DEVOTION: Bifocal Love

    August 16, 2020 | Books of the Bible | Song of Songs by Stef Dowd

    Song of Solomon 4:7

    “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”

    Paintings, photographs, movies, songs, books, or poetry – all of these are poetic ways in which the universal beauty of love is expressed. We usually read with a bifocal view; that is, we watch the immediate scene unfold while considering the story in the distance.

    Chapters 4-5 capture the love and attraction between “the man” and “the woman.” Whether betrothed or married, these expressions are within the boundaries of God’s design for marriage. Song 4:3 is the man’s expression of the woman’s physical beauty: “...your lips are like a scarlet thread and your cheeks are like pomegranates.” In turn, Song 5:11 is the woman’s description of the man’s physical attractiveness: “his locks are wavy, black as a raven.”

    These mutual portraits portray not just physical, but spiritual attractiveness as wellIn Song 4:4, the man describes the woman’s “neck like the tower of David.” Using the name of Israel’s great warrior-king symbolized the dignity and strength of the woman. “Gold, jewels, and ivory” are materials found in important buildings, acknowledging the woman’s respect for and admiration of the man.

    These describe a scene unfolding, using one area of our bifocals. We can then turn to the entire story of the Bible. From Adam and Eve at creation, throughout the Old Testament, culminating in the coming of Jesus, and continuing in the church, a love story is found. This is God’s love story — one that transcends our full understanding. His love is flawless and altogether beautiful.


    • Do you honor marriage and human passion in the expressions of love you surround yourself with? Movies, books, music?
    • What kind of love relationship does Jesus want with you? What kind of love relationship do you want to have with Jesus?


    • Pray for opportunities to express the love of God to those around you (1 John 4:19).
    • Pray for a renewed understanding of the love God has for you (1 John 3:16).