The Shulamite’s choice prayer
“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. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.” Solomon’s Song 8:6-7
Suggested Further Reading: Ephesians 3:14-21
“Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm. Love me, Lord. Help me, Lord. Let thy heart move towards me; let thine arm move for me too. Think of me, Lord; set me on thy heart. Work for me, Lord, set me on thine arm. Lord, I long to have thy love, for I hear it is as strong as death, and thou knowest I am chained by Satan, and am his bond-slave. Come and deliver me: thou art more than a match for my cruel tyrant. Come with thy strong love and set me free. I hear that thy love is as firm as hell itself. Lord, that is such a love as I want. Though I know I shall vex thee and wander from thee, come and love me with a love that is firm and everlasting. O Lord, I feel there is nothing in me that can make thee love me. Come and love me, then, with that love which finds its own fuel. Love me with those coals of fire which have a ‘vehement flame.’ And since many waters cannot quench thy love, prove that in me; for there are many waters of sin in me, but Lord, help me to believe that thy love is not quenched by them; there are many corruptions in me, but Lord, love me with that love which my corruptions cannot quench. Here, Lord, I give myself away; take me; make me what thou wouldst have me to be, and keep and preserve me even to the end.” May the Lord help you to pray that prayer, and then may he answer it for his mercy’s sake.
For meditation: Omnipotent God loves his people with an omnipotent, all-conquering love (Romans 8:35-39) which surpasses all knowledge and imagination. Can you say with assurance that he “so” loves you (John 3:16; 1 John 4:11)?
Sermon no. 364
31 October (Preached 24 February 1861)