Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved? Under the apple tree I roused you; there your mother conceived you, there she who was in labor gave you birth. Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned. – Song of Solomon 8:5-7
This is the last water-related passage in the Song of Solomon. It has been an interesting book. If I had to sum up the entire book in one sentence it would be “Love is a powerful thing.” As powerful a thing as it is between a man and woman the love that God has for us, and we are to have for God, is even more powerful. Can we describe our love for God as a “blazing fire” or a “mighty flame”? If I am honest I do not think I can claim that level of passion and pursuit of God on a consistent basis.
The passage begins with an interesting sentence. Someone emerges from the wilderness leaning on their beloved. The destination is an apple tree. This is a very busy apple tree. It is the site of rousing, conception, and childbirth all under the same tree. “love is as strong as death”. In the case of Jesus, love is even stronger than death. I think it would be appropriate to describe Jesus’ love for His disciples, and us, as “like blazing fire, like a mighty flame”. What he called on His disciples and us to do is to return this love in kind. But this is hard.
We are constantly allowing “many waters” to dowse our passion and pursuit of God. Our love is often “swept away” by rivers of distraction in the form of earthly pain and pleasures. Job was an example of a person whose passion for God survived many waters and wave upon wave of distraction. It is difficult to maintain a fiery love of God amidst a constant dowsing with water, but that is what God has asked of us. Fiery love that will not be doused.
Prayer: God You love us with passion and fire, help us to love You with a blazing fire that cannot be dowsed by many waters.