Song of Solomon 3:1–5 (NKJV)


3:1 By night on my bed I sought the one I love;
I sought him, but I did not find him.
2 “I will rise now,” I said,
“And go about the city;
In the streets and in the squares
I will seek the one I love.”
I sought him, but I did not find him.
3 The watchmen who go about the city found me;
I said,
“Have you seen the one I love?”

4 Scarcely had I passed by them,
When I found the one I love.
I held him and would not let him go,
Until I had brought him to the house of my mother,
And into the chamber of her who conceived me.

5 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
By the gazelles or by the does of the field,
Do not stir up nor awaken love
Until it pleases.

Desire is the theme here in this song describing the bride seeking out the groom in a wedding prelude.  They seek for one another, and once she finds her beloved, she held him close and brought him to her mother’s house.  Again, she advises the daughters of Jerusalem not to awaken love before its time, or before it is right.  This is the description of the Shulamite’s struggle emotionally.  Whether she is imagining this journey or whether it is real, she is strongly desiring her lover and seeking the day when they will be united in love and marriage.

Young love should involve attraction, and it should be a time of heightened emotions and desire.  However, the admonition at the end of this section of Scripture makes it clear that one should not cross the threshold of sex until the time is right.  In God’s law, desire is not enough.  There must be commitment as well to a life of love and faithfulness.  Even though she is longing for her beloved, the time must be right.

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