The Seal of God’s Fiery Love

SONG OF SOLOMON | CHAPTER 8 | BIBLE STUDY RECAP

Verses 1-4: After we see the Bride’s mature confidence in the Lord’s loving desire for her and her commitment to fully obey Him (7:9b-10), we see how she responds to this through her intercession for the harvest (7:11-13), and through her boldness in public ministry (8:1-2). She didn’t neglect God’s process to bring her into union with Him (8:3-4). When everything in her wanted to quit. When her heart was broken. When she was in pain. When she had failed. When others failed. When even those closest to her questioned her pursuit of God. Through the testing and the trials she still stayed the course of faith.

Verse 5: Song 8:5-7 ultimately describes the maturity of the body of Christ who cultivated a “leaning heart” and overcame the wilderness by walking in the fire of God’s love. We know the end of the story— the Bride will “come up” out of the wilderness in victory leaning upon Jesus as her Beloved. 

Wilderness: This speaks of the testing and temptations in the wilderness of this fallen world. 

Coming up: The Church will come up or be victorious in love over all that tests her. Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith who is faithful to complete the work He starts in us when we don’t quit.

Leaning: We are to lean on our Beloved as we live in communion with Jesus. Jesus described this as “Abiding in the Vine” for apart from Him, we can do nothing (Jn. 15). To lean on Him includes talking with, looking to, and trusting in His leadership over our lives (Ps. 1; Jer. 17:7; Prov. 3:5-6). Jacob came up leaning after an encounter with the Lord with a new name, overcoming insecurity and fear (Gen. 32:22-32; Heb. 12:21). John the Beloved described himself leaning on Jesus at the last supper, for He now saw Himself as the one that Jesus loved—no longer concerned with his personal greatness, but with his loyalty and friendship with the One who loved Him (Jn. 13:23).

6 Set Me [Jesus] as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, [God’s] jealousy as cruel [demanding] as the grave; its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame. 7 Many waters [sin or pressures] cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised. (Song 8:6-7)

Verses 6-7: Jesus invites her to receive the seal of fire upon her heart and to walk with Him in holy, jealous love. God is a consuming fire and desires to impart His supernatural fire into our hearts, that we would receive grace to walk in the first and great commandment to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

Seal: The seal is a progressive impartation of the Spirit pouring God’s love in our heart (Rom. 5:5). The seal of love on our heart is our present tense relationship with God. Thus our fellowship with the Spirit is the seal, not our record of spiritual victories or failures.  In the ancient world, kings put a seal of wax on important documents. They poured melted wax, then stamped it with the king’s signet ring. The royal seal spoke of the king’s ownership, protection, and guarantee that was backed up by the power of his kingdom. This seal is the our inheritance and destiny (Eph. 1:13-142 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Rom. 8:23; 35-39). We must determine that this is ours to walk in. The release of God’s love on our heart and mind is the glory of the New Covenant (Heb. 10:16).

Set Me: To set Jesus on our heart is to intentionally ask Him to strengthen us by His Spirit until the influences of His love are progressively imparted more to our mind, emotions, and ministry. By the very definition of love, we must invite Him. He will not force us into a relationship of voluntary love. He waits until we invite Him in the matters of our heart. Paul referred to this as putting on the Lord Jesus or putting on the new man (Rom. 13:14; Col. 3:10-14). We do not earn God’s “seal” or His love or favor. We receive His seal by actively responding to His Word in faith. By faith, we set our cold hearts before the bonfire of His love. Our love for God begins and ends with seeing His love for us; therefore, we cry out for greater revelation of His love (Jn. 17:24-26; Eph. 3:14-20).

Upon Your Heart: According to Hebraic thought, the heart (not the mind) was the seat of our whole self and the center point of our mind, will and emotions. We set Him as a seal upon our heart to yield to Him full access and authority over our innermost being. Jesus doesn’t just want to come into our heart, He wants to conquer our heart. Whatever comes to our heart has to go through Him, and whatever goes from our heart has to go through Him.

Upon Your Arm: Our arm refers to our strength and our acts of obedience expressed through our words and actions. Some of us need to weep again as the fire of God’s love touches our hearts, but others need to actually do something with what they have felt. We need the seal of His love on both our inward and outward life.

Love is as Strong as Death: God’s love is as strong or comprehensive as death. As death claims everything in the natural, so God’s love will not allow any areas of darkness to escape its grasp. His love is not intimidated by our problems.

Jealousy Demanding as the Grave: God’s love is a jealous love that demands everything just as the grave does. The Lord jealously wants all of us because He knows that we were made for Him, to be loved by Him, and to love Him back (James 4:5; Ex. 34:14). As a husband desires the exclusive love of his wife, so the Lord won’t share us with other lovers (Eph. 5:25-32; Hos.2:6-7).

A Most Vehement Flame: God is an all-consuming fire whose love is a most powerful flame. He came to baptize us with His Holy Spirit and fire to burn up all the dead religious chaff that has no power to save us (Matt. 3:11-12; Luke 3:16; Acts 2:3; Heb. 12:29). He does not tolerate or cover up our problems, He wants to expose and remove them. I believe the issue beneath our complacency is not only our sinful hearts, but our flameless hearts. He not only wants to wash our sins away, He wants to fill us with fire so that sin never comes back (Eph. 5:18).

Many Waters Cannot Quench: God’s seal is compared to a flame of divine fire that cannot be quenched by the waters of sin, pressure or persecution. Water normally puts out fire unless it’s God’s supernatural fire. The enemy sends the waters of temptation, disappointment, pain or deception to put this fire out, but God’s love, when yielded to continually, is more powerful than every flood that comes against us. The fire is stronger than the floods of bitterness, addiction, anger, immorality, and more. Revelation 12 speaks of believers who will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, loving not their lives even unto death (Rev. 12:15; Isa. 43:2; 59:19).

All the Wealth of His House: We cannot put a price on love. Imagine giving away everything you had to save the life of your child, and then someone asking you if it was worth it. That question would be utterly despised. The Apostle Paul said He counted all things loss for the excellence of knowing Christ Jesus, for whom he suffered the loss of all things (Phil. 3:7-11). In other words, when you see the worth of Jesus and you love Him, you stop counting out your offerings and measuring your sacrifice. You stop asking the question, “How much do I have to give or give up?” And you start asking, “How much can I give and give up?” The reward of love is love.

Verses 8-9: The Bride’s love for her Beloved overflows into intercession for the next generation of believers. The more we spend time with Jesus, yielding to His love, the more our desires become yoked to His desires. We aren’t so consumed by fighting for our own destiny and greatness, and instead, we turn our hearts toward the children and fight for the destiny, protection, consecration and purity of our younger brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Verses 10-12: We then see her threefold confidence as a wall (selfless motives and purity), as a tower (supernatural ability to watch over and nurture), and as one with peace (all emotional hinderances in her are removed). She experiences the power and enjoyment of loving before His eyes instead of before the eyes of men. Her sense of importance is rooted in eternity as she has revelation of giving account before God (8:11). The Bride has revelation of her spiritual maturity before God (8:12).

Verses 13-14: The King gives His final commission to His Bride. Her urgency is expressed in prayer. His last words to her commend her faithfulness in serving the Church. She continued to dwell in His gardens serving God’s people. She did not quit or retreat into selfish isolation. Earlier, Jesus had called her to lift her voice in worship and prayer by telling her that her voice was sweet to Him (2:14).

This Bible Study recap was from a Wednesday Night service at Venture Church on 14 December 2022. The full message can be viewed here.

Notes: https://tinyurl.com/dntmep3r

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Ministry Update | December 2022

On behalf of the Russo family, I want to say thank you to everyone who has partnered with us over this past year! We are grateful for the opportunity to give ourselves more fully to the ministry assignments that the Lord has given us in this season, and we are moving into this next year with great excitement for what is ahead. This would not be possible without our team of friends who have supported us. We are especially thankful for those who faithfully serve alongside us week after week inspiring us to keep our hands to the plow.

Currently, my wife and I serve locally on staff at Venture Church in different capacities, and one of the primary ways we serve our city and region is through the Venture Prayer Room. Going forward, we are excited to help build a team of missionaries to help us serve this region through prayer, worship and missions. To do this, we are working on innovative discipleship initatives and ministry training opportunities to help equip and train young leaders, singers and musicians to stand in the counsel of the Lord, to hear His Word and to go out into the harvest fields of our generation and make Him known. Students will learn to pray and seek the Lord together in His house of prayer, go deep in His Word and work on creative projects to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. Whether through prayers or finances, every gift, no matter how small, makes a difference. We are truly grateful.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can give toward our ministry (tax-deductible), you can visit our page here. Please do not feel pressure or put our ministry ahead of giving to your local church. We know that as the Lord is leads us, He will continue to provide. May this next year be filled with His glory!

In His Service,

Nick & Jennifer Russo

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