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God’s Word for You

Song of Solomon 3:1-2 To seek and seek

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Saturday, November 4, 2023

At the end of chapter 2, the woman was happy that her husband wanted to spend the night with her. Now she is looking for him, searching for him all night long.

1 All night long on my bed
  I sought and sought the one my soul loves.
  I sought and sought for him, but I did not find him.
2 I will get up now and go around the city.
  I will go through its markets and squares.
  I will seek and seek the one my soul loves.
  I sought and sought for him, but I did not find him.

Verse 1 shows once again that the couple is married; she has nothing to distract her from her desire for her husband. She is simply waiting for him. In what sense is she seeking for him while simply lying on the bed? She is waiting, eagerly and expectantly. The intensive verb form (the piel) can often carry with it the idea of an action that happens over and over again. An example is the Egyptian steward in Genesis 44:12, who performs the same search among Jacob’s sons over and over: “beginning with the oldest and extending to the youngest.” Another is Elisha crying out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” (2 Kings 2:12). Here, the wife’s search shows her torn desire: She wants to be there in her bed to welcome her husband, but she doesn’t know what is keeping him so long.

In verse 2, her desire breaks out into action. Now she really does search and search throughout the streets of their city. She goes to the places where people might naturally be: the streets and the marketplaces.

In marriage, we want to know where our spouse is. She wants to find out if anything is wrong; if he is hurt, or in trouble. In the Christian life, we search for God by searching the Scriptures. This is also Jesus’ blessing: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6). Why yearn and trouble ourselves over anything else? As a bride wants to know all about her husband, we want to know all about Christ. “Why spend money,” Isaiah asks, “on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?” (Isaiah 55:2).

So seeking and seeking after the Lord is very much hungering and thirsting for righteousness. If we do not hunger for righteousness, we will not grasp it at all. This is not the myth of decision theology that the Reformed try to teach. The bride in the Song is the representation of the Church, that is, those who are already believers, just as the audience of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount are already Christians. Therefore our choices as Christians are not about grasping salvation (which is a gift and has nothing to do with our grasp), but our choices have everything to do with the way we follow, serve, obey, and honor God. Some people are faced with troubles in life and choose to shrink away or to hide at home with the curtains drawn. But Christ would have us seek for him in his word and then put that word into action as we befriend one another, help each other, and build each other up with the same gospel that builds us up. And if people won’t listen, then don’t despair. Say to yourself, “Someday they might yet come around. I don’t do this for a reward, but as a thank you to my Savior who didn’t give up on me. So I will forgive a little more today, I will be kind a little more today, and I will be one who seeks peace.” So I will want to love the Lord God will all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and I will want to love my neighbor as myself.

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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