Song of Solomon 4:12 “…a fountain sealed.” As a garden speaks of beauty and fruitfulness, and a spring speaks of refreshment and purity, so a fountain speaks of overflowing abundance. The Hebrew for fountain is ayin, which has been translated, “eye,” and in this context means “a place of flowing tears,” or “a place where the earth weeps” (Carr, The Song of Solomon: An Introduction and Commentary, 124). That reminds me of a beautiful cliff called “The Weeping Wall” on the Road to the Sun in Glacier National Park, Montana. There is one area where a constant spray of water cascades down such a wide stretch of the rock face that the entire mountain side appears to be “weeping.” When my husband and I saw it gleaming in the brilliant morning sunshine, it danced with rainbows! A fountain is very beautiful…and powerful. By its very nature, a fountain gushes like a geyser; it wells up from within the earth under pressure and cannot be stopped! Have you seen Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park or some of the magnificent mud pots and fountains in Geyser National Park? We sat shivering in the snow with our children one early May morning, waiting for Old Faithful to erupt. We had not anticipated such cold weather, and we weren’t dressed very warmly. The younger children had to be persuaded to stick it out instead of running back to the comfort of our room at the Old Faithful Inn! But, when Old Faithful finally blew, waves of hot steam rolled out and streams of boiling water exploded into the sky. It was an awesome sight—one the children will never forget. The display of heat (which felt good…while it lasted) and energy was truly memorable! Fountains are beautiful and powerful…full of heat and energy. “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth” (Proverbs 5:18). The imagery of the fountain in this passage is used metaphorically of marital sexuality. Indeed, could there be any more appropriate metaphor to describe the heat and energy…the beauty and power…the building tension and eruption? “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.” A stunning imperative! Delight in that which is most delightful. God has created it all for us, His gift to us as a foreshadowing of the greater fulfillment and perfection of unity that is yet to come. Perhaps this would be a good time to meditate briefly on God’s gift in sex. Sex has many purposes in marriage and is far, far more than simply the means of procreation. In the Criswell Study Bible (p. 773), at least five other important aspects are mentioned: knowledge (Genesis 4:1), unity (Genesis 2:24), comfort (Genesis 24:67), relaxation (Song of Solomon 4:10-5:1), and avoidance of temptation (I Corinthians 7:2-5) . In a healthy marriage, the husband and wife should both take as their sacred privilege the responsibility of providing for one another’s sexual needs, and they should not withhold their bodies from one another (I Corinthians 7:3-4). (Given the horrible perversions in our world, I want to add that husbands need to love their wives in such a way that their wives desire [as opposed to feeling “required/forced”] to bring them pleasure.) In many marriages, the husband needs physical intimacy more often than the wife actually senses a need, but it is my earnest hope that wives will extend themselves as much as possible to bless their husbands with physical intimacy.
A sealed fountain speaks of one that is kept pure and secured so that not one drop of water escapes without the owner’s direction. This is of paramount importance both in marriage and in our relationship to Christ! The Holy Spirit, which is the spring within us and shoots like a fountain from our heart, is sealed. The overflow of God’s love within us is sealed by Christ for his purposes, so that he can direct our every expression of love to whomsoever he pleases…to himself first, and to others only as he chooses. In marriage, the fountain of our physical love—our sexuality—is sealed unto our spouse. We are to be pure and chaste, kept always only for that one who by covenant has been promised our body ’til “death do us part.”
(I took the first picture, which is of Blenheim Palace, as part of my blog series on Britain [R’n’R’s in B’n’B’s]. The pictures of Yellowstone National Park were taken during a family reunion back in 2011.)