Type and press Enter.

New here? See how to Get Started

JOIN US FOR LENT 2016!

It is midwinter.

The peninsula I live on in Wisconsin always has a candlelit ski the first weekend of midwinter, and I skied it last night.

candlelitski

He lights our way through the dark days of “winter,” but if we know Him, joy will come in the morning, as surely as spring is on the way, as surely as the darkness of Good Friday led to Resurrection Sunday!

And as we press into Him during this holy season of Lent,

He will come to us as surely as the spring rains,

the spring rains that renew the earth.

Hosea-63-

Beginning this Wednesday, not counting Sundays,

there are 40 Days until Easter Sunday.

40 is a significant number to God.

The Israelites wandered for 40 years.

Jesus fasted before his ministry for 40 days.

And many Christians take

these 40 days

to draw nearer to God.

This is my 400th post, and every year,

Lent has been such a meaningful time.

So welcome old friends and new friends:

let us press on to know the Lord better than we do.

 

If you are new to the blog and want to actively participate, on the home page top purple banner, click on Bible Study Blog and then again on the icon with “Getting Started” and this picture:

The Door

Then just follow the directions. It’s great if you can add a picture of yourself. Many of you did this yesterday, and we welcome you so heartily! If you prefer to be a silent blogger, that’s just fine, though we do have WONDERFUL sisters who will encourage you and give you input if you participate actively. We are going to be doing a challenging book during Lent, but I promise you it will take you into a more intimate relationship with Christ. It is The Song of Songs, and it is so much more than a marriage manual. You will discover Christ in it, the depth of His love for you, and the mystery to which Ephes. 5:32 says earthly marriage points: Christ and His Bride.

Sunday: Icebreaker

1.Tell us your name, (or name you want to use here), perhaps where you live, and one thing, besides the Lord, about which you are passionate.

2. Have you ever studied The Song of Songs in depth? If so, what was the central interpretation given? Marriage or Christ? How did you feel about it?

Monday – Tuesday: Getting Ready!

If you are new to the blog, I’d like you to listen to the following and share your thoughts.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRH_E2u5cGY

3. Newcomers — share your thoughts on the above.

Everyone read and then listen to the reading of the Songs that follows this text.

The Jews always interpreted The Song as being about both earthly marriage and God’s romance with Israel. She is the bride He rescued at Passover, and the Song is always read on the Sabbath of Passover. (It has always taken my breath away to realize that Jesus, our final Passover Lamb, was crucified during the very same hours that the Passover Lambs were sacrificed: 9 to 3).

The Christian church recognizes the Messiah as the Bridegroom in the Song, and has interpreted the Song to be about earthly marriage and our relationship with Christ, for Ephesians tells us that marriage points to that mysterious union. Up until the early 1800’s it was the most preached on book in the Old Testament, for nothing, pastors thought, was more important than understanding the depth of Christ’s love.

The disagreement comes on the emphasis. Is Christ and HIs Bride the emphasis or is earthly marriage the emphasis? This study takes the stance that the evidence is strong that just as with other books in the Bible, the heart is Christ. But whether you see primarily marriage or primarily Christ, you will be refreshed in your relationship to Christ with the side benefit, if you are married, of being refreshed in your marriage.

I want you to listen to this Jewish reading with your Bible open. One of the things that can be confusing about the Song is wondering if “he,” “she,” “the daughters of Jerusalem,” or her “brothers” are speaking. This reading make it clear so I’d love you to mark your Bibles with “he” “she” or “they.” This will give you a great overview of the whole song. You may be mystified at how this earthly romance could have anything to do with your relationship with Jesus, but trust me, it does! I’d like you to be alert to a few things:

A) Who is speaking (you may want to mark your Bible)

B) How at times he seems to be describing a woman’s body and at other times famous geographical places in Israel’s history, including the Garden of Eden.

C) How her passion begins, then diminishes, and is finally renewed.

We’ll dive into the book itself beginning on Ash Wednesday.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8kG-NDKG-4

4. What comments or thoughts do you have after listening to the above reading?

Some people give something during Lent to remember what Christ gave up for us. If giving up something that has robbed you of time to be with the Lord, then do it! It is important to choose a time and place to be with Him daily to do this study.

Some of you are eager students, so I have a few optional extras for you. (Skip them if this overwhelms you!) You may like to read a commentary as well. Here are three excellent resources. The first two see both marriage and Christ, with Christ as the emphasis, and the last, being before the early 1800’s, sees only Christ. My personal favorite, though it is a bit deeper and more expensive, is the one by Davis. But all are excellent.

Song of Songs by James Hamilton

Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs by E. F. Davis

Song of Songs Matthew Henry (free online)

God gives many metaphors to show He is a personal God: Shepherd, Friend, Father, but the most intimate of all is Husband and Lover:

song-of-songs-2-14-my-dove-in-the-clefts-of-the-rock-in-the-covert-of-the-precipice

 

ASH WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: SONG OF SONGS 1

Lent-2014

Prepare your heart with this, our theme song for Lent.

Song of Solomon by Jesus Culture

 

5. Read Song of Songs 1 aloud to yourself. Share any comments, observations, or questions here. (We have some wonderful mentors who can help you — and sometimes I will jump in too.)

The Shulammite begins with: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.”What is it about a first kiss that melts our hearts? What does this mean on both an earthly and spiritual level?

Kathy and Tim Keller were friends for a long time. Too long, Kathy thought. Frustrated, she finally decided to give Tim “the speech” about taking her for granted and leading her on without making a deeper commitment . . . but he stopped her mid-sentence by leaning down and kissing her.

The argument was over.     

In the same way, a kiss from the King is evidence that our God wants intimacy with us and that we are moving past the realm of servants and even past that of friendship. He is not a far-off God; He wants union and communion with us.

Dr. E. F. Davis, in a contemporary commentary in the Westminster Series, explains that these two pictures in the Song “are mutually informative and each is incomplete without the other…Fundamental to both,” Davis explains, “is a desire to transcend the confines of the self for the sake of intimacy with the other.” 

Matthew Henry explains that our relationship with Christ begins with the “gospel kiss,” like the kiss of the father to the prodigal son.

prodigalson

6. Using the story of the return of the prodigal son and the father’s kiss from Luke 15, how would you define a “gospel kiss?” When were you first aware that you had received the gospel kiss?

According to Rabbinic tradition, a kiss from the King is “a living word of prophecy,” as when a verse leaps out and gives you just what you need. During this Lenten study, if you get kissed, please share. I’ll remind you from time to time.

7. What senses do you see involved in this chapter and what does this tell you about your relationship with the Lord?

8. In verse 5 the Daughters of Jerusalem chime in. They are usually interpreted as being those who are watching the bride and beginning to fall in love with this shepherd-king as well. Both she and they say that his love is better than wine. Compare this to Psalm 4:7. What do you learn?

9. The “bride” is both an individual and corporate, as is true of the Bride of Christ. You can see this by the way the pronouns vary. (verses 2 and 4) Why is it important that we ourselves both as individuals and also as part of a body?

10. How do you see the bride’s insecurity when he gazes at her in verse 6 — and how does he reassure her in verse 15. Can you see the gospel in this? If so, how?

11. Earlier she describes herself as both dark and lovely. How does the gospel show us we are both? How does this knowledge impact you on a day to day basis?

12. How does he tell her to find him in verse 8? This is usually interpreted as those who have gone before to the Shepherd, who have made their “tent” near his. Think of those who have influenced you to find the Good Shepherd — family, writers, saints from the past. Share one here.

Some are uncomfortable with the thought that God would use a sexual metaphor to illuminate our relationship with Him. It is a metaphor, and if we are too sexualized, it is harder to see. But in the prophets He equates idolatry with adultery, and Isaiah tells us He rejoices over us as a bridegroom rejoices over His bride. 

13. In Scripture, in both Hebrew and Greek, the word used to describe knowing the Lord is also the word that is used to describe sexual intimacy between husband and wife. For example, last week Miriam shared that the following verses use the same word (know) Find them and then comment on what this communicates to you: Philippians 3:10, Matt 1:25. (Also Matt 7:23!)

14. How does he describe her eyes in verse 15? There are several interpretations of this and they may all be there! James Hamilton says that eyes are the windows to the soul. Doves are peaceful and gentle and often a symbol of purity. Some have commented that doves eyes are focused, they are not prone to distraction. What do you think? (Listen also to Misty Edwards sing “Doves Eyes.”) What helps you to keep your time with the Lord and to be undistracted?

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd_oNpZqPo4
PRAYING SCRIPTURE

Pray a passage from chapter 1 into your life. The most powerful way to pray is to pray Scripture. Here are two examples from chapter 1. Then it will be your turn.

THE BRIDE ASKS HIM TO DRAW HER. OH LORD, DRAW ME TO YOU — YOU KNOW HOW FICKLE I AM, BUT DRAW ME, WOO ME, KEEP ME CLOSE.

GIVE ME DOVE’S EYES. CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART THAT I MAY BE PURE AND GENTLE. HELP ME FOCUS ON YOU, AND NOT BE SO DISTRACTED WHEN I WANT TO BE WITH YOU!

YOUR TURN:

 

SATURDAY:

15. What is 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.

149 comments

  1. Worshipped  to this, this morning, and thought others would enjoy too:
     
    http://youtu.be/VXp6xcY5IqU
     
     

  2. Welcome Denise, Kathy, Jean, Dannielle, Amy, Tammie, Katie! Glad to have you participate here.
     
    6. Using the story of the return on the prodigal son and the father’s kiss from Luke 15, how would you define a “gospel kiss”? When were you first aware that you had received the gospel kiss?
     
    In Luke 15:20, the son decides to return home. He has sinned greatly against his father. (Remember the short video we listened to by Paige Benton…the gospel is not “because of” but “in spite of”, “but”…?) The text begins with “BUT while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” At this point in the story, the son had done nothing…he hadn’t apologized, in fact, as far as his father knew, he might have been coming home to ask for more money and then planning to leave home again.
    When I read “But while he was still a long way off…” I think of “Yet while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”…in other words, when we/I were still a long way off; far from God. So in a way, I see the gospel kiss demonstrated in Christ’s death on the Cross for us, while we were still God’s enemies. God coming down in the flesh, in Jesus, is God’s “kiss” bestowed on men and women. There was a day when I personally experienced His “kiss”…the first time I prayed and asked Him to forgive me of my sins, and I understood the reality of Jesus dying for MY sins, and I wondered what He would say to me if I had been standing at the Cross, and there He was, suffering for what I had done. I thought that He would be understandably angry with me, yet the thought He gave me was, “Now do you see how much I love you?” A gospel kiss is when you are met with love, not punishment.
     
     

  3. 7. What senses do you see involved in this chapter and what does this tell you about your relationship with the Lord?
     
    I see the sense of touch…anticipating the feel of his lips on her mouth. The sense of taste…his love compared to and found more excellent than the taste of wine. The sense of smell…the fragrance of his perfumes is pleasing. The sense of hearing…the sound of his name is like perfume being poured out. The sense of seeing…they both admire the beauty/handsomeness of the other.
    Even though I can’t physically see, hear, or touch the Lord, I can experience Him supernaturally in these ways. I remember hiking in the woods last Fall and being brought to tears at the beauty I was seeing and I sensed HIM in that beauty of what He had created…sometimes the SOUND of the wind seems like Him, the Spirit moving. I believe that other people can literally touch us, hug us, kiss us, as they love and comfort us and often it is God loving us through a real flesh and blood person.
     
    8. In verse 5 the Daughters of Jerusalem chime in. They are usually interpreted as being those who are watching the bride and beginning to fall in love with this shepherd-king as well. Both she and they say that his love is better than wine. Compare this to Psalm 4:7. What do you learn?
     
    In this Psalm, David says, “You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.” I’ve always imagined that the king’s table had the best of everything; the choicest food and wine. Yet David says that God fills him with greater joy than the most delectable things to eat and drink. A wonderful meal can be truly satisfying, but after it’s digested, we’re hungry again. Being filled with God is a lasting kind of joy, and I also think that David was thinking more of the Giver of the good gift of food and wine than the gifts themselves.

  4. 9. The “bride” is both and individual and corporate, as is true of the Bride of Christ. You can see this by the way the pronouns vary (verses 2 and 4). Why is it important that we see ourselves both as individuals and also as part of a body?
     
    The apostle Paul “sprinkles” phrases like “for we are all members of one body” throughout his letters. He talks about his own growing faith in God yet was always concerned about others, that he was there to teach, exhort, and encourage them. I can’t have the mindset that it’s just “me and Jesus”. I am a part of the corporate body and I bring certain gifts that He wants me to use to help encourage others, and likewise, He uses others to help meet my needs.
     
    10. How do you see the bride’s insecurity when he gazes at her in verse 6 – and how does he reassure her in verse 15. Can you see the gospel in this? If so, how?
     
    She is uncomfortable, saying, “Do not stare at me because I am dark…” It sounds like she doesn’t fully trust his love yet…there’s a difference between being looked at and admired and being looked at and scrutinized. It sounds like she still feels she is being scrutinized; perhaps he is wondering why she is so dark, or thinking she doesn’t measure up. In verse 15, he reassures her with the words, “How beautiful you are, my darling, oh, how beautiful!”
    I think Brennan Manning gave an illustration of this in a talk he gave (I watched the video online). He said to his audience that if Jesus came right up to you where you were sitting and said, “I want to have a word with you…” what do you think He would say? If you looked up into His eyes, what expression do you think you’d see on His face?
    The truth of the gospel is that He sees me as a spotless, pure bride. But until I get that from my head into my heart, I am still afraid to meet His eyes. I am still uncomfortable under His gaze.

  5. 11. Earlier she describes herself as both dark and lovely. How does the gospel show us we are both? How does this knowledge impact you on a day to day basis?
     
    Wow – this is a loaded question. The gospel shows us we are both so DARK – the depths of our depravity, the wickedness of our hearts is unfathomable. We were so bad that Jesus had to die for us…and we are LOVELY – over and over in the OT we are told how God chose the Israelites to be His special people, His treasure…He loved them despite of the fact that they could behave in ways that were so unlovely – turning to idols…in the same way when God chose us, He chose to make us the object of His love and it is by His love and by the blood of Christ that we are made lovely. I love the illustration Max Lucado gives in one of his books, using the story of Beauty and the Beast. He writes that “the Beauty (Jesus) became the beast so that we could become beautiful.” I would say that in and of ourselves, we are not lovely and have no way to make ourselves lovely, but He makes us lovely and as we become more like Him, we become more and more lovely the closer we get to Him. It’s ALL HIM.
     
    I need to be reminded of this every day. I spent such a long time after I first became a Christian beating myself up because I didn’t understand why I kept sinning, kept messing-up. I guess I thought that after I became a Christian, I would be “perfect”…I was a “new creation” after-all. Yet many days I sure feel like the “old me”. I didn’t understand it would be a constant struggle, the flesh versus the spirit. But when I remember the truth of how He sees me, that spurs me on more than seeing Him as being mad at me because I failed yet again. Being yelled at and scolded is a poor motivater for change. But when I do sin, and I say oh, I am dark…and He says, but I see you as beautiful…that gives me hope and makes me want to do better.

  6. 6. Using the story of the return of the prodigal son and the father’s kiss from Luke 15, how would you define a “gospel kiss?” When were you first aware that you had received the gospel kiss?          What struck me when I read Luke 15 in light of what I’ve been learning about Song of Songs, is that in both accounts, the Father/the King  run to the one they love.   In Luke 15:20,  ‘while the son was still a long way off’….he ran to his son….”   How comforting to me, to see that unhindered love of the Father.  He is filled with compassion for those who are not yet even ‘close’ to coming home.  But He knows their heart.        When the Lover comes running….’leaping over the mountains,  bounding over the hills’  in SoS 2:8,  it gives me the same sense of unhindered love and passion.  He knows her heart.  His focus is on His bride.    
     
    And both the son and the Shulamite woman describe that they feel unworthy of the love that is lavished on them.  ‘I am no longer worthy to be called a son’ ….  She feels she is dark, unattractive and has neglected her appearance.    
     
    They both are the recipients of undeserved, unrelenting love.    
     
    Rich Mullins’ lyrics,  ‘Oh the reckless, raging fury that we call the love of God’..…. just came streaming through my mind.   
     
    I think I first felt aware of receiving this gospel kiss when I was about 13.   I remember the place and the pastor who preached.  I don’t remember the text or the message.  (I remember that I was wearing a red, wool dress; I guess it was winter 🙂 )  My heart pounded knowing that God loved me unconditionally….that it wasn’t about who I was and how much I could love him back. That he just loved me; no matter what.  I remember feeling very unworthy, but completely loved.   It was the beginning of a journey that still continues; to understand that being a child of God is not about my response, but because of His unrelenting love and mercy.  

    1. Wanda, love hearing about your experience as a 13 year old…“My heart pounded knowing that God loved me unconditionally…”

  7. Following the discussion about the ’84 NIV, the revised gender neutral NIV and the ESV on the previous page: 
     
    I don’t want to distract, but after reading discussion between Dee, Rebecca and Lizzy;   A thought and question:    My new church, where I love the gospel emphasis for so many reasons! uses the new NIV for the text on the screen and it is read from the pulpit.  I honestly did not know there even WAS a new, gender neutral version NIV, until I started following along in my old NIV and seeing the differences on the screen.    I see the problems with the ‘they and them’ kinds of plural pronouns where it used to say ‘man, or mankind’ or similar phraseology.    The singular becoming plural can sound clumsy.  
     
    But that said,   we have a lot of people coming who are SO unfamiliar with the gospel and when Pastor D. met with my husband and I last week to see how we could be a part of helping get some of the new comers to plug in to the Word,  he said that one of the young dads who is coming told him straight up,  ‘I have never opened a Bible in my life’.   And yet he comes to church…..a  church that uses an organ and old archaic language hymns along with new contemporary, multi instrumented music.   I have seen recently, that the new NIV may be a very useful tool in reaching those who are taking their very first steps into the Word.  It may reduce the ‘hang ups’ ??  with it sounding patriarchal?   Or is this a simplistic defense??  
     
     I think I will need to get one myself, so I can understand the gaps better.    I don’t have an ESV because I know I’ll never give up my falling apart old NIV, with decades worth of my personal study notes, but I think I need to know a bit more of the hows and whys of the changes made.  And what the differences are in the ESV vs old NIV??   Not just in the Song, but the reasons it was published???   I will need to google and research sometime.  If anyone has a quick answer, feel free!  

    1. Wanda–only have a second now, and this doesn’t answer all your questions–but something I came across a while ago I thought was interesting–it’s a chart of the 1984 v. 2011 (actually 2010 in the middle–a change then too that didn’t stick). If you navigate around the site, you can research any verse and find the changes: http://biblewebapp.com/niv2011-changes/#043-001
      (by the way–Dee/David, though not that important–but the link insert doesn’t work for me anymore, actually since that last major update months ago, just didn’t know if it was supposed to)

      1. This is very interesting, Lizzy.  thanks!   I have it bookmarked on my computer now.  

    2. Wanda, your question regarding NIV, ESV and gender neutral NIV is an important one, warranting serious discussion. There are a variety of thoughts on the issue but John Piper  expresses what I have heard on the old NIV vs the ESV.
       
      https://thefoolishgalatian.wordpress.com/2007/10/22/niv-vs-esv-and-why-piper-switched/

      1. Diane – excellent article!  Thanks so much for posting it here…..my nephew in prison and I were recently discussing the different versions of the Bible in our correspondences and I am so happy to be able to forward this along to him!  I’ve been using the ESV for about 5 (?) years now and am so very delighted with it – in general, anyway!  Piper has really simplified some of this in such a helpful way.  🙂  

        1. I still haven’t had time to read the articles, but WILL!   Just had to share this serendipitous moment I had yesterday; just a couple hours after this little discussion.  With a quick change of plans to my day,  I totally unexpectedly ended up at Barnes and Noble for an hour, waiting for my husband as he met with a student at a nearby restaurant.   I went to get a cup of coffee and when I sat down, realized that I was right next to the Bible shelf and on the end of the row was a large chart of ‘BIBLE TRANSLATIONS and COMPARISONS’.   Ha!  It was too much of a coincidence.    I also saw the journaling Bibles that have been discussed here this week.  What really blessed my heart though, was that 3 young Chinese men; assuming they are University students,  were all perusing and deciding which Bibles to buy.   

    3. PS:    I do want to be respectful of the topic at hand here, so I apologize for this distraction.  I should have thought of that before I posted.   I’m sorry.  

      Oh. but I see now, that Diane and Lizzy have already jumped in to help me. THANK you both so much. I will copy and save the links to read/listen. I appreciate it so much!!

      1. Thank you, Dee.   🙂

  8. 8. In verse 5 the Daughters of Jerusalem chime in. They are usually interpreted as being those who are watching the bride and beginning to fall in love with this shepherd-king as well. Both she and they say that his love is better than wine. Compare this to Psalm 4:7. What do you learn?
     
    Both verses claim that He is better than wine. Both groups are enthralled and praise him.

  9. I’d love to join you for the study. 🙂

  10. The “gospel kiss”is a wonderful term that is compared to the father who runs to his prodigal son to welcome him home with love and celebration.
    My loving heavenly Father knows my heart, knows my need and woos me by reaching out to me when I came to him empty and asking for help.
    He was always protecting me and providing for me. My first kiss came when I was very young and reached out in my need, at age 10.
    Later I was striving for worldly achievement, and being disobedient to his commands, I wandered into a lost state. Yet when I turned back in desperation
    he had his arms open to embrace me and to set me back in his loving care. I like to now recognize that it is his kiss that is so precious, and more costly than gold.
    The senses in chapter 1 include the taste of wine, the sight of the beloved, and the touch and smell involved in this scene. My relationship with Christ involves my soul, and my body and my mind. It is a total commitment to my Savior.
    The bride is both the individual believer  coming to salvation, praying and worshipping in private devotion and the corporate body of believers as we come together to join gifts and service to one another to build the body and encourage one another and worship.
     
     
     

  11. It is -11 degrees this morning, so I decided to finish the study instead of going to church. Sorry if you get too many notifications!

    9. The “bride” is both an individual and corporate, as is true of the Bride of Christ. You can see this by the way the pronouns vary. (verses 2 and 4) Why is it important that we ourselves both as individuals and also as part of a body?
     
    Well, individually we are special to Him. He knows us; everything about us. He loves us. Corporately, we have the fellowship and care of each other that is important to God. When we pray together we know He is there. He says to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
     
    10. How do you see the bride’s insecurity when he gazes at her in verse 6 — and how does he reassure her in verse 15. Can you see the gospel in this? If so, how? 
     
    The bride is self conscious about her looks. She feels worn out. She is concerned he won’t want to be with her. He reassures her by telling her she is beautiful and that her eyes are like doves.
     
    I see the gospel in this because we come to Christ all beaten down by this earth. We have done unforgivable things, however, to Him we are beautiful. To Him it was worth His life to “catch” us.

  12. 11. Earlier she describes herself as both dark and lovely. How does the gospel show us we are both? How does this knowledge impact you on a day to day basis?
     
    We we are sinners (dark), however we are lovely to Christ. Example? Here is one of beautiful obedience.
     
    The first son doesn’t want to do the thing his father wants him to (the darkness), but does it anyway. The second son doesn’t want to and doesn’t go.
     
    ““What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭21:28-31‬ ‭NIV‬‬
     
    Daily I struggle to do what I know is right. Sometimes I don’t want to and I do it anyway. Sometimes I don’t want to and don’t.
     
     
    12. How does he tell her to find him in verse 8? This is usually interpreted as those who have gone before to the Shepherd, who have made their “tent” near his. Think of those who have influenced you to find the Good Shepherd — family, writers, saints from the past. Share one here.
     
    So, in the NIV it’s the friends who say this, and in the ESV it is the king. I guess I understand all the talk between Wanda, Dee and others now. I think you want me to use the ESV here.
     
    He tells the bride to go near his tent to be near him. The people who have encouraged me were not always those I knew personally. I was encouraged initially by a very young friend/colleague years ago to listen to Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth (back then she was Nancy Leigh Demoss) when I was at probably the lowest of lows. I did, and was relieved of the great pain I was feeling at the time. Nancy had a way of “knowing” exactly what I needed to hear and making suggestions that would help me push forward.

  13. 13. In Scripture, in both Hebrew and Greek, the word used to describe knowing the Lord is also the word that is used to describe sexual intimacy between husband and wife. For example, last week Miriam shared that the following verses use the same word (know) Find them and then comment on what this communicates to you: Philippians 3:10, Matt 1:25. (Also Matt 7:23!)
     
    I am am looking at these verses in a whole new light this morning! “Knowing” is more of an intimate term than I realized. Joseph “…knew her not…” Jesus “…never knew…” the ones who were not truly faithful, and Paul “…knowing…the resurrection….” Actually knowing how Christ felt on the cross is very intimate; same with Joseph and Mary. I suppose Christ “knowing” us would be less intimate though?
     
     
    14. How does he describe her eyes in verse 15? There are several interpretations of this and they may all be there! James Hamilton says that eyes are the windows to the soul. Doves are peaceful and gentle and often a symbol of purity. Some have commented that doves eyes are focused, they are not prone to distraction. What do you think? (Listen also to Misty Edwards sing “Doves Eyes.”) What helps you to keep your time with the Lord and to be undistracted?
     
    He says her eye are doves in the ESV. I don’t know a lot about dives except that my husband used to hunt them! They are small birds. The ones he would hunt were gray. I know there are white doves that people like to release at weddings. I believe a white dove was sent from Noah’s ark to find land. They coo a calming tone and hide in small brush. I don’t think they are high flyers; they tend to stay close to the ground. Does she have small, gray eyes that are downcast? do her eyes reflect her being shy and quiet?

    I keep myself focused with music. The Christian music of today reminds me where my heart should be every moment.

  14.  
    Pray a passage from chapter 1 into your life. The most powerful way to pray is to pray Scripture.
     
    “If you do not know, O most beautiful among women, follow in the tracks of the flock, and pasture your young goats beside the shepherds’ tents.”
    ‭‭Song of Solomon‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬
     
    Dear Lord, I have no idea what beauty you find in me. I can only see ugliness and sin. I will follow You for my life time; this is my commitment to You, O Holy One. In this following, I pray I will see the beauty that You see in me. In Your Holy Name, Amen.
     
    I feel like dancing to this verse, so I might try to choreograph today and post on the fb page.

  15. Oh Laura, I so love your heart for the Lord and your disciplined study.
    But this prayer touches me so and I think it would be a beautiful dance.
    What a great way to spend a winter morning !

    1. thanks Shirley! I usually would let the study go, but it seemed like a good time to do it if I was not going to church. I used to be so detailed that I couldn’t get over not completing the entire thing. These days, in my “old age” I can let it go!! I was blessed by completing it today ?. Thanks again for your encouragement!

  16. I’d be honored to participate in you Lent Bible study

  17. welcome anne marie!!!