Friday, November 4, 2011
The Sanctity of Sex
The 22nd book in the Bible, Song of Songs (in some versions it's called Song of Solomon), was written by King Solomon. In Hebrew this book is called Shir Ha-Shirim; by naming this Song of Songs its superiority to other songs (or psalms) is recognized much like saying “king of kings” or “holy of holies”.
This song is really a poem about love. The main speakers are a man and the woman whom he loves. At the start of the poem the couple is not yet engaged. The woman is not sure about the man. She twice sends him away. She does not seem to want to share his life, but in the end she learns to trust him and they marry.
Well, that’s one interpretation. It was, perhaps, originally written as an ancient musical play. Here’s another way to view it: The dark skinned maiden, the Shulamite, loves a shepherd boy but the king sees her beauty and takes her off to the castle to be one of his wives. The shepherd had cared about her heart and soul, but the king is lustful. She must choose between the riches (lustful sex) of the king and the true love (and sensual caring sex) of the shepherd. She chooses . . . I’m not telling . . . read it for yourself.
If you find this book a bit hard to read because of how the verses switch from friends speaking to the lover speaking to the beloved speaking and so on, then I highly recommend that you visit the following website and read this marvelous version which has the book rewritten as a theatrical style play script: Click here
Jews interpret this lovely story as God’s love for Israel and Christians see it as the expression of pure marital love as ordained by God and pictured here as the bridegroom, Christ, and the bride, the Church. Either way, we are covenanted with God Himself. We may sometimes feel out of touch with Jesus/God, as does the girl in the story, but He has not left us. He is near even when we don’t feel His presence.
One thing I really like about Song of Songs is that the verses clearly affirm the goodness and sanctity of sex in marriage.
(excerpt from CROSSING THE SCRIPTURES, copyright 2011)