Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏩ ⏹️
Aspen Falls, by Liz Whaley
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.
— Song of Songs 8:7
This verse speaks of the quality of love, the strength of which cannot be destroyed by anything external to it, even something as mighty as a flood. This is likely a reference to the greatest natural catastrophe in Israel's history: the flood described in Genesis 7, which destroyed every living creature remaining outside the ark. Yet it didn't destroy love, and more specifically it couldn't destroy this love. As the Song comes to its conclusion we are reminded of the great, natural power of love, greater even than the flood of the world, and longer lasting. The song ends, the relationship will one day end too, but love lives on.
The second part of this verse reminds us that love cannot be bought, nor exchanged for any amount of wealth. To attempt to do so would be met with contempt, or scorn. Love is both utterly free and utterly priceless. Reading this I am reminded of the great wealth I have in my life through the love I receive, and through the love I give, for love can never be uni-directional. Love is circular, spiralised, looping like an infinity symbol. It both gives and receives, nourishing itself through the interactions of its subjects, growing, blossoming, rising and falling in pulsing rhythms.
Song of Songs is a biblical detour from theology, a moment to pause, look outward and remember that while we have a God of law and justice, a God of righteousness and fairness, so too is our God the God of love. And as we are emotional, spiritual and physical beings, so love itself is emotional, spiritual and physical. Song of Songs offers us a beautiful and remarkable celebration of love's manifold nature. All we need to do is listen, and enjoy. Little need for analysis—and really no need for apologetics.