Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 6--2nd Quarter 2019--The Royal Love Song  (Read 612 times)

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Wally

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Lesson 6 May 4-10





The Royal Love Song







Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon






So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Sabbath Afternoon


Read for This Week’s Study: Song of Solomon; Gen. 2:7; 1 Cor. 7:3-5; John 17:3; 1 John 1:9; Rom. 1:24-27; Gal. 5:24.

Memory Text: “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love [is] strong as death; jealousy [is] cruel as the grave: the coals thereof [are] coals of fire, [which hath a] most vehement flame.” Song of Solomon 8:6

Among the seasons of life, one of the big ones is marriage. Again, not everyone marries, but for those who do, marriage brings special challenges, and special blessings, as well. Among those blessings is the wonderful gift of sexuality. What a powerful expression of love this gift, in the right time and the right place, can be. Contrary to popular opinion, the Bible is not against sex. It’s against the misuse of this wonderful gift from the Creator to human beings.

In fact, the Song of Solomon, one of the smallest and perhaps one of the least-read books of the Bible, describes the relationship between a young bride, Shulamite, and her beloved, who is believed to be King Solomon himself. The book unfolds the mysteries of human intimacy and the delights of conjugal love in marriage. Although the Song of Solomon has frequently been treated allegorically as a symbol of the relationship of God and God’s people or of Christ and the church, it is first of all a poem on the love found in the very real human relationship of a man and woman.

Amen. And as we come to understand our Christian faith, and are converted, we will understand that in all things it is more blessed to give than to receive. This includes in marriage in the love expressed in all ways.


This week we will look at marriage as portrayed in this Old Testament book.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, May 11.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Sunday         May 5

Indivisible Life


Based on the following passages, how would you characterize the Bible’s view of the human body? Gen. 2:7; Ps. 63:1; 84:2; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; 1 Thess. 5:23.

Some religions believe in dualism, a philosophy that views the human body as a problem for the life of the spirit. That is, the body is deemed bad while the “spirit” is deemed good. In Scripture, however, the human body, including its sexual characteristics, is integral to the whole being. Life is “body” and “spirit” (see Gen. 2:7). The psalmist gives the whole of himself in worship to God (Ps. 63:1, 84:2). The total person is to be sanctified, set apart for the holy purpose God intended.

It is true that the actions of the body are to be holy and undefiled, but the body itself, the flesh, is not holy. We do not believe in "holy flesh." It is the Spirit that makes the heart holy, but not the flesh. The body must be kept under by the power of grace taken into the heart. Paul says it clearly: "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." 1 Cor. 9:27.

This is important that we understand. The mind is carnal before we are converted. But, after we give it to Christ, both mind and heart are cleansed and are holy, but not the body (flesh). Understanding this will help to understand the Bible. To be carnal is to be in a lost state, to be captive to the law of sin and death. Read Romans eight, verses one through fourteen.We must be filled with the Spirit in order to have salvation and eternal life. Then the Spirit will keep the body (flesh) under, for it is evil by nature. Thus, the motives, and the deeds will be in harmony with what we know to be right. More than this, all of the fruits of the spirit will seen in the life, not one will be missing.

A positive view of the human body, in the context of sexual relations, is reflected in the Song of Solomon. How do these texts reveal this attitude? Song of Sol. 1:2, 13; 2:6; 5:10-16; 7:1-9.

Throughout this sacred text the human body is admired. The physical aspects of married love are not an embarrassment. A full range of emotions is openly presented.

Powerful sexual taboos typically exist in many cultures. Married couples thus often find it difficult to communicate in healthy ways regarding their intimate life. Similarly, children are often deprived of the opportunity to learn about sexuality in the setting of a Christian home where godly values can be integrated with accurate information. The Bible’s openness with sexuality calls His people to a greater level of comfort with this topic so that this vital aspect of life is treated with the respect and dignity due so great a gift from the Creator.

How can we protect ourselves against cultural and moral forces that either make sexuality into nothing but degrading animal passion or turn it into something shameful that must never be talked about? How does the Bible show us that both extremes are wrong?

The answer is always the same. We cannot counterfeit the good, we must be fully surrendered to Christ in order to be unselfish when it comes to marriage and everything in it. It is more blessed to give than to receive. In order to be more considerate of our spouse, we must be dead to self. Then we are truly blessed and will have great joy.


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Monday          May 6

The Loves of the Love Song

Describe various aspects of love presented in the Song of Solomon. Song of Sol. 1:2, 13; 2:10-13, 16; 3:11; 4:1-7; 5:16; 6:6; 7:1-9; 8:6, 7.

The Song of Solomon shows how friends spend time together, communicate openly, and care about each other. In the Song of Solomon, two good friends become married partners. The wife declares, “This is my friend” (Song of Sol. 5:16). The word friend expresses companionship and friendship without the overtones of sexual partnership. Happy is the husband or wife whose spouse is a dear friend.

Throughout the poem, intimate compliments and loving gestures convey the strong attraction, the physical and emotional delight that the male and female find in each other. The natural intimacies of romantic love are a gift of the Creator, to help partners bond closely to each other in marriage. As partners are open to the work of divine love in their hearts, their human love is “refined and purified, elevated and ennobled”. – Ellen G. White, The Adventist Home, p. 99.

These verses also convey the loftiest of thoughts about love. True love, though, is not natural to the human heart; it is a gift of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). Such love bonds husband and wife in a lasting union. It is the committed love so desperately needed in the parent-child relationship to build a sense of trust in the young. It is the self-giving love that binds believers together in the body of Christ. The Song of Solomon calls us to make this love an active force in our relationships with our spouses.

Amen, and when that example of true love is missing in the family, what then do the children have for an example?


How does this kind of intimacy reflect, in its own way, the kind of intimacy we can have with God? What are some parallels one can draw (for example, spending time, giving completely of ourselves, et cetera)? What other parallels are there?

When we know the character of someone very well, what kind of experience can we have with them? We cannot know friends as well as we can know our spouse. We can know the character of God and love Him even more than a human spouse. Why it that? Is it possible that a spouse may become unfaithful? Is it possible for God to be unfaithful to us? Of course not! His love and promises are such that we can count on God no matter what when we love Him more than life itself.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Tuesday         May 7

A Loving Knowledge

Many have seen a “return to Eden” theme in the Song of Solomon. Though the couple described is not the first man and woman, the poem calls to mind the earliest garden. God’s plan that they be “one flesh” (Gen. 2:24, 25) is portrayed throughout in delicate metaphors and symbols.

How does the Song of Solomon present a commitment to mutuality in the intimate life of the married couple? Song of Sol. 4:7-5:1. How is Paul’s instruction of 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 similar?

Solomon invites her, “Come with me” (Song of Sol. 4:8 ). His bride responds. Later she invites him, “Let my beloved come into his garden” (Song of Sol. 4:16). He responds (Song of Sol. 5:1). Scripture here teaches there is to be no force or manipulation in this intimate setting. Into this relationship both partners freely and lovingly enter. “My garden” is “his garden”.

“Solomon” and “Shulamith” share names that are derivatives of the Hebrew shalom, “peace”, or “wholeness”. Their admiration is mutual (Song of Sol. 4:1-5, 5:10-16). The balance in their relationship is evidenced even in the poetic style of paired lines and verses. The covenant expression “My beloved is mine, and I am his” (Song of Sol. 2:16) echoes the language of Eden, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Gen. 2:23).

Amen! And this is not possible unless there is a mutual love based upon a complete surrender of the heart and mind to Christ. We are evil by nature. We must be partakers of God's divine nature in order to be able give unselfish love to our spouse. When it comes to such intimacy spoken of in the Song of Solomon, it cannot be faked. Either we are able to love as Jesus loves us, or we cannot. We must have His Spirit in order to keep the evil flesh under control. In the marriage relationship, this is truly experienced. And what woman does not desire this? And even though worldly culture does not portray this, men will desire the same.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Wednesday         May 8

Love at the Right Time

Read Song of Solomon 4:8-5:1.

Song of Solomon 4:16 and 5:1 form the very center of this book and describe, as it were, its climax as the marriage between Solomon and the Shulamite is consummated.

To what is Solomon referring in the following passages? Song of Sol. 4:12, 16; 5:1; 8:8-10.

In the Song of Solomon, we find some of Scripture’s most compelling evidence for God’s plan that people remain sexually chaste until marriage. One of the most powerful is a reference to the Shulamite’s childhood, when her brothers wondered whether she would be a “wall” or a “door” (Song of Sol. 8:8, 9). In other words, will she remain chaste until marriage (a wall), or be promiscuous (a door). As an adult woman, she affirms that she has maintained her chastity and comes pure to her husband: “I am a wall” (Song of Sol. 8:10). In fact, he confirms that she is still a virgin up to their wedding night by saying that she is “a garden inclosed … a spring shut up, a fountain sealed” (Song of Sol. 4:12). From her own experience, she can counsel her friends to take the steps of love and marriage very carefully. Three times in the Song of Solomon the Shulamite addresses a group of women referred to as the “daughters of Jerusalem” to counsel them not to arouse the intense passion of love until the appropriate time (Song of Sol. 2:7, 3:5, 8:4), that is, until they find themselves safely within the intimate covenant of marriage, as is she.

For the second time in the poem the beloved invites his bride to come away with him (Song of Sol. 2:10, 4:8 ). Before the wedding she could not accept his invitation, but now it is she who invites him to her garden (Song of Sol. 4:16), and he gladly accepts (Song of Sol. 5:1). He is not just attracted to her beauty; she has stolen his heart (Song of Sol. 4:9), he is intoxicated with her love (Song of Sol. 4:10), and he is exuberant that she is his and nobody else’s now, and forever: “My bride, my very own, you are a garden, a fountain closed off to all others” (Song of Sol. 4:12, CEV). In his union to this perfect woman he finds himself as reaching the Promised Land: “Your lips are a honeycomb; milk and honey flow from your tongue” (Song of Sol. 4:11, CEV).

What good news is there for individuals who regret their wrong choices in the expression of their sexuality? 1 John 1:9; compare Ps. 103:12, Isa. 55:7, John 8:11.

In many cultures of this world,  it is rare to find women who have remained pure and chaste until marriage.  It is even more rare to find men who have remained pure. Thus the relationship spoken of in Scripture will not be found. But, this does not mean that God cannot give to repentant sinners an experience that is glorious when marriage is based on Christian love. Those who have been forgiven much, love much. Give me one baby Christian and we can change the world. So in the marriage relationship. If Christ is the center of the marriage, the a three fold cord is not easily broken. The key to such a relationship is that both parties are thoroughly converted and have developed Christian character that has been proved over time.  And, even if children have not previously had such an example, it is possible that they can still see such an example in the lives of their parents.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
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Thursday         May 9

Safeguarding the Creator’s Gift

God had a special purpose in creating humankind as male and female (Gen. 1:26-28). While each bears His image, the joining of gender opposites in the “one flesh” of marriage reflects the unity within the Godhead in a special way. The union of male and female also provides for procreation of a new life, an original human expression of the divine image.

What attitude does Scripture take toward sexual practices not in keeping with the Creator’s plan? Lev. 20:7-21, Rom. 1:24-27, 1 Cor. 6:9-20.

Scripture disapproves of all that alters or destroys God’s image in humankind. By placing certain sexual practices off limits, God guides His people toward the right purposes of sexuality. When human experience is confronted by God’s precepts, the soul is convicted of sin.

What guidance is given Christian believers for relating to their sexuality and that of others in a fallen world? Rom. 8:1-14; 1 Cor. 6:15-20; 2 Cor. 10:5; Gal. 5:24; Col. 3:3-10; 1 Thess. 5:23, 24.

Believers wait for release from the corruption of sin at Christ’s return. They wait in faith, considering themselves dead to sin through Christ’s death on the cross and alive in Him through His resurrection. Through unceasing prayer, watchfulness, and the power of the Spirit, they treat their sinful nature as crucified and seek to obey Christ in their thoughts. They acknowledge God’s ownership of their bodies and sexuality and use them according to His divine plan.

God forgives those who repent of sin (1 John 1:9). The gospel enables individuals who formerly engaged in promiscuity and sinful sexual activity to be part of the fellowship of believers. Because of the extent to which sin has altered sexuality in humanity, some may not be able to know full restoration in this aspect of human experience. Some, for example, might choose a life of celibacy rather than get involved in any sexual relationships that are forbidden by God’s Word.

If God can keep me from sinning, this is the greatest miracle that He can do. He can do this and does do it. What can God not do? He cannot convert one who refuses to come to Him just as he is. When converted, we will have power to do all that He asks of us. We will not be tempted beyond what we can bear as long as we are fully surrendered to Christ. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus. We will love our enemy and be filled with the Holy Spirit. We will keep the body under at all times. If we allow the mind to wander away from Christ, we will not have power to keep the body under and we will sin just as did Moses at the end of his life.

How should we as a church relate to, for instance, homosexuals? How should their own attitude about their sexual orientation influence our response?

We are to relate to homosexuals in the same manner we relate to other sinners. Those who commit adultery, we are to love, but we do not allow them into church membership until converted. Is this not the same for all who are not dead to self no matter what their sins? One needs to be fully surrendered to Christ and manifest evidence of such character before baptism.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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  • Posts: 40420
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Friday          May 10

Further Thought: “Marriage has received Christ’s blessing, and it is to be regarded as a sacred institution. True religion is not to counterwork the Lord’s plans. God ordained that man and woman should be united in holy wedlock, to raise up families that, crowned with honor, would be symbols of the family in heaven. And at the beginning of His public ministry Christ gave His decided sanction to the institution that had been sanctioned in Eden. Thus He declared to all that He will not refuse His presence on marriage occasions, and that marriage, when joined with purity and holiness, truth and righteousness, is one of the greatest blessings ever given to the human family”. – Ellen G. White, Daughters of God, pp. 180, 181.
 
Amen! But, what if marriage is not joined with "purity and holiness, truth and righteousness." Then what? We see the results in the church today. The divorce rate is what it is in the world. What can be done to change this? It would help if pastors would teach what it means to join marriage with "purity and holiness." Many do not teach that it is possible to  pure or holy, or righteous. Thus, we find individuals in a marriage who are not walking in the light of God's truth, making excuses for their sins. They have been taught and believe that Romans chapter seven is the Christian experience. That we do that which we ought not do, and we do not do that which we ought to do. They believe that the converted Christian remains a captive to the law of sin which is in their members. Thus the marriage is bound to fail because they think they are rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, thinking they have eternal life while sinning.

As the Song of Solomon showed, sexual love can be a wonderful thing in marriage. But a lasting relationship cannot be based simply on the outward beauty and physical delights. Our bodies age and decay, and no amount of diet, exercise, or plastic surgery will keep us looking forever young. Solomon and the Shulamite’s marriage is a lifelong, committed relationship. Three times they affirm that they belong to each other (Song of Sol. 2:16, 6:3, 7:10). The first time it’s a recognition of mutual ownership (compare with Eph. 5:21, 33). The second time she reverses the order in affirmation of her submission (also Eph. 5:22, 23). The third time it expresses his desire for her (Eph. 5:24-32). Love like this cannot be drowned (Song of Sol. 8:7), it’s like a seal that cannot be broken (Song of Sol. 8:6).

A marriage based on outward beauty will not bring happiness because Christ is not there. It makes no difference even if the beauty remained for hundreds of years. Christ must have the heart before we can love unselfishly. And, without unselfish love, there will not be the love that all desire. Greed will not bring the happiness that unselfish love brings into a marriage relationship.


Discussion Questions:

    How does Solomon’s description of his wife as perfect (Song of Sol. 4:1-5, 6:8, and 7:1-9) compare to Adam’s expression when he first saw Eve? (Gen. 2:23, CEV). How should husbands then relate to their own wives? (Eph. 5:28, 29).

Husbands ought to be more concerned with character than with perfection of physical beauty. "   In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works." 1 Timothy 2;9, 10.  Proverbs tells us what a husband ought to value in a wife: "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price [is] far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."  31:10-12.


    Some have seen in the book of Song of Solomon an allegory of the relation that exists between God and His people or between Jesus and His church. While one must be careful to not over-allegorize, what features of the relationship between these two people can be compared to our relationship with God? Also compare to Isa. 54:4, 5; Jer. 3:14; 2 Cor. 11:2.

The loveliness of Jesus who reflects the character of our heavenly Father is such that when we know Him, we will love Him with a love that far surpasses a human love.  Why? Because God does not change. He can be counted on no matter what. God is God and worthy of our love. It ought to surpass all else. "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."  Matthew 10:37. The relationship seen in the Song of Solomon does indeed express God's love for us and how we ought to love Him. We can look at this relationship in two ways. If we have a marriage where two people love Jesus supremely, then we can better understand God's love for us. If we want to know what a marriage ought to be like, then let us consider how God loves us.


    Read Proverbs 31:26, Song of Solomon 5:16, and Proverbs 25:11. How important are our words in tearing down or building up our spouse and weakening or strengthening our marriage? Use the following texts as further illustration: James 1:26, 3:5-11.

We need to understand who we are and our great need of Christ at all times. We are evil by nature. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Who has the heart? If Christ has it, then the words we speak with be uplifting. If the heart is not fully given to Christ, then the carnal heart will reveal something else. We cannot bridle the tongue. Do we understand this? We cannot fake a love we do not have. If self is alive, if the heart is carnal, if we do not love Jesus with the whole heart, then our words will come from a selfish motive. What will this do to a marriage relationship? We are either a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. Do we understand this? Or do we remain in a Laodicean condition wherein we have no spiritual discernment? If we are not fully surrendered to Jesus, then we will not be able to be a strength to anyone including the one we love. We need Jesus all of the time in order to reflect Him all the  time. And, if we know we are not in Christ, then we ought to keep the mouth closed.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.