“Surging waters cannot quench love, floodwaters cannot overflow it” (SS 8:7 NET).
The love described here is a fiery love with a deep, resolute devotion in it. It’s a love that cannot be moved, even under the harshest opposition. It’s a resolved commitment. The decision has been made, and it’s impossible for it to be undone. Like skydiving: once you jump out of the plane... you can’t undo that decision. It’s final. That’s the kind of love described here.
It reminds me of pictures of the recent tsunami in Japan. I remember one video clip of an incredible mass of water surging across an open field and then into a small residential area. It dominated everything in it’s path. As devastating and amazing as the scene was, one thing stood out to me as particularly fascinating. Riding atop the surging water was an actual fire, burning strong, easily moving along with the wave. So as the massive volume of water gushed across the land, the fire just rode along right on top of it, unquenched.
Now, there’s a snapshot, I think, of the kind of love this passage is talking about. Even a tsunami cannot douse it’s fiery commitment. Surging waters cannot quench love.
And that’s a love to celebrate. But, why? Why celebrate this kind of love?
Love like this should be extolled, because (like all of the Bible) SS 8:7 and the love that it describes anticipates and points ultimately to Jesus and God’s love for his people in Christ.
Eph.2:4-5 - “God... because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ...” (ESV)
Hos.2:19-20 - “I will commit myself to you forever; I will commit myself to you in righteousness and justice, in steadfast love and tender compassion. I will commit myself to you in faithfulness; then you will [know] the Lord.” (NET)
This is the covenant love that God has for his people. It’s an unshakable, unwavering, fully devoted, fiery love. It’s a steadfast love, and it never, never, never fails. It says, "I promise you, my people, that I will always be faithful to you. I will always be your God, and you will always be my people. If you are in Christ, then no matter what you do, I will always be yours, and you will always be mine. Always!"