This is the passage I read the morning I got married. When I read Song of Solomon 8:6-7, I was overcome with a wave of emotions.
“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.”
In this moment, I was overwhelmed with the love of God in a palpable way that I had never experienced before. As I reflected on how God had led Briand and I together, how He had picked a help-mate for me that exceeded any expectations of what I would have chosen for myself, I broke down and wept tears of joy. Tears of gratitude for God’s love that He had showered me with all weekend through the sacrifices and generosity of my family and friends who worked tirelessly to make sure our day was special.
Song of Solomon is the unfolding of a beautiful love story and at the center of it all, at the core, is God’s love. The love between the groom and his bride, as fire burns within them with desire for one another, that is a flash of fire that comes from the eternal flame of Yahweh. The love that I was showered with by my friends and family that weekend was a flash of that fire. Now, when I spend time with my sweet boys and experience the unbelievable joy that they bring me, I recognize that God is embracing me with His love and I am so thankful! These flashes of fire, or glimpses of heaven, can come through a kind word from a co-worker, a selfless deed from a stranger, or a brilliant sunset bursting with color. I hope that you will recognize and experience the flashes of fire God is showing you today. His desire is for you and He wants to overwhelm you with His love.
is the wife of Brian Simmons and mother to two rambunctious and sweet boys, Johnno (4 yrs) and Judah (1 1/2 yrs). Primarily, she has the privilege of staying at home and raising her boys, but a few times a month she works as an Endoscopy RN. When she is not at home, you can find her on outdoor adventures with her family, camping and hiking and birding.
Song of Songs 5
The Bride Praises the Bridegroom
1 I have come to my garden, my sister, my spouse;
I have gathered my myrrh with my spice;
I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey;
I have drunk my wine with my milk.
(To His Friends)
Eat, O friends!
Drink, yes, drink deeply,
O beloved ones!
The Shulamite’s Troubled Evening
2 I sleep, but my heart is awake;
It is the voice of my beloved!
He knocks, saying,
“Open for me, my sister, my love,
My dove, my perfect one;
For my head is covered with dew,
My locks with the drops of the night.”
3 I have taken off my robe;
How can I put it on again?
I have washed my feet;
How can I defile them?
4 My beloved put his hand
By the latch of the door,
And my heart yearned for him.
5 I arose to open for my beloved,
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
My fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the lock.
6 I opened for my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away and was gone.
My heart leaped up when he spoke.
I sought him, but I could not find him;
I called him, but he gave me no answer.
7 The watchmen who went about the city found me.
They struck me, they wounded me;
The keepers of the walls
Took my veil away from me.
8 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
If you find my beloved,
That you tell him I am lovesick!
The Daughters of Jerusalem
9 What is your beloved
More than another beloved,
O fairest among women?
What is your beloved
More than another beloved,
That you so charge us?
10 My beloved is white and ruddy,
Chief among ten thousand.
11 His head is like the finest gold;
His locks are wavy,
And black as a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves
By the rivers of waters,
Washed with milk,
And fitly set.
13 His cheeks are like a bed of spices,
Banks of scented herbs.
His lips are lilies,
Dripping liquid myrrh.
14 His hands are rods of gold
Set with beryl.
His body is carved ivory
Inlaid with sapphires.
15 His legs are pillars of marble
Set on bases of fine gold.
His countenance is like Lebanon,
Excellent as the cedars.
16 His mouth is most sweet,
Yes, he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved,
And this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem!
Song of Songs 6
I Am My Beloved’s
The Daughters of Jerusalem
1 The Daughters of Jerusalem
Where has your beloved gone,
O fairest among women?
Where has your beloved turned aside,
That we may seek him with you?
2 My beloved has gone to his garden,
To the beds of spices,
To feed his flock in the gardens,
And to gather lilies.
3 I am my beloved’s,
And my beloved is mine.
He feeds his flock among the lilies.
Praise of the Shulamite’s Beauty
4 O my love, you are as beautiful as Tirzah,
Lovely as Jerusalem,
Awesome as an army with banners!
5 Turn your eyes away from me,
For they have overcome me.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
Going down from Gilead.
6 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep
Which have come up from the washing;
Every one bears twins,
And none is barren among them.
7 Like a piece of pomegranate
Are your temples behind your veil.
8 There are sixty queens
And eighty concubines,
And virgins without number.
9 My dove, my perfect one,
Is the only one,
The only one of her mother,
The favorite of the one who bore her.
The daughters saw her
And called her blessed,
The queens and the concubines,
And they praised her.
10 Who is she who looks forth as the morning,
Fair as the moon,
Clear as the sun,
Awesome as an army with banners?
11 I went down to the garden of nuts
To see the verdure of the valley,
To see whether the vine had budded
And the pomegranates had bloomed.
12 Before I was even aware,
My soul had made me
As the chariots of my noble people.
The Beloved and His Friends
13 Return, return, O Shulamite;
Return, return, that we may look upon you!
What would you see in the Shulamite—
As it were, the dance of the two camps?
Song of Songs 7
Expressions of Praise
1 How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
O prince’s daughter!
The curves of your thighs are like jewels,
The work of the hands of a skillful workman.
2 Your navel is a rounded goblet;
It lacks no blended beverage.
Your waist is a heap of wheat
Set about with lilies.
3 Your two breasts are like two fawns,
Twins of a gazelle.
4 Your neck is like an ivory tower,
Your eyes like the pools in Heshbon
By the gate of Bath Rabbim.
Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon
Which looks toward Damascus.
5 Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel,
And the hair of your head is like purple;
A king is held captive by your tresses.
6 How fair and how pleasant you are,
O love, with your delights!
7 This stature of yours is like a palm tree,
And your breasts like its clusters.
8 I said, “I will go up to the palm tree,
I will take hold of its branches.”
Let now your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
The fragrance of your breath like apples,
9 And the roof of your mouth like the best wine.
The wine goes down smoothly for my beloved,
Moving gently the lips of sleepers.
10 I am my beloved’s,
And his desire is toward me.
11 Come, my beloved,
Let us go forth to the field;
Let us lodge in the villages.
12 Let us get up early to the vineyards;
Let us see if the vine has budded,
Whether the grape blossoms are open,
And the pomegranates are in bloom.
There I will give you my love.
13 The mandrakes give off a fragrance,
And at our gates are pleasant fruits,
All manner, new and old,
Which I have laid up for you, my beloved.
Song of Songs 8
Lovers Reunited at Their Country Home
1 Oh, that you were like my brother,
Who nursed at my mother’s breasts!
If I should find you outside,
I would kiss you;
I would not be despised.
2 I would lead you and bring you
Into the house of my mother,
She who used to instruct me.
I would cause you to drink of spiced wine,
Of the juice of my pomegranate.
(To the Daughters of Jerusalem)
3 His left hand is under my head,
And his right hand embraces me.
4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
Do not stir up nor awaken love
Until it pleases.
Love Renewed in Lebanon
5 Who is this coming up from the wilderness,
Leaning upon her beloved?
I awakened you under the apple tree.
There your mother brought you forth;
There she who bore you brought you forth.
The Shulamite to Her Beloved
6 Set me as a seal upon your heart,
As a seal upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy as cruel as the grave;
Its flames are flames of fire,
A most vehement flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor can the floods drown it.
If a man would give for love
All the wealth of his house,
It would be utterly despised.
The Shulamite’s Brothers
8 We have a little sister,
And she has no breasts.
What shall we do for our sister
In the day when she is spoken for?
9 If she is a wall,
We will build upon her
A battlement of silver;
And if she is a door,
We will enclose her
With boards of cedar.
10 I am a wall,
And my breasts like towers;
Then I became in his eyes
As one who found peace.
11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal Hamon;
He leased the vineyard to keepers;
Everyone was to bring for its fruit
A thousand silver coins.
12 My own vineyard is before me.
You, O Solomon, may have a thousand,
And those who tend its fruit two hundred.
13 You who dwell in the gardens,
The companions listen for your voice—
Let me hear it!
14 Make haste, my beloved,
And be like a gazelle
Or a young stag
On the mountains of spices.
Man’s Treachery and God’s Constancy
To the Chief Musician. On an eight-stringed harp. A Psalm of David.
1 Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases!
For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.
2 They speak idly everyone with his neighbor;
With flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
And the tongue that speaks proud things,
4 Who have said,
“With our tongue we will prevail;
Our lips are our own;
Who is lord over us?”
5 “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy,
Now I will arise,” says the Lord;
“I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.”
6 The words of the Lord are pure words,
Like silver tried in a furnace of earth,
Purified seven times.
7 You shall keep them, O Lord,
You shall preserve them from this generation forever.
8 The wicked prowl on every side,
When vileness is exalted among the sons of men.