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God’s Word for You

Song of Solomon 1:10-11 Jewelry

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Sunday, September 24, 2023


10 Earrings make your cheeks beautiful,
  your neck with strings of jewels.
11 We will make gold earrings for you,
  with points of silver.

Talk about earrings and necklaces is no surprise in love poetry. But after only one verse, have we already moved away from the imagery of the mare among the chariots of Pharaoh? Is the husband describing the habit of decorating a beloved horse with gold and silver studding the harness? However the poetry moves the mind of the listener, we end up with the application in marriage of the man giving his love jewelry—earrings, necklaces, rings, diamonds and precious stones set in pretty mountings. He shows how he values her by giving her things of value. He doesn’t do this to buy her love, but sadly there are times when a wicked-hearted woman will mistake such gifts as being the price of her love. They will need to work out the difference between reality and her mistaken greed or lust for gold, but their marriage will benefit from that discovery.

An actual horse cares nothing for jewelry, but a beloved horse benefits from her master’s affection. A good and godly wife will love her jewelry because it is a sign of affection, devotion, appreciation, and love from her husband. Not all women want jewelry. Some women want nothing but their wedding rings, or something with special meaning, such as a necklace with the birthstones of her children, or something like that. They may not want flowers or other gifts (but chocolate is usually appreciated). A husband will want to discover how his wife likes to be shown love—and a wife must do the same for her husband. Baubles, jewels, bouquets, new clothes, new shoes—they are not always desired. Many women want to be told about their husband’s love or shown love, or just have their hand held. A husband only wants to know, so that he can show her, tell her, surprise her, and let her know he is thinking of her.

In verse 11, who is speaking the words, “We will make earrings for you”? This might be a case of what is called the “majestic plural,” when a royal monarch speaks for the whole country by saying, “We thank you, Lord Wellington,” or something like that. Or it might simply be an ordinary husband admitting that he himself can’t actually craft jewelry himself but he will pay someone to make it for him. In a spiritual application, some have taken “we” to stand together with God’s own “we” statements that display the trinity, such as in Genesis 1:26.

Consider the many ways God has of showing his people that he loves us. First, his word is given in many forms: history, poetry, letters, visions, word-pictures, sermons, parables, miracles, discourses, and songs. Many people have a favorite book of the Bible. Is it a preference for a human writer, or is it simply that in this book or that book the voice of God resonates with his loving kindness in a way that the listener loves?

There are also many ways God has for showing us his grace and love. Some are simple, straightforward declarations of forgiveness. Some are so succinct and complete that they are sermons unto themselves: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). John 3:16 is another passage like that. God’s promise to Eve while he cursed Satan (Genesis 3:16), Job’s response to Bildad (Job 19:23-27)—all are beautiful statements of God’s love and promise to mankind. But God also gives us baptism, a washing with physical water coupled with his words of promise, to assure us of our forgiveness. God also gives us the Lord’s Supper, so that we may eat and drink his forgiveness and take it all into ourselves so that we know it is ours. And God commands that we forgive one another, in public and in private. In private, a friend forgives whatever wrong has been done. In public, the pastor places his hands on the people and speaks the absolution with the words of God himself. We are instructed, we are bathed, we consume, we are told, and we are proclaimed to be forgiven. God tells us to sing about it, and he knows that we embed his forgiveness in stained glass, in paintings, in crosses both simple and elaborate, to keep our eyes focused on his love and our ears tuned to his loving voice.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith
About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please visit the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church website.


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