Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 6 May 2023:
Song of Songs 3:5 — Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
God intends for men and women to wait in abstinence and chastity for their future marriage partner, and throughout the Song of Songs you will hear Beloved warn the “Daughters of Jerusalem” not give their wedding crown to another before marriage. Today, our sex obsessed culture has characterized abstinence and chastity as unnatural, unrealistic, abnormal, and impossible. Some would even suggest that teaching abstinence and chastity is downright irresponsible. As a result, most miss the full blessings God intended for the marital union and enter their marriage with psychological, emotional, spiritual, and sometimes physical “baggage” that God never intended. There is no such thing as “safe sex” outside of a marriage between one man and one woman.
Song of Songs Solomon chapters 3 and 4 teach in a poetic way that God created us to be physically attracted to the opposite sex, but He gave us very specific rules for relationships to keep the relationship between man and woman beautiful and bountiful and to protect us from the destructive sin of lust. What God created is good. Sin takes God’s good creation and perverts it with selfishness.
Psalm 52:1-5 — The steadfast love of God endures all the day…. But God will break you down forever.
God who IS Love cannot tolerate sin because of His love. We can only see the tip of the iceberg of the pain and destruction our sins cause, but God understands the full ramifications of our sins which are far beyond our comprehension. God who IS Love HATES sin because He loves His children perfectly. Those who “love evil more than good” (Psalm 52:3) make themselves enemies of God, though they don’t see it that way.
– James 4:4 — You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Psalm 52:7 — See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction!
Those who seek security in anything other than Jesus will face destruction. Man’s efforts apart from God are futile.
Proverbs 6:1-5 – My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger, if you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into the hand of your neighbor: go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor. Give your eyes no sleep
and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
Let no debt remain but the debt of love. (Romans 13:8)
Proverbs 6:6-11 – Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief,
officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
Work hard and make sacrifices today in order to save for the future. God gave us the ability to work as a blessing, as a way to fellowship with Him and give to others. Laziness, idleness, and failure to work reveal a lack of godly wisdom and only lead to poverty. Hard word is poverty prevention.
Proverbs 6:12-15 – A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.
Don’t play games in your relationships. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Put all your cards on the table and be open and upfront with everyone. Let your “yes” mean “yes” and your “no” mean “no.” Ensure your aim is to always heal and to bring peace and greater unity.
Proverbs 6:16-19 — There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: …one who sows discord among brothers.
If you cause discord, you are committing an abomination before the Lord.
Proverbs 6:23 – For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life….
Discipline (external discipline in the form of punishment), or reproof, today is intended to protect us from temptation tomorrow. It helps us connect pain (negative consequences) to a behavior in order to counter the pleasure we desire from instant gratification.
Proverbs 6:30-35 – People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry, but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold; he will give all the goods of his house. He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away. For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge. He will accept no compensation; he will refuse though you multiply gifts.
There is no excuse for adultery, and it is not excused. “Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 6 May 2023: Today, pay attention to God’s reproofs, the inner conviction of the Holy Spirit and your conscience. Stop doing the things you know aren’t worthy of praise before the LORD, and start doing the things you know God has been convicting you to do. Most of the time, God’s reproofs will deal with how you are treating other people. Don’t worry about what you have failed to do in the past. Focus on doing the right thing right now, trusting God with the outcomes. He is faithful, so be faithful.