YEAR 2, WEEK 18, Day 5, Friday, 5 May 2023

Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 5 May 2023:

The Song of Solomon: The Song of Solomon is a lyrical poem written to extol the virtues of godly love between a husband and a wife. The title basically means, “The poem of all poems,” or “The best poem of all.” The name implies that the poem was written by Solomon, though the characters in the poem are likely not intended to represent him directly, particularly since Solomon didn’t get marriage right.

The poem describes God’s design for marriage between one man and one woman who love each other spiritually, emotionally, and physically. The poem addresses sexual activity directly, countering ungodly notions of ascetism (denial of all pleasure) and hedonism (the pursuit of sinful pleasure), both of which have influenced some church traditions. The book has three sections: courtship (1:1-3:5); the wedding (3:6-5:1); and the maturing marriage (5:2-8:4).

In the courtship phase, the poem addresses the demand for restraint and purity while dealing with passions and insecurities. The poem then describes the powerful emotions and passions of the wedding and consummation, not often preached from pulpits. Then, the poem discusses the challenges experienced in a mature marriage – there is conflict and reconciliation.

The poem ends by describing a husband and wife who are confident and secure in their marriage and who yearn for each other’s presence. Throughout church history, many have sought to interpret the Song of Solomon as an allegory, a parable, or a metaphor for deeper theological issues. Certainly, the love story of the Song of Solomon has parallels to other spiritual truths, such as the love of Christ for the church, but the Song of Solomon is simply intended to be “a spirit-inspired expression of love between a bride and her groom. A love that is not to be ashamed.” (R.C. Sproul) The Song of Solomon is intended to teach spiritual truths to be practically applied in our lives.

Song of Solomon 1:15 – Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful.

God created us to be attracted to the opposite sex, and He desires us to have physical relations within the bounds of marriage. Sex outside of biblical marriage is sin and destroys what God intends for us. Sin turns what God intended for good into something bad. At the heart of sin is selfishness, substituting God’s command of love for our self-centered desires.

1 Corinthians 2:1 — And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Our faith does “not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:5).” If you are a Christian, It wasn’t logic and reason that brought you to your knees and transformed you, it was the power of the Holy Spirit working in a real, personal, one-on-one love relationship with you. Likewise, logic, reason, science, and well thought out arguments are not going to bring anyone else to Jesus. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him (John 6:44).”

1 Corinthians 2:11 — So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

It is dangerous in a relationship to assume what another person is thinking because we tend to misinterpret. This is one reason why open communication is so important to a relationship. Similarly, it is very dangerous to presume the thoughts of God in a particular situation, beyond what has been clearly reveled in the Bible through the Holy Spirit. This is one reason prayer (communication) is so important. God reveals truth to us via the Spirit, always perfectly aligned with His written word.

Also, the Spirit convicts the heart. We cannot know what God is doing in the heart of another person. Be very careful not to presume you do. We don’t know which “Saul” (referencing the New Testament Saul, not the Old Testament Saul) we know God is about to make a “Paul.” Proclaim the truth in love to all without showing partiality, and let God do the rest.

1 Corinthians 2:14 — The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Again, a person cannot receive God’s word and truth through natural means, without aid of the Spirit. Do not be surprised when what seems so obvious to you is rejected as folly by unbelievers. And anticipate that every time you read God’s living word, He will reveal Himself to you in a new, powerful way.

When God is working on the heart of a person, God may invite you to serve as Christ’s Ambassador to that person through the process. The most powerful testimony you can offer someone is to proclaim the Jesus you know personally, to tell of what God did in your life, to be a first-hand witness to the real power of God – “You are witnesses of these things (Luke 24:48).”

As you proclaim the power of God in a real and personal way, the evidence of God’s power should also be very observable to others by the fruit of your life. Much like Gideon and his army, you will not win the battle for the soul, you will only participate in what God is doing. God prepares hearts to receive your testimony, and you might not realize the impact your testimony has – seeds planted in soil that have yet to sprout. A fisher of men has no control over the fish, but the Creator does.

1 Corinthians 2:16 — But we have the mind of Christ.

If everyone has the mind of Christ, there is unity. Unity is found only in Christ. Today, many seek to unify around something other than Christ in order to bring peace, order, and progress; perhaps they seek a common bond through a philosophy, a cause, a political party, an ethnicity, a gender, etc. However, all these identifiers fall short in ‘saving’ people from themselves, more importantly from the wrath of God. The Bible says, God is love, and Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life – no one gets to The Father (who is the source of love, peace, and wisdom) but through Jesus. Be truly united through Jesus. (see John 17)

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 5 May 2023: Seek to only communicate what is put on your heart by the Spirit, rather than speaking from your own knowledge. Are you proclaiming Jesus Christ to others or just morals based on the Bible – there is a difference. We are not called to make “good, moral people,” we are called to make disciples of Jesus Christ. If you aren’t proclaiming the Name, you are not proclaiming Jesus. The name of Jesus will divide a room quicker than anything else. Jesus said this is exactly what would happen. Have the moral courage to be judged a fanatic. Simply proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ today without adding to it (1 Corinthians 2).

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