Song of Solomon 6 (blog by me)

Song of Solomon 6 opens with a group of friends offering to help a desperate woman find her beloved. Then describes how he has “to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and to gather lilies.” Recall that Jesus’ body had been wrapped in linen and spices (see John 19:39-40) and laid to rest in a garden tomb. If you are familiar with the book of John, you will find this situation to be very reminiscent of Mary Magdalene weeping outside Jesus’ empty tomb (see John 20). Two angels appear to inquire about her tears. In her desperation, she seems indifferent to the fact that angels have appeared. She then accuses the gardener of taking Jesus’ body, but then realizes the man she is talking to is not the gardener but the risen Lord Jesus Christ! I’ll add that lilies are currently a traditional funeral flower because of the promise of new life that it gives. Even after a harsh winter, a lily will spring right up from the ground and deliver large elegant blooms.

Jesus’ resurrection is our promise of new life. If God has risen His own Son from the grave, He will raise us (His adopted children) up as well. 1 Corinthians 15:20 states, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” In Colossians 1:18, He is called the “firstborn from among the dead.” The risen Jesus means those of us who have trusted Him for salvation should have no fear of death. Like Him, we will be raised up to live! Glory be to His Name forever and ever!

Song of Solomon 5 (blog by me)

Have you heard there is a scarlet thread running through the Bible? Some say this meaning Jesus Christ is incorporated all of the way through the Bible, not by name but in theme. It’s true! You can find elements, themes, and symbols of Jesus’ life in every book of the Bible. In recent blogs, we have studied and by the Spirit of God found this to be true even for the Song of Solomon. Today, we continue our study with chapter five.

Within the span of only 16 short verses, Song of Solomon chapter five mentions the washing of feet (v. 3), eating and drinking among friends (v. 1), and coming into a garden (v. 1). How very similar to Jesus’ last actions before He was crucified! He washed the feet of His disciples, ate and drank with them at the Last Supper, and then went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray (see John 13 and Matthew 26).

In Song of Solomon verse 7, the Scripture says, “The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city. They beat me, they bruised me; they took away my cloak, those watchmen of the walls!” In context, we read with awe and disgust that the watchmen (whose job it is to guard against crime) actually beat and steal the cloak of the innocent woman looking for her lover. Yet, we find an amazing similarity to the life of Christ.

In Jesus’ life, it is the priests (those spiritual watchmen who should guard against evil) who attack our innocent Lord and have Him arrested. The soldiers beat Him and took His clothes (see Mark 14:65 and John 19:23) just as the woman in Song of Solomon. These horrific facts remind us that sometimes people who should be representing Christ with actions of love actually cause us great harm and pain because they don’t truly know the Lord.

Have you been hurt or misled by a pastor or people who claimed to be Christians? So was Jesus! The important thing to remember is that turning from God is not the answer. The real true God is full of love and welcomes you into His kingdom with open arms. He is the Good Shepherd who calls to you by name. Answer His call today!

Song of Solomon 4 (blog by me)

Song of Solomon 4 continues this beautiful expression of love culminating in verse 7 with these words, “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” In this context, we can see that the one person is admiring the physical beauty of his lover. However, we can remember that sometimes Scripture holds dual meanings especially in reference of the coming Messiah. It was presented in a veiled way that was only later understood with the explanation of the resurrected Jesus Himself (see Luke 24:27). It’s possible that “no flaw in you” refers to the unspoiled, sinless life of Jesus Christ, who was compared to an unblemished and spotless lamb (see 1Peter 1:18-19). 1John 3:5 states, “You know that [Jesus] appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.” It’s not that He wasn’t tempted; it was that He chose not to sin out of love for His Father (Hebrews 4:15). In this knowledge, we can rest assured He understands our temptation and know that He understands exactly what we are going through. He is our perfect example.

Skipping ahead to verse 15, we see reference to “a well of living water.” Where have we heard that before? Of course it is when Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well (see John 4). In John 4:10, Jesus encouraged her to ask Him for “living water.” She is confused by His offer, but He goes onto explain the living water results in eternal life (John 4:14). Later, Scripture reveals that the living water is the Holy Spirit (John 7:39). The Holy Spirit is what Jesus promised to His disciples would be even better than if He were still physically with them again. In this way, the Lord can be with all who believe simultaneously giving us power and praying for our individual needs. See the advantage God has given to those who believe? He is with them guaranteeing His promises!

If you have not put your faith in Jesus Christ to pay for your sins, isn’t it time for you to trust in Him? When you make that choice, you too will have a Helper in the form of the Lord’s Spirit living inside of you—guiding you into the light of eternity. What a gift from above! God is good!

Song of Solomon 3 (blog by me)

Song of Solomon 3:1-4 starts out with a search like every love story should. Men and women are not born knowing who they will choose to marry. It starts out with dreams and admired characteristics. It sometimes ends in several failed attempts at relationships. Then after a long search, you find the one you marry! In the same way, every individual must seek God and when they find Him must make that decision to give their lives to Him. Then shouldn’t we constantly be searching His Word to know Him more? If we truly love Him, we will! Does the Lord seek humans too? Yes! Like a good shepherd, He leaves the ninety-nine for one lost sheep because He does not want anyone to perish (see Matthew 18:12-14).

Song of Solomon 3:6-10 tells about King Solomon and his carriage. For me, this imagery brings to mind Jesus’ death and resurrection. Verse 6 tells us the king was perfumed with myrrh just as Jesus’ body was before His burial (see John 19:38-42). Verses 7-8 tell us the carriage is escorted by guards just as Jesus’ tomb was (see Matthew 28:1-15). In verses 9-10, we get an image of the king coming out of the carriage wearing a crown. How like our King Jesus who emerged from His tomb to be crowned with “glory and honor” (see Hebrews 2:9).

Thanks for studying the Word with me today! May God bless you and keep you, and may His face shine upon you. I praise our Father for helping us to know Him more in His Word and with the Spirit of Truth living in us. If you haven’t made the decision to give your life to Christ, make it today! He loves you enough to seek you out. Do you love Him enough to accept His generous offer to pay for your sins? I hope so!

Drinking Glasses (blog by me)

Being raised by a single mom meant we didn’t have as much as everybody else, but God never failed to provide everything I needed. As an atheist, I never saw my provision as a gift from God. I thought the only way to get anything was to work hard to provide for myself. It has been a long and difficult road to trusting my Father in heaven for provision. Having been a Christian now for over twenty years, I am starting to catch on to hearing God’s voice, waiting on Him, and trusting Him to provide.

For the last few years, I had been looking for a certain kind of small drinking glasses. In spring of last year, I heard the Lord speak to me about it. He told me He wanted to give me the glasses for free. I was excited! A few weeks later, I saw my church friend was selling some small drinking glasses like the ones I wanted on Facebook. They were really inexpensive, but when I considered buying them I heard the Lord remind me that He said the glasses He would give me were free. So I didn’t buy the glasses and another week went by.

Then I was walking through my neighborhood, and I saw a box of brand new glasses marked “free” at one of the houses. I looked inside. They were exactly what I wanted! I took them home feeling satisfied that the Lord had provided for me exactly like He said. People still compliment us on the beauty of these simple little drinking glasses.

I hope this short testimony of God’s provision reminds you that the Lord will provide for you in a graceful and merciful way if you wait on Him. Isaiah 30:18 states, “Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you….”

Song of Solomon 2 (blog by me)

Song of Solomon 2 is filled with imagery of blooming flowers and fruit. In verse 2, we read about “a lily among thorns.” This verse tells about One who is different than the others (and much more beautiful). When Jesus was conducting His ministry on earth, He was constantly under threat of religious people who were nothing but thorns. They claimed to bear fruit but never did. They were hypocrites, and Jesus symbolized His distaste for hypocrites when He cursed the fig tree that bore leaves but had no fruit. Yet when His disciples received the Holy Spirit, they became a fig trees that formed its early fruit (see Song of Solomon 2:13). Let’s recall Matthew 3:16 tells us the Spirit of God descended on Jesus like a dove. Verses 12 and 14 both make mention of a dove.

Let’s look closely at the captivating line in Song of Solomon 2:4. It states, “…let his banner over me be love.” That is what God stands for. That is what He intends to do. Instead of feeling intimidated or afraid, we can relaxed in His protection and know that we are covered by His love. We are provided for by His love. Our love has a future. We have been invited to the banquet with Christ (see Revelation 19:9).

Our future comes with a warning in verse 7: “…Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” God’s people should not fall for the false teachers that will come before Christ returns (see Matthew 24:4-5). These imposters are like foxes that ruin the vineyard (see Song of Solomon 2:15). If we stand firm to the end, we win the true prize of being with our beloved for eternity.

Song of Solomon Chapter 1 (blog by me)

One of my favorite books of the Bible is Song of Solomon (aka as Song of Songs). There is no other book that so closely resembles my relationship with Christ than this one because it is based on an intense love relationship. Many have sought to determine some kind of symbolism between Christ and his bride–the church in this book, and I can see it. Yet, that is the beauty of Scripture. We can discern different things from it as the Holy Spirit reveals it to us. For me, the professions of love in Song of Solomon speak my heart for Christ.

It is easy to see Christ in the first chapter of Song of Solomon. We have some major clues with key words from Jesus’ life. In verse 8, we encounter shepherds. Not only was Jesus considered a Shepherd (John 10), but shepherds visited Him in His manger (Luke 2:8-9). In verses 11 and 13, two of the three gifts brought to Jesus by the magi are mentioned–gold and myrrh. In verse 12, nard is mentioned. Nard is the fragrance Mary poured on Jesus’ feet (John 12). Verse 11 also makes mention of silver–the precious metal that served as payment to Judas for his betrayal (Matthew 26:15).

For me, the clues in Song of Solomon add up to yet another prophecy of Christ’s life. All of this in addition to simply being a beautiful song that captures the heart of believers everywhere. Read Song of Solomon chapter one for yourself, and tell me what from your own heart do you see the Holy Spirit showing you in the Scripture?

Hypocrisy of the Church (blog by me)

Pastors are having affairs. People in the church are lying and gossiping. Christians tell others not to sin, but they are guilty of sin themselves. It’s enough to make you sick, but don’t let it keep you from getting to know Christ. He did not die on the cross to gather up a kingdom of perfect people. He came for sinners, and they do not become sinless the moment they trust in Christ. In His own words in Mark 2:17, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

If you are tempted to fall into a trap of rejecting the truth because of hypocritical Christians, I have a message for you: Jesus says to look to Him and not to His people. His people will stumble a million times, but Jesus lived a perfect life. He is not guilty of hypocrisy. Your first step to living a life washed clean in the sight of God is accepting Christ as your Savior. Then you will begin the slow process of being refined. You too may stumble, but He will leave the rest of His flock to come after You. Jesus died to pay for Your sins. What a waste it would be for His precious blood to be spilled and for you to miss out on eternal life because you did not accept His invitation! Forget other people and your perception of the Lord that has been built on sinful Christians for a moment and just focus on just Jesus. Do you see a loving Friend with an outstretched hand? Are you ready to take it?

Pray with me. “Father, I confess I have not been open to getting to know You because of my perception of the church and Christians. The truth is my relationship with You has nothing to do with them. It is between You and me. I believe You are the Son of God who died on the cross to pay for my sins. You will raise me to eternal life in heaven with You because I trust You. Thank You for being a loving God. In Christ’s Name, Amen.”

Offended by God (blog by me)

Jesus’ miracles caused Him to gain a large number of followers besides the twelve apostles. Many gathered to listen to Him preach. One day, He taught they must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have life (see John 6:53-60). Upon hearing this, many were offended and turned away from following Christ. The disciples who stuck by His side learned Jesus was talking in the spiritual sense and not the literal sense, but those who turned away lost the opportunity to learn from the living God!

Have you been offended by God? Is there a Scripture that causes you to question the authenticity of the Word? Don’t turn from the living God or His Word. Taking offense is simply a spiritual trap set by the enemy to get us out of relationship with God. Choose to trust in Christ today and stand by His side. Ask for a clearer understanding. Let’s pray together, “Lord, forgive me for taking offense to You and Your Word. Help my attitude and mindset toward these offenses to match Yours. I trust You and know that You are more righteous than I am. I praise You and thank You for being a loving God who wants what is best for us. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

Religious Spirit (blog by me)

The Pharisees and chief priests of Jesus’ time were familiar with Scripture, but they denied the true spirit of the law. Since they had no relationship with God, they were unable to recognize Him when He appeared right before their eyes in the man of Jesus. They were caught in a trap of a religious spirit.

Someone caught up in the spiritual trap of a religious spirit is more concerned with following the rules than following Christ. He or she is quick to criticize anyone who fails to follow their own moral code, but they fail to fulfill the greatest commandments to love God and love others (see Matthew 22:36-40). Sadly, this spiritual trap fills the one caught in it with pride and blocks a genuine relationship with the Lord.

For the most part, I am painfully aware of my inability to live up to God’s standard. However, I have with much effort been somewhat successful at living up to my own set of rules at certain times in my life. It is then that I feel a self-satisfying pride that is particularly ugly, leads me far from God, and quiets His voice. When I confess my sins and humbly call on the Lord, He is eager to hear my prayer.

Are you guilty of having a religious spirit? Jesus is patiently waiting for you to get back on the right track today so He can live in a close relationship with you. Let’s say this prayer together: “Lord, forgive me for my religious spirit. I confess I have been more concerned about rules than following You. Help my heart to seek after You and love You above all else. Help me to love others instead of criticizing them. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (see Romans 3:23). From this day forward, guide me to operate in a spirit of grace to myself and others. Thank You, Lord, for the grace You have shown me in Your great mercy. In Christ’s Name, Amen.