“Four Qualities of Love”
Song of Solomon 8:6, 7
- The topic of this one word (love) is so deep and rich that I could preach every Sunday on “love” and never even scratch the surface of all that encompasses love.
- There is the “love of God,” “God’s love for the world” and “God’s love for His sheep,” “God’s love for the church,” “Paternal love”, Maternal love,” love unconditionally and conditionally,” and on, and on we could go.
- But this morning for our Valentine’s Day message I would like to keep it as simple as I possibly can.
- As we look into the Song of Solomon 8, one commentary said that this represents
I Corinthians 13:1-8 (Which is known as “The love chapter.”)
- I personally believe that I Cor. 13 is not applicable to love in a general sense because in Paul’s letter he uses the word “charity” translated from the Greek word “agapē.”
- In my opinion, charity is an action generated out of a deep seeded love for someone or something.
- To use the word “charity” in place of the word love is like taking the word “alms” and replacing it with “tithes.”
- Charity is only “one form” of love. In brief, “love” has many forms, many qualities, many characters, many names, and many meanings.
- This morning I would like to share just four qualities of love that I feel, we as God’s children, have lost.
- Let us look at Webster’s New World Dictionary for the world’s meaning of the word “love…”
- A deep and tender feeling of affection for or devotion to a person or persons.
- An expression of one’s love of affection (Example: Give Mary my love)
- A feeling of brotherhood and goodwill toward other people.
- A strong liking for or interest in something (Example: a love of music).
- A strong usually passionate, affection of one person for another based in part on sexual attraction.
- Sexual passion, sexual intercourse
- Cupid or Eros, as the god of love.
- A score of zero in a tennis match
- God’s benevolent (kind) concern for mankind, man’s devout attachment to God.
- I am thankful that I do not take the dictionary as a sole source to help me understand the meaning of a word.
- Looking at the dictionary helps us to understand the world’s perspective on the word “love.”
- God’s perspective is completely different. And for that, I am thankful.
- The sad thing is that 99.9% of the world does not comprehend the meaning of “love” nor do they attempt to find its true meaning.
I. Love Is Unyielding
A) Set me as a seal
- Song of Songs 8:6a…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:
- “…Set me as a seal upon thine heart,” a seal of those days was something used by kings and authorities of all kinds that typically was a ring having some kind of emblem on the top of it used to signify that this has my approval, or I have support for the following or enclosed. The ring was placed on top of hot wax as a stamp on documents, government papers or court decrees, and so on.
- So, for this Solomon, he was asking the Shulamite woman to declare publically their mutual love for one another.
- When Solomon says “…for love is strong as death;” his implication is that the love bond between them was so strong they were willing to die for one another.
- “… jealousy is cruel as the grave:” I am sure that you remember our study before on this word “jealousy,” and our finding that it is not a sin in God’s eyes.
- We know that God has claimed this as part of His character in Exodus 20:5… Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
- The word “jealous” means to be watchful or careful in guarding or keeping something or someone. It is a character, sense or quality that God possesses and has given to us to protect what love.
- Many people think that the words jealous and envy mean the same thing. WRONG. Envy is a sin, jealousy is not.
- Jealousy is an act of love or affection.
- Envy is an act of hatred or ill will towards someone. It is a feeling of discontent (not satisfied). It is a resentful dislike of another who has something that one desires.
- Let us look at the word “unyielding.” It means… A desire of not wanting to give up on or not wanting to let go of something or someone.
- Love is “unyielding.” Meaning that you do not want to give up the very thing that you love.
- When we say that “Love is unyielding” we mean that love causes a person to do whatever it takes to keep the home fires burning. It means that you will never give up on your spouse no matter what they have done, what they still do or what they may do in the future.
- Unyielding love is when you are separated from your spouse you will have a deep empty feeling, a sense of vacancy in your life, there is a huge void that is like “death.”
- Unyielding love is a “seal” on the heart of your spouse that will never be removed.
II. Love Is Intense
A) Like the brightest flame
- Now let us continue in SOS 8:6b…the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
- I am sure most everyone knows what a campfire, a fireplace or for that matter any kind of fire having “coals” in it.
- The word “coals” in this verse is explained very distinctly as having a “vehement flame.”
- The word “vehement” means to act or move with great force, intense, or violence.
- A candle does not have a “vehement flame.”
- A forest fire has a “vehement flame.” It is very intense in its destruction of everything in its path. It is very hard to stop it.
B) God’s love is intense
- The love that God has for His creation is intense. This includes the heavenly bodies, His angels, His Son, and His people.
- There is no stopping the vehement love of God. Romans 8:39…Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- The basis of this verse tells us that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God …NOTHING! Because His love is of a “vehement flame.”
- Sweethearts… are you not supposed to love each other with that same kind of “vehement flame?”
- This kind of love is rare today because men lack the motivation to be Godly which creates a lack of respect by the women which raise children in a home rooted in bitterness.
- Our world today is focused on pleasing self, pride, and getting even. Agape love is a rare quality.
III. Love Is Invincible (indestructible)
A) Even while drowning in difficulty
- SOS 8:7a…Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it:
- There are two key words in this first part of verse 7 that talks of love…
- Quench – means to put out, to extinguish, to overcome, or subdue, or to satisfy.
- Drown – to cover completely with water, to flood, to cause a disappearance, to get rid of or kill by submersing.
- When the Solomon describes love as “…Many waters cannot quench love,” he is saying that “many waters” meaning many desires will come our way to take the place of our love for God, our spouse, our church, our family…but nothing can take its place.
- We may have certain things that arise in our life that “we love,” (such as chocolate, cars, another person, a teen idol, sports, etc.) But those things should never take the place of our love for God and our spouse.
- When the Solomon says “…neither can the floods drown it:” he means that there is nothing that can kill or get rid of the love I have for the Shulamite woman.
- If this kind of love existed in all marriages… the word “divorce” would not be in our vocabulary.
B) What God hath joined together
- Look at Matthew 19:3…The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4) And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5) And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6) Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
- Jesus is basically asking the Pharisees “Have you not read the book of the Law (Genesis 2:24) where God tells us that when a man and woman get married they are supposed to leave their parents support and cling to each other becoming one body, mind and soul. The two become one, not two separate people.
- The part that most people do not remember is this, “…What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” This means that if you let God direct your mate choosing, let God be involved with your every choice you two make, then no man will be able to separate you or cause you to be divorced.
- God created marriage to be a lifetime experience.
- True love is invincible. The word “invincible” means… cannot be overcome, or unconquerable. Another way to say it is “unkillable.” I do not believe that unkillable is a word but it has the meaning of not being able to have it’s life snuffed out.
- Again, it is the love of God described here “…neither can the floods drown it:”
- Have you ever tried to take a bottle that has a sealed cap on it and try to keep it under water? You cannot drown it. It keeps bobbing its way to the top. No matter what you do, it still comes to te surface of the water.
IV. Love Is Priceless
A) It cannot be bought
- In closing, look at our text of SOS 8:7b…if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned (to think of, or considered to be worthless.)
- In other words… if a man would trade all that his house has in it for the love of something or someone else, then his love is only as valuable as the stuff in his house. There is a price tag on his love which in essence renders his love “worthless.”
- True love cannot be bought. There is nothing that you would trade for the love you have for God, for your spouse, your family, or church.
- I might add that we have had many deaf people come to our church since our 2005 reorganization of the Silent Bible Baptist Church. Many have joined our church and then left our church. I must say…that probably 95% of those people did not have a true love for our church. That is why they left.
- People who jump from church to church, woman to woman, man to man, job to job, faith to faith…do not have “true love.”
- True love is… Unyielding, Intense, Invincible, and Priceless. Meaning that nothing or no one can move you away from it, make you stop loving it, or ruin your thoughts that guide your actions towards keeping it.
- Do you possess these 4 qualities in your heart for God, for your spouse, and for your church? If not, ask God to help you to possess these 4 qualities.
Ask God to help you possess these four qualities in your love life,
if you do not have them.