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I AM MY BELOVED’S AND HE IS MINE (SONG OF SONGS) LESSON 9.

WHAT HAS GOD DESIRED FROM THE TIME HE CREATED US?

UNION AND COMMUNION:

FOR US TO WANT HIM TO BE OUR GOD.

OH GOD YOU ARE MY GOD
OH GOD, YOU ARE MY GOD

FOR US TO LIVE WITH THIS IN OUR HEARTS:

I AM MY BELOVED’S AND HE IS MINE,

HIS BANNER OVER ME IS LOVE!

His Banner Over Me

BUT IN TRUTH,

WE HAVE NOT WANTED HIM TO BE OUR GOD,

WE HAVE NOT BELIEVED HIS LOVE

AND WE HAVE RUN AFTER OTHER LOVERS

AND BROKEN HIS HEART.

God asked Hosea to marry an unfaithful woman as a living portrait for His people,

for His people who refused to be His people

who wanted to be free to run after their idols.

Oh how personal it sounds, when Hosea cries:

She is not my wife, and I am not her husband.

(Hosea 2:2)

What does he mean?

It is a marriage only in the legal sense.

She has broken the covenant.

She is sleeping with others lovers

and is bearing their children.

And, in fact, Hosea names the daughter, Lo-Ruhama, which means

No mercy,

And the son, Lo-Ammi, which means

Not my people.

For the broken-hearted bridegroom says:

“You are not my people, and I am not your God.”

notmypeople

WE CAN BE SO THANKFUL THE STORY DOES NOT END HERE.

For though reeling,

God does not give up.

He keeps His covenant.

He betroths us to Himself in righteousness and justice,

in steadfast love and in mercy

(Do you see the gospel in Hosea 2:19?)

And one day, the Lord tells Hosea:

I will have mercy on No Mercy, 

and I will say to Not My People, “You are my people”;

and he shall say, “You are my God.”

Hosea 2:23

How can this be when we have been so unfaithful? I know that I can look at how I have betrayed Him and think, How could He see me as beautiful?

When Gomer’s lovers were done with her, they sold her naked on the auction block. God told Hosea to go and buy his wife back, to purchase her, and cover her. And he did.

How can we know with confidence that despite our daily failures and sin that we are His? He purchased us, not with silver or gold like Hosea, but with His precious blood. “The wrath of God was satisfied!” That means that we are fully paid for and we can be confident:

iammybeloveds

The lyric, “the wrath of God was satisfied” is from a beloved new hymn by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend: In Christ Alone. Recently a USA Presbyterian church in Nashville refused to put this hymn in their hymnal unless that lyric was changed.HymnalCenterImage They said that the idea that the wrath of God needed to be satisfied was repugnant, it would mean God killed Jesus. Getty and Townsend explained how important this doctrine was — for the word “satisfied” shows that our debt is FULLY paid and we don’t have to question whether or not we are His anymore.

Liberal churches want to throw this out. Legalistic churches want us to think we have to obey the law to have the wrath of God satisfied. As Tertullion said, “the gospel is crucified between two thieves: antinominism (against the law) and legalism. We need to cling to the gospel or we will never be confident. (If you are interested in that article and the controversy, here it is: Link)

In preparation for this week sing along with In Christ Alone. It is all about the sufficiency of the gospel to make us His. When you get to the third verse you’ll see the words “I am His and He is mine.” It is only in the context of the gospel, of the shed blood of Christ in fully purchasing us, in fully satisfying God’s wrath, that we can be confident: I am my Beloved’s, and He is mine.

Here in the song: sing along with it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWiFYJMGas0

Because this week’s Bible study is longer I am going to wait for the  audio from Mike Reeves until next week — for I don’t want to give you so much work that you don’t have time to listen to him. It’s a message I don’t want you to miss.

Sunday/Monday  Icebreaker

1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

2. On what basis can you be confident that God loves you, that you are His, and that He will never ever leave you?

Monday/Friday Bible Study

Staci found two great songs last week on The Song of Songs — this one is titled Song of Solomon. I KNOW it will prepare your heart. Watch and then comment.

COMMENT ON THE ABOVE SONG:

 

 A repetitive theme of Scripture is God’s yearning to be able to say:

You are my people

and have us respond

You are my God

Before we look at it in The Song of Songs, let’s see if we can get to the heart of what He longs for by looking at the picture He painted through the life of his prophet, Hosea. Answer briefly in these fact gathering questions, and then we will contemplate.

3. Fact-gathering questions from Hosea:

    A. Why, according to Hosea 1:2, did God ask Hosea to marry an unfaithful woman?

     B. When Gomer bore an illegitimate daughter and son, what did Hosea name them and why according to Hosea 1:6-8?

     C. Hosea 2:2 contains the name “I AM” that God uses for Himself, but this time it is different. How is it different and why?

     D. What reason does Gomer give for her unfaithfulness in Hosea 2:5? What is Hosea’s cry in the end of 2:13?

     E. What will God do to bring her to her senses according to Hosea 2:14-15?

     F. What promise does God make through Hosea in Hosea 2:16-20?

    G. What does God show Hosea will one day happen in Hosea 2:21-23?

     H. What does God tell Hosea to do in Hosea 3:1-3?

4. Contemplative questions on Hosea:

     A. Think about the reasons you give your soul when you give into the temptation of your idols? Are they similar to Gomer’s?

    B. How are they lies? How have your idols hurt you? How has God been true?

     C. How do you see the gospel in the opening of Hosea 3?

5. CHALLENGE QUESTION (SKIP IF YOU LIKE) Read Romans 9:25-26. (This is a challenging chapter about election, but it should also make us so confident that we are His Beloved and He is ours.)  What point is Paul making?

6. Read The Song of Songs 2:16-17. What does the bride say?

7. On what basis can you be confident that You are His and that nothing can quench His love?

      8. Read The Song of Songs 4:16-5:1. To whom does the garden belong? What parallel do you see 

          with Song of Songs 2:16-17?

HOW THE MARRIAGE BED ILLUSTRATES THE GOSPEL

Nancy Leigh de Moss, who believes The Song of Songs is first and foremost a picture of Christ and His Bride, asks, “Do you think God invented marriage and then said —I wonder what this could illustrate? No — first He planned the gospel and then used marriage as a mysterious illustration of the gospel. Likewise, Tim Keller says “earthly marriage is as close as we can come to comprehending intimacy — for we long for Someone wonderful to see us naked and love us to the sky.”

Despite our flaws, we are still His, and He is ours.

8. Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 for fact gathering:

    A. What do verses 3-5 say?

    B. How does this illustrate our relationship with Christ?

Jamie Lash, in “A Kiss A Day” writes: “To belong to Yeshua means we no longer belong to ourselves.” This is pictured by what God ordained for the marriage bed. Instead of thinking of our own needs, we give in glad surrender to bring joy to the other. Tim Keller tells of counseling an unhappy couple and asking them, for the next month, to just focus on the other’s needs in bed and not their own. It changed their marriage.

deprive

   C. What do you think it means to “not deprive one another?” If you are married, what would this

         look like for you? (You may not wish to share everything.)

GLAD SURRENDER

9. How did Jesus fully give to us, not counting His own desires? Does this help you fall in love with Him and long to give Him joy out of love rather than duty?

10. Are you growing in the area of glad surrender? Is He quickening you to step out of your comfort zone and care about what He does? If so — how?

Saturday

11. What is your take-a-way and why?

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  1. 3. Fact-gathering questions from Hosea:

    C. Hosea 2:2 contains the name “I AM” that God uses for Himself, but this time it is different. How is it different and why?
    He says “I am not her husband”…God turns from Israel who is guilty of disobedience (worshiping idols); He is willing to allow them to suffer the consequences of their actions without intervening.

    D. What reason does Gomer give for her unfaithfulness in Hosea 2:5?
    Her lovers provide for her…i.e., food and water, wool and linen, oil and drink.
     
    What is Hosea’s cry in the end of 2:13?
    Gomer forgot him as she sought others.

     
    E. What will God do to bring her to her senses according to Hosea 2:14-15?
    Allure her back with memories of the “good old days”…He will lead her into a desert (no distractions?), give her back what she has lost and provide her with hope for the present and future.

    F. What promise does God make through Hosea in Hosea 2:16-20?
    The promise of a new beginning…restoration of relationship where we are His people and He is our one and only God.

     
    G. What does God show Hosea will one day happen in Hosea 2:21-23?
    Relationship is restored…the gospel (i.e., we are sinful and undeserving, this is true, but God in His mercy and compassion loves us and accepts us as His own; we are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus.)

     
    H. What does God tell Hosea to do in Hosea 3:1-3?
    God tells Hosea to reconcile with Gomer…to bring her home, to forgive her, to love her, to establish a “true” marital relationship with her.

  2. 4. Contemplative questions on Hosea:
        
    A. Think about the reasons you give your soul when you give into the temptation of your idols? Are they similar to Gomer’s?
    The reason I give myself primarily is that this will bring immediate satisfaction to my soul. The lie is that God won’t. 
       
    B. How are they lies? How have your idols hurt you? How has God been true?
    They promise satisfaction but it is temporary-in the end they bring destruction.
        
     C. How do you see the gospel in the opening of Hosea 3?
    He pursued me, wooed me, and died for me while I was in the arms of my idols-He took my wrath on the cross..and He loved and redeemed me. Even when I am His and go through seasons where I am unfaithful giving in to the temptation of my idols-He comes and rescues me. He made me His to live with Him forever and His desire is that I remain faithful back to Him. 

  3. 5. CHALLENGE QUESTION (SKIP IF YOU LIKE) Read Romans 9:25-26. (This is a challenging chapter about election, but it should also make us so confident that we are His Beloved and He is ours.)  What point is Paul making?

    Not sure if this is on the right track or not, but what I see is God initiating first: I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one” God called them His people-God called them His loved one FIRST-they didn’t initiate first, He did. God grafted the Gentiles in-the Gentiles didn’t graft themselves in. God calls and woos people to Himself. He does this in Hosea all over the place-God takes Israel into the wilderness and woos her back even while she, being His already, is steeped in idolatry. She didn’t even initiate that-He did.
     
     

    1. deleted this.. ;~)

  4. 4. Contemplative questions on Hosea:
     
    A. Think about the reasons you give your soul when you give into the temptation of your idols? Are they similar to Gomer’s?
     
    One of the main reasons for giving into temptation, for me, is that I want something – be it comfort, approval, security, to “feel good” – and I don’t even bother to ASK God for it.
    That’s what I see in verse 5, when Israel, who has always been taken care of by God-His special people-and she is involved in idol worship thinking that these false gods give her material goods and security. What happened to their depending upon God?  I do the same thing. For example, I’m feeling a little lonely and rejected-no one is affirming me right now. Maybe this mindless TV show will distract me, or perhaps a sweet dessert will comfort me, or maybe I need to find another person to run to so they can make me feel better. I forget to go to Him and ask Him, or worse, I think about doing that, but isn’t the idol “easier” and quicker?
     
    B. How are they lies? How have your idols hurt you? How has God been true?
     
    It is a lie that anything or anyone can truly meet my deepest longings and needs. I’ve begun to ask myself that question when I sense discontentment in myself, or discouragement, or feeling upset – what is really at the bottom of this – what is it I really am longing for?
    My idols of power/control have hurt me because when I’m trying to control people and situations, it usually sets-off strife in my home and family; I am hard to get along with and it pushes people away. When someone doesn’t (because they can’t) meet my needs for love and approval, I get overly sensitive and have my feelings hurt; I feel offended and take things they say or do the wrong way. God is always true and right. If I come to Him and do things His way, I’m not going to get hurt.
     
    C. How do you see the gospel in the opening of Hosea 3?
     
    Starting with Adam and Eve, and over and over again in the Bible, I see God refusing to give up on us. He keeps showing His love, again and again, even though our collective bent is to be unfaithful to Him. Then, the picture of Hosea having to purchase Gomer for money so he could take her back – God sent Jesus to purchase us for Himself, but not with money, but with His blood. It is a picture of a person in slavery needing to be redeemed. Verse 3, “Then I told her, you are to live with me many days, you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you”, he wants her to be in an exclusive covenant relationship with him, just like God wants with us.
     
    5. CHALLENGE QUESTION (SKIP IF YOU LIKE) Read Romans 9:25-26. (This is a challenging chapter about election, but it should also make us so confident that we are His Beloved and He is ours.) What point is Paul making?
     
    The OT is the story of God and how He created and chose for Himself a particular people – I think back to Genesis where, for the first time, the word “Hebrew” is used, when it says “Abraham the Hebrew”. God chose this one man, and from him came the nation of Israel. I think Paul, here in Romans, is referring to how, through Jesus, ALL men and women can be included in His family…people that were formerly “not my people” are now “my people” and “sons of the living God.
     
    6. Read the Song of Songs 2:16-17. What does the bride say?
     
    She says, “My lover is mine and I am his.” This is a declaration of confidence in his love…no “maybe”, or “I think”. Not sure what the browsing among the lilies means…maybe he enjoys being with her? And verse 17 sounds like she wants him to be with her during the night-she feels safe when he is there.
     
    7. On what basis can you be confident that You are His and that nothing can quench His love?
     
    The only place I can gain that confidence is through His promises, His true Word in the Bible, His “history” with mankind. He is the same God today as the One who continually initiated reconciliation with His unfaithful people. That’s not an “excuse” for me to sin or act unfaithfully to Him, but I do sin and I do fail, and my failures do not negate His faithfulness and love.
    Some of the worst times I’ve had with doubt came after hearing a message or reading something about what does a “true Christian” look like – what should I be doing, how can I tell if I’m really a Christian? Many of those messages have made me feel like a complete failure in living up to the standards laid out by the pastor who gives the message, and then I start to worry and doubt, wondering how I can ever truly be sure.
     
    8. Read The Song of Songs 4:16-5:1. To whom does the garden belong? What parallel do you see with Song of Songs 2:16-17?
     
    In SOS 4:16-5:1, she calls it “my garden” and also “his garden” and he says “I have come into my garden…” So I would say that it is THEIR garden. That makes me think of a marriage relationship in which nothing is “mine” or “yours”, but “ours”.
    The parallel with 2:16-17 I see is “My lover is mine and I am his”. They belong to each other and share everything. This speaks of a beautiful “blurring of the lines” where they are two individuals yet uniquely melded together.

    1. Susan…love your comments:)

    2. Susan, your answers to the Hosea questions really helped me understand better. Thank you!

  5. 4. A. Think about the reasons you give your soul when you give into the temptation of your idols? Are they similar to Gomer’s? I think they are versimilar to Gomer’s reasons. So much so that I see he took her into the dessert, as He did me,, stripped away all access to thing of comfort and “necessity” to show her that He is all she needs. So she would focus on him. She would embrace hardship (because walking in the desert is not a picnic) to be drawn closer to him, reminded of who He is and what He has done, and be shown her true self undistracted by the things she filled her life with. I find myself wanting to escape a lot. With all that I have been through lately I have very shallow coping mechanisms. If one more thing gets added into my life I feel as though I will break. But the difference lately is that I escape to Christ and He discusses me in the things He has called me to. I am still burnt out but it is God who is my secure foundation, my deep root to a calm and joyful heart. I would have liked to know Gomer, to see her transformation. To hear her testimony and change of perspective. 
     
    B. How are they lies? How have they hurt you? Somehow I think that if I can escape, it will all go away, it will be better, I won’t have to keep on keeping on in the good fight to do the right thing, to rebuild relationships. So often my idols remind me “I don’t WANT to”. Which is a whiney self absorbed idolatrous response. Even when Christ faced the cross he admitted to desiring an ‘easier’ way but only asked once for it to be taken frm him and then strode forward after being strengthened by angels (Lk22:42-43).  My idols truly seek to destroy me, both in the little things in life and in the big things. They barrage with me with selfish lies and temptations and recruit foxes to come trampling on my vineyard that The Lord has given me!  What really hurts is that they are insatiable and so they keep doing harm. I watched a movie recently about an acoholic and how he couldn’t say no. And I was frustrated that he didn’t just make the choice to walk away from the evil. But then I was convicted. How many times have I stood in front of a choice, just as the alcoholic stood in front of a bottle, and choosen myself rather than my God? The memory of this pain (my own and the pain I inflicted on others, especially my kids…those eyes looking back at me…such sweet souls), destruction and turmoil convicts me to base my trust solely on Christ.
      Has God been true?  Oh how my heart loves the scriptures when they retell all of God’s amazing acts! It is often a response to despair among God’s people! And so I remind myself, “he touched me” do you know that hymn? That is the crux of my belief. I have experienced the Holy Spirit do miracles which validities that He is real and you can trust His inspired word. He is true, and even better he is true to me. 
     
    C. How do you see the gospel in the opening of Hosea 3? This is the gospel! God showed His love AGAIN (and again, and again) despite us doing everything that would justify Him not showing love. To pay whatever price to have her be his. 

  6. Elyse Fitzpatrick’s opening “Found in Him” Was amazing! I felt like one of  those people in church who nodd too much 🙂
    the message she brought so closely mirrored my take away from the marriage discussion  2 weeks ago that I had a friend who also listened read what I had written.
    one of those sweet Holy Spirit affirmation times of blessing.  

      1. Dee, last Wed. in our leadership training class Nathan taught-and I felt like one of those bobble head dolls. 😉 I wanted to jump up and say Amen! but I am new so I have to control myself..;)

  7. I just realized that there are two #8’s.   Now for the second one.  🙂

    8. Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 for fact gathering:
        A. What do verses 3-5 say? 
    Paul was saying that both husband and wife should realize that their bodies belong also to their spouses, not just to themselves.   Abstinence should occur only with mutual consent for a specific purpose, such as prayer.
     
        B. How does this illustrate our relationship with Christ?
      Once we have committed to Christ, we should not then pull away from Him or try to go our separate ways again. Once we have committed, we belong to Him.

  8. Dee, your explanations above helped in a couple ways

    …it helps me to see this as representing Israel and her unfaithfulness, and how now she has led the next generation astray. God must discipline even that generation to woo them back for they are not listening. He must discipline both the mother and her children. I think it is important to remember this is a mural of how God’s people are breaking His heart, but also, how He is concerned about them, for His great love kows they are hurting themselves. What do you think?

    1) This helps me see that the “children” also were led astray — and they probably were old enough to know better!  It wasn’t as if God were whipping babies who hadn’t done anything wrong (yes, I believe in original sin, but this seemed to imply more)
    2) The mural visual helps me see the bigger picture at once rather than focus just on some of Hosea’s words.

    I’m pretty sure that the reason I sensed a difference in tone is because of my “issues.”  I do know that God has softened my heart to be more open to receiving His love and responding to it.  And then I felt as if Hosea were yelling at me!  I like to have my defenses in place if I know I’m going to be chewed out!  The verses felt so personal, both “sides,” the punishment as well as the love, the wooing.  And I started thinking about election …and from there, my thoughts (for a little while anyway) deteriorated into “if the doctrine of election is true, how do I know if I’m one of the elect?” and some related fear, wondering if I were deceiving myself, etc. 

    I REALLY don’t like being yelled at (especially if I’m blindsided by an accusation), and some of the verses tapped into that.  I know God is holy, righteous, just, as well as loving and merciful.  The picture of the thornbushes, Hosea setting up a difficult situation so that Gomer would turn back to him, resonated with me.  But some of the verses before that triggered some fear.  I can see that it’s important to look at the whole passage & consider the context and the mystery of Scripture being written as God spoke through people.  My questions are based as much or more on an emotional reaction, fear that He will turn His back on me (or that He has & I’m too out of touch to know the difference), as on a cognitive observation of differences in tone.  Because my heart is softer (and as responsive as my brain right now), I’m having a hard time challenging that fear.  How do I know if I’m one of His elect? Because if I’m not, I might approach life differently.  (ok, not knowing if I dare hit submit… but some of those verses did scare me at least a little bit.  They didn’t bug me a lot because I’ve been distracted by work, but still…)

    1. I’m glad you hit submit, Renee…praying for you.

      1. Thanks, Joyce!

  9. 6. Read The Song of Songs 2:16-17. What does the bride say?
    He is hers and she is His-it isn’t flippant-it is in full..not just an intellectual taste of Him but literally partaking in Him and He in her. Experiencing Him-communing with Him. 

    7. On what basis can you be confident that You are His and that nothing can quench His love?
    Because of the Gospel- He says nothing can snatch me from God’s hands, and He is the same God who is faithful to Israel taking her into the desert to strip her of her gods and woo her back to Him..When God makes us His-we are His, period. He is pure, Holy and fierce in His Love-it wasn’t based on any merit of my own, so there is no mistake or sin that could separate me from His love. He loves me so much that when I sin or chase after an idol-He disciplines me and draws me back to Him. He is the very definition of Love..so when we enter into the covenant with Him-it is sealed-yes- but it is more than a covenant it is communion with Him forever..I am His and He is mine-forever. 
         

  10.  8. Read The Song of Songs 4:16-5:1. To whom does the garden belong? What parallel do you see with Song of Songs 2:16-17?
    Her Garden belongs to Jesus..
     
    The parallels: He browses among the Lillies in Song of Songs 2:16- and in SOS 4  it is more detailed as to how He is browsing in Her garden which is His. She refers to it as hers then refers to it as His in 4:16-so beautiful-really beyond words. There is also a correlation possibly in regard to the future-He is transforming her to His likeness in His garden..in SOS 2 she longs for Him to hurry and take Him with her-away from the foxes that could come into the garden perhaps-in the future when there is no sin-no possibility that we would turn our face from Him ever..so I am thinking she is also longing for the future in the new heavens and new earth with Him as well as enjoying Him now.. This correlates with SOS 5 in a sense where He is in her garden and has transformed her to His likeness?? I think this might be a stretch-correct me if I am wrong!
     
    I could be way off here again but I noticed maybe a parallel between the north and south winds and Jesus coming into His garden: North winds in 4:16 aligning with Myrrh and spice, and South winds with honeycomb, honey, wine and milk in 5:1. hmmm…not sure.. even see the Gospel here. wow..
     
              

  11. 8. Read The Song of Songs 4:16-5:1. To whom does the garden belong? What parallel do you see with Song of Songs 2:16-17?

    The garden belongs to the Lord, and also to her. She is His and He is hers. There is complete oneness, unity.

    8. Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 for fact gathering:

        A. What do verses 3-5 say?
    The husband has authority over the wife’s body, and the wife has authority over the husband’s.

        B. How does this illustrate our relationship with Christ?
    As husband and wife belong to one another and are one union, so are we with Christ. When a man and woman marry, God’s design is that they take on a new identity that cannot exist apart from the other. When I was first married, I noticed a friend would sign her checks “Mrs…”—and it struck me. At first I thought it was weird, but then I copied her example and have for almost 20 years. There is a certain realization that such a small act carries for me—I belong to my husband, I no longer can just think of myself. I represent him, and my actions reflect upon him. He trusts me with the checkbook, and I want to live worthy of his name! Christ is our Husband, our Lord. He has settled our account, paid in full, as our Husband, our Provider. We belong to Him, and Him to us. We are united.

       C. What do you think it means to “not deprive one another?” If you are married, what would this look like for you? (You may not wish to share everything.)

    This made me think of Proverbs 3:27 “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” In my marriage, there are many times, not just in intimacy, but in many different ways I have the opportunity to give of myself and honor my husband—but it requires giving up my own plans or perceived needs, and every time I have given selflessly, I have been more blessed in return. But I admit, the voice of Self in me is often loud and pushy. It’s a sacrifice to love selflessly, and I know I cannot do it on my own strength.

    9. How did Jesus fully give to us, not counting His own desires? Does this help you fall in love with Him and long to give Him joy out of love rather than duty?

    His inexhaustible forgiveness melts me. Oh, I still struggle with forgiving those who hurt me-the ones who don’t seem sorry. I’m amazed at how the Lord still loves me. Yes, that makes me long to love Him more—and OH, to grasp that He is asking me to love Him by loving those so hard to forgive and love—that is how I can best love You, Lord—oh help me love You more.

    10. Are you growing in the area of glad surrender? Is He quickening you to step out of your comfort zone and care about what He does? If so — how?

    There is an area of my life that when you say “step out of your comfort zone”—it’s more like step into a blazing fire, or walk off the cliff…and trust that He will catch me. Again. This one area asks me to walk into known pain. I’ve asked my husband how can I do this, and he tells me through forgiveness. It feels easy to love Jesus, until I look at those hard places, hard people—and then I realize again He is asking me to love Him in these places, in this way. To love Him by loving them. So I must surrender my self righteousness, my resentment, my anger, my hurt. All on the altar.

  12. I wanted to share this: All I Need, click the ittle play symbol next to All I Need.
     
    5. What point is Paul making? When read in context I think that he is speaking to gentiles (which was his primary ministry, right?), saying that even though for generations Israelites had been “God’s people”, now the gift of love was extended to all who would believe by faith.
     
    6. Read Song of Songs 2:16-17. What does the bride say? “My beloved is mine and I am his.”
     
    7. On what basis can you be confident that You are His and that nothing can quench His love? He has called me his people even when I was not. He has called me beloved even when I was seeking others to fill my needs. He calls me again and again. He quickens my spirit to understand and to run back, he still pursues me. The Bible over and over again assures of His love and His free gift of salvation. But the Bible also over and over again charges me to rid my idols and submit only to Him and His love.
     
    8.Read Song of Songs 4:16-5:1. To whom does the garden belong? What parallel do you see with Song of Songs 2:16-17? Both the bridegroom and the bride speak of the garden in possessive form. So it is both of theirs ? They are one and therefore the garden is equally belonged? She refers to the garden as her own and his.
     
    8. Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 for fact gathering.
    A. What do verses 3-5 say? The husband and wife both yield authority over their body to the other. And do not deprive each other *except* for a time of prayer. This is interesting to me because while it is important to not deprive each other God also wants us to protect against depriving HIM. To not make an idol out of our relationship with our husband. I see many couples who do not realize their idols because they are equally happy to idolize each other and make each other happy. Their christianity is something they have in common, not necessarily their foundation of the relationship.
    B. How does this illustrate our relationship with Christ? I loved what Deanna from Ohio said: “Once we have committed to Christ, we should not then pull away from Him or try to go our separate ways again. Once we have committed, we belong to Him.” In our marriages we commit and then work toward a right relationship, if something is amiss there is tension until we address it (which could take years!). However, so many enter into relationship with Christ and then just kinda walk away and meander back when convenient. They miss the commitment part where you have to continue working toward right relationship, submitting of self, seeking the other. Marriage. Union. Not a service rendered when you need it. Thought provoking.
    C. What do you think it means to not deprive one another? If you are married what does this look like, for you? I am going a bit off track here, but what I have found in the marital application of this study is that most of my inhibitions and reservations and “depriving” come from a lack of trust that my husband does indeed love me. As I learn how much Christ loves me and how he has expressed that to me, I trust Him more and allow that to wash over and transform me. A by product of me laying down selfish fears and boundaries (to stay safe) is that I have confidence in His love which means I can believe my husband when he says he loves me. Because even if my husband does hurt me (which is inevitable in human relationship) I won’t loose my base, my foundation. Christ is still my core. so….this is somewhat jumbled…. because I am coming to trust God’s love for me, I am coming to trust my husband’s love for me, I feel safer, I can give joyfully, I can be vulnerable without fear. Deprivation used to come because I was afraid of being hurt because I was vulnerable. I have found the beginning of what Tim Keller spoke of in his Love and Lust sermon. It is “easy” to respond to intimacy (not talking about just the bedroom here) when you have a solid foundation in God’s love.

  13. I am here doing the study, I just don’t have a lot of time to write the answers out and there aren’t any “golden nuggets”.

  14. Been trying to follow along, but like others (sigh) life is busy and time is precious. Plus, it’s easier to not answer questions when they are hard (!).

    I don’t think I am ready for the intimacy that SOS requires me to understand. I have thought of the marriage bed and don’t have that feeling of being loved no matter what. But, its not my husbands fault, its mine. He does love me sagging skin and all; its me that doesn’t love me and doesn’t think i am good enough. I remember an older woman saying to me once that since men are so visual, she thought her husband must envision her as a young woman when they made love because nothing had changed, but she certainly had over the years! I guess that’s like Christ. He loves us for who we are, not who we want to be or who we think we should be. Thank you Jesus.

  15. 9. How did Jesus fully give to us, not counting His own desires? Does this help you fall in love with Him and long to give Him love out of joy rather than duty? Here is another foreign concept to me – I give Jesus joy. So many of these thoughts have been taught to me since I was little and I have even taught them to others (including my little children!). But to specifically apply it to myself, specifically, and imagine the thought of Him joyful with my obedience is foreign, though lovely. =) I have been walking a walk to lead me to understand salvation by grace (although I need to listen to Mike Reeves salvation not by grace sermon) and this is a great next step. To believe Him and apply it individually to myself. I know that when I obey in direction in divine appointments I have freedom, peace, and joy knowing that I did His specific will and contributed to His kingdom. It does help me love Him more and more but I would have difficulty articulating this process aside from the above.
     
    10. Are you growing in the area of glad surrender? Is He quickening you to step out of your comfort zone and care about what He does? If so- how? When you realize how deeply He loves you you have to then realize He deeply loves everyone like that. This is inspiring. I have offered to pray for women that I knew were not Christian because God prompted me in that, I never would have done that before. And it because He is enabling me to see others as He does, with love. It is tricky footing to navigate evangelism in this culture (especially in my immediate demographic) but the Holy Spirit preps (others and myself) and I do not have the knowledge to tell God He is mistaken. I do still struggle with the way out of the comfort zone things. One night I felt led to go pray for a lady neighbor after 10p.m. but when I arrived at the door there was no evidence of anyone awake and so I walked away without knocking. =/ I look forward to growing in my faith so that I can go boldly and do His bidding!
     
    My takeaway: Just to continue to press into Him, escape to Him, pray to Him, learn of Him, walk with Him…I revel in these realizations and am (as Mike Reeves said) deeply refreshed and awakened in my soul to TRUE relationship and union with Christ.

  16.  
    8. Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 for fact gathering:
        A. What do verses 3-5 say?
    That the wife and husband should yield authority of one another’s body to the other sexually-except- in mutual agreement- they abstain so that they can pray. To me this means that renewing the covenant often in marriage sexually is important but deepening our relationship with Christ by valuing Him even above marriage is even more important. Really in order for the marriage bed to be the way God designed it, our relationship with Christ should be intimate and growing first. We should value Him above even our marriage. I think, then marriages become so much more beautiful.
        
    B. How does this illustrate our relationship with Christ?
    Wow-great question..Because we are His, He has authority over our bodies and He gave us His body on the cross-so we have Him and He has us-we are One with Him and as we walk with Him there is this beautiful yielding and He is transforming us, and we no longer belong to ourselves. There is this beautiful yeilding going on-we want to obey Him because we love Him and know He delights in it.
     

  17. 9. How did Jesus fully give to us, not counting His own desires? Does this help you fall in love with Him and long to give Him joy out of love rather than duty?
    On the Cross-He gave His body to me not counting His own desires. I think of the Garden when He prayed..Oh yes! Yes I fall in love and long to give Him joy rather than just obeying out of duty.
    I think that is what He has changed in me since I started doing Dee’s studies on her blog..He is AMAZING!! 

    10. Are you growing in the area of glad surrender? Is He quickening you to step out of your comfort zone and care about what He does? If so — how?
    Oh yes, I have to get offline though..We are going out of town for the day to a wedding, but I have to say yes, yes..but it is Him tending my garden and I am just yielding but that is because of the Gospel. I have some things to share but have to go! 🙂

  18. 9. How did Jesus fully give to us, not counting His own desires? Does this help you fall in love with Him and long to give Him joy out of love rather than duty?
    The wording of your question really surprised me, jolted me really. The concept that I could give “joy” to Jesus surprises me. It’s like I had never heard the concept before, perhaps it was the wording that makes me think over the concept again. The idea that anything I could do would bring “joy” to the Lord, that he would be delighted in me really is a hard concept to “get”. Jesus fully gave himself to us and He longs for us to fully give ourselves to Him. That is what would delight Him. God gives us joy and calls us to praise him with joy.  I know our repentance gives Him joy. 
     
     
    Is our faithful service a “joy” to Him? I think it is, when it is offered out of love, not duty.
     

    Matthew 25:21
    His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
     
    1 Peter 1:8
    Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory
     
     

    Sometimes living with joy is hard to find.  Praise is sometimes difficult to give when we do not feel like praising. So, by faith, I obey and offer myself, by laying my pain on the altar as a sacrifice and obeying in the work I feel God calling me to do in the moment, minute by minute.

  19. 9. How did Jesus fully give to us, not counting His own desires?

    By His willingness to be born as a human and then to experience an excrutiating death with separation from God — all so He could save us from sin and spiritual death.  Now He is our intercessor with His Father.  Furthermore, He is with us always  — we are never out of His reach and care.

    Does this help you fall in love with Him and long to give Him joy out of love rather than duty? 
     
    Yes, what is not to love about the description in my answer to the previous question?  It is awesome!   “He came to pay a debt He did not owe, because we owed a debt we could not pay.”  Such a relief — I love Him for that! 

    10. Are you growing in the area of glad surrender?

    Yes — growing is the correct term for sure!   Not to say I don’t occasionally catch myself grumbling about my service to Him.  However, it is always when I have forgotten Who I am doing it for.  If I remember that I am serving the Christ, then I can serve joyfully.   If I get to thinking I am just “serving on a board” or “doing church work,” then I am more apt to pity myself.
     
    Is He quickening you to step out of your comfort zone and care about what He does? If so — how?   Yes, once again!     I had begun saying to myself “Now that I am an older person, and I have done quite a bit of service, it is time to let the younger ones do it.”  I had started sort of pulling out of some things.  However, I am now reversing that trend and recently stepped out to assume a higher level of responsibility with a food pantry.  Now, in addition,  I have to recruit other people from my local church to go to the food pantry to work.  When I am responsible for recruitment that puts me out of my comfort zone.  But in glad surrender I go!

  20. (better late than never?…)
    4. A. Think about the reasons you give your soul when you give into the temptation of your idols? Are they similar to Gomer’s?
    I don’t necessarily think about it…it often is “second nature” (this realization makes me quite sad).  My efforts at self-sufficiency, control, and seeking approval are oh so similar to Gomer’s shortcomings.  I too am a harlot…I looked at Gomer in condemnation and judgment, thinking “how could she do that?”…how can I???
    B. How are they lies? How have your idols hurt you? How has God been true?
    My idols feign “creator” while I am the created…my sufficiency rests in my Creator/Lord…I can never be good enough to redeem myself from my sin; I have and continue to “miss the mark”.  My idols seek control, self-sufficiency, and approval…all dead ends; agents of frustration, destruction, depression and angst…perfection is demanding and paralyzing…  My loving, faithful, merciful God welcomes me back into the fold as one of His own…He doesn’t hold my many (MANY) offenses against me.  He picks me up, dusts me off, and once again (and again) sets me on the path of His providence.
    C. How do you see the gospel in the opening of Hosea 3?
    Hosea had every right to turn away from Gomer; she had betrayed him, was unfaithful running to others, but forgiveness, mercy, reconciliation, redemption was what the Lord had in mind, not only for Gomer and the Israelites, but for me as well.
    5. What point is Paul making?
    Initially the “good news” was shared with the Jewish people; the Gentiles were considered “outsiders” by some…but that wasn’t the Lord’s plan.  His plan was to delay the good news to the Gentiles until just the right time.  As the Jewish people, the Gentiles are also children of God, forgiven and redeemed.  
    6. Read Song of Songs 2:16-17. What does the bride say?
    The bride says that her Beloved is her’s and she is His.  She professes love and faithfulness to her one and only.  
    7. On what basis can you be confident that You are His and that nothing can quench His love?
    God is good and He is faithful…He tells me that nothing can separate me from His love, that is in Jesus (Romans 8:35-39).  Jesus paid my price…He redeemed me…(Ephesians 1:7) “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”…(Psalm 147:5) “Great is the Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.”…so many verses to reference…and then the God-incidences that could only be of/from Him…  
    8.Read Song of Songs 4:16-5:1. To whom does the garden belong? What parallel do you see with Song of Songs 2:16-17?
    It think it is His, but shared with His bride.
     
    (time to get ready for work…I’ve got the answers all journaled; I will finish typing them in either today or this evening.)

  21. 8.Read Song of Songs 4:16-5:1. What parallel do you see with Song of Songs 2:16-17?
    The mutual oneness…He is her’s and she is His; the garden is shared similarly.
    8. A. What do verses 3-5 say?
    Husbands and wives need to be mindful of each others’ needs…marriage is a special relationship unlike any other “human,” earthly relationship.  A husband and wife are “one,” a union of two individuals that are one.
    B. How does this illustrate our relationship with Christ?
    Jesus is my “One and Only”…He understands me fully like no human can, including myself.  He can bear the burden of being my “One and Only”…He loves with a truly unconditional love, unlike those of this world.
    C. What do you think it means to not deprive one another? If you are married what does this look like, for you?
    I think this means that you don’t disregard the needs of another; you are cognizant of another’s needs.  In marriage this has a host of meanings from physical presence and support to conversation and companionship/friendship to intimate marital relations.  I have experienced both ends of the spectrum…in my first marriage, my needs and person were very much disregarded; narcissism raged in that spouse’s heart and mind.  The difference between my first and second marriages is as different as day is from night…I am blessed with a wonderful husband and marriage. 
    9. How did Jesus fully give to us, not counting His own desires? Does this help you fall in love with Him and long to give Him love out of joy rather than duty?
    Jesus gave up His divinity to become human…He lived a life on earth with the devil constantly nipping “at His heels”…Jesus gave His life in an excruciating manner…His entire being was always connected, in union, united with the Father until He suffered the agonizing spiritual separation as punishment for my sins…He did all of this willingly, knowing the personal cost He would endure.
    My head has a hard time really grasping it all.  I sit and ponder God’s love…so different than any other love known, even the very best humanity has to offer.  When I think of love…human love…it always seems to have conditions…I can lose human love by poor actions or inaction.  The immense love and faithfulness of the Lord is difficult, if not impossible to fathom…
    10. Are you growing in the area of glad surrender? Is He quickening you to step out of your comfort zone and care about what He does? If so- how?
    I am growing…He is attuning my awareness to help me see/understand things I haven’t in the past or have glossed over with familiarity.  In hindsight I can see the distance the Lord has brought me…I can also see that I still have far to go…  “Growing” is an appropriate word.