IT WAS A LOVE STORY THAT MELTED MY HEART
I UNDERSTOOD WHY IT DID IN PART,
SEEING THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY,
BUT THE SONG OF SONGS HAS LIFTED THE VEIL
This is the true story of Beatrix Potter, the creator of the best-selling childrens’ series: Peter Rabbit. Beatrix was a spinster who was not valued in a time when women were not supposed to have a career other than marriage and mothering. No man saw Beatrix as lovely — and no man ever asked her to dance — that is, until her editor, Norman Warne, came into her life. He saw the beauty, the potential, that no one else saw — and his love drew that beauty out. In a scene so tender, he asks her to dance, and then takes her hand in his and leads her in the dance.
Do you see? We do not comprehend the love of Christ for us. He first loved us, and He sees what beauty can be in us if we follow His lead. We do not understand the character of God. As Jesus said to Philip, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet you have not known me, Philip?” Matthew Henry says, “How affectionately he speaks “O thou fairest among women!” He calls her his love, his friend, his companion.” And as in Ezekiel 16, He discovers her, covers her, and makes her beautiful. Henry writes: “It was comeliness which I put upon thee, said the Lord God, for we were born not only naked but polluted.” But He loves, He covers, He makes us beautiful — and how beautiful the church can be when she responds to His lead in the dance of holiness and love. Watch that scene here:
I know my heart was moved in part because Norman reminded me so of my dear husband, Steve, who believed in me, sacrificed for me, saw me somehow as beautiful, and led me into a closer relationship with the Lord. And of course Norman’s early death tore me apart. When I watched the following theme song of Miss Potter sung by Kate Medula, I was, indeed, overwhelmed with emotions: the joy of having been loved like that, the sorrow of having lost that love. But I also saw Christ, who will never die. Christ is beside us, He invites us to dance, He takes our hand in His, and He teaches us to trust even when the cold winds blow. Each of us can have that now and forever in Jesus.
Watch and let the music fill your heart with His love:
I am so anticipating what this week’s study in The Song of Songs will do in your heart. If you have just joined us it’s not too late — we are barely getting started. Just follow the instructions in the link in the banner above.
1. What stood out to you in the above and why?
2. Think of a way that Jesus has taken the lead in His relationship with you, either in wooing you, or, in recently leading you in a dance.
Monday/Wednesday Bible Study
For those who have just joined us, (Like Chelsea!) The Song of Songs is poetry, so there are repetitions, as in a song. This week we will leap ahead to Chapter 4 to see an important theme, but we will go back to journey through what we have not yet studied.
We have been seeing powerful evidences that The Song of Songs (also called The Song of Solomon) is first and foremost about Christ and His love for His Bride, and the love of His Bride for Christ. There is an application to marriage, but it is looking through the wrong end of the telescope to begin with us.
We must begin with the Lord, and then the earthly application flows downstream from that height to our lives here below. Many of you have commented that you don’t understand it, but this study has helped you love your husband more. Mike Reeves explains in the beginning of his talk this week why it is that when we fall more deeply in love with Jesus, we love others more. This also shows me why The Song of Songs must begin with Christ and the Church, and then flows downstream. (Our own Anne’s son was married yesterday — and we can pray that for them.)
When we try to bear the fruit of the Christian life on our own, we fail. For apart from Him, we can do nothing. We must begin with Him, or the grapes in our Vineyard will not be good.
A SONG OF MY VINEYARD
3. Read Isaiah 5:1-7
A. How did the Lord care for His vineyard according to verses 1-2?
B. What did He find when he came into His vineyard according to verse 2?
C. What is His lament, according to verse 3?
D. What will He do according to verse 5-6?
E. Describe the bad fruit in verse 7.
4. Read Song of Songs 4:1-15
A. A vital theme in The Song of Songs is His love for her. Read the opening 8 verses of chapter 4 and give your overall impression of how He feels about her. Is this a marriage based primarily on duty or on love?
B. What does He call her in verses 9 and 10 and what significance do you see in each name?
C. How does He describe her love in verses 10-11?
D. How is this garden different than the garden in Isaiah 5 according to verses 12-14?
E. Here is the BIG QUESTION. Why, is this garden so good?
5. Read Song of Songs 4:16-17
A. What do you think the north wind represents? The south wind?
B. Listen again to Kate Medula sing and to these lyrics: “Cold winds may blow…” What comments do you have? How might you apply this?
DON’T MISS THIS
Last week our own Diane said, “It is acceptable to revel in our beauty from the Lord.” This is so like what you will hear in the audio from Mike Reeves. Here is just a piece, but an important one. Just as we are to ask the Lord to search our heart and see if there be any wicked way in us, we should ask the Spirit of God to search our “garden” and see if there be any choice fruit in us, and then revel in it, for it is from Him. As Mike Reeves said, people tell him he is kinder than he was once, and he says that is true, and there is no pride in that, for all the glory truly goes to the to the Vine and to the One who tends His Vineyard.
6. What choice fruit does the Spirit show you in your garden? Share here in praise to the Lord!
THURSDAY/FRIDAY MESSAGE (BE SURE TO DOWNLOAD)
I know this message is a bit hard to hear, and you really need to sit with it, but OH you will be blessed if you do. I keep listening to it — it is so rich. Download it first! Here is the link: Mike Reeves – Sibbes The Love of Christ 2
7. What notes do you have?
8. What is your take-a-way and why?