now remind us of the Church, that body of truly born-again folks who have been saved by the Grace of God!

Now, does King Jesus love His bride that deeply? That "seal upon His Heart" deeply?

Yes!

We can definitely pray to Him, having absolute peace that our request has been granted, "Lord, set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm."

To which He says, "It has already been done!"

We are that significant to Jesus!

He "wears" us near His Heart!

We are so important to Him that He constantly keeps us before His Eyes! Think of one's wristwatch, constantly bound to his or her arm! How many times a day does one "notice" that? Dozens and dozens perhaps!

We, saved brothers and sisters in Christ, are "set" on His arms and in His heart!

"Sealed" there eternally!

Isaiah the Prophet pictures this fact, identical in meaning but slightly different in form, "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." Isaiah 49:16, God talking to His people! "Engraved" in the Lord's great big Hands!

Ask it again, dear Shulamite lady. "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm."

And think of this too. Clearly, Jesus is our Great High Priest, in Heaven this very second! The Book of Hebrews tells us this again and again.

And the High Priest wears what?

When he was dressed in His "glorious garments," as Exodus 28:2 calls Aaron's clothing, he donned a "breastplate," across his heart, one symbolically bearing the names of all the children of Israel!

The same with his shoulders too! Here's Exodus 28:12 as proof. "And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial."

Yes!

Our names, on Jesus' heart today!

Like a "seal!"

And again on His shoulders!

Amazing!

Why the heart?

That's the Bible seat of Love!

Jesus loves me!

And the shoulders?

Always a symbol of Strength and Force and Might!

God's very omnipotence!

Jesus supports and empowers me day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute!

Glory to God!

Jesus is so much better a Bridegroom than Solomon!

Jesus will never be unfaithful!

His eyes will never roam!

Because, again quoting the Old Testament, we are "the apple of His eye," His visual delight!

God's love to His people: "He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye." Deuteronomy 21:10

Here's another way yet to pray the Shulamite's request. He words: "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm." But now in Psalm 17:8 language: "Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings."

Wow!

What security!

In Jesus!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

It's just a short sentence today, our Text.

One thought from Song of Solomon 8:6.

"For love is strong as death." That's all.

I believe the Wife of Solomon, his "first love" as she might be called, has this kind of attachment to her husband.

For eight whole chapters she had been saying so, again and again.

Her love is determined, like death. Her love for Solomon, her Bridegroom.

Her love is sure, like death.

Her love is everlasting, in an earthly sense anyway, like death.

Many such adjectives could be used.

A love that can be compared to death itself, in some ways anyhow.

Wow!

And she, in our context, in Song of Solomon 8:6-7, is asking Solomon to love her back!

To reciprocate her love in like manner!

Her thoughts may have been similar to these. "Honey, love me like that, too. Let your attachment and affection and loyalty to me be, well, like death! You know, absolute and unavoidable and irreversible!"

But it did not happen.

While she passionately loved him, that deeply too, his love soon weakened and dissolved into a "you're one among many" mindset.

Maybe Solomon was just too handsome.

Or too wealthy.

Or too much a world traveler.

Or too weak morally. After all, he was his Father's son, King David having had more than a dozen wives himself!

"For love is strong as death."

True of the Shulamite.

Not true of Solomon.

"For love is strong as death."

But, now, let's leave history and go to typology.

In other words, let's forget Solomon a minute and think about our Lord Jesus Christ.

What about His love for us?

Is His love as "strong as death?"

Yes, it is!

Or should I say, yes, it was!

While on earth Jesus did die, for you and me!

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

His love led Him to the old rugged Cross!

Listen to Jesus again. "Because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." John 10:17-18

"Love as strong as death!"

Literally!

Really that word "strong" is simply spelled "az" in Hebrew. It means "mighty or fierce!" It's from a verb that means "to prevail, to be hard, to be firm and resolute!"

Jesus endured some "hard" things, some "rough" things, positively proving  His love to lost sinners!

And that particular Death, expiring on a Cross, is one of the most tortuous even known.

"Love as strong as death!"

We today should be able to adore our Lord, thanking Him for loving us so!

I am reminded of John 13:1, the depth of Jesus' love! "Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end."

And just what is that "end?"

Death!

"Love as strong as death!"

Literally!

But, one more thought.

Have any of our Lord's followers loved Him like that, "unto death?"

Did any Old Testament saint or New Testament believer have such attachment to Jesus?

Yes, I think so.

Paul did, dying a martyr for his faith.

History says other Disciples did as well.

And many others.

Daniel was willing to die, even in lion's den fashion!

Abel did so, died. He really was murdered by his own brother, over a blood sacrifice too!

Is my love for Jesus that strong?

Is yours?

"Strong as death?"

Be sure of this, no matter how weak we may be ... Jesus loves us supremely, no doubt!

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35-39

His Love ... strong as anything imaginable!

Including death!

To any lady reading here today whose husband may fit into the "Solomon" category. If you have been relegated to "second class" status by a careless mate, just keep on loving him!

Anyway!

Ask the Lord to make your love for him stronger and stronger.

We have all promised to do that anyway, at the marriage altar!

"To love and honor ... until death do us part!"

You, dear lady, do right!

Just like the Shulamite did, Solomon's little darling.

And while your earthly husband may never treat you just right again, rest assured, your heavenly Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ, will love you like that, with Song of Solomon 8:6 love!

Faithfully!

Eternally!

Unashamedly!

His love, for you, will indeed be ...

"Love as strong as death!"

And we have God's Word on that!

"For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:7-8

What love!

Thank You, dear Lord!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

The word for today is "jealousy."

Except we must discern its context. Is it being used in a "good" sense, or in its normal "bad" sense?

The young lady who is so much "in love" with King Solomon, by  now his wife, His very Queen, it seems, says to her Bridegroom: "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned." Song of Solomon 8:6-7

The clause, describing true love, genuine love, "For love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave," is today's "text." Especially those last few words, "Jealousy is as cruel as the grave."

Now, again I wonder, "What kind of jealousy does she mean?"

Since everything else in her speech is framed in a positive sense, the "seals" near the heart and on the arm and the awesome "strength" of love and the "red hot" quality it possesses and its "indestructibility" too, not to mention love's "priceless" value ... then surely "jealousy" is meant that way, too. In a constructive sense.

And, in the Bible, "jealousy" can often be a good thing.

For example, "I the LORD thy God am a jealous God," so said Jehovah in Exodus 20:5. There's certainly nothing wrong with that kind of jealousy! Add Exodus 34:14, too. "For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God."

Wow!

When the Shulamite lady says "jealousy is cruel as the grave" she likely means that love that is possessive, but just to the right degree, will be a tenacious love, a will-not-let-go love, a for-your-eyes-only love!

In fact, "jealousy" here translates "qinah" in Hebrew, meaning "ardour or zeal or passion!" Its "root" word, ""qana," can even mean "envy or anger!" Pretty strong!

This young Bride loves her Groom so much that she is, I think, "jealous" of him. But not to a sinful level. Just enough to reveal genuine love, the exact amount to say "I really do care!"

And surely she is implying: "Solomon, do not let your ideas and thoughts and eyes and hands wander! I forbid your love and affection to roam the kingdom, looking for one new conquest after another! I will be jealous over you, my Darling, for your own good."

"Jealousy is cruel as the grave." Furthermore, "If I must get firm and even a bit 'mean' with you, to protect our relationship, I will do so!" This is how the Shulamite is reasoning, I think.

And it's beautiful!

She is already sensing, no doubt, Solomon's future lifestyle. Even as a newlywed, she sees bad things coming! A thousand of them, more wives and concubines! See 1st Kings 11:1-3. "But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart."

Someone suggested that Solomon did not really "love" all these women. They were just part and parcel of certain "political alliances" he had to enter as the King and chief Negotiator for Israel! I say "Nonsense!" Read the verse again, "Solomon clave unto these in love."

The poor Shulamite's "jealousy" over Solomon did no good at all! it was meaningless to this ultimate philanderer!

Her heart is crushed, for sure!

"Jealousy is cruel as the grave."

Also, she is expressing a desire for Solomon to be a "little bit" jealous over her too, I suspect. At least to do something to show that he "cares." A "hint" of proper possessiveness or maybe a "Spend some time with me" statement or two.

But she got nothing along that line, not at all.

No exclusivity, no passion, no protection, not even in the love the newlyweds already shared. Or if that's not the case yet, she fears it will soon be!

She wants the real thing, a godly love, to permeate her whole marriage!

Even if it's the "unto thee only" kind, as it indeed should be! As all Biblical marriage was designed to be.

Now, we know her heart.

She loves him jealously!

She longs for him to love her right back, the same way!

But it does not happen.

He is unfaithful, even.

Not just uncaring, but unfaithful!

Time and time again!

Yet she keeps on loving him.

There is not even a little "hint," not in all the Bible, that she leaves or divorces or even quits loving him!

He is less than ideal.

She remains the "gold standard" of womanhood! Of being the model wife! The true virtuous woman!

Multitudes of ladies in our Churches fight this same battle. And today I say to you all, stay right! Keep on loving him. As long as you can, anyway. If he is perennially unfaithful, or abusive to the point of danger, you do have another Biblical option I think.

But until then, your love and kindness and service to him, to the Mr. "do-everything-my-way" every day man, is a bright and shining example of real Christianity.

Much like the Shulamite with her husband, love your man with all the strength God gives you.

And God will reward you for your faithfulness. He has promised to do so, in fact.

"Jealousy is cruel as the grave."

This almost sounds like "tough" love, doesn't it?

Love that can say "No" as well as "Yes!"

That adjective "cruel" is "qasheh," meaning "hard, heavy, sore." Its' verbal background, taken from "qashah," means "to be fierce, severe," or even "harsh."

Shulamite got no such love from Solomon, from her husband.

But we Christians do get that kind of love, from Jesus! From our dear Bridegroom!

From our Heavenly Solomon!

Preacher Bagwell, love that is cruel as the "grave?"

Yes, exactly!

He, Jesus, loves us so much that He spend three days and three nights in one, in a grave!

Just to save our lost souls!

To become our Redeemer!

To wash us in His Own Blood!

Truly, His Love qualifies!

"Jealousy is cruel as the grave."

He loves us jealousy!

And it's a tough love, too!

He will even chasten us if we err too far!

He loves us to that degree!

Again, the whole verse we are studying, but not the whole paragraph. "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame." Song of Solomon 8:6

Amen!

Thank you, Lord, for loving us that much!

May each of us love the Mate you have placed in our life, husband or wife, with the same degree of intensity, of fierceness!

I do not know another Text in Scripture that is as strong on the subject of love! Even including Paul's classic 1st Corinthians 13 passage.

To live it?

That should be the goal of every Believer on earth!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5:

It is perhaps the Bible's most lovely paragraph on the subject of love!

Arguably better than Paul's Romans 8 litany!

Better than 1st Corinthians 13, at least to some folks, the "love" chapter of the Bible!

It might be better than anything John said about love. And he said a lot! Both in his Gospel and the three Epistles.

Her love to her husband, the Shulamite's love to Solomon, even shines more brightly than Boaz's love for Ruth!

Or David's love for Jonathan, which "surpassed" his love for women! See 2nd Samuel 1:26.

More brilliant than Priscilla's love for Aquila!

Rebekah's love for Isaac!

And maybe comes close to Adam's love for Eve!

Like we would have abbreviated their relationship years ago, "Shulamite + Solomon!"

Here are her words, exactly. "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned." Song of Solomon 8:6-7

She addresses these words to her lover, to her husband. Although do keep in mind, they are close to being newlyweds themselves!

Today I must cover more Scripture, at least more than the past two days. How about this? "The coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame."

"Coals" of what?

Exactly what is "flaming," too?

Love!

Pure Love!

Her love for her man is, and excuse the expression, I am just trying to express her intention literally, her love is "hot!"

Like coals of fire!

Like the most vehement flame!

This is the girl's love for the boy!

She's obviously wishing that it will become his love for her, too!

The word for "coals" is "resheph," from the verb "saraph," meaning "to burn!" Remember the angels called the "Seraphim?" They appeared to be "on fire!" To Isaiah the Prophet anyway, in Isaiah 6:2.

But get this. "Resheph" once in the Bible is translated "arrow!" Once also as "hot thunderbolt!" That's in Psalm 78:48, the "hot thunderbolt' metaphor.

Love that much "on fire!"

"The coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame."

And "fire" means "fire," in any language I suppose.

But admittedly, there are different degrees of heat, even when fire is the subject! Even the color of a flame indicates to some measure its intensity!

Yellows and reds and oranges and blues, different hues of each! Such colors make a fireplace, its glowing contents, all the more lovely!

Shulamite's love for Solomon, however, is burning with "a most vehement flame!"

Yes, that's what she says.

Did that flame moderate any when Solomon married wife number two?

Or built another bedroom at the palace?

How about wife number ten?

And, as you well know, it's along way from the number ten to the astounding number of one thousand, Solomon's grand total of wives and concubines. Although there's nothing "grand" about it.

Yet, far as we know, her love did not fail!

It did not even "cool down!"

Or "cool off," as we used to say.

"The coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame."

She did right, even if he didn't!

She, in this vital sense anyway, was "stronger" than the King!

The Bride, uncharacteristically we might think, out-loving the Groom!

By the way, that last adjective sheds further light on the fullest meaning of our Text today. It is "vehement," a vehement flame.

"Shalhebeth" is the Hebrew word, "vehement flame," used only here in all the Bible!

It incorporates "lehabah," a word meaning something "bright and shining," particularly the "tip" end of a sword!

The "point" of such a weapon!

It's sharpest and most deadly part!

Here is love that is certainly defensive!

It defends against all enemies.

Maybe even a bit offensive, too!

It goes on the attack, against anything or anyone who might endanger it!

Now, I think this trait of love even goes beyond the Shulamite!

Only our great God in Heaven loves like this!

Loves us to the point of defending us!

And protecting us, against all enemies!

God loves us vehemently!

That's what, among many other things, He was doing on the old rugged Cross that day over two thousand years ago.

Loving us!

Defending us!

The Devil wanted to drag us all to Hell!

But our Lord defeated him!

Jesus at Calvary, protecting us!

Charging our enemy, Satan, attacking him!

Jesus' love for you and me is, well, vehement!

Sharp and dangerous as a shining sword!

Additionally, "vehement" in English means "full of vigor and energy, strong," also "marked by intensity of feeling or conviction!"

It is built upon a Latin verb, "vehere," with visible likeness to "vehemence." And "vehere" just means "to carry" something or someone. To take them to another place! To transport them!

Love so intense that it can take a man or woman and carry them somewhere!

Vehement!

God's love is so "vehement" toward us that it literally one of these days is going to "carry" us to Heaven!

Think about that!

God's love for you today!

"The coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame."

It is a fire that will never be quenched!

God's Love, that very powerful!

I guess we should all now take a little time and worship!

Worship our Heavenly Lover!

Our divine Bridegroom!

Our Lord Jesus Christ!

Amen!

                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

We are still talking about Love.

Historically Song of Solomon 8:6-7 is describing a love that once existed between a man and a woman. Really to be more exact, between a woman and a man.

Between King Solomon's first love, the Shulamite lady of the Song of Solomon, and the King himself.

Of all her glowing word pictures concerning Love, today's may be the best so far.

"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it." Song of Solomon 8:7

This scenario depicts Love as being virtually indestructible! The first verb, "quench," is strange. "Kabah" means "to extinguish, to put out," terms usually used in connection with a raging fire!

Enough water can extinguish most flames!

But not the flame of true love!

Love just keeps re-igniting!

And as far as the two nouns involved, "waters" and "floods," they are parallel, synonyms really.

"Waters," spelled "mayim" in Hebrew, and "floods," in Hebrew "nahar," are progressive in nature.

"Waters" is translated twice elsewhere in the Bible as "watersprings," while "floods" is obviously a bigger concept. Much more water! Water in vast amounts! "Torrents!"

Either way, a mere "drizzle" or a roaring "deluge," True Love, Real Love, will not be denied!

It cannot be "drowned."

Now, one more verse, used of Jesus as He died for sinners.

On the Cross of Calvary, our Lord is pictured as One over whose Head the waters of judgment flowed!

These words belong to Jesus, prophetically of course, "Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me." Psalm 69:1-2

Yet Jesus faced those floodwaters, dying for you and me! With that much awesome love in His Heart, too! A Love that could not be drowned!

No matter what!

Yes, we are to love our husbands or wives that much, for sure!

But even more important, God loves us that deeply!

"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it." Song of Solomon 8:7

Is the devil trying to hinder your love today, your love for the Lord?

If so, rest assured that no matter what that rascal does, Satan, He will never be able to drown God's Love!

And that fact alone should make us feel secure!

God's Love ... on land or sea, indestructible!

God's Love ... fireproof, waterproof, and now devil-proof as well!

Hallelujah!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Some of them anyway!

A few of the chemical "elements" known to man are very interactive with water. Sodium, for example.

Even an Old Testament example comes to mind, a Biblical event.

The Ark Noah built.

It was absolutely useless ... until the flood came!

Then, when the waters flooded and over-flooded all of creation, world-wide I believe, the Ark "rose" to the occasion!

It was used of God to spare the lives of a godly man and his family, a total of eight souls.

The more violent the floods, the greater the beauty and purpose of the Ark are seen!

Wow!

It is true of Love too, God's Love!

Perfect Love!

Absolute Love!

The Shulamite again, "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it."

Wow!

That's the Love Jesus has for us!

The Love that sent Him to the Cross!

The Love that, despite the floodtides of Satan, conquered all!

Let's sing its praises forever!

His Grace!

His Love!

His Mercy!

His Kindness!

His precious shed Blood!

His Salvation, shared with lost men and women!

Again I say, Hallelujah!

 

 

LESSON 7:

"What's it worth?"

Countless times a day that question is asked.

"How valuable is it?"

The Shulamite lady, Solomon's first wife, answers that question today, concerning "love" no less!

"If  a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned." Song of Solomon 8:7

This is like saying, "Love is priceless!"

It's worth more than anyone owns, no matter how wealthy that person may be!

Including Solomon?

Likely the most affluent man on earth!

Yes, including "any man."

Yet King Solomon obviously did not feel the same way about love!

To him new Brides and new Lovers were, as they say, "a dime a dozen!" And Solomon went through several dozen in his time! A thousand wives and concubines, Scripture says!

But at least in theory, before backsliding anyway, Solomon valued love pretty highly! "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies." Proverbs 31:10

Oh, need proof on the number of his lovers? "And Solomon had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods." 1st Kings 11:3-4

She says, "Love is priceless!"

He says, "Next!"

Quite a difference!

Back to our Text. "If  a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned."

The noun "substance" is "hon," meaning "wealth or riches." Solomon had such wealth, too. "Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and threescore and six talents of gold; beside that which chapmen and merchants brought. And all the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon." 2nd Chronicles 9:13-14, billions of dollars in today's economy!

All Solomon's holdings, Shulamite said, were not worth the price of her peerless love!

Solomon disagreed.

And don't worry, Solomon's not going to attempt to "prove" his wife's thesis!

He will just take the money, and the "lovers" then will automatically come!

But, what kind of lovers will they be?

The Shulamite lady continues, "If  a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned."

She suspected her whole society would "condemn" anyone who devalued love. That verb "contemned" is "boz" in Hebrew. It means "despised." Or "considered insignificant!" Held in contempt!

This lady's love for Solomon can't be bought, at any price!

Solomon's love, eventually, was constantly for sale!

To the highest bidder!

She has, by Song of Solomon's last chapter, chapter eight, learned "to out-love" her mate!

Is that a verb?

Out-love?

Hope you know what I mean.

She's in a whole different league than Solomon!

When it comes to unselfishness and consideration and loyalty and "putting your lover first place" in  your life!

Wow!

I admire this girl more than ever before!

She loves him, regardless!

He loves her, occasionally!

She does right, even when he does wrong!

Now she's acting like Christ in their marriage, really far more than the Bridegroom is!

And lest I close on a negative note, Jesus' Love for you and me is like that, "priceless!"

Truth be told, our Lord did give "all His substance" for us! "If  a man would give all the substance of his house for love ...."

And while such a lavish gift is "condemned" by the world, it is adored and revered by us Christians!

Truth be told, Jesus gave Himself for His Bride!

What a Price!

What Love!

What an example!

So husbands reading here today, "Love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." Ephesians 5:25

Wow!

That says it all!

If you are in a relationship where you are valued that much, "priceless," thank God!

And if you are not in that kind of relationship, think about Jesus!

Jesus, who died for you!

Feel "loved" in that sense, anyway!

In closing, reckon this is true? The more highly you value a possession, a relationship, the more precious it becomes?

I think so.

Tell someone dear to your heart today how very much they "matter" in your life.

Especially tell Jesus such a thing!

He longs to hear it!

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." Matthew 22:37

Priceless love, giving one's all!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

                                                         What Love!

 

 

Thank YOU for visiting our Website!

You are visitor number ...

Hit Counter

 

Copyright 2009 DrMikeBagwell.org  All Rights Reserved.
 

The Fundamental Top 500