Skip to content

6

If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love,
It would be utterly despised.

Song of Songs 8:7 NASB

The Shepherd Kings offers three statements about love in this passage. They point to the greatest powers we know. We’ve looked at the fact that love is stronger than death. We’ve seen how the fire of love is an unquenchable fire. The third strongest power in man’s world?

Money

This incomparable love the Shepherd King has for His bride is beyond price. The very thought of paying for God’s love is despicable.

The story of Simon the sorcerer and Peter makes this plain.

Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, saying, "Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! - Acts 8:18-20 NASB

The indwelling Spirit of the Living God is the most generous outpouring of the Father’s love after the blood of His own dear Son. Simon offered to buy that which God gives for free to any who come and follow Him.

Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him". - John 14:23 NASB

True love is not swayed by money. Purchased love is no love. Earned love if no love. If a man buys love, it’s called prostitution. Would it be the same thing if we spent our effort and labor to gain love? Would it be prostitution? When we work to earn God’s favor, we call it religion, but isn’t it just another form of the oldest trade? Aren’t we treating God like some painted lady when we attempt to purchase His blessings with our good behavior? [Tweet this]

It’s a disgrace to grace when we attempt to manipulate God.

We do it when we try to give to get rich.

We do it when we try to sing to attract God.

We do it when we try to pile up good works hoping to out-weigh our sin.

You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? - Galatians 3:1-3 NASB

I close with the words of those ancient philosophers John and Paul:

Money can’t buy me love.

benheadshot1Thanks for stopping by,

See you again soon,

Ben

6

photo credit: Love from the sky via photopin (license)
photo credit: Love from the sky via photopin (license)

For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;

Song of Songs 8:6 NASB

This couplet is loaded. Were there ever two stronger statements about the love Jesus has for His bride. As you probably have noticed, I'm intrigued by words. And these two lines carry six strong words.

Love
Strong
Death
Jealousy
Severe
Sheol

Striking, aren’t they?

Other than love and death each is translated in many ways, and we’ll take a look as some of those variations.

But first - to love.

Remember, we’re in the Hebrew here, so this is not one of the Greek words for love - though in the Septuagint (a Greek translation of the Old Testament) a form of agape is used here.

I am no Greek or Hebrew scholar (I’m no scholar at all (I had to look up the word scholar)) but what I can tell you is that the word love here is the word used for Jacob’s love for Rachel - it’s a form of the word used to describe Abraham's love for Isaac when God commanded him to sacrifice Isaac on the mountain. It’s as close to agape as we’ll find in the Hebrew.

Now in 1 Corinthians 13, agape is defined for us:

Love
is patient,
is kind
is not jealous;
does not brag
is not arrogant,
does not act unbecomingly;
does not seek its own,
is not provoked,
does not take into account a wrong suffered,
does not rejoice in unrighteousness,
rejoices with the truth;
bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NASB (tweaked)

But this love Jesus has for His bride as described in Song of Songs 8:6—well—is this the same animal?

Let’s look at these compelling words and how others have translated this verse:

Strong: overpowering, powerful, invincible.

Jealousy: devotion, passion, ardent love, desire, envy.

Severe: unyielding, strong, unrelenting, intense, hard, cruel, fierce, enduring, sharp, relentless.

Sheol: grave, death itself, hell.

So, for today, my paraphrase would sound something like this:

The love Jesus has for us is as invincible as death.
His passion for us is as unrelenting as hell itself.

Last week we looked at Paul’s declaration of how invincible divine love is from Romans 8:

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:35-39 NASB

And incase you are wondering how unrelenting hell is—Solomon put it this way:

Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied. - Proverbs 27:20 NKJV

All the power of heaven and hell are wrapped up in the Father’s love for us. Let this sink in. A revelation of this love will change you completely. It will complete ruin low self-esteem. It will destroy doubt. It will drive out fear, and flood your heart with assurance and confidence in the one thing we can surely count on for all eternity. Jesus’ love.

benheadshot1Thanks for coming by

See you again soon

Ben

===

Here are a few of the many ways this is translated. I used one of my favorite tools for this study - BibleGateway’s “Every English Translation” tool. Look up any single verse in BibleGateway.com and there is a link at the bottom that will show you every translation they have for that verse. It’s a great way to see how the scholars have positioned the verse you are studying.

Love is as overpowering as death.
Devotion is as unyielding as the grave. (GW)

Love is as powerful as death;
passion is as strong as death itself. (GNT)

For love is as strong as death;
ardent love is as unrelenting as Sheol. (HCSB)

Love is as strong as death.
Desire is as strong as the grave. (ICB)

For love is as strong as death,
passion as intense as Sheol. (ISV)

for love is strong as death; jealousy is hard as Sheol; (JUB)

for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: (KJV)

for love is strong as death;
passion is fierce as Sheol; (LEB)

Love is invincible facing danger and death.
Passion laughs at the terrors of hell. (MSG)

Love is as overpowering as death.
Devotion is as unyielding as the grave. (NOG)

For Love is strong as Death,
longing is fierce as Sheol. (NABRE)

For love is as strong as death,
its jealousy as enduring as the grave. (NLT)

For love is as strong as death,
and jealousy is as relentless as the grave. (Voice)

for love is strong as death, envy is hard as hell; (WYC)

For strong as death is love, Sharp as Sheol is jealousy, (YLT)

You can check them all out here.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group;
Good News Translation (GNT) Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society;
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.;
International Children’s Bible (ICB) The Holy Bible, International Children’s Bible® Copyright© 1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a division of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.;
International Standard Version (ISV) Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.;
Jubilee Bible 2000 (JUB) 2000, 2001, 2010 by LIFE SENTENCE Publishing;
King James Version (KJV) by Public Domain;
Lexham English Bible (LEB) 2012 by Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software;
The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson;
Names of God Bible (NOG) The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group. ;
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE) Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner. ;
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.;
The Voice (VOICE) The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved. ;
Wycliffe Bible (WYC) 2001 by Terence P. Noble;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT) by Public Domain

photo credit: Silver Season via photopin cc
photo credit: Silver Season via photopin cc

I am sure you have heard that old saying, “There are only 2 things that are guaranteed in life…”

Let’s take a look at that idea today as we poke around in 1 Corinthians 15

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:21-22

Now this is one of those passages I have actually read hundreds of times. I at least verse 21, since it is part of the text of Handel’s Messiah, which is a large part of my life.

But as the Lord loves to do, He pulled out His highlighter as I was studying this recently.

Look with me for just a minute at the structure of these two verses. Let’s focus on the second. He poses that which we know, and then links it to what will be. As if the part we know is a clear indication of how sure the second part is.

In Adam all die. You can trace the fact that you are going to die back to Adam’s sin. By Adam, sin entered the world, and through sin death. Paul goes into much more detail on this idea in Romans 5.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned ~ Romans 5:12

It would be worth reading Romans 5-8 to see this full progression of death to life.

But my point today is simply that just as sure as you were born with a sin nature, so sure is it that if you are in Christ, you will be raised from the dead.

Your resurrection is just as sure as your death.

I say again: Hallelujah!

So here is my re-write of the old adage.

There are only 2 things that are guaranteed in life…

Death and Resurrection!

Ben NelsonGlad you stopped by today.

Hope to see you again soon,

Ben

%d bloggers like this: