Thursday, September 23, 2010

Instruction from Song of Solomon

"For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." Rom. 15:4

Background: Solomon, son of King David and Bathsheba, reigned as king over all Israel for 40 years during which time he built the magnificent temple of God. God gave Solomon wisdom wiser than all men, great discernment, an understanding heart as well as wealth and honor. He spoke 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1005 songs, his finest being Song of Solomon. Although a man with many wives and concubines, Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs) tells the beautiful love story between the king and his Shulamite bride; an intimate picture of the love between Jehovah and His people and later Christ and His Church.

Instruction: "...Like a lily among thorns, so is my darling among the young women...Arise, my darling. Come away with me, my beautiful one." (S. of Solomon 2:2a,13b)

The deep, passionate love that King Solomon declared to his young bride portrays the love God has for you! God proclaims, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you!" (Jer. 31:3) "..the Lord is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion..." (Isa. 30:18) Jesus Himself reassured, "As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love!" (John 15:9)

Do you find it astounding that God deemed it necessary to instruct His own to receive His love and remain in it? We must never believe the enemy's lie that God's love is given only to those who deserve it or have earned it (which is an impossibility)! God is love! (1 John 4:8) Therefore, the outpouring of God's love is based on Himself as the Source and not the receptor. Let us, therefore, acknowledge His love, accept it with joy and respond with love returned to Him!

"O that he would kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is more delightful than wine!" S. of Solomon 1:2Do you hear the depth of passion as the bride expresses her desire for her royal husband? Truthfully, the most passionate desire we must have is passion for our God! Solomon's father David wrote "As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God?" (Ps. 42:1-2)

How tragic that God must not only tell His own to accept His love but must also instruct (command us, if you will) to love Him! Jesus taught "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matt. 22:37-39)

One primary way to demonstrate love toward God is to love the ones He places around us. "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God …the one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." (1 John 4:7-8) "…Truly I say to you, to the extent that you (loved) one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you (loved) Me." (Matt. 25:40)

Encouragement: "Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved?" S. of Solomon 8:5aWhat encouragement God gives through this ancient love song...we can lean on Him as He transforms us into the beloved and the lover! "I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come from? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth." Ps. 121:1-2 "The LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs!" Zeph. 3:17NLT
Hope: "Hurry (to me), my love, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices!" S. of Solomon 8:14"Blessed Jesus! how cold, and fitful, and transient has been my love to You in comparison of Your love to me! Bring me more under its constraining influence. May this be the superscription on all my thoughts and actions; my occupations and my time– 'I am not my own. Lord, I am Yours! How can I love You enough, who have so loved me! My life shall henceforth be one thank-offering of praise for Your redeeming mercies.' " (The Night Watches by John MacDuff)Each day, let us hurry into the presence of God, receiving His love and loving Him. "The Lord will send His unfailing love by day; His song will be with me in the night- a prayer to the God of my life." Ps. 42:8

Linger there, beautiful one! "My beloved is mine and I am His..." S. of Solomon 2:17 "The God of old is (your) dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms." Deut. 33:27

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