December 26, 2013

Today you should read: Song of Solomon 4

If you have not already noticed, the Song of Solomon is the first R & B song ever written. In today’s passage Solomon is teaching husbands how to serenade their brides. When I read this I am convicted and know I need to step my game up (and I am sure many of you feel the same way). Solomon is very intentional with his words and shows a deep love and investment in his bride that a Christian husband should have. Out of all of the verses in this chapter I think that v. 7 sums up Solomon’s heart the most.

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”

Did Solomon’s bride have flaws? Of course she did. Even some of his description of her may not have lined up with our world and its standard of beauty. I mean what does, “your neck is like the tower of David,” even mean? Yet, that is the point. Solomon is making his bride his standard of beauty because of his love for her. Husbands, how many of us have lusted after other women through media, in our work place, pornography, etc. because we are drawn to a perceived standard of beauty set by the world instead of making your wife your standard. How many of our wives have struggled with insecurity and shame because she doesn’t fit that standard that she knows you long for?

Let me ask you husbands…

1. Are your eyes for your wife only? Can you say that you think about your wife the way that Solomon did about his bride in v.7?

2. Does your wife know that your eyes are for her alone?

Sin causes separation and lustful desires of the heart will destroy the intimacy that God intended between a husband and a wife. Genesis 2:25 says that Adam and Eve were “naked and not ashamed.” Adam and Eve had not yet experienced sin in their relationship when this was written and if we are to achieve this level of trust and intimacy in marriage we must cling to the gospel and strive to love one another like Christ has loved us.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

Posted by:Chad Wiles

December 25, 2013

Today you should read: Song of Solomon 3

So… Merry Christmas. And this passage is awkward.

In a vivid dream, the young bride searches frantically for her groom. She hates being apart from him. Her pursuit is noteworthy. You can see a true passion and desire to reunite with him. It’s the “honeymoon stage”. She can’t get enough of him. This is where the allegory idea does make a little sense: we ought to relentlessly pursue our Groom, Jesus Christ. So where does it get awkward? Well… when she finds him. I know she could have come up with a better place than her mother’s house. Not exactly a husband’s choice vacation spot. But I have had weird dreams too, so I will let her off the hook.

Great wisdom is given in verse 5 (also highlighted in chapter 2). The daughters of Jerusalem are encouraged to take love seriously, and warned not to rush it. Here’s a solid note (on 2:7) from the NLT Study Bible:

This plea is obviously important to the Song; it is repeated in 3:5 and 8:4, and a promise is requested. When a promise was made, witnesses were needed, and the wild animals were the only witnesses present. These graceful animals suggest a romantic pastoral setting. • not to awaken love until the time is right: Or not to awaken love until it is ready. As in 8:8-9, virginity is praised. The woman warns the women of Jerusalem to be cautious and not to hurry love.

The rest of the passage seems to be a continuation of the dream she is having, though some believe that this could have been a real recollection of their wedding day. There is a grandeur to speak of here that we don’t really see elsewhere besides the descriptions of the wedding feast found in Revelation. The entrance of the king is special, holy, and awe-inspiring. Fitting to read about today? I think so.

Posted by:Todd Thomas

December 24, 2013

Today you should read: Song of Solomon 2

Song of Solomon is a very tricky book to understand and interpret. Many commentators say it is an allegory of Jesus and the church, His bride. Others say only parts of the book fit that mold while still others see it at only face value, a story of two people who love each other and are preparing for marriage. Either way, we know that marriage is, itself, an allegory for Jesus and the church (See Ephesians 5:23-32) and that all scripture is meant to point us to Jesus. We also know that the Bible gives us instructions on how to live and interact with others as well. So, now that we have that cleared up, let’s get to the passage.

There are clearly some parts of this chapter that are very clearly talking about intimacy, both physically and emotionally, between a man and woman. Many people read this book and feel a little uneasy about talking about it but the truth is this:

God created us with the ability and desire to be intimate and He has given us a healthy, God-honoring avenue to practice this in marriage. 

This is not something to keep quiet about. The world certainly isn’t hiding it’s view on sex and intimacy and we shouldn’t either. If God’s people do not use God’s word to introduce God’s truth on this subject then someone else will give their opinion and it will probably not be God’s. Also in this chapter we see some passages that definitely point us to Jesus. Verses 4 and 16 seem to clearly make reference to Jesus. I think in these two particular verses we can take this away:

We belong to Jesus. 

Verse 16 is quite clear on the ownership of one another (“my beloved is mine and I am his”). Verse 4 talks about a banner being over the person. A banner being over a person was a symbol of hope and belonging. It was a sign used in times of war to represent a side and to give soldiers a place to look to and to rally to. It was a symbol to encourage you to remember who and what you were fighting for. Jesus is our banner. We look to Him. We fight for Him and we belong to Him. So this Christmas season remember that Jesus came as a baby, was hung on a tree as our banner of love and rose again three days later to bring us eternal life. God bless and merry Christmas.

Posted by:Robbie Byrd

December 23, 2013

Today you should read: Song of Solomon 1

Well here we go… embarking on one of the most interesting books in the Bible.  Admittedly, this book is difficult to write a commentary on – it’s delicate and leaves us often not knowing really what to say.  But as we start we must remember that…

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.  2 Timothy 3:16

Song of Solomon is a part of that Scripture – there has never been any doubt or argument to that through the centuries.  It’s unique in that the Name of God is not mentioned within it, it is never quoted in the New Testament, and it does not contain any expressions or pious devotion to God or any prophecy or revelation.  It’s always been regarded as unique.  Early Jewish leaders advised that young people should not read it until they were thirty years old – “lest by the abuse of that which is most pure and sacred the flames of lust should be kindled with fire from heaven which is intended for the altar only.”

In an over-sexed culture such as ours, this brings up the question, what does God think about SEX ?

1. He thinks sex is good – He came up with the idea.

 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth”… Genesis 1:28

2. He carefully designed sex to ONLY work correctly within marriage.

Each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. 

1 Corinthians 7:2

3. ALL sexual activity outside of God’s plan (marriage) is sinful and deadly.

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.” 

Colossians 3:1-5

4. We must not think and act like those who don’t know God. 

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God…”  1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

5. It’s worth the wait…

Whatever your station in life – single and waiting – or married and enjoying – commit this area of your life to God.  He must be the boss over every area of our lives.

Posted by:Tim Parsons