Read: Song of Solomon 1:9-17
Behold, you are beautiful, my love. (v. 15)
Just as no one knows for sure if the Song of Solomon was actually written by King Solomon or is just “Solomonesque,” so also no one knows exactly why this love poem, with its tricky plot line and just a passing mention of God, was first included in the Bible. There is a clue, however, in the Jewish practice of reading the Song during the Passover Seder.
Many Jewish scholars consider the Song a midrash, or commentary, upon the book of Exodus, the great salvation story of Israel. The Song shows an image of God as a faithful lover within the bonds and bounds of a covenant relationship. This biblical relationship is built on love instead of just legal obligations.
Staying in love over time has its challenges. Husbands and wives take each other for granted, our hearts and minds (and eyes) wander, and lovable quirks become irritations. Over time our experience of salvation also has its challenges. We struggle to stay alert to the glories of God’s saving grace, and our prayers may become worn out and tired. One way to avoid this is to attend to the words of this Song. That’s why the Song is read at Passover, so people hear God’s voice saying, “Behold, you are beautiful, my love.” More than anything, God loves you. Do you believe it? Read the words of the Song as addressed just to you. —Jeff Munroe
Prayer: Lord, may we hear your voice of love.