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Sabbath School Lessons on Glimpses of God
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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 40 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 12: Love Stories *
Introduction: This week we take another glimpse into God's character
and consider another improbable creation: romantic love. Last week
we looked at beauty, and considered how a car, a person, a painting
and a vista could all be beautiful. We decided that what beauty has
in common in these things is to give us pleasure. What does
romantic love give us? Pleasure! Can you recall the early stages of
love (or infatuation)? It gave you an energy. A pleasure. Joy.
How is this a part of God's character? Why would He create such a
thing - especially since it is also the source of so much trouble?
Let's dive into our Bible and find out more!
- A Shocking Song
- Read Song of Solomon 4:1. Your eyes are like pigeons and
your hair like goats. Is something missing in the
- What compliments do you find in these words? (Gray
eyes? Soft, abundant hair?)
- Read Song of Solomon 4:2. Are shorn sheep still white?
What compliments do we see here? (I'm going to assume
that they are still white. So, clean, white, regular and
all present are this woman's teeth. I like women with all
of their teeth.)
- Read Song of Solomon 4:3. This woman has ruby red lips
and a lovely mouth. However, what is going on with her
temples? What color is a pomegranate? The ones that I've
seen seem to be green! (A Bible commentary tells me that
the "temples" were the "upper part of the cheek" and that
the inside of the pomegranate is reddish. A mark of
beauty in the west is high cheekbones, with some sort of
makeup that highlights the cheekbones. This woman has
- Read Song of Solomon 4:4. Solomon's love must be a
giraffe! Can you find a compliment in this? (Yes. She has
a stately neck. Not too short. I'm sure the shields are
an illusion to the jewelry she wears around her neck.)
- Read Song of Solomon 4:5. Many years ago I recall a
church member telling me (when I was with others) that
her physician told her that she had "perfect breasts."
Should this be part of our conversation among church
members? (My marriage advice is that you should avoid
telling church members who are not your spouse what you
think about their breasts!)
- Read Song of Solomon 4:6-7. When does the day break and
the shadows flee? (The morning!)
- What do you think is being referred to here? Use
terms acceptable for church when you answer! (I
think this refers to the sex act. I've read Bible
commentaries which refer to the prior verses and
these verses in terms of the church. The breasts
refer to the "nutritive virtue in the Church" and
"mountain of myrrh" is Calvary or Mount Moriah. That
seems absurd. If God wanted to teach us about Mount
Moriah, He would have said "Mount Moriah!" For some
reason God is talking about sex.)
- Why is Sex in the Bible?
- By now you are asking, "Why is he going through these
verses? This is embarrassing!" Should we have to
apologize for studying the Bible? (I've gone through
these verses in Song of Solomon for a very important
reason. If these are things that it would be better not
to discuss in church, why are they in the Bible? What is
God's purpose in romantic love?)
- Read Genesis 2:21-25 and Genesis 1:27-28. These texts
make clear that before sin entered the picture, God
created sex. He told Adam and Eve to "increase in number"
and He said the two would become "one flesh." Have we
now come to the practical reason for romantic love? For
the rather graphic verses in Song of Solomon?
- If you say, "yes," answer this. There is absolutely
no indication in the Bible that God reproduces this
way. Why would He have us reproduce this way (even
though God says we are made in His image)?
- Is sex like beauty - something that God created
for no other purpose than to give us joy?
- Think of this from God's point of view. Could
God have given us the ability to make people
like He made Adam and Eve? (God can do
anything, but for practical reasons I can see
why He would not want to make us creators in
the same way He is the Creator. Instead, God
created a mechanism by which we create
- Do you think God took pleasure in creating Adam
and Eve? (I feel certain this is true.)
- Would this explain why God gives us
pleasure in creating children? (It makes
perfect sense to me that God tried to
replicate His experience as much as
- Read Genesis 2:25 and Genesis 3:6-7. After the entry of
sin, something happened to the sexual relationship
between Adam and Eve. What was it? (Their eyes were
opened and they were ashamed of being naked.)
- Read Genesis 3:4-5. What did the serpent predict?
(That their eyes would be opened.)
- How do you explain this? (In many good things
Satan has a parallel bad thing. Evil lies next
to good. For example, if I preach a great
sermon, pride lies next to the satisfaction of
doing a good job. The joy and excitement of
romantic love in marriage has next to it
adultery and pornography. These are Satan's
- The Romantic Love Parallel
- Read Isaiah 62:5. If you look at the context, you will
find that the subject of this verse is Jerusalem. To what
does God compare His relationship to the City of
Jerusalem? (God is like the bridegroom and Jerusalem is
like the bride.)
- Read Revelation 19:7-8. Who is the Lamb and who is the
bride? (The Lamb is Jesus and the bride is the church -
those who are saved. Those who have put on the robe of
righteousness given by God.)
- Why would God compare Himself to a Groom and the
church to a bride?
- Is it possible that God created marriage and sex,
not simply for human pleasure, not simply to reveal
His pleasure in creating us, but also to teach us
powerful lessons about His relationship with us?
- Read Hosea 1:1-3. Why does God give Hosea such a bizarre
instruction? (To illustrate how our unfaithfulness to God
is like human adultery.)
- When did Adam and Eve first notice that they were
naked? (When they committed adultery against God.
When they were unfaithful to God.)
- Is Hosea's situation the first time this kind of
illustration came to God's mind? (Of course not. I
think that God gave us romantic love in part to
teach us the powerful emotions involved in breaking
the bond of romantic love. Those powerful emotions
in adultery teach us about God's emotions when we
commit adultery against Him, when we are unfaithful
- If you have been involved in a situation in which
there is marital unfaithfulness, does the appearance
of the "home-wrecker" make a difference? (If the
"home-wrecker" is bad looking, or worse looking than
the spouse, it adds to our frustration. We can
think of all sorts of other things we might compare
- money, intelligence, position. If the home-wrecker is lower on any one of these scales than the
spouse, we say, "What is going on!")
- Who is God's competition? (This shows us
another aspect of God's frustration with us!)
- Read Jeremiah 2:1-3. What kind of relationship does God
want to have with us? (The kind of fresh, exciting
relationship that we find in youthful romantic love.)
- Read Jeremiah 2:20-22. Against what does God warn us?
- What do these two emotional extremes teach us about
God's desired relationship with us? (God has great
affection for us. He desires to have the most
intense and positive relationship with us. But,
when we turn away from Him it causes Him to suffer
the most intense pain.)
- Friend, have you every thought that God wants to have the
most intense relationship with you? I think that God
invented sex both for pleasure and reproduction. But, I
also believe that He created romantic love for the
purpose of helping us to understand the great love and
emotional bond that He seeks to have with us.
- Next week: The Promise of His Return.
* Copr. 2012, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.