Archive for February, 2011

The Song of Songs 8:8 (1-14) “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?

Despite the fact that the Shulammite’s brothers were rough on her she had a special relationship with them. Maybe the boys could say hey toughened her up for the realities of life, rather than letting her become an entitled little princes, v. 1:6.

She obviously loved them for it because when she talks about her husband she wishes she could treat him in public like she could her brothers. In public they were royals and expected to behave with a certain reserve. But when you meet brothers and sisters there is no decorum.

The boys really did care for her, because they were concerned for her moral state when it came time for her to be spoken for in marriage. They wanted her to be able to say she was pure and that they couldn’t be accused of not caring for her, v. 9. The relationship between siblings can be a tremendous positive influence on each other when the standards are kept high, v. 2a.

Vigilance involves being completely aware of the consequences of my thoughts, attitudes, words and action.

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The Song of Songs 7:11 (1-13) “Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country, let us spend the night in the villages.

The first few verses of this chapter describe how Solomon and the Shulammite looked at each other. They saw no flaws in each other, only the good. This was an intimate moment. But the Shulammite wasn’t interested in only a moment; she wanted to extend their time together. She wanted to experience more than just sex; she was looking for a shared life.

Time is a difficult thing to manage, and it becomes more complicated when two people commit to being with each other for the rest of their lives. It becomes even more complicated when they have children, because they demand all your time. But time and attention to that “I DO” commitment is still the more important.

Besides the fact that our kids are looking at us as an example of how they should be (whether we like it or not) we made a commitment to become one, not just in flesh; but also in mind, in will and in emotion. Time together doing things is a great way to meet that goal, whether it’s scheduled or spontaneous.

Enthusiasm involves not being discouraged by external influences on your life, but seeing their value instead.

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The Song of Songs 6:12 (5:1-6:12) “Before I was aware, my soul (husband) set me over the chariots of my noble people.”

If it appears that I’m asking you, this morning, to read 2 chapters, you’re right.
In 5:2 the Shulammite has a dream and in it her husband comes for her at night and she rejects him because she’s already asleep. Realizing, still in her dream, that she has offended her husband she goes after him. But she is mistaken for a thief and beaten. When the daughters of Jerusalem ask her where her husband is she tells them because she knew where he could be found.

Somewhere in this account she wakes up and goes to him and he is accepting of her whether he realizes what’s happened or not. What we should understand is that the king has been away on kingdom business and doesn’t always taker her with him. She has apparently grown tired of being second in his life for the kingdom.

Now we could say that her problem is that of selfishness and that may be true, but being that I’m a husband I see it differently. In this case the cause of her concern is his apparent indifference to her. This incident didn’t occur right after the honeymoon, some time has passed. And, a failure of the husband to realize his responsibility towards her is evident. He is used to going off at a moments notice, but what about her needs?

Just as much as you can say she should have known what she was getting into, he should have worked a way to help her adjust.

Initiative involves taking on the responsibility for the physical and spiritual encouragement of those entrusted to our care.

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February 11.11 ethot

The Song of Songs 4:8 (1-16) “Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, may you come with me from Lebanon.

In the culture of that day it was understood that the new couple was establishing a new relationship, a new home. Each was leaving behind the past and ready to establish something new. In this new relationship their focus would no longer be on their parents or their friends. There focus would now be on each other.

I thought that it was kind of interesting that although studies show women use up to five times more words than men to communicate a thought, here it was quite the opposite. Maybe she was hungrier than he for the relationship to get physical.

One thing I think we should take away from this (among others) is the importance of constant and deliberate communication between each other. Don’t let your relationship wear down to a few grunts and gesture, as if you’re talking at each other. Don’t ever get yourself into that frame of mind that thinks you already know everything about your spouse there is to know. Treat every conversation as an opportunity to discover or verify something new.

Initiative involves taking on the responsibility for the physical and spiritual encouragement of those entrusted to our care.

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February 10.11 ethot

The Song of Songs 3:6 (1-11) “What is this coming up from the wilderness…

In this chapter the Shulammite has a dream where she can’t find her husband. When she finally does she won’t let him go until she can present him to her mother, v. 4. I guess this might be a description of pre-wedding jitters. But there was no need to worry because the king was on his way and could be seen from far away.

What vs. 6-11 describes is the coming of the king for his bride. The marriage customs of that day were to first have the families agree to the marriage and pay the dowry. The second step was for the guy to go and prepare to support his soon to be family. When he was ready he would come to her at night in a procession with his friends. The final step was the dinner, which would go on for a few days and in which the marriage was consummated.

This made me think of our Lord, His soon return and how the church today has been experiencing pre-wedding jitters. We are waiting for the return of our groom who has been preparing a place for us (John 14:2-4). When He is done He will return to take us up to Himself (the Rapture).

Just like the Shulammite didn’t have to worry, because Solomon would never miss this date, the church today shouldn’t worry, because the dowry he paid (His own blood) guarantees His return. And, on that day we will find ourselves at that wedding feast, safe and secure (Revelation 19:9).

Security involves learning to enjoy what we have today without letting us forget the focus or our real joy, who is still to come.

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February 9.11 ethot

The Song of Songs 2:15 (1-17) “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom.”

A number of times in this chapter the writer refers to Solomon and the Shulammite as spring fragrances. That is that they are not only attractive but doing something to be attractive to each other.

During any courtship attention between the couple is heightened. It is a practice that should never end, but deepen, as you look to be pleasing to each other. As the relationship mature there will be times when dressing down is fine, but there should always be that desire not to offend each other.

As the couple are focusing more and more on each other they need to be aware that they attracting the attention of others as well, v. 15. Some who are not so nice but attractive are intent on having their own fun can create problems. Whether they are intentional or not it becomes important to take great care not to get involved in the inappropriate.

Like a good vineyard a courtship should have a fence.

Cautiousness involves learning to recognize and avoid those intent on destroying right relationships.

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February 8.11 ethot

The Song of Songs 1:2 (1-31) “May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine.

As the title implies, this book is a song written by Solomon. There are three main voices in the song: Solomon (1:1), the Shulammite (6:13) and the daughters of Jerusalem (1:5).

No one actually knows who the “daughters of Jerusalem” are. Some say they are just the women of the city, other say they are the kings harem (6:8). In chapter 6:8 Solomon describes that harem of sixty queens, eighty concubines and as many servants as they needed. My impression of this harem is that it is a left over of his father David, but now a responsibility of the son. He probably is not having sex with any of them. But this doesn’t mean the young man (early in his kingship) is not interested.

The Shulammite is a young woman that Solomon encounters in one of his inspection tours of the lands under his care as king. Her family owns vineyards and as the only daughter her brothers weren’t always friendly. I like to think she challenged them to a competition she rigged to win and embarrassed them publicly (they probably deserved it). So, their punishment of her was that she had to tend their areas of the vineyard. This made her very tanned. The women Solomon knew were all homebodies and not tanned, so the Shulammite stood out.

It’s funny that this study should fall in the month of February, the Valentine month. This is a time when married couples should refocus their attentions on each other and avoid the things that make us forget who we are and the commitments we’ve made.

Joyfulness involves looking past present difficulties to what God might be doing.

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