Remember Your Vows: Song of Songs 3:6-11 Sermon Notes

Posted: July 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

Remember Your Vows: Song of Songs 3:6-11

Ancient Near Eastern Covenants were agreements, vows or contracts that were sealed with blood to mark their seriousness. For example, see Genesis 15 where Abraham marks the covenant with God by cut up a number of animals including a cow! (That would’ve been a chore in that day and age!).

 In many modern Middle East weddings, blood is still part of the ceremony because it too is a legal contract or covenant. 

 What does that have to do with Song of Songs? Let’s look at 3:6-11

6 What is that coming up from the wilderness
like columns of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
with all the fragrant powders of a merchant?
7 Behold, it is the litter of Solomon!
Around it are sixty mighty men,
some of the mighty men of Israel,
8 all of them wearing swords
and expert in war,
each with his sword at his thigh,
against terror by night.
9 King Solomon made himself a carriage 
from the wood of Lebanon.
10 He made its posts of silver,
its back of gold, its seat of purple;
its interior was inlaid with love
by the daughters of Jerusalem.
11 Go out, O daughters of Zion,
and look upon King Solomon,
with the crown with which his mother crowned him
on the day of his wedding,
on the day of the gladness of his heart.

 What is going on? It is a wedding procession.  The bride is reflecting back on their wedding–to a time of promise, hope, excitement and security.

We still view weddings this way (even though we have taken out the blood), we recite vows (or covenant pledges) before God and human witnesses and then seal the agreement with rings.  Did I mention we recite these vows before God?

 Vows with- and before God were irrevocable and still are!  This is why God hates divorce. 

 Now let me throw another one at you…sex is also a vow resulting in instant marriage.  Huh? Yep, you read that right.  In the eyes of God, to have sex with someone is to pledge yourself to that person forever. 

 Hopefully, that will make you pause and think for a moment about how serious God takes sex, marriage and the very words you use.  Unfortunately, we have cheapened all of those things, haven’t we?

Those of us who follow Jesus have also entered into covenant. He is our God and we are to be His people but here is the kicker, a covenant is simply the way you structure a relationship.  In the relationship that we all have with God (and we all do because He made us and, ultimately, we are all accountable to Him whether we want to be or not), He is willing to do all the heavy lifting. 

We have all sinned or rebelled against God, which is a cosmic form of treason deserving death but Jesus is willing to pay the penalty for your sins if you confess, turn from a life of seeking them and pledge your loyalty to Him. 

Moreover, according to texts such as 2 Corinthians 5:21, Jesus then grants his perfect life to us so that we are judged by it and not our own.  The result? Reconciliation with God and eternal life. 

What does He ask in return? Honesty, keeping our word, faithfulness, caring for the poor, the lonely, the imprisoned and the sick, which ultimately results in a life well-lived. 

So, I ask you again, who does all the work?  How should we respond? In awe, gratitude and worship.

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