READ: Song of Songs 1-2
THINK: As the title of the book implies, ancient Jews regarded the Song of Songs as the greatest wedding song- or series of songs-ever written. King Solomon is believed to be the author, as his name appears in the title verse (1:1) and six other places throughout the song (1:5; 3:7, 9,11; 8:11-12). He's also identified as the groom (the "lover"). Originally, the book may have been a series of poems between himself and his bride, describing the couple's love and celebrating the pleasures of a faithful and passionate marriage. The fact that this "Song" is included in the Bible reminds us that God intends for us to experience emotional and physical intimacy with our spouses.
RESPOND: What's the meaning and significance of the book's title, "Song of Songs"? (See 1:1 note.) What kind of work had the young bride done in the past (1:6-7), and what does this tell you about her? (See 1:6 note.) How would you describe how the young bride thought about her man? (See 1:13 and 1:14 notes.) What did he mean when he said, "Your eyes are doves" (1:15), and what does that indicate about the woman's character? (See 1:15 note.) Why does the woman compare herself to "a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys"? (See 2:1 note.) What does verse 5 seem to tell about the effect that love had on the woman? (See 2:5 note.) What did the woman mean when she told the others girls, "Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires"? (See 2:7 note.) Why was the bride willing to wait for physical intimacy? What can happen as a result of being physically or sexually intimate before the appropriate time (after marriage)? (See 2:7 note.) What does 2:16 imply about the couple's love for each other, and how is this an example for all marriage relationships? (See 2:16 note.)
PRAY: Pray for the strength, discipline and devotion to remain sexually pure from now until marriage.
ACT: Avoid, adjust or remove from your life anything that could tempt you-or anyone around you-to compromise sexual purity in thoughts or actions. This includes staying away from or getting rid of anything that could provoke lustful or inappropriate imagination. Hang around friends that will encourage your choice to honor God in this way.
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