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May 26, 2008

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RevK

Ezekiel 16:8ff is also appropriate.

Great synopsis again, Bones!

"... but there is so much practical advice for our 'sex crazed' culture -- It's the perfect format for preaching to the unbeliever who is convinced that we are prudes... "Look here, God knows about sex too!" Maybe they'll come to church to listen to that..."


Brett Bonecutter

Thanks, RevK. Is that quote for real? Dare I ask who it is attributed to?

I probably should do a better job emphasizing that the covenant between God and His people is likened to the covenant of marriage. So when the covenant is renewed at the finishing of the Solomonic Temple and God's glory fills the Temple it is hard to think that marriage was far from Solomon's mind...

Theisens

What if it's all of that? What if it's God and the Church and marriage, and sexuality, and community? I wonder if that's what Solomon was talking about in this great song--more of a "yes, and...," than an "either/or".

I've recently read a book that talks about this much. It's called Sex God by Rob Bell. Here's an excerpt if you're interested:

"Exodus begins with the God of compassion, the God of justice, hearing the cry of slaves in Egypt and setting out to do something about it. God sends a man named Moses to rescue them, and it's through Moses that God makes four promises to these slaves:

'I will take you out.'

'I will rescue you.'

'I will redeem you.'

'I will take you to me.'

There's a reason why these four promises are so significant--they're the promises a Jewish groom makes to a Jewish bride. This is wedding language.

In the first century, generally a young woman would be married in her early teens, often at thirteen or fourteen. It would become known that she was now 'of age', and her father would entertain offers from the fathers of young men who were interested in marrying her. If the fathers agreed on the terms of the marriage, there would be a celebration to honor the couple and announce their engagement. At this celebration, the groom would offer the young girl a cup of wine to drink.

If she says yes (by taking the cup), then the groom goes home and begins building an addition onto his family's home. This is where he and his bride will start their new family together. And so he works..., building a place that they can call home. And here's the interesting part: he doesn't know when he's going to finish. Because he doesn't have the final say on whether it's ready. That's the father's decision. If the father has many sons, and they've all built additions, then his house is getting quite large. There are many rooms in it.

And so when she takes the glass of wine at their engagement party and drinks from it, the groom says to her: 'My father's house has plenty of room; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.'

Sound familiar? This is what Jesus says to his disciples in John 14:2-4."

I'm sure you've got a lot on your table as far as reading is concerned, but it's quick. It seriously took me like an hour to finish. And I think, all in all, it raises some of the same question/dialogue that Song of Solomon is talking about.

Brett Bonecutter

Russ - doesn't that kind of make my point, though? The larger Scriptural context is abut Christ and His bride. The King and His kingdom. It is as good as the best marriage...

Let's put it this way. Do you think there's a chance the Song of Solomon was used as worship music? I do.

Splash

Rob Bell's book, if accurate, shows why SOS is such a hard piece of Scripture to digest. It's almost entirely 'lost in translation' culturally as the Church has dissociated itself, by time and design, from its Hebrew roots.

Because let's be honest. Even though we know the marriage metaphor is valid, how many of us are actually drawn closer to God by a reading of SOS today? Beyond an academic grasp of what it's saying, I mean. Unless you poses Hildegard of Bingen-like powers of ecstatic expression.

I've always suspected EVERYONE reads too much into this. Yes, it can be used a certain devotional way, but to me it comes down to a mere (albeit valid) justification for including a majestic work of poetry in the canon of Scripture.

I do wonder, though, if indeed the "eroticism" is less valid due to Solomon's marital and spiritual infidelity, by the same token wouldn't that be an an even bigger problem for the "deep meaning" here? A picture of perfect "heavenly Bridegroom/bride" love from a wildly promiscuous spiritual adulterer?

Again for the record, I'm with you, I'm just saying...

Theisens

Yeah, and I don't disagree with you at all. My only comment was that it might be all those things, not just one or the other, and if you're interested, here's a good book on what you might already be thinking...

RevK

Sorry dude, made it up (as a general notion of what I hear out there...)

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