Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. Song of Songs 8:6
I stood amazed at the hundreds of thousands of padlocks, many engraved with the initials of sweethearts, attached to every imaginable part of the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris. The pedestrian bridge across the Seine River was inundated with these symbols of love, a couple’s declaration of “forever” commitment. In 2014, the love locks were estimated to weigh a staggering fifty tons and had even caused a portion of the bridge to collapse, necessitating the locks’ removal.
The presence of so many love locks points to the deep longing we have as human beings for assurance that love is secure. In Song of Songs, an Old Testament book that depicts a dialogue between two lovers, the woman expresses her desire for secure love by asking her beloved to “place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm” (Song of Songs 8:6). Her longing was to be as safe and secure in his love as a seal impressed on his heart or a ring on his finger.
The longing for enduring romantic love expressed in Song of Songs points us to the New Testament truth in Ephesians that we are marked with the “seal” of God’s Spirit (1:13). While human love can be fickle, and locks can be removed from a bridge, Christ’s Spirit living in us is a permanent seal demonstrating God’s never-ending, committed love for each of His children.
How have you experienced the secure love of your heavenly Father? How might you allow His love to guide and encourage you today?
Heavenly Father, thank You that even though the security of human love often remains elusive, Your love for me is strong, steadfast, and eternal.
While there are different interpretations of the Song of Songs, the most immediate reading shows that it’s a collection of poems that celebrates love and the physical intimacy that flows from it and warns about keeping love in the proper context (2:15). The Song presents us with a number of poems that express godly desires in keeping with the way God made us at the time of our creation, desires that are met in the “two becoming one flesh” marriage relationship instituted in the garden.
But does the Song have anything to say about God and our relationship with Him? We can answer this question with an enthusiastic yes when we read the book in the context of the whole Bible, where we see a frequent comparison made between our relationship with God and human marriage. The apostle Paul described the church’s relationship with Jesus along the lines of a marriage (Ephesians 5:21–33), which he called a “profound mystery.”
Adapted from Understanding the Bible: The Poetic Books. Read more at DiscoverySeries.org/Q0425.