Monday, June 11, 2012
Welcome to Day 162 of our Life Journal!
Click here for today’s reading: Song of Songs 5; Song of Songs 6; Song of Songs 7; Song of Songs 8; Philippians 1 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Song of Songs (aka Song of Solomon) can be divided into three sections:
The Courtship: “Leaving” (1:2–3:5)
The Wedding: “Cleaving” (3:6–5:1)
The Marriage: “Weaving” (5:2–8:14)
Song of Songs 5 provides some heart-pounding content as the Shulamite woman (presumed to be Solomon’s first wife, although not definitively) awaits her lover… 5:4, “my heart began to pound for him.” (Makes my heart pound just reading this!)
Some interpretations of Song of Songs attribute these 117 verses to God’s love for Israel and/or Christ’s love for the church (his bride.)
“God” is not mentioned explicitly (except possibly once in 8:6, “place me as a seal over your heart.”)
Song of Songs is not quoted in the New Testament.
Song of Songs 5:16, “This is my beloved, this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem.”
Song of Songs 6:5, “Turn your eyes from me; they overwhelm me.”
Song of Songs 7:2, “Your naval is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine.
Feet, legs, navel, waist, breasts, neck, eyes, nose, head, hair, breasts, mouth…
v 7 “Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. 8 I said, “I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.” (Blushing…)
Song of Songs 8:6, “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.”
Philippians 1:3, “I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
v 27, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
The steamy exchange between Solomon and his lover culminates today by way of an invitation from her to him, “Come away, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the spice-laden mountains.”
Cue Paul’s amazing letter to the church in Philippi, was written from prison, yet it’s theme is joy!
In spite of his chains, in v 18 Paul wrote, “The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice…”
v 21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Life is hard enough. Discouragement, depression, despair abound. Joy is not found in our bank account, our jobs, our hobbies… we have to look past all that to (as I wrote the other day) eternity. The mission of eternity. Keeping our eyes focused on Christ, looking past all the difficulties of this earth.
I’m not suggesting that we be so heavenly minded that we are of “no earthly good.” I’m merely suggesting that we keep things in proper perspective.
Solomon was pretty clear that when the dust settled, life was meaningless. All his money, wives and power could not bring satisfaction “the few days God has given us.”
Paul found a way to see past his circumstances… his chains. Literally, he wrote this letter while in chains, in prison.
Remember when he and Silas were in prison? Worshiping? And the earthquake shook the prison? They could have walked out, but in stead, stayed put (unlike Peter, set free from his chains by an angel!), made a big impression on the prison guard, who then invited them to his house where they led him and his family to Christ.
That is eternal perspective.
John the Baptist wasn’t so lucky. No books can be written about the power of worship to break us out of prison! (John was beheaded…)
Doesn’t seem fair, does it? Prison situations in the Bible aren’t “one size fits all.”
Joseph ran the prison as an inmate for years.
I’m always looking God’s fingerprints on any given situation. Looking for what He’s doing… or could be doing.
In order to do that, we have to have “eyes to see.” To see beyond what we see, to what we see with the eyes of our heart. Jesus only did what he saw the Father doing. (John 5:19.) Otherwise everyone would have gotten healed, everywhere he went.
Jesus always had the power to change every situation.
He could have rescued his cousin, John the Baptist. He could have prevented Lazarus from dying in the first place. He could have called upon legions of angels to rescue him from crucifixion.
But he only did what he saw the father doing
I pray that you would give me eyes to see (and ears to hear!)