Song of Songs is not a book you often hear preached in church. How do you preach on a book whose purpose is to teach the readers “about erotic love and the desire and joy that comes with it” (Richard Hess, Song of Songs, pg.35). Apart from anything else this makes Song of Songs quite confronting – especially in a world where broken love has caused hurt, pain, guilt and abuse. Yet Song of Songs is a book of the Bible and “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching … ” (2 Tim 3:16).
Through this series which, Pastor Allan admits was the most difficult to preach in some time, we sought to have an understanding of sensuality that was in alignment with the Scriptures.
Part 0 - Introduction
Solomon is named as the author of the Song of Songs, but how can a King who has so many wives write a book celebrating sexuality in a committed relationship? This short introduction considers some of the issues.
Part 1 - Sexuality in Context
Song of Songs 1:1-2:7
This is the first sermon in our six part series ... verses 1:1-2:7 were the focus. Through the sermon we considered:-
The Genesis 1-3 Context ... and implications.
The Cultural Context ... and implications.
We also considered the practicalities that men and women are different, that singleness is not marriage in waiting, and that sexuality is to be celebrated but not idolised.
Of great importance, indeed most importance, we also saw that the impact of Christ's redeeming work on sexuality, culture and identity.
Part 2 - Stopping the Foxes
Song of Songs 2:8-3:5
This is the second sermon in our six part series ... verses 2:8-3:5 were the focus. Through the sermon we considered:- The hindrances of a wider society which impact marriages.
The vulnerability which women face.
The need for security by removing the “foxes”
Through the message we also saw the impact of Jesus who brings us into a relationship where the greatest vulnerability and greatest safety can be experience at exactly the same moment.
Part 3 - Marriage at the Heart of the Song
Song of Songs 3:6-5:1
This is the third sermon in our six part series ... verses 3:6-5:1 were the focus. Through the sermon we considered:-
The two possible contrasts that the Song establishes by using Solomon as a king model.
The call to celebrate sensuality in the context of marriage.
The fact that a legal marriage doesn’t necessarily create redeemed sensuality.
Through the message we also saw the impact of Jesus who brings us into a relationship where He calls the church His bride. Such a relationship brings eternal hope.
Part 4 - And They Lived Happily Ever After?
Song of Songs5:2-6:3
This is the fourth sermon in our six part series ... verses 5:2-6:3 were the focus.
Through the sermon we considered:-
The reality that relationships are not a fairy-tale and they will face obstacles.
The power of indifference to hurt a relationship, and ways that indifference can be transformed.
Through the message we also saw the impact of indifference on our relationship with Jesus and we were challenge to look at ways in which indifference can be transformed.
Part 5 - Post Argument Security
Song of Songs 6:4-8:4
This is the fifth sermon in our six part series ... verses 6:4-8:4 were the focus. Through the sermon we considered:-
How easy it is to break a relationship.
Ways to bring security into the relationship after a break-down. These included providing a reassurance that nothing has changed and that your spouse is still the only one for you.
Through the message we also saw the impact of the security which Jesus brings because He never changes in his commitment to us and He is the only one who gives eternal security.
Part 6 - The Song Doesn’t End
Song of Songs 8:5-14
This is the last sermon in our six part series ... verses 8:5-14 were the focus. Through the sermon we considered:-
What it means to have a sealed relationship.
The ways to keep the fire in the relationship going.
The challenges which are placed on a relationship.
The fact that the song doesn't actually end.
Through the message we also saw that the Lord has sealed His relationship with Himself