September 7

Song of Solomon 5:1–8:14

The Song of Solomon is a very detailed (but symbolic) expression of love and sexual intimacy. I would encourage husbands and wives to study it in-depth and discover for themselves the meaning behind the many metaphors. It’s important for us to keep in mind that sexual intimacy within the confines of marriage is a wonderful gift from God to be thoroughly enjoyed and kept holy and pure (Hebrews 13:4).

Solomon sees his wife as his sister, his love (Song of Solomon 5:2) he wants to be with her (if you know what I mean) but she’s having one of those nights…she’s tired, she hesitates, and then it’s too late, she ends up regretting her decision. He’s now distant, she’s missing him, problems. Her friends ask her, “What’s so special about your man?” And the Shulamite takes the time to list all the outstanding qualities of her husband. She appreciates his head, his hair, his eyes, his cheeks, his lips, his hands, his body, his legs, his face, his mouth:

Song of Solomon 5:16 (NKJV) “…Yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem!

Is your husband altogether lovely? Is he your friend?

Solomon takes some time to reciprocate the compliments. Her hair, her teeth, her temples, her curves are as the sculpture of a skillful artist! Her navel, her waist, her breasts, her neck, her eyes, her nose, her head, her hair (again). Every man and woman needs to know they’re loved and appreciated by his or her spouse. Our wives especially need to know their husbands love them and WANT them, and they can tell…if it’s real or not.

Song of Solomon 7:10 (NKJV) “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.”

The end of the book seems to describe a second honeymoon, or getaway, or maybe even the couple returning to where it all started. It’s good to do all the above. Husbands and wives get away, just the two of you. Never let the fiery romance die (Song of Solomon 8:6). 

I can honestly say that after salvation, my wife has been the “gift” of my life, the biggest blessing of all…I’m rich because of her, and it is through her that I received my children. I thank God for Shelly and the love we’ve had together.

Song of Solomon 8:7 (NKJV) “Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised.”

So true…if its real love all the trials, toils, and troubles of life will only deepen our love. What good would it be if a man had all the riches in the world, but didn’t have this love of his life?

If you’re married I pray you’d fall in love more and more – grow in love.

If you’re single, I pray you’d wait on the Lord (Song of Solomon 8:4) and always let Jesus be the first love of your life – He is the only one who can give you peace (Song of Solomon 8:10).

2 Corinthians 9:1-15

I think it’s important to keep in mind that Paul wasn’t presenting this opportunity for the people to give in order that he might benefit from it – this offering was for the poor Christians in Jerusalem. I’m amazed and even angered when I see some televangelists soliciting for money that contributes to their lavish lifestyle. Ministers should never live above the people. This is why Paul warned his protégé in: 

1 Timothy 6:8-9 (NKJV) “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.”

Paul had boasted about the Corinthian’s earnest desire to give, and everyone was stirred up by their generous heart. Paul now wanted to make sure that when his team arrived in Corinth, the contribution would be completed so that no one would be embarrassed – neither he nor they.

For the rest of the chapter Paul teaches us that giving can be compared to sowing seeds in the ground. If you sow little, you’ll reap little; but if you sow bountifully, you will also reap bountifully. Makes sense to me.

Of course, the true motive is not giving so that I might get – for that’s not love – and this whole act of benevolence is motivated by love (2 Corinthians 8:24). But Paul does want us to know that as we give to God we can trust God to take care of us in every way. We must not give grudgingly or out of obligation, for God loves a cheerful (literally “hilarious”) giver. We should give generously, obediently, and purposely; God will show us what to give (as we purpose in our hearts).

2 Corinthians 9:10 is interesting because there we see that God is the one who supplies the very “seed” we sow. He also makes it to grow to grain, wherein we might have bread for food – and even the fruits of righteousness – it’s all Him!

2 Corinthians 9:11 teaches us that after giving we are blessed and that causes us to give even more thanksgiving to God. Jesus did say:

Acts 20:35 (NKJV) “…‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

2 Corinthians 9:13 teaches us that our generosity to the poor brings them to a place where they glorify God.

2 Corinthians 9:14 teaches us that they (who we’ve given to) pray for us, who give. How important are those prayers? Can you see the blessings all the way around? Again, I think it’s insightful how Paul describes this whole realm of giving with the word “grace.”

O Lord, please grant me that grace to give more and more to You.

2 Corinthians 9:15 has always been one of my favorite Christmas passages. There are no works we can work, or words we can express that would adequately communicate how grateful we are that the gift of Jesus our Savior has been given to us! Amen?

Psalm 51:1-19

David was on top of the world – – a dangerous place to be. The tragic story is chronicled in 2 Samuel chapters 11-12 when David fell into sexual sin with Bathsheba, got her pregnant, and tried to wiggle his way out of it. When that didn’t work he orchestrated the murder of Bathsheba’s husband Uriah (who was one of his mighty men – 1 Chronicles 11:10, 41). After the adultery and murder he simply went on with his merry life – thinking he could get away with it.

It’s not gonna happen…there’s no way.

The sin weighed heavy on David, it separated him from God for close to a year, and it wasn’t until Nathan came and clearly (supernaturally) confronted David, that he finally came clean. This is the background to this Psalm penned by David.

In this Psalm David is pleading for mercy and forgiveness; he acknowledged his sin, what he had done and even who he was. Psalm 51:5 teaches us that we’re all born-sinners, we’re born with original sin, we all have the nature of Adam after the fall (Romans 5:12) and we need God’s grace.

But the only way we can experience that forgiveness is to confess our sin and forsake it.

Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV) “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

This Psalm is a vivid expression of what happens when we try to hide our sin (a terrible thing to do) and what can happen if we’re completely honest…if we come clean and confess. It’s not religion that God is looking for, it’s a true and total transparency, in conjunction with a yielded life.

I encourage you to sift through this special Psalm, slowly, and prayerfully. We all need forgiveness to a certain degree. We all need a new start from time to time. We all need that reminder to be real.

Psalm 51:16–17 (NKJV) “For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart – these, O God, You will not despise.”

God forgave David’s sin and restored his relationship with Him, but there would be heavy, heavy consequences (2 Samuel 12:10-14). Let’s learn from David’s mistake – let’s do all we can to stay sexually pure. But let’s also remember that God can forgive any sin and sinner – He can even make us white as snow – IF we repent.

Proverbs 22:24-25

Proverbs 22:24-25 (NKJV) “Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, 25 Lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul.”

I remember some of the guys in high school were always looking for a fight. I knew that if I hung out with them, there’d be trouble. People grow older, but they don’t always grow up, those “fights” (hurt and anger) get poured out on others. This Proverbs warns us not to make the angry and furious man our go-to guy…lest we end up the same way. 

You might remember that old parental adage, “Tell me who you’re walking with and I’ll tell you who you are.”

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NKJV) “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’”

Proverbs 13:20 (NKJV) “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.”

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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