“Many waters 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 of Solomon 8:7)
Remember, the way we understand the Bible is by using the Bible, because the Bible always explains itself and defines it’s own terms. It’s just a matter of asking the Lord for understanding and the Spirit Himself leads us into truth as we compare Scripture with Scripture (John 14:26, 1 Corinthians 2:12,13). In fact, the Lord says that those who are saved have an "anointing" or "unction" and they do not need to depend on any man to teach them (1 John 2:27, 1 John 2:20).
1 John 7-10
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins.
Song of Solomon 8:6,7
6 Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
7 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.
These are very wonderful verses. The Song of Solomon verses convey to us an important insight into the Gospel message.
Many people cannot reconcile the idea of a loving God with the idea of a wrathful God and so they choose to believe in a God that is only identified with love. Many would even say that the most important message from the Bible is that “God loves you”. Unfortunately this misses the mark of what the Gospel message really is. The point of the Gospel is not that “God loves you”, but that He has loved you. He has demonstrated His love to each of us in creating us, in His own image, for the purpose of having an eternal relationship with Him, and each of us in our sinful nature has scorned that love and cast it behind our back and counted it of no value. For this we deserve His hatred, not His love. We deserve His wrath, because the most heinous crime in all the universe is to scorn true Love. We exist only because in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). We would not have life if it weren’t for Him, and yet He sustains us even though we take that life and live in a state of rebellion against Him. If that were not enough, He has also demonstrated His love for us in laying down His life, paying the ultimate price to be our substitute in bearing the guilt and shame and punishment that we deserve, so that we may have a way back to Him, and in our sinful nature no one wants to come back! (Romans 3:11)
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
For God so (in this manner) loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
God has indeed loved the world, but He does not love the world now.
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. John 17:9
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15
The message of the Gospel is not, “God loves you” or that “God loves the world”, but that God has loved you, and we are now under His justifiable wrath for despising His love. Therefore the world is worthy of eternal damnation for counting that love as worthless. “…Love is as strong as death; jealousy is as cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.” We all are subject to this judgment, because we all have forsaken Love. This is why we NEED to be saved. Yes God is Love (1 John 4:8), and it is precisely because He is Love that we need to be saved, because we all have scorned the most wonderful and pristine thing in all the universe, Love.
Wonderfully, the Gospel message not only communicates to us our need to be saved, but tells us how God Himself has met that need in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ.
11And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 1 John 5:11,12
The promise of the Gospel is that God will freely give perfect righteousness to those who believe in Jesus Christ and trust in Him and what He did as the only work able to bring us back to God. All of our works, no matter how good they appear to us, are no better than “filthy rags” tainted with sin in the eyes of our Holy God (Isaiah 64:6). And to suggest that we can be reconciled to Love through the means of our own works is nothing more that suggesting that the most pristine and treasured thing in the universe, Love, can be bought. It cannot be purchased. It can only be given. This is what Song of Sol 8:7 is saying, “if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned (despised)”. All that we have, our substance, our works, cannot purchase Love, it is far too valuable. The only one who is able to purchase Love was Love Himself, Jesus Christ. And He in turn freely gives it to all who come to Him trusting in His grace (undeserving favor). If we seek to come to Jesus on the terms of our own works we will not be received by Him. This is because we are not actually coming to Him if we seek to come in this way. We are merely trying to justify ourselves, not actually seeking to know Him. That is why He says, “Set me as a seal upon thy heart…” Salvation and justification are freely given to those who want to know Him in truth, not simply to those seeking to escape punishment. The whole reason we are subject to everlasting punishment is because we have turned our back on Him and don’t want to know Him.
Wonderfully, Jesus has paid the price in full by suffering that punishment in the behalf of all who do come to Him in truth. And the Gospel reveals to us that if we do possess a desire to know Him in truth it is only because He has graciously put that desire into our heart (John 6:44; Luke 10:22; Matt 16:17; John 1:11-13; Psalm 65:4).
After becoming saved, the Lord calls us to love others unconditionally just as He has loved us (John 15:12). He purposes to work through us by that Love His Spirit produces in us, to bring others to Himself, and so He says, “many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it”. To understand this statement we have to see how God defines the term “many waters” in His Word:
“Many waters” is a term that can be found in several places in the Bible. If you look into God’s Word to see how it is used elsewhere I think you will discover that generally it is used to refer to a multitude of people. Such as in:
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Here, the Scripture is referring to God’s people being the multitude in view, but when used in conjunction with the “sea” or the “flood(s)” the multitude in view is the dominion of Satan, the world, or the nations (which all are the same thing). Here are a couple examples:
Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.
4 The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.
So here, in Song of Sol 8:7, the term “many waters” refers to the nations of this world, the dominion of Satan (remember Satan is the god of this world – 2 Corinthians 4:4, John 18:36)
When the Song of Sol 8:7 says, “Many waters cannot quench love” it is saying that the world (dominion of Satan) cannot drown Love, overcome it, or cause it to be rendered ineffective. This is talking about Love as the Person of the Lord and also as the work the Lord produces in us by His Spirit. His Spirit of Love working in us will accomplish Salvation for many in the world, by bringing them to Jesus that they might be saved. A wonderful promise isn’t it?
I hope this little study helps you to look into God’s Word and enjoy sweet communion with Him as you bow down your ear to His beautiful Voice and are fed of His Spirit.