Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. – Song of Solomon 8:6
This is one of the best known passages in this book, and one of my personal favorites. Solomon, representing Jesus, calls his bride to set him as a seal upon her heart and arm. This speaks of allowing His fiery love to touch her heart in such a way that she belongs to Him alone.
Throughout Scripture, God is described as an all consuming fire. His fire purifies our hearts, “But who can endure the day of His coming? Who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.” (Mal. 3:2-3) His fire fills us with His power, “But if I say, “I will not mention Him or speak any more in His name,” His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” (Jer. 20:9)
His jealous love is like fire, “…do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” ( Deut. 4:23-24) God’s jealousy is not rooted in insecurity like human jealousy is. The word jealous can also be translated as zealous; His holiness will not tolerate our sin. His fiery zeal burns away all that hinders love in our hearts when we say “yes” to Him. Though He gives us grace to yield ourselves to Him, we must cooperate with Him. He will not do our part, and we cannot do His. He will not force us, but waits for us to voluntarily give Him our heart and affection.
When we experience intimacy with Him, we are more easily able to surrender our will to His as His fiery love melts our resistance and fears. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18) Without these experiences, our obedience will come from a wrong spirit or heart attitude, one of self-righteous martyrdom like that of the Pharisees who obeyed the Law, but refused relationship with the Lawgiver. In 1 Cor. 13, Paul says we can do all kinds of good and godly things, but if they do not flow out of our intimacy with God they mean absolutely nothing.
Love is as strong as death, for His love provoked Him to go to the cross; His desire would not let us go. His burning passion will consume the dross and ignite wholehearted love within us so that we too, are willing to lay down our lives for Him. Before He returns, Jesus will perfect His bride in love as we say “Yes!” to His call to let His fiery love seal our hearts for Him forever.
Have you said “yes” to His call? If so, how has it affected your relationship with Him? You can comment below.