Delightful Design (Song of Solomon 1:16) - Radical

Delightful Design (Song of Solomon 1:16)

Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful.
– Song of Solomon 1:16

And thus we begin to pray through the book of Song of Solomon. This book celebrates God’s good design for marriage between a husband and a wife to enjoy one another in every way, including with their bodies in a way that brings God great glory and them great joy. That’s what this book is all about.

And there’s a variety of questions about this book, including who wrote it. So the first verse says The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s, but that phrase, which is Solomon’s, could be translated to Solomon or by Solomon or about Solomon, and different people have debated or discussed which one it is. So we don’t actually know who it was written by, and there are a variety of other questions about how to actually interpret this book.

The way I understand it is that this is pretty clearly, I think, a picture of a man and woman enjoying each other physically in love, which when you think about our makeup as sexual beings, it makes sense that God would speak to us in his Word about how we can honor God with our bodies, and specifically how God’s design for our sexuality plays out in marriage.

Song of Solomon 1:16 teaches us that God’s design for marriage is for spouses to enjoy each other.

So I’ll do my best to keep these episodes G-rated, but starting with this first verse, Song of Solomon 1:16, when this wife says to her husband, “Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful.” And in the verse before this, he said essentially the same thing, “Behold, you’re beautiful, my love. Behold, you’re beautiful. Your eyes are doves.” They’re just gushing over each other. And here, God is reminding us that this is part of his good design for marriage, for a man and a woman to truly delight in each other, to behold beauty in each other, to admire beauty in each other.

And so there are a variety of different directions we can pray through these verses, but I want us to pray specifically for married couples right now based on Song of Solomon 1:16, that they would encourage one another with beauty and admiration and delight. So if you are married, pray this over your marriage, if you’re not married pray this over others’ marriages around you, and ask God, it’s certainly not wrong if you desire marriage at some point in your life, ask God for this kind of love in your life.

So let’s pray Song of Solomon 1:16. God, we praise you as the author of marriage. And we say, especially in light of so much confusion about marriage and so much that goes against your good design for marriage in the world around us, God, we want to experience what you’ve designed for marriage.

Song of Solomon 1:16 reminds us marriage is a picture of the gospel.

We know Ephesians 5 in a way that displays your love, Jesus, for your church and the church’s love for you. We want to experience marriage for our own good and we want to experience marriage for the spread of the gospel and the glory of your name through the way husbands and wives relate to one another.

So God, we pray over our marriages, over others’ marriages. We pray for beauty, love, and delight in these marriages. God, we pray for husbands and wives to delight in each other, to see beauty in each other and to point it out, to encourage one another. Lord, we pray for husbands and wives and marriages to build each other up in beauty and to truly delight in one another. God, we know that there is an adversary who doesn’t want this picture in any marriage.

And so God, we pray that you’d help us to guard this kind of loving admiration and deep, true, authentic delight, that you would cultivate that in marriages, in our marriages and others’ marriages. And God, for those who desire marriage, we do ask in trust of you and your wisdom that in your time you would provide that. Oh God, you are the author of all good things, and we praise you for designing marriage, for our good and your glory and the display of the gospel.

And God, we pray for the spread of that gospel through marriages, that the picture of Christ’s love for the church and the church’s love for Christ would be evident in our and others’ marriages.

Prayer for the Ngazidja People

And God, we pray that that gospel would spread to all the peoples of the world. Specifically today, we pray for the Ngazidja people of Comoros, for almost half a million of them, this Muslim people group living in the islands of the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and Mozambique.

God, we pray that the good news of your love, of your pursuit of us, of Jesus, you dying on the cross for our sins to make us your people, your bride, God, we pray that this good news would spread to the Ngazidja people of Comoros that they might experience and enjoy your love and experience your good design for marriage as a picture of the gospel. We pray all this according to your Word in Song of Solomon 1:16, in Jesus’ name, amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

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