Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Song of Songs over the break

I'm getting married soon and am taking a month off in December. I'm looking forward to this. This also means I should also have some time on my hands, and so plan on listening to a sermon series by Mark Driscoll that he just finished on Song of Songs. This sermon series got to be the third most popular religious download on iTunes, (just under Oprah and Joel Osteen). Who would of thought a sermon series about sex on the Internet would be so popular? (and that Oprah was so well liked?)

Anyway I haven't heard these yet, I might do what I did with the Philippians series last year and post in the comments a summary after I have heard them. I assume Driscoll may push the text a bit to say something that might not be there (he after all likes to be controversial), but hopefully it should overall be encouraging (and entertaining).

Over the break can I encourage you to listen to a sermon series or a conference (some 2008 conference links) with your extra time.

Direct links to the Song of Songs audio
(they are around the 30mb mark, right click and select "Save As...")

Other clips - lots of live Q&A's form this series

This sermon series also has it own website with a whack a fox game on it.


  1. its an excellent series, well done, and enjoy the listen

  2. Below are my notes on the talks by Driscoll. Driscoll kinda talked about themes in the book of Song of Songs and only really gave a surface level study of the text. Also some talks it felt like he forced the passage to lead it into some good advice on a topic that he wanted to talk about. It could be seen as practical and helpful, but may not so accurate on the text at hand.

    Let him kiss me (1:1-7): Sex is not god, it's not gross, its a gift. God made marriage for the context for sexual intimately. Your spouse is your standard of beauty and you should make an effort to remain attractive to them.

    Sweet to my taste (1:8-2:7): Marriage is for holiness and happiness and in that order. Learn the five love languages. Husbands need to make time for their wives, and need to tell them they are beautiful often so she can see herself thru your eyes. Husbands are to provide, protect and please their wives. Husbands should have an Engedi (1:14) (comfortable place to relax in). It's good to have firends who will support your marriage not ones that talk negatively about your spouse

    The little foxes (2:8-3:5): In marriage both are given to each other. If only one is a giver the other is a taker that is abusive. Husband are to gives their lives to their wives and not treat her like property or a slave. The passage mentions "little foxes" (2:15) and Driscoll takes them to mean little sneaky problems in your marriage that you have to watch out. He then talks about these things that you have to watch such as wrong order of priority of things (Jesus, spouse, children); wrong idea of the gospel (Jesus forgives sin for reconciliation); preference for an open or close home; the way you use technology/communication tools; your budget; how you handle disagreement; your friends, etc

    His garden (3:6-5:1): Your marriage is the second most important day. It is a covenant and then consummation and it dictates the rest of your life. The guy in the passage loves looking at and enjoying his wife who is his standard of beauty. She is treated as his friend/sister/bride. She is locked for all others but she invites him to be her husband to enjoy. Your wife is to be a private garden that you tend to, not a public park that anyone can play in. Driscoll goes on to say that Solomon actually blows this later in real life: 1 Kings 11 but later again Driscoll says Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes 9:9 and Proverbs 5. Don't get involved with non-Christians. You need to worship Jesus and so does your spouse. The last day of your marriage is more important that the first. The goal is not a good day, but a good marriage.

    My beloved, my friend (5:2-6:1): The main issues in marriage counselling is selfishness. Need to realise that God, sex, marriage and children are not completely unrelated. You need to know that you are selfish and need to move to be a servant. Driscoll says the lady in the passage sins by rejecting the husband for no good reason (5:2-6), she is selfish. Driscoll then talks about problems in the bed room such as denying sex, not initiating it, doing a little as possible, or sabotaging the moment by doing something else. During sickness/pregnancy you need to work out creative ways to serve each other. The framework to use is in 1 Cor 6:12: is it lawful (and biblical), is it helpful (for me and spouse: does it gives pleasure for both?, increases oneness and trust?, protection from temptation?, gives comfort?) and is it enslaving (or causes addiction to it). You are to be a lover in the bedroom and a friend out the bed room. Serve them and don't take. Marriage is about mutual service regardless of mood -do not deprive one another.

    My dove (6:2-10): lots of couples don't have a plan to deal with sin. Driscoll says the girl in the passage initiates and apologize and the guy response with a compliment. Looking each other in the eye, helps resolve problems. The guy in the passage says the same stuff as before the wedding, as he still feels the same after their problem/issue. This passage apparently is an example on how to deal with relationship problems. You are a sinner and will marry one. Sin needs a sacrifice, put it on Jesus and not your spouse. Christians repent of their sin then make amends and reconcile with the victim. We are to deal with your own sin and heart and not blame your spouse, then also forgive your spouse so you don't get bitter Ephesians 4:31-32. Forgiveness is not dependent on the sinner, but on God. Jesus will forgive anyone, we are hypocrites if we don't forgive. Forgiving doesn't forget, but it doesn't hold it against them. Trust comes over time and will need to be rebuilt.

    Dance of Mahanaim (6:11-7:10): (No one else have I read takes "the dance of Mohanaim" to be a strip tease. Mohanaim was a place (Gen 32:2, Lev 21:38, 2 Sam 2:8,12) - the dace could of come from there. It may also be translated the dance of two camps or two companions - nothing indicates that this is a solo dance, but Driscoll runs with his interpretation) Men see attractive women but it doesn't mean they prefer them over their spouse. Our world presents loads of images of women. A wife is to not go off their spouse because of their man-ness but a wife is to be a visually generous servant lover for their husband. Driscoll says that in 6:13 the girl is going to do a strip tease. This is a description not prescription passage. The guy like looking at her and he is verbally generous with her. This is an example of martial freedom and she rejoices in his pleasure as it is all for her. Men are to be devoted, patient, concerned for her so she is safe and all giving to him. Don't be impatient for this freedom- give it a decade for that intimacy.

    Into the fields (7:11-13): To understand marriage look at Jesus and the church. The church gets a Sabbath as a gift to connect with God, so you need one with your spouse. Touch her heart, soul and mind before you touch her. Write letters, keep conversation up during the day, pray for them, study them/pay attention to them find out what they like, write it down and make plans. Have regular date nights and weekend away. Have a holiday away without email/sms. Christians are to watch their life and doctrine, excel in not just doctrine but also in life. Don't make hobbies over your spouse.

    Do not awaken love (8:1-7): On going communication is good and let your spouse know when your missing them. If you can talk freely with your spouse then talking freely to your kids will be easier. The wife should be free to talk about desires and describe what they want. A good marriage has a servant and a servant both attend to each others needs and desires. Two humble servants don't have conflict for very long. Have friends who are single to pass on what you know. Don't just settle with someone when your single, wait till marriage and don't rush in to it. It helps to remember the good times in the relationship and not just focus on the bad times. Love is personal, protected, powerful (unchangeable), possie, passionate, perseveres and is priceless

    I was a wall (8:8-14): There are two type of young women (1) walls - hard to get past (date) and (2) doors -let anyone thru. The brothers in the passage want to help protect their younger sister from guys. The lady in the passage made an effort to be a wall. A bad guy isolates a women from friends and family, a good guy has nothing to hide and wants to meet her friends and family. Childhood affects your life in marriage and how you raise children. Parents are to be their child's first pastor. Don't discipline children for a mistake but for sin. Make your child name their sin and say sorry and then have the other child forgive them, you can then explain the gospel - that Jesus died for sin and then thank him. Parenting reveals your idol as children will upset it. Your child see how you treat your spouse, how you repentance or how you pray and they learn from that. Correct with instruction. The goal of parenting is to have them love Jesus which in turn will help them obey. Fathers are to lead teaching. It's important to build trust when they are young before the teenage years. Dad needs to give right male affection to their daughters.