Tuesday, June 30, 2009
It appears in chapter one before both the wedding in chapter three and the verse we looked at in chapter two.
Honestly, I can see how people could read this verse as part of the "Manual for Married Sex" approach to SOS. And I might also take this approach, if I wasn't aware that in chapter one they aren't married yet.
Song 1:13 My Beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh
Which lies all night between my breasts.
I must admit. When I began reading SOS, the first thing... Or I should say... The first two things that jumped out at me was the reference the Beloved made to her own breasts.
How can I help it. Our culture is obsessed with breasts. There are entire magazines that come out monthly completely devoted to breasts, especial large ones.
So I really cannot blame anyone else for seeing breasts as the most important word making the verse rather suggestive.
So, granted, on the surface and through the lens of our culture, this verse seems to be about breasts. And I can see how the take away understanding of this verse is sex, sex, and only sex.
But aren't there any other important words in this verse?
How about myrrh?
Myrrh is a pretty important word.
What is Myrrh doing in this verse? It must have a purpose or it wouldn't be there. Where have you seen myrrh before?
Even people completely unfamiliar with the Bible are aware that the Magi brought baby Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh. Besides being real substances used in real worship in the real, earthly temple, they also have symbolic meaning that we will get into in a later post.
But for now just know that my Bible dictionary (Holman Master Study Bible) says myrrh is used as a healing stimulant. And feel free to look myrrh up for yourself.
So it appears that there may be allusions to healing in SOS 1:13.
But now, seriously. Do the Beloved's breasts need healing? What? Was she out in the sun working in the vineyard topless and got sunburned on her back and chest too?
I doubt it.
Yet there it is in SOS. She compares the Lover to a pouch of myrrh between her breasts.
This is where it is sometimes helpful to look just a little beneath the surface. What human organ is under the skin, behind the breasts of a woman?
That's right! The heart!
The presence and knowledge of the Lover that she keeps near her heart is a healing balm to her.
Does meditating on Jehovah Rapha bring healing to the heart of the believer? It does for me. And I would hope it does for others.
One last note before I wrap this up. To any Christian men who may have stumbled onto this site quite by accident. If you can gain anything from this post, remember this. A woman's heart is far more important and precious to God than both her breasts put together. You may be saying "duh, no kidding." But so often this "man's world" cares only for what is on the surface of a woman and makes her into an object. And this bleeds into church thinking. It is my fear that men, even well-meaning Christian men, can lose sight of the hearts of women and their need for healing because all they can see is what lies on the surface.
So also I caution all to not only look at the surface of SOS 1:13. There is so much more meaning to it than a "sex only" approach will allow.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
But from my position, that verse beautifully illustrates God's protection, nourishing and cherishing, and refreshing.
Look at these verses:Psalm 36:7 How precious is Thy lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of They wings. (NAS) Psalm 63:4 Thou hast been my help, And in the shadow of Thy wings I sing for joy. (NAS) Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes his refuge in Him! (NAS) They are verses of worship and praise that closely parallel SOS 2:3 The Lover is seen as protective and refreshing to the Beloved. A wonderful change from the oppressive brothers who made her work out in the sun. He brings rest and contentment not abuse and drudgery. She can relax and be at ease in the shade of his presence.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Any sex that occurs or is alleged to occur before the middle of chapter three is fornication.SOS is a progression of love, from meeting through wedding, through troubles that bring maturity until the end which is a deep, mutual, mature, establish love that cannot be shaken. For a shock jock preacher to assert that SOS 2:3 is about oral sex is unacceptable. He shows either his ignorance or his agenda or both by having the Lover and the Beloved engaging in any sexual behavior before they are even married. He has them committing fornication.
For those of us who work in the social services, his rantings sound like a sex addict slapping a "Thus saith the Lord" onto his addictions to make them acceptable rather than a pastor rightly dividing the Word of Truth.
Next post we will look more closely at SOS 2:3 and see how it can pertain to our relationship with the Lord.