Matthew 22 NKJV
35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying,
36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"
37 Jesus said to him, "’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 "This is the first and great commandment.
39 "And the second is like it: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
Not only are we to love God and love our neighbors but are also told to love even our enemies.
Matthew 5:44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
How can we love God, our family and our friends, let alone our enemies, unless we know what love is? What is love? This is the point where most people would either say, “God is love”, or else they would begin quoting 1 Corinthians 13, which is known as the love chapter in the Bible. Both of these approaches are absolutely correct and viable answers to the question I pose. However … Today I hope to bring some greater definition and deeper understanding concerning this force called love.
To assist us in our discovery of what love is we are going to be reading a passage from the Song of Solomon. The Song of Solomon, also known as the Song of Songs, is a relatively small and somewhat obscure book in the Old Testament. You can find it just right of the middle of the Bible as you turn past the books of Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.
This love song parallels the love affair not only between King Solomon and the beautiful young woman found within the pages but also follows the love affair and deepest “in love” emotions known to Christ and His Bride, the Church. Although universally accepted by the Jewish faith, it has generally been forbidden to be read by those under the age of 30 for concerns that youth may not fully understand or need to embrace the emotions described by this affair.
Nonetheless, the Song of Solomon is a great inspiration to lovers and gives cause for all of us to take note of the true love that can exist between a man and a woman as designed by their Creator, Almighty God. If you’ve not read this book in its entirety as it is meant to be sung, I encourage you to get a good reading translation and set these words to the music in your heart and mind. These words hold mysteries of the love of Christ for His Bride.
Now let’s begin to understand what love is from wise King Solomon’s own experiences.
Song of Solomon 8 (The New Living Translation)
6 Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
its jealousy as enduring as the grave.
Love flashes like fire,
the brightest kind of flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love,
nor can rivers drown it.
If a man tried to buy love
with all his wealth,
his offer would be utterly scorned.
Love is …
1. Love is a seal over your heart.
a. There is no denying the love of your heart
b. When no one else knows, you know …
c. Love is life and love sustains us
2. Love is like a seal on your arm.
a. True love is not hidden from others
b. Love is the strength of your life
3. Love is as strong as death
a. yea, even stronger
b. love endures beyond death
c. death cannot stop or destroy love
4. Love is enduring – as enduring as the grave
a. There is a permanency to love
b. There is a possessiveness to love
c. There is a jealous pride tied to love
d. It is a steady, constant and unchanging truth
e. We feel very personal and very protective over love
5. Love flashes like a fire
a. This speaks of a thunderbolt
b. All of the sudden, love is
c. It comes from seemingly nowhere
d. You never know when or where it will strike
e. We fall prey and are but victims of love’s strike
6. Love is the brightest kind of flame
a. It is the fire of the Lord
b. 1 Kings 18:38 “The fire of the Lord fell …”
c. Nothing else burns as bright as the love we feel
7. Love is unquenchable
a. It cannot be stopped by rain or flood
b. Adversities have no power to water down true love
8. Love cannot be consumed
a. It can exist in the deepest darkest dungeon
9. Love is without price
a. Love can only be given
Perhaps you have been selling love short or maybe you have never experienced the love of God in your life. Jesus loves you with just such a love as we have been discussing. There is nothing you can do to deserve or purchase His love … He simply and completely loves you. Today you can know this love by opening your heart to Him and allowing Him to come into your life and abide with you. Today you can become a part of His Bride.
Not only can you experience the love of Christ but you can also begin to love God and others with that same kind of love. Again I encourage you to open your heart and let the love of Christ consume you and begin loving others with that same kind of love.