Key passage: Song of Songs 8: 6-7 – Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. 7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised
Key Text – Song of Songs 8:7 – Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
If you follow the secular media, especially the tabloids and lifestyle/celebrity magazines, you would clearly get the impression that love is some fleeting, whimsical feeling that wafts into your life and leaves almost as quickly as it came. You get the impression it is an unpredictable phenomenon like the British weather. The ease at which the celebrities fall in and out of love, and the frequency of their love cycles is quite alarming. They give the impression that love is transient. Nothing can be far from the truth. Love never ends.
One is really burdened, because the bible says in Hosea 4:6 “My people perish for lack of knowledge”. People have been fed with junk and lies and as such many people have broken lives and relationships, because they are no longer in ‘love’. The big question is was there love at the foundation of the relationship or infatuation or just plain lust? Love is not what you feel, it is something you do, and you give. It is a deliberate act of your will and once you commit to real love, you never pull out. It is for life.
One of the reasons for the misconception is the general application of the word love. Love in the Greek has at least four meanings.
1. Eros – from where you get the word erotic and that has to do with sexual love, which is purely a physical thing and must not be confused with the sexual intercourse shared between two married people, which is a consummation of their love and in a very deep spiritual way the two become one flesh. Eros is another word for lust. Because people feel sexually attracted to each other, does not mean they are committed in love.
2. Phileo – This is the where we get the word filial love which is the love friends have for each other. It is delighting to be in the presence of another, a warm feeling that comes and goes with intensity. This type of love requires some level of commitment, but it is still not the love that should exist between man and woman or more specifically husband and wife.
3. Storge Love – Storge is the natural bond between mother and infant, father, children, and kin. William Barclay states, “We cannot help loving our kith and kin; blood is thicker than water”
4. Agape or Agapa, this is the love of God shed into human hearts. It is the love that is totally unconditional, without prejudice and without expectation from the recipient by the giver of the love. Agape is the highest purest for of love. It is the love that God loves us with, and He expects us in turn to love others with such love.
Our text today shows us that the flames of love are most vehement flames. They cannot be quenched by a deluge of water, nor can it be drowned in floods. Love has in-built in it the capacity to overcome the worst life can throw at it and still come up looking bright and beautiful. Love is not whimsical, Love is rugged, dogged and can never die. Love is eternal, because it comes from eternity. Love never fails. It never stops and never runs dry.
Jeremiah 31:3 says “the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” God’s love for us is not a fleeting love. It is everlasting, that is why God is so committed to us His children.
Romans 8:37-39 shows us “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The bible tells us nothing; absolutely nothing can come and separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 49:15-16 says ‘Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;’ This is one of the most profound illustrations of God’s love to us His people. He asked if a breast-feeding mother could forget her child and not breast feed him? He said even if she can forget, He would never forget. He went on to say He has engraved us on the palms of His hands. WOW!
I suggest to you that this was a prophetic word about Jesus Christ whose hands were pierced at the cross. The wounds are love marks and every time He reaches out to do anything with His hands, He is reminded of His love for us. If you really want to know how much God loves you, just look at Jesus on the cross. If you want to know how committed God is to you, look again at the cross. This was no whimsical, fleeting act. This was an indelible, deliberate, permanent decision. God loves you and I.
This is LOVE!
Let’s pray: Father, give me a fresh understanding of love and help me to receive deep within my heart your love so I can love people with the same love. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.