Song of Solomon ideas: Mary J. Blige- Real Love I.
Introduction a. Love is an emotion b. Love is an action c. Real love is both
II. Love is a promise a. To not give up (vs 6) b. To not leave (vs 7a) III. Love is priceless (vs 7b) IV. Conclusion
Promise to love me because: 1. Love is strong as death a physical death is promised to all of us and once physical death happens, there is no coming back from it. It is permanent. No one, since Jesus Christ, has ever beat death. So, when love is as strong as death, it means that her love is so strong that it will last forever, just like physical death lasts forever. 2. Jealousy is as fierce as the grave God’s name is Jealous (Exodus 34:14) and wants worship from His people. He is jealous for the worship of His own name from His people. He is provoked to jealousy when His people worship idols (Psalm 78:58). So, when jealousy is as fierce as the grave, it means that her heart/mind are passionately devoted to this man forever, just like the grave is forever. 3. Love flashes like a flash of fire, the brightest kind of flame (the very flame of the Lord). Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it out “The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.”- Exodus 13:22; “Take care, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make a carved image, the form of anything that the Lord your God has forbidden you. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”- Deut 4:23-24; 1 Kings 18:38-39; When the flame of the Lord endures forever and is all consuming. He led HIS people faithfully by clouds and fire to the land He promised. His love consumes every other idol that we want more than God. God’s flame lasts forever. His promise to lead His people and be their only God lasts forever. Waters that won’t drown out love means that no other man and no other thing can extinguish the love she has for him. 4. Love is priceless: Real love is the most expensive thing in the world. It is so expensive that no one can buy it and no one can earn it. TV shows try to talk
about it, movies try to act it out, and singers write lyrics about it. Even rappers will have atleast 1-2 songs on their albums about love for man/woman. Why is real love, God’s love, the type of love that builds marriages that last forever, priceless? You are going to think I am crazy- because it is free. Most are missing this love because they are busy trying to earn it for themselves, or trying get others to earn it from them. But God loves us when we don’t deserve it! (Eph 2:4-5). He freely gives us all of us rich mercy and kindness in giving us His Son, who died in our place at the Cross. Even our faith is a gift from God. So, marital love, comes to the other person when they are at their worst, and lays down their life for the good of the other person so they may see the love Christ has for him or her.
Real Love (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)
I have a question that I want you all to think about. I am about to ask you all the 2nd most important question in the entire world. Are you ready for it? Here it is: “What is real love?” Don’t answer out loud. Just think about it (pause 30-60 seconds). Maybe you are wondering, “what is the most important question in the entire world?” I’ll tell ya that one too. The most important question in the entire world is, “Who is God?” If you know the answer to the most important question, then the answer to the 2nd most important question is real easy. So, lets start by talking of some ways that people often define real love:
a. Love is an emotion: people who define love like this often say “I have fallen in love with him.” Or they say, “My feelings are just so strong for her.” They love their significant others based on how they are feeling if the passionate “feeling” goes away, their commitment to love does too b. Love is an action: people who define love like this often do things for the other person because they are “supposed to.” Ladies, think about your man buying you the prettiest roses and when you thank him he says, “No problem- just doing my job.” Or, fellas, what if you come home from a hard day at work, and your girl has made your favorite meal and you thank her and she says, “Don’t worry bout it- just doing what a wife is supposed to.” c. What I am hoping to show us tonight is that Real Love is both. It is a promise to never give up and to never leave. Real love is also priceless- it costs more than the richest person can afford. A promise is a spoken word that is lived out, but when something is as priceless as real love, you cannot help but feel joyful, happy, excited, and passionate about it.
This is the type of love that leads a man and a woman to marriage and keeps them married for the rest of their lives on this earth. And it doesn’t just keep them married- it keeps them happily married! This is the type of love that lasts forever. Wouldn’t you like to know about that love? But, there is only one way to know about real love- you have to know God. You have to know the way that He loves us if you want any hope of having real love in your life.
II. Love is a promise (vs 6-7a) In the Bible, the word “seal” is often used to show possession. In the literal sense, it was an outward sign that showed who that person was (Genesis 38:16) or who they belonged to (Exodus 28:36). Think of it as a stamp that was placed on an object that showed that the object was owned by that person. But it didn’t just show who someone belonged to. Figuratively, it was a sign of a lifelong commitment. If someone made a promise and it was sealed, it meant that they were going to keep that promise to you forever. For example, if a king made a promise that was sealed, it could not be broken (Esther 8:8). What this woman is saying to the man is, “Promise me that I will be yours forever.” -
If you promise to love someone forever, what exactly are you promising to do?
A. Love is a promise to never leave (vs 6b)- The writer compares love and jealousy to death- this means that they last forever. When someone physically dies, they are not coming back to life. Only one person has ever done that- His name is Jesus. To be married means that you are committed to stay with her until the grave. You are committed to stay married to him until you are dead. Does that type of commitment scare you? If so, why? Here are a few potential reasons: 1. I am going to mess it up 2. My husband/wife is going to mess it up 3. I don’t like being tied down to one person the rest of my life 4. My family has never had good marriages If that is where you are at tonight, the first thing I would say is- be honest about it! The second thing I would ask you to do is consider Jesus, and then consider yourself. In marriage, you are going to mess up and your husband/wife will too. But if you know Jesus, you know Someone who never messed up. If you don’t like being tied down to one person, consider Jesus. He never left His people, even though His people were never faithful to Him. He was so committed to His bride (the church) that He died for her (John 10:10-15). Maybe your family never had good marriages, so you think that you are cursed. Consider Jesus and the miracle of salvation. Our greatest curse is not a history of bad marriages, but sin. Sin is what leads to broken marriages, but on the
Cross, Jesus Christ paid the penalty for every sin that caused every bad marriage your family has ever seen. By trusting in Jesus, you become a new person that is not defined by failed marriages of the past- instead, you have the mind of Jesus Christ (Phil 2:3-4) and the ability to love your husband/wife as Jesus loved us because he overcame death- He overcame our every failure.
Check out verse 6 again. Isn’t it sinful to be jealous? How can jealousy be a part of “real love”? In the Bible, the word jealous is used to describe God’s personality just as often as it is used to describe sinful people. What is it that makes people jealous? (illustration)
The Bible says that we get jealous when another person has something that we want (James 4:2). It can be money, it can be a woman or a man, it could be a job, a car, attention, talents (like singing, rapping, or dancing), or it could be fame. Here is the problem: we don’t just want these things- we get ANGRY when we can’t have them. It causes us to argue with others, get frustrated, and bitter. Why? Because we want what the other person has more than we want what God offers us.
But, part of God’s character is jealousy, but God never sins. This is what the Bible says, “You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.”- Exodus 34:14
God is jealous. What makes God jealous? His relationship with His people. God wants your heart to completely and totally want Him. He doesn’t want you to worship sex, money, drugs, fame, cars, pornography, or even a job- He wants all your worship and affections to be for Him alone. That is the type of jealously this woman is talking about in verse 6. Remember last week, we talked about how the goal of marriage is to be one and to show off being one. This woman is saying to her husband, I want all your love and affection to be completely for me as long as you live. I want you to want me when I am 25 years old with long beautiful hair, and I want you to want me when I am 80 years old with gray hair. I want you to romance me in our first year of marriage and I want you to romance me in our 50th year of marriage. Why is this not sin? Because the goal of marriage is to display the love that Jesus has for the church. When a husband is jealous for His bride and committed to wanting her for their entire marriage, it shows a picture of Jesus’ passionate love for and commitment to the church
B. Love is a promise to never give up (vs 6b-7a) Real love is a promise to stick it out when things get tough. It says that love is like the brightest kind of flame and that waters/rivers can’t drown that flame. It keeps burning no matter what you throw on it.
Is it possible to never leave a marriage, but to give up? If so, what are some ways that you can give up on the person you love or care about? You stop wanting to know them. You stop praying for them. You stop talking to them about real things. Men begin to stop providing financially for their families. You stop being a daddy that is there for his children. You stop being a wife who respects her husband and commits to raising godly children. You avoid all conflict. You stop serving each other. You stop asking for forgiveness. You stop offering your forgiveness. You stop loving each other sexually. You stop leading her to worship and love Jesus. You stop wanting to be led by him and you stop encouraging him to trust Jesus
God’s love is described in the Bible as an all consuming fire (Deut 4:25) (Illustration ). God’s love burns up every other thing that we worship or love more than Him. This is so that we will be overcome by His love so that we turn away from fake loves that will not satisfy our souls. This woman is saying that her love for her husband will not only keep burning when things get tough, but that it will burn away everything that tries to quench that flame. -
It burns away you having to win every argument
It burns away laziness
It burns away finding comfort in drunkenness and drugs
It burns away you being a control freak
It burns away you being a coward
It burns away you being harsh/judgmental
It burns away you being over critical
It burns away being afraid of one another
It burns away anxiety
It burns away you not listening
It burns away your lack of compassion
When we are consumed by God’s love, all these things that cause us to give up will burn away because our greatest desire will be to love God and for our boyfriend/ girlfriend/husband/wife to love Him too. So, this real love doesn’t leave and it doesn’t give up, but it is also valuable. It is priceless
III. Love is priceless (7b) Real love is the most expensive thing in the world. It is so expensive that no one can pay for it. It cannot be earned, either. Musicians sing/rap about it, actors/actresses
make movies about it, and authors write books about it. It is the type of love that everyone wants to find. Here is what Mary J. Blige says about Real Love: You see I'm searching for a real love And I don't know where to go I've been around the world and high and low And still will never know How it feels to have a real love Cuz it seems there's none around I gotta end it in this way Because seems he can't be found
What does that tell you about this type of love? It is rare. The writer says that if a man tried to buy love with everything that he owned, he would be despised. Why? Because this love can’t be bought! Trying to buy this love with stuff is like saying that whatever you exchange for this love is as valuable as that love. So, how do you get this real love if it can’t be bought or earned?
You are going to like this answer. It is free! Most people spend their entire lives trying to earn this love from other people or from God. But God has already made this real love completely available to you. How?
God came down to us as a man, named Jesus. If you want to see what real love looks like, look at how Jesus lived. He came to us with a perfect emotional love he cried at the effects of sin, he felt compassion for broken and hurting people, and he became angry when people did not love God. His love was also a perfect action He committed to discipling 12 men, even when they continuously failed
Holman Bible Dictionary Crossway Comprehensive Concordance