Type and press Enter.

New here? See how to Get Started






Jonathan Edwards was a keen intellect, President of Princeton, and key figure in The Great Awakening. Some of you read the essay he wrote explaining the parallels he saw between Psalm 45, which is the wedding song of our Bridegroom coming back for us, and The Song of Songs. In Psalm 45, the psalmist writes:

Gird your sword on your thigh,

O might one,

in your splendor and majesty!

In your majesty ride out victoriously

for the cause of truth and meekness

and righteousness…

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever…

your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia…

(Psalm 45: 3-4; 6; 8)

Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty.

The same Bridegroom who

“comes up from the wilderness

perfumed with myrrh and frankincense…

(Song of Songs 3:6)

This Mighty King of Glory, though it is hard to fathom, is our Bridegroom.

He asks us to set our affections upon Him,

to forsake all others,

and to cling to Him.

In Psalm 45 He asks for surrender,

for her to forget her people and her father’s house.

In The Song of Songs, He asks for surrender,

for her to come out of the cleft and to go with Him.

But we are weak, and like the Shulamite bride,

we are afraid of what He will ask, of what it will cost us,

for we do not yet trust His love.

Then we are sad, lonely, despondent.

I so identify with Norah Jones when she sings: Don’t Know Why…


This week we will see how the poor foolish bride, as Hudson Taylor calls her, is lonely and desperate, now that she has stayed in the cleft of the rock. So she calls for Him to come to her, like a gazelle or a young stag, bounding over the mountains. And of course, He does. She seeks Him and finds Him and says she will not let Him go. (Though as Jesus said, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.) Yet when she is faithless, He is faithful. He is going to come for her and wed her!

And He weds her before she does anything to earn His love. It is only after the wedding, after she sees how faithful He is that she agrees to go higher, to go the mountain of myrhh.

What a picture of the gospel!

He loved us long before we loved Him.

Sunday/Monday Icebreaker

1. What stood out to you and why?

2. Once our own Elizabeth asked God to “mess with her heart” if she was wrong about resisting adoption. Is there an area where the Spirit has been whispering and you have been resisting? Would you be willing to pray “mess with my heart?” Do you trust His love enough?

Monday/Wednesday Bible Study

2. Read Song of Songs 3:1-5

    A. In Song of Songs 2:13 he asked her to arise, and she did not. What does she say now in Song of Songs 3:1-2?

    B. The watchmen most likely represent pastors and leaders in the church who are called to watch over the flock. Sometimes they do it well, and sometimes they do not. What does she ask them in verse 3?

    C. How quickly does she find him and what is her heart’s intent in verse 4?

    Matthew Henry interprets verse 5 as him being asleep in her arms and she doesn’t want him awakened.

     D. Be alert this week to a time when you sense the presence of Christ with you — and bask in the sweetness. Share here if it happens.

3. Read Song of Songs 3:6-11 and describe the glory of the wedding processional. Take time.

4. Read Song of Songs 4:1-6. After he again reassures her of his love, describing how beautiful she is to him, she now says she will go away with him to the mountain of myrrh. What do you think is happening here? Why do you think this?

(Rebecca found this century old photograph of a girl coming out of the cleft of a rock in Hawaii.)


Thursday-Friday Teaching


Then choose the 4th talk, even though we have not yet listened to the 3rd. (We will!) It is called The Love of Christ 4.

5. Listen and share your notes.

6. Remember to watch for a time when you sense the Lord is with you, when your love is in your arms or you are in His And then share. I’ll share one — and then it’s your turn.

Last week when I was flying, I had gotten on the plane so late that I couldn’t even grab my book but had to quickly stuff everything overhead. So I was looking at the Safety pamphlet tucked in the pocket in front of me and decided to pray through the letters on the front praising the Lord. (For example: Read Carefully — R: you are my Redeemer; E: you are the most Excellent of men; A: you are my Alpha and Omega…) Anyhow, I kept falling asleep. And then I remembered what Tim Keller said: “Have you ever fallen asleep during prayer and felt guilty? How do you feel when a child falls asleep in your arms when you are reading to him? Feel better?”   Instead of feeling guilty, I felt loved, cherished, and the presence of God.


7. What’s your take-a-way and why?

Leave a Comment

Comment * If this is your first time here, please comment then fill out your name and email as stated at the bottom. Dee will approve you within 24 hours.


  1. Here is another part that stood out:
    Being accountable to one another with sin puts a hedge around your sin-but it doesn’t actually do anything positive to help you grow. What sibbs says is that growth as a Christian isn’t putting hedging around our behavior, it is the love of Christ, His grace affects and changes our hearts so that we love him and therefore behave differently. Always looking to Christ is the solution.
    As you go to church, have fellowship with brothers and sisters, as you read your bible, look at creation-it is proclaiming free Grace to us..when it comes to reading scriptures you are doing something specific..throughout scripture there is law and Gospel..anything that is command is law-any command gives you no power to do so..If I say do not commit adultery I am not giving you anything to battle it with. Law doesn’t enable Christian life. The only thing that enables Christian life is the Gospel. Christ is the one who is absolutely faithful to His bride. Lets say I am tempted to adultery and I hear of Christ’s jealous faithfulness-his absolute purity how He dies for his bride and never seeks another. Then that effects me. He has done all that for me. That His Grace judges my sin-that seems to be the supreme way he judges by His grace. My pride is exposed to be vile in light of his humility coming down from heaven, my pride looks ridiculous in the face of that, my adultery looks revolting in light of His purity and faithfulness. Christ doesn’t’ commit adultery he is pure and therefore I want to be like that.  His Grace changes hearts. 

  2. And this: 
    Her identity has changed by being in a relationship with Him-She is his. Primary over human relationships. The human marriage is a shadow of the reality of our relationship with Him. If you have Christ you have the reality of what human marriage is testifying to.
    Human marriage is not the ultimate thing-I can be single and be content in my singleness because I have my reality that is satisfying to me in a way that no human spouse can satisfy. If I think a human spouse can satisfy like Christ can I am eluding myself with idolatry. 
    I also loved how he explained the difference between emotions and affections. That our emotions ebb and flow..but the point is that regardless of what is happening in our life- underneath it all, even while we are crying we  can have a deep joy because our affections on Him are growing.  

  3. I had a little trouble hearing the lecture very well-I did download, but maybe my laptop’s speakers aren’t that great–do most of you listen through earphones? ipod?
    Loved what I could hear though! These points stuck out to me:
    In all that we go through in terms of sorrow, He does it to beautify us, to break us of the bondage of sin. Christ is better, more desirable than any alternative. Satan aims to weaken our hearts in the sense of God’s love for us. The love of Christ, His grace, affects and changes our hearts to cause us to love Him and behave differently. Christ is the One who changes us. The Law describes what a Christian life looks like, but gives us no power. The only thing that enables the Christian life is the Gospel. Where love is, it enlarges the heart. Love alters our disposition. Love makes us generous.
    I wish there was a transcript because I feel like everything he says has such weight…but I’m going to read Rebecca’s great notes–thank you!!

    1. Elizabeth,  It is not the fault of your laptop speakers!    I turned the volume on my computer to the top, and also put the volume on the lecture up to the top.  Then I stood up with my head about a foot from the speaker.  I placed a sheet of paper on top of my printer so I could take notes while in that position.   Pretty hilarious, eh?

    1. I hate to admit it, but I have been relying on everyone’s notes to the lecture because I was unable to clearly understand what was being said. I will go back and try it with earphones. I feel like I’ve been missing out!

  4. 6. Remember to watch for a time when you sense the Lord is with you, when your love is in your arms or you are in His And then share. I’ll share one — and then it’s your turn.

    When I was memorizing Psalm 103: 1-5. When I got to the section: “Praise the Lord, my soul and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.”

    This went well with our study here in SOS.  He reminded me of the Gospel through this verse telling me that He is my satisfaction-and that word ‘crown’ came up again associated with Love and compassion! This is the second time God has brought that to my attention. I am thinking of how Jesus was crowned with a thorny crown-it represents suffering..and in SOS in the wedding processional He rides in on his carriage crowned with the crown his mother gave him -the day His heart rejoiced! So He was crowned with thorns, really by me, and suffered on the cross so that HE could crown me with Love and Compassion..OH my…

  5. 7. What’s your take-a-way and why?
    This whole study on SOS is becoming a deep burden in me for I want others to hear-to study this for I know it is His heart that we drip with His fragrance-that we go beyond covenant into communing with Him deeper individually and corporately..that, as Reeves says, as our affections for Him grow and grow the outflow is that we will speak of Him more..and others will be attracted to Him in us-they will want Him! Our desires will become His-like desiring church unity-hating any form of slander against a brother or sister, helping and serving the poor, the forgotten.. And like that Spurgeon quote-that SOS will be the first song we sing to Him when we are face to face-Does God not desire that we want Him like that-that those He has called to Himself desire Him-not just a way out of hell into heaven, or to just have an occasional picnic in the desert with Him, or a bathtub submarine powered by baking soda that fizzles? This is so important because this is His desire! 

    1. Wow! Really powerful take away, Rebecca. Love your passion!

      1. Diane, oh yes-I am learning the difference between emotions and affections! Wasn’t that powerful in the Reeves tape!? I can easily respond emotionally to Him like a bottle rocket when He reveals Himself to me deeper-but am learning that emotions ebb and flow-but having my affections on Him brings such inner joy even though we may be crying or distraught-or in crisis times..I SO see this in you and I see it in Chris and Elizabeth too-your affections for Him growing through your suffering-how you turn to Him..and I LOVE Dee’s prayer-that you haven’t let your suffering deter you-and yes we will pray you on through the waters..

        1. You are so sweet, Rebecca. Thanks so much.

  6. Saturday takeaway
    This week was a little confusing to me. I also was chatting with my brother about my study here and he mentioned that the text never mentions that the two are actually married (he is a doctoral candidate in ancient languages and reads his bible in Greek!) So I have been pondering that, Dee, can you speak to that?
    but my takeaway is Mike Reeves quote “you only reflect Christ if you desire Christ”. How true. And to desire Him, you come to know Him (as we are here) and it continues to change you, He continues to change you. 

  7. 6. Remember to watch for a time when you sense the Lord is with you, when your love is in your arms or you are in His And then share. I’ll share one — and then it’s your turn.
    The metaphor of facing affliction by walking, which Keller shares below, has been an encouragement to me this week. 

    One of the main metaphors the Bible gives us for facing affliction is walking – walking through something difficult, perilous and potentially fatal.
    The walking metaphor points to the idea of progress. Many ancients saw adversity as merely something to withstand and endure without flinching, or even feeling, until it goes away. Modern Western people see suffering as something like adverse weather, something you avoid or insulate yourself from until it passes by.
    The unusual balance of the Christian faith is seen in the metaphor of walking – through darkness, swirling waters or fire. We are not to lose our footing and just let the suffering have its way with us. But we are also not to think we can somehow avoid it or be completely impervious to it either. We are to meet and move through suffering without shock and surprise, without denial of our sorrow and weakness, without resentment or paralyzing fear, yet also without acquiescence or capitulation, without surrender or despair.
    – Tim Keller, 

    As I mentioned before, I began leading a Women’s Bible Study on Dee’s Idol Lies this week. I was not only nervous about it, wondering if they would “get” it, but also, I have been struggling with depression and was not feeling at all capable of leading this group at all, even though I have been doing so for four years now. 
    However, God blessed me so much through one of the first questions about why each was at the study. Many expressed so much their appreciation of being able to be in a women’s study group, realizing that so many churches do not have such a group. Others appreciated how a women’s Bible study group forced them to really get into the Word of God. One even expressed how much she appreciated my style of leading. I was SO TOUCHED! Kisses from the Lord definitely.
    These words plus the Bible’s metaphor of walking helped encourage me to keep walking toward the Lord, even when the way is hard and I feel like I cannot do it any longer. 

      1. Diane, I so agree with Dee and her heart as to how we can pray for you-“…and we pray you on through the waters..” 

        And I am so exited you are leading Idol Lies!! Love to hear the updates too. :))

  8. My take-away would be what Mike Reeves said about the friends of the bride pointing her toward the groom, and that we are to point the church toward Christ and not ourselves.   I am scheduled to be worship leader tomorrow at church.  I am going to be particularly watching to see that  I purposefully direct the worshippers toward Christ (and not me!). In the past I have observed worship leaders who inadvertently failed in that regard.

    1. I’m praying for you tomorrow as you lead worship.

  9. 3. Read Song of Songs 3:6-11 and describe the glory of the wedding processional. This passage brought back to mind all the things in it that allude to the Lord, His tabernacle, and temple (Reeves…talk 1?).  It is a glorious scene of the bridegroom coming in all his glory, royalty, and prestige to meet up with His bride.
    4. Read Song of Songs 4:1-6. What do you think is happening here? Why do you think this?The bridegroom is telling His bride how He sees/views her; He is complimentary and loving.  I think that this is to provide her with confidence and comfort.  To let her know how she is viewed/seen by Him (i.e., her love, her bridegroom).
    5. Listen and share your notes. *Understanding that all the Lord allows us to go through, in terms of sorrow, is part of a liberating us from the strangle-hold of sin (a “beautifying” process) is key.
    *”True friends” of the bride point her to her husband/bridegroom and do not try to divert her attention away from Him (i.e., true followers of Christ don’t divert attention of non- or fellow believers away from Jesus; true followers of Christ seek to draw attention to Jesus.).
    *We only reflect Christ if we desire Him (Sibbes…”Like the moon she reflects Him”)When Jesus holds the highest place in our heart (i.e., King of kings, Lord of lords), the soul cannot be drawn to sin.  As long as Jesus is cherished above all else, one cannot sin because one loves Jesus more than any sin.
    *In times of temptation, don’t listen to Satan who moves us to look at that which is “not in us” (wickedness in us)…that bait weakens our love for Jesus and makes us apprehensive of His love for us.  Satan strives to weaken the believer’s heart in the sense of Jesus’ love; this is one of Satan’s greatest ploys and lies.
    *Growth as a Christian is not achieved by simply putting hedges around our sinful behavior…the love of Jesus, His grace, is what affects change in our hearts.  His love is what causes us to love Him and behave differently.
    *Law versus GraceLaw: anything that is a command (e.g., thou shalt not commit adultery) is law.  Law is meant to be obeyed, but gives no power to do so; law describes what the Christian life looks like, but law doesn’t enable the Christian life.
    Grace: enables the Christian life; it tells of Jesus being the faith one…a jealous faithfulness, absolute purity, one who dies for His bride never seeking another…this is for me, it is not an abstract thing.  His grace judges my sin (e.g., my pride is made to look vile in the light of His humility).  Look to the gospel; the gospel is what provides for change…grace is what changes the heart.
    *We are driven by our affections…what we love will shape what we do.  Love alters one’s disposition.
    *How can one be consistent in love for Jesus?We need to talk of affection…the love of Christ to us.  Growth in holiness/godliness/love of the Lord is a mystery of the Lord.  As we look to Him, we grow…focus on our affections (self) will not affect change; we need to look to His affection for us to affect change.
    A permanent spiritual “high” is impossible this side of heaven.  Emotional turbulence affects one emotionally, yet affections remain the same because affection is deeper than surface emotion. Deeper affection (a more solid and stable foundational affection) is a consequence of trusting Jesus more…love for Jesus is what contributes to ongoing growth of affection.
    Emotions can be fickle; affection is deeper than emotions.
    *The bride’s identity changes being in relationship with her Bridegroom (i.e., my identity changes being in relationship with Jesus…:) )

    1. Great notes on Reeves, Nanci. I have not had a chance to listen yet. 

  10. Without having listened to Reeves, I am not sure what the difference is between emotions and affections. I always thought it meant the same thing. I must say I am intrigued.  If emotion is feeling, what is affection? Anyone want to try to explain what the difference is for me?

    1. Diane, 

      GREAT question! I think emotions are fleeting-they change with the wind, but affections are steady involving steady action however, emotions are included but not the foundation..God desires for us to Love Him with with all our heart, soul and mind..I think affections encompass our minds, wills and emotions. I think of God’s Love for us-steady, faithful, deliberate and He has a jealous passion for us too so His emotions are involved but His Love isn’t based solely on emotions.

      When I think of emotions I think of Hollywood style emotional love-it totally abandons you whenever you fail. 

      Anyway-those are my bumbling thoughts, BUT I found this excellent article on The Gospel Coalition on what the difference is: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/05/03/what-is-the-difference-between-affections-and-emotions/

  11. 7. What’s your take-a-way and why? I’m not having any startling revelations, but I think that things are sinking in very slowly.
    Autumn has always been a time of depression for me, even when I think of the beauty. The sounds and the smells seem to trigger it. I know it is unfathomable to those who love fall, but it has been that way for me for years. This year, however, I have felt more peace and have been able to enjoy the change of season more. I really do think that it is because of this study. How as I come to trust in his love, I am sensing more of his presence and it is bringing peace to my spirit.