Category Archives: Marriage

Leadership Qualifications for the Church

Paul provides some timeless guidance on how carefully we should choose leaders within our church body. They high standards and appropriately so. Someone not only needs to meet these standards to lead in the church but also to remain in leadership within the church. If they fall, even if they repent, one must still consider very carefully if they are “beyond reproach” and if it is appropriate for them to retake a leadership position again. The emphasis is really about helping those they lead to grow closer to YHWH and it is not about maintaining the career interest of the leader.

1 Timothy 3

Overseers and Deacons

     1It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5(but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

      8Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. 11Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

      14I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

16By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:
He who was revealed in the flesh,
Was vindicated in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Proclaimed among the nations,
Believed on in the world,
Taken up in glory.

I think this is an valuable standard to consider for all of us who wish to lead lives pleasing to YHWH, whether or not we take a formal position in the church. Prayerfully reflect and ask the Spirit to show you, without bias and defensiveness, how you and your household stack up to this standard. Ask him help to lead you in change as needed or continued growth in these areas. Pray for one another in this regard, that we would grow toward this standard.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

What is Love?

What is love? This is a very old question with many answers. Context is important. We may “love pizza”, but that is different than when we say we “love our spouse”. Today, the world even steals the word “love” as a replacement for “sex”, which is completely incorrect. These are certainly not the same meaning. Greek, the language in which the New Testament was largely written, had multiple different words for different types of love. In English, we have one word and we must therefore pay close attention to context.

Many put a lot of time and focus into the highly marketed cultural holiday of Valentines Day. Candy makers will tell you that you must buy chocolates to show you love your spouse. Greeting card makers insist you must “care to send the very best” and thus spend $5 or more on a card, and send one to everyone you know. Flowers are a must, right? But now they even sell gold dipped flowers. Wow. Of course, not to be outdone, Jewelers insist that you are a buffoon if you don’t buy diamonds for that special someone in your life. We do well to remember that this is marketing intended to sell things and get our money. This is not how God tells us to show love to one another.

God calls us to show love to one another daily, not once a year, or on a few annual special occasions!

1 Corinthians 13

The Excellence of Love

      1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

      4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

      8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

If you want to give a gift, and it is wisely within your budget to do so, go ahead. But don’t do so because you “have to” or are “expected to”. These gifts mean little and will ultimately have a very limited impact if you do not show love the way God tells us to. Often times just giving gifts on designated marketing holidays comes to be expected and not appreciated as much. If you choose to give an expensive gift, don’t do it because it is Valentines Day, do so because you want to give a gift and can wisely afford it within your budget. Consider intentionally giving it at some other time besides the widely marketed holidays for an even greater impact.

Warning… if you come to make changes in how you celebrate these marketing holidays, discuss it openly with your spouse ahead of time! Don’t surprise someone by not giving them something they already expect from years of habit.

When you are ready to truly grow in maturity, turn towards God’s definition of love and begin showing it today to those you love. No warning necessary. They will greatly appreciate how you treat them. However, you may consider sharing the scripture with your spouse and helping one another as you both make the effort to shift focus from the world’s definition of love to God’s.

You can also ask yourself, if I am celebrating love, would it not be right to celebrate loving God as well as loving one another? And to come in thanksgiving to Him for all the love He has shown, shows, and will show us? If we are to focus on love in the Biblical sense, Valentines Day just does not match up very well at all. If you explore the origins of this celebration you will find that once again the Catholic church embraced this festival, but it was based first on a pagan celebration. As followers of Christ, we are better off separating from these pagan festivals and loving one another His way instead of man’s way.

World Religion News: Pagan origin of Valentines day

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Long For Your Spouse and Your Lord

I find Song of Solomon 8 a bit hard to fully digest and understand at first. I believe it is at once showing us a passionate and virtuous love between bride and groom and also an allegory for our love for Christ as the true body of Christ.

It begins with an innocence that seems to wish that her love had not the trappings of being king, so that she could love him more privately and without anyone despising her.

It includes some additional allegories, one in verse 8 about the younger daughter who may soon be of courting age.  The story highlights that should the girl be virtuous and avoid men’s advances, she will be honored. Should she be weak and susceptible to temptation, then they will try to protect her. This can also apply to us in a spiritual sense in our relationship with Yeshua. Let us not commit spiritual sin by participating with other false beliefs or false gods. Let us be pure and set aside for our Lord.

Another allegory begins later in verse 11 concerning vineyards. It would appear a reference perhaps to our being good stewards to all our Lord provides to us to manage in this life. All that we have belongs to Him. Let us use it well and consistently with His desires and instructions. Let us not be greedy and driven only by our own desires.

At the close, we see again how she can hardly wait for her love to come. Oh that we should be so anxious for our Lord to come and be with us… that we should put that focus in our prayer, Bible study, and worship time as priority above other daily activities.

Song of Solomon 8

The Lovers Speak

    1“Oh that you were like a brother to me
Who nursed at my mother’s breasts.
If I found you outdoors, I would kiss you;
No one would despise me, either.

      2“I would lead you and bring you
Into the house of my mother, who used to instruct me;
I would give you spiced wine to drink from the juice of my pomegranates.

      3“Let his left hand be under my head
And his right hand embrace me.”

      4“I want you to swear, O daughters of Jerusalem,
Do not arouse or awaken my love
Until she pleases.”

      5“Who is this coming up from the wilderness
Leaning on her beloved?”

“Beneath the apple tree I awakened you;
There your mother was in labor with you,
There she was in labor and gave you birth.

      6“Put me like a seal over your heart,
Like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
The very flame of the LORD.

      7“Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor will rivers overflow it;
If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love,
It would be utterly despised.”

      8“We have a little sister,
And she has no breasts;
What shall we do for our sister
On the day when she is spoken for?

      9“If she is a wall,
We will build on her a battlement of silver;
But if she is a door,
We will barricade her with planks of cedar.”

      10“I was a wall, and my breasts were like towers;
Then I became in his eyes as one who finds peace.

      11“Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
He entrusted the vineyard to caretakers.
Each one was to bring a thousand shekels of silver for its fruit.

      12“My very own vineyard is at my disposal;
The thousand shekels are for you, Solomon,
And two hundred are for those who take care of its fruit.”

      13“O you who sit in the gardens,
My companions are listening for your voice—
Let me hear it!”

      14“Hurry, my beloved,
And be like a gazelle or a young stag
On the mountains of spices.”

Ask the Lord to help you want more of Him… more worship, more prayer time, more Bible study. Ask Him to make it a desire of your heart and not just another task to be done each day. Let it be exciting to us as if waiting on the one we love to come to see us.

At the same time, for those of us who are married, let us also ask Him to help us continue to long for our spouse in this way that we should cherish our time together and not take it for granted.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Husband And Wife Should Embrace Being Passionate About One Another

Song of Solomon demonstrates a very clear passionate form of love to be shared between a husband and wife. They appreciate physical beauty and this is good. Many today try to downplay the value of physical beauty, but we should take care neither to overplay or ignore its importance. Try to see past the specific metaphors. They may not make sense to us in our culture and time today, but you can clearly tell that the couple is passionate about one another.  If there is one lesson to take in this regard, perhaps it is a powerful reminder that the Bible was written for us, but not to us. It was written to a Jewish culture of several thousand years ago. To fully understand is as YHWH intended, we must seek to understand not just the translated words, but also the cultural significance to the audience at the time it was written.

Song of Solomon 7

Admiration by the Bridegroom

     1“How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
O prince’s daughter!
The curves of your hips are like jewels,
The work of the hands of an artist.

      2“Your navel is like a round goblet
Which never lacks mixed wine;
Your belly is like a heap of wheat
Fenced about with lilies.

      3“Your two breasts are like two fawns,
Twins of a gazelle.

      4“Your neck is like a tower of ivory,
Your eyes like the pools in Heshbon
By the gate of Bath-rabbim;
Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon,
Which faces toward Damascus.

      5“Your head crowns you like Carmel,
And the flowing locks of your head are like purple threads;
The king is captivated by your tresses.

      6“How beautiful and how delightful you are,
My love, with all your charms!

      7“Your stature is like a palm tree,
And your breasts are like its clusters.

      8“I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree,
I will take hold of its fruit stalks.’
Oh, may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
And the fragrance of your breath like apples,

      9And your mouth like the best wine!”

“It goes down smoothly for my beloved,
Flowing gently through the lips of those who fall asleep.

The Union of Love

     10“I am my beloved’s,
And his desire is for me.

      11“Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country,
Let us spend the night in the villages.

      12“Let us rise early and go to the vineyards;
Let us see whether the vine has budded
And its blossoms have opened,
And whether the pomegranates have bloomed.
There I will give you my love.

      13“The mandrakes have given forth fragrance;
And over our doors are all choice fruits,
Both new and old,
Which I have saved up for you, my beloved.

A husband and wife should embrace being passionate about one another. Strive not to drift to being just friendly roommates. Continue to seek to know, love, and serve one another with passion.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Mutual Delight In Each Other

Sometimes our culture chooses to portray sex and sexual attraction outside of marriage as “exciting” and sex inside marriage as non existent or boring. Some in the church even get misled to thinking somehow they are not supposed to be excited about it. God created sex as a gift in our relationship between husband and wife. We are to enjoy it and through it we are to strengthen our bond of intimacy. We are supposed to find delight in each other in this way.

Song of Solomon 6

Mutual Delight in Each Other

1“Where has your beloved gone,
O most beautiful among women?
Where has your beloved turned,
That we may seek him with you?”

      2“My beloved has gone down to his garden,
To the beds of balsam,
To pasture his flock in the gardens
And gather lilies.

      3“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,
He who pastures his flock among the lilies.”

      4“You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling,
As lovely as Jerusalem,
As awesome as an army with banners.

      5“Turn your eyes away from me,
For they have confused me;
Your hair is like a flock of goats
That have descended from Gilead.

      6“Your teeth are like a flock of ewes
Which have come up from their washing,
All of which bear twins,
And not one among them has lost her young.

      7“Your temples are like a slice of a pomegranate
Behind your veil.

      8“There are sixty queens and eighty concubines,
And maidens without number;

      9But my dove, my perfect one, is unique:
She is her mother’s only daughter;
She is the pure child of the one who bore her.
The maidens saw her and called her blessed,
The queens and the concubines also, and they praised her, saying,

      10‘Who is this that grows like the dawn,
As beautiful as the full moon,
As pure as the sun,
As awesome as an army with banners?’

      11“I went down to the orchard of nut trees
To see the blossoms of the valley,
To see whether the vine had budded
Or the pomegranates had bloomed.

      12“Before I was aware, my soul set me
Over the chariots of my noble people.”

      13“Come back, come back, O Shulammite;
Come back, come back, that we may gaze at you!”

“Why should you gaze at the Shulammite,
As at the dance of the two companies?

In fact, sex in marriage is so important that we are told not to withhold it from one another. It is to be given and enjoyed freely, not withheld for power or to force someone to agree to something else. The Biblical view is really anchored in the concept that the two have become one. They are no longer separate individuals.

1 Corinthians 7:3-5

3The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Do not deprive one another such that Satan can utilize that opportunity to tempt you into sin. Do not use sex or withholding of sex as a negotiating tactic. Enjoy sex together as husband and wife and let it strengthen your intimacy.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Pursue Both Spouse and Savior With Passion And Admiration

If you browse or study Song of Solomon you will likely come across the thought that it not only represents the love and passion of a husband and wife for one another, but also picks up on the metaphor raised elsewhere in scripture of the body of Christ as the bride and Christ as the husband.

With both in mind not the passion in Song of Solomon 5. Note the anxiety and torment of separation. Note how we are to view our spouse and also our savior… with admiration. With Christ there are no flaws and some would think that is then easy to admire. Take care, however, because the world is constantly trying redefine what is right and good and then make it appear that Christ and those who follow Him are bad. Also, we are vulnerable to acknowledging His good and admirable traits, but sometimes without true passion to pursue Him. We may not give Him our full attention and focus.

With our spouses, of course we all have flaws. While flaws need to be acknowledged, prayed for, and dealt with, let us focus on those things that are admirable about our spouse and do so passionately.

Song of Solomon 5

The Torment of Separation

     1“I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride;
I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk.
Eat, friends;
Drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers.”

      2“I was asleep but my heart was awake.
A voice! My beloved was knocking:
‘Open to me, my sister, my darling,
My dove, my perfect one!
For my head is drenched with dew,
My locks with the damp of the night.’

      3“I have taken off my dress,
How can I put it on again?
I have washed my feet,
How can I dirty them again?

      4“My beloved extended his hand through the opening,
And my feelings were aroused for him.

      5“I arose to open to my beloved;
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
And my fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the bolt.

      6“I opened to my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away and had gone!
My heart went out to him as he spoke.
I searched for him but I did not find him;
I called him but he did not answer me.

      7“The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
They struck me and wounded me;
The guardsmen of the walls took away my shawl from me.

      8“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
If you find my beloved,
As to what you will tell him:
For I am lovesick.”

      9“What kind of beloved is your beloved,
O most beautiful among women?
What kind of beloved is your beloved,
That thus you adjure us?”

Admiration by the Bride

     10“My beloved is dazzling and ruddy,
Outstanding among ten thousand.

      11“His head is like gold, pure gold;
His locks are like clusters of dates
And black as a raven.

      12“His eyes are like doves
Beside streams of water,
Bathed in milk,
And reposed in their setting.

      13“His cheeks are like a bed of balsam,
Banks of sweet-scented herbs;
His lips are lilies
Dripping with liquid myrrh.

      14“His hands are rods of gold
Set with beryl;
His abdomen is carved ivory
Inlaid with sapphires.

      15“His legs are pillars of alabaster
Set on pedestals of pure gold;
His appearance is like Lebanon
Choice as the cedars.

      16“His mouth is full of sweetness.
And he is wholly desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem.”

How Beautiful You Are!

Some of the specific poetic language may not resonate in our time and culture (e.g. your hair is like a flock of goats), but don’t miss the sentiment of the passage. Solomon is truly excited about his bride, and yes it is ok to appreciate physical beauty in addition to beauty within the person, especially when directed at your spouse.

Song Of Solomon 4

Solomon’s Love Expressed 

     1“How beautiful you are, my darling,
How beautiful you are!
Your eyes are like doves behind your veil;
Your hair is like a flock of goats
That have descended from Mount Gilead.

      2“Your teeth are like a flock of newly shorn ewes
Which have come up from their washing,
All of which bear twins,
And not one among them has lost her young.

      3“Your lips are like a scarlet thread,
And your mouth is lovely.
Your temples are like a slice of a pomegranate
Behind your veil.

      4“Your neck is like the tower of David,
Built with rows of stones
On which are hung a thousand shields,
All the round shields of the mighty men.

      5“Your two breasts are like two fawns,
Twins of a gazelle
Which feed among the lilies.

      6“Until the cool of the day
When the shadows flee away,
I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh
And to the hill of frankincense.

      7“You are altogether beautiful, my darling,
And there is no blemish in you.

      8Come with me from Lebanon, my bride,
May you come with me from Lebanon.
Journey down from the summit of Amana,
From the summit of Senir and Hermon,
From the dens of lions,
From the mountains of leopards.

      9“You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride;
You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes,
With a single strand of your necklace.

      10“How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!
How much better is your love than wine,
And the fragrance of your oils
Than all kinds of spices!

      11“Your lips, my bride, drip honey;
Honey and milk are under your tongue,
And the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.

      12“A garden locked is my sister, my bride,
A rock garden locked, a spring sealed up.

      13“Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates
With choice fruits, henna with nard plants,

      14Nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon,
With all the trees of frankincense,
Myrrh and aloes, along with all the finest spices.

      15You are a garden spring,
A well of fresh water,
And streams flowing from Lebanon.”

      16“Awake, O north wind,
And come, wind of the south;
Make my garden breathe out fragrance,
Let its spices be wafted abroad.
May my beloved come into his garden
And eat its choice fruits!”

Let us all seek to care for both our internal and external beauty. Let us be good stewards of our bodies and our spirits. Let us seek to love our spouses and be excited about them and by them.  Continue to invest in the relationship over time.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

What God Has Joined, Let No Man Separate

YHWH does not want divorce. Further, when divorce happens, He does not want divorce to be frivolous. He put forth laws to protect people for when the sinful practice of divorce takes place because of the hardness of the people’s hearts. But he also sets up guidance to protect people and to help marriage be successful.

Matthew 19:3-9

  3Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” 4And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE5and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFEAND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? 6“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” 7They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?” 8He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9“And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

It is interesting that Yeshua calls out “except for immorality”. That should tell us something about how He feels about immorality, which is referring to sexual relations with other than spouse in this case.

YHWH set forth laws to help guide people to right behavior. Marriage should only be entered into with great seriousness and prayer. The law at first is often misunderstood as a means for a man to divorce his wife. This is not the case. Rather the opposite, this is to protect the women. The law requires that there is cause, not just “I don’t like her”. It calls for identifying “indecency” in her. It requires a formal process with witnesses and documentation through a certificate of divorce so it can not be done verbally in haste or anger. There are permanent consequences. You can not remarry once you cast her off once.  Overall, by allowing divorce, it also allows a way out for the woman who may otherwise be trapped under the potential oppression of a man who may be hard on her because he does not love her.

Deuteronomy 24:1-5

Law of Divorce

    1“When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house, 2and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man’s wife, 3and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, 4then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.

      5“When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken.

I really appreciate verse 5, which we should be careful not to overlook. It really is simple and wise guidance. Often today, many put themselves in a position to disregard this by their own choosing. YHWH knows that newlyweds need time to bond and grow together in their relationship. They should take care not to put themselves in positions where they are separated for long periods of time early in their marriage in particular.  Some do this for military, some for other jobs, some for schooling… but it is not a good idea. Others may not separate by distance, but they separate by busyness. They each get so busy in their own lives, each working different jobs perhaps, that they don’ t invest time together to build their relationship. It is very important to establish a good foundation in marriage and then continue investing in it over time.

Let us enter into marriage with great thought and prayer. For those of us who follow Yeshua, let us remember His instruction… divorce was never intended in God’s plan, but rather was allowed due to the hardness of our own hearts. It is better to not divorce in almost all circumstances.

Matthew 19:4-6

4And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE5and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFEAND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? 6“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

For more perspective on marriage and some resources to help you invest in your marriage, even if it is going well right now, check out our page on Building Your Marriage.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Yeshua Is The Bridegroom for the Church

There are some parallels we can draw from Song of Solomon about our relationship with Christ as our redeemer. Yeshua is the bridegroom and the church is His bride. One thing in particular that stands out for me when I think about my relationship to Yeshua in this way is that I should be passionate rather than stoic in pursuing relationship with Him. He comes as my savior! The church should be passionate about Him rather than indifferent. He should be a top priority, not one of many… just as we would expect a husband and wife to pursue one another. Yeshua has already done much in showing His love for us in that He came to dwell amongst us and died on the cross for our sins. He has made a way for us to reconcile to YHWH at great personal cost. We should each ask ourselves if we are doing the same for Him in how we live our lives.

Song of Solomon 3

The Bride’s Troubled Dream

     1“On my bed night after night I sought him
Whom my soul loves;
I sought him but did not find him.

      2‘I must arise now and go about the city;
In the streets and in the squares
I must seek him whom my soul loves.’
I sought him but did not find him.

      3“The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
And I said, ‘Have you seen him whom my soul loves?’

      4“Scarcely had I left them
When I found him whom my soul loves;
I held on to him and would not let him go
Until I had brought him to my mother’s house,
And into the room of her who conceived me.”

      5“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
By the gazelles or by the hinds of the field,
That you will not arouse or awaken my love
Until she pleases.”

Solomon’s Wedding Day

     6“What is this coming up from the wilderness
Like columns of smoke,
Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
With all scented powders of the merchant?

      7“Behold, it is the traveling couch of Solomon;
Sixty mighty men around it,
Of the mighty men of Israel.

      8“All of them are wielders of the sword,
Expert in war;
Each man has his sword at his side,
Guarding against the terrors of the night.

      9“King Solomon has made for himself a sedan chair
From the timber of Lebanon.

      10“He made its posts of silver,
Its back of gold
And its seat of purple fabric,
With its interior lovingly fitted out
By the daughters of Jerusalem.

      11“Go forth, O daughters of Zion,
And gaze on King Solomon with the crown
With which his mother has crowned him
On the day of his wedding,
And on the day of his gladness of heart.”

Though I do not hold that any particular commentary can replace our seeking to understand the Bible directly, with God’s help, I do believe that we can leverage the thoughts of others who went before us and then test that against scripture to see if it helps us gain potential insight into the word. I have selected one for more comment on today’s scripture.

Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

3:1-5 It was hard to the Old Testament church to find Christ in the ceremonial law; the watchmen of that church gave little assistance to those who sought after him. The night is a time of coldness, darkness, and drowsiness, and of dim apprehensions concerning spiritual things. At first, when uneasy, some feeble efforts are made to obtain the comfort of communion with Christ. This proves in vain; the believer is then roused to increased diligence. The streets and broad-ways seem to imply the means of grace in which the Lord is to be sought. Application is made to those who watch for men’s souls. Immediate satisfaction is not found. We must not rest in any means, but by faith apply directly to Christ. The holding of Christ, and not letting him go, denotes earnest cleaving to him. What prevails is a humble, ardent suing by prayer, with a lively exercise of faith on his promises. So long as the faith of believers keeps hold of Christ, he will not be offended at their earnest asking, yea, he is well pleased with it. The believer desires to make others acquainted with his Saviour. Wherever we find Christ, we must take him home with us to our houses, especially to our hearts; and we should call upon ourselves and each other, to beware of grieving our holy Comforter, and provoking the departure of the Beloved.

3:6-11 A wilderness is an emblem of the world; the believer comes out of it when he is delivered from the love of its sinful pleasures and pursuits, and refuses to comply with its customs and fashions, to seek happiness in communion with the Saviour. A poor soul shall come up, at last, under the conduct of the Comforter; like a cloud of incense ascending from the altar, or the smoke of the burnt-offerings. This signifies pious and devout affections, and the mounting of the soul heaven-ward. The believer is filled with the graces of God’s Spirit; his devotions now are very lively. These graces and comforts are from the heavenly Canaan. He, who is the Peace of his people, the King of the heavenly Zion, has provided for the safe conveyance of his redeemed through the wilderness of this world. The bed, or palanquin, was contrived for rest and easy conveyance, but its beauty and magnificence showed the quality of its owner. The church is well guarded; more are with her than are against her: believers, when they repose in Christ, and with him, though they have their fears in the night, are yet safe. The chariot here denotes the covenant of redemption, the way of our salvation. This is that work of Christ, which makes him loved and admired in the eyes of believers. It is framed and contrived, both for the glory of Christ, and for the comfort of believers; it is well ordered in all things and sure. The blood of the covenant, that rich purple, is the cover of this chariot, by which believers are sheltered from the wind and storms of Divine wrath, and the troubles of this world; but the midst of it is that love of Christ which passes knowledge, this is for believers to repose upon. Christ, in his gospel, manifests himself. Take special notice of his crown. Applying this to Christ, it speaks the honour put upon him, and his power and dominion.

I encourage each of you to study and pray as you seek to understand all that God’s word has for you.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

 

 

My Beloved Is Mine And I am His

Our culture will often downplay the love and attraction of spouses enjoying one another, while playing up the wrongful lusts of those who are not married as if they are somehow more romantic. We are always better off when we embrace YHWH’s ways. For those of us who are married, or engaged and soon to be married, it is good for us to look with admiration and love upon our spouse or future spouse.

Song of Solomon 2

The Bride’s Admiration

            1“I am the rose of Sharon,
The lily of the valleys.”

      2“Like a lily among the thorns,
So is my darling among the maidens.”

      3“Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
So is my beloved among the young men.
In his shade I took great delight and sat down,
And his fruit was sweet to my taste.

      4“He has brought me to his banquet hall,
And his banner over me is love.

      5“Sustain me with raisin cakes,
Refresh me with apples,
Because I am lovesick.

      6“Let his left hand be under my head
And his right hand embrace me.”

      7“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
By the gazelles or by the hinds of the field,
That you do not arouse or awaken my love
Until she pleases.”

      8“Listen! My beloved!
Behold, he is coming,
Climbing on the mountains,
Leaping on the hills!

      9“My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Behold, he is standing behind our wall,
He is looking through the windows,
He is peering through the lattice.

      10“My beloved responded and said to me,
‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along.

      11‘For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.

      12‘The flowers have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.

      13‘The fig tree has ripened its figs,
And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along!’”

      14“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
In the secret place of the steep pathway,
Let me see your form,
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet,
And your form is lovely.”

      15“Catch the foxes for us,
The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards,
While our vineyards are in blossom.”

      16“My beloved is mine, and I am his;
He pastures his flock among the lilies.

      17“Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away,
Turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle
Or a young stag on the mountains of Bether.”

We should take care to avoid believing the narrative that a bride should make sure she remains independent from her groom. That somehow she must not depend on him for provision, but must work in a job as well. It is perfectly good for a bride to embrace her groom and look for him to provide and look upon him with admiration. Similarly, let not the groom be so hungry for money that he insists the bride also work just so they can have more money and instead sacrifice the intended role of wife and mother in the family unit.

Do not stop looking upon one another in the way demonstrated in Song of Solomon 2 just because you have been married awhile, either. Continue to look upon one another in admiration and love.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.