Make Haste, My Beloved

Brian Mahon - 8/21/2022


Call to worship: Isaiah 62:10-12

Text: The Song of Songs 8:8-14


'I now pronounce you husband and wife.' These final verses of The Song readdress its two primary themes: purity until matrimony. It's a fitting conclusion. The daughters, it would seem, seek (or better, appropriate) advice on how to help a young girl towards sexual purity until she's spoken-for by a man. The bride exalts such purity, having set an example for it, before she goes on to address the worth of it. The Song ends, as it should, with an exchange between this model couple, between husband and wife. He sees her in an Edenic habitat, dispensing wisdom to the daughters. Her voice is irresistible to him. He wants to hear it himself. He wants to be in her presence. She invites him to more than he's even asked: to the marriage bed. 'Make haste, my beloved.' Such love really is worth the wait that purity demands. Notably, The Song ends with a wait. He longs for her. She calls to him. But there is no embrace. There's only the expectancy, based on all that's preceded it, that there will be an embrace, a consummation of their love. So as at the beginning, also in the end: love, marriage, sex, etc. is eschatological. It points us to the Day when the everlasting marriage, the one for which we now wait, will be finally consummated. Are we letting Christ's love for us compel our final longing for Him? Come, Lord Jesus!

Sermon Outline:

  1. Another push for the wisdom of purity. (8:8-12)
    • The others. (8:8-9)
    • The bride. (8:10-12)
  2. Another call to the world of consummation. (8:13-14)
    • Husband. (8:13)
    • And wife. (8:14)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read The Song of Songs 8:8-8:14. Or better, read the whole Song again.
  2. Beginning in 8:8, the 'others' present a scenario on the basis of all The Song has said and, more recently, what the bride has said. Poetically, it provides a way to reemphasize one of the main points of the poem. From 8:8-9, what do understand to be that point? How is The Song's vision of and motive for purity in any way different than 'the purity culture' of two decades ago?
  3. What does it mean for a young girl (or boy) to be a wall or a door? What's the body been likened to in The Song? What role do the others play in the purity of their 'sister'? How is accountability important to biblical sexual morality? How does the bride serve as a model of purity? What blessings does she attribute to winning the good fight of faith in this regard (8:10-12)?
  4. The other main point of The Song arrives in 8:13-14. Fittingly, The Song ends with an exchange between . . . husband and wife. How does he depict her---or where? What's the significance of a garden depiction? How might the wife be using the garden as a way to pass on her wisdom to her companions? Think back to 4:16-5:1. What does it mean that he wants to hear her voice?
  5. How does she likely invite him to more than he's asked for in 8:14? Do they actually consummate their marriage again in the end? What might be the purpose of a promissory invitation to consummation that doesn't end as other parts to the poem do? How does it relate ultimately to our waiting and longing for the consummation of our Marriage to Christ? The Song finally asks us again: are we letting His love for us compel our longing for Him?
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