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LOST, FOUND, WED!

In Chapter 2 the Shulammite chose to stay

in the cleft of the rock instead of responding to her shepherd/king and going with him to higher places.

Though she thinks she can postpone responding,

suddenly he bounds off, for reasons unknown to her.

Now she experiences the time of “wilderness love.”

The wilderness is a gift from God to refine us until we realize how desperately we need Him.

On my bed at night

I sought him whom my soul loves,

I sought him but found him not.

Song of Songs 3:1

photolibrary_rf_photo_of_sleepless_woman_in_bed
Ellen Davis writes: 

In Biblical idiom, the bed signifies more than sleep and lovemaking. It is also a place of prayer where God is sought intently, and sometimes in great anxiety, and revelations are granted.

I will rise now and go about the city,

in the street and in the squares,

I will seek him whom my soul loves,

I sought him but found him not.

Song of Songs 3:2

arabwomanweeping

The watchman found me

as they went about the city.

“Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”

Scarcely  had I passed them when I found him whom my soul loves.

I held him, and would not let him go…

Song of Songs 3:3-4a

bighugger-sa-b--satiq-1d7ba4553670bba8_large

When you’ve come so close to thinking you’ve lost the one your soul loves, and then he comes to you, you never want to let him go.

My earthly parallel:

My daughters Sally and Annie were with me where I was speaking in Indiana. It was there that Steve called to tell us he’d been diagnosed with advanced cancer. We drove through the rain and through our tears to get back to him in Nebraska. In “The God of All Comfort” I record the scene of our return:

The three of us rushed in, so eager to see him, hug him, hold him, have him be alive. He was lying down on the sofa but sat up with a smile, my ever cheerful man. Sally and I sat on either side, clinging. Annie fell at his feet, her arms around his legs, her body heaving with sobs, her silky dark hair spilling on his lap. He tells us that the Lord is with us, so no matter what, it will be all right.

When this earthly memory came to me, suddenly

I saw a spiritual parallel.

Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb.

Mary-Magdalene

Her shock, her grief. She just wanted to anoint His precious body.

See him again, even if just his body.

His body is gone. Stolen, she surmises.

She is weeping, pierced to the heart, confused.

Through her tear-filled eyes she sees

a “gardener” and pleads with him.

“Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”

“Mary,” speaks the voice of her beloved.

“Rabboni!” She gasps.

mary-magdalene-clings-to-jesus

She must have clung to him, for he tells her she must let him go. She was the first to see Him, but many He loved are still in despair.

He tells her she must go and tell them:

“I am ascending to my Father and your Father,

to my God and Your God.”

It is helping me so much to test this study from my upcoming book with you. I so appreciated “Laura-Dancer’s” forthright declaration of her struggle with poetry. I saw her struggle when last week she thought our passage was a picture of “lovers playing games.” But Christ doesn’t play games, if indeed, He is at the heart of the Song, which I am convinced He is. James Hamilton likens The Song to an “impressionist painting.” When Vincent Van Gogh painted “Starry Night” he was attempting to penetrate your heart with the emotion that comes from gazing at the heavens, rather than taking a photograph that would be a literal representation.

1280px-Van_Gogh_-_Starry_Night_-_Google_Art_Project

The Song takes an earthly picture to help penetrate your heart with a spiritual reality. I am convinced the primary purpose of the Song is to penetrate your heart with the love of Christ for you so that you might, in response:

first-fruits-of-god-5-728

Ellen Davis looks at the four times the Shulammite

repeats the refrain:

“the one my soul loves,” and writes:

This awkward phrase…seems to be a deliberate and insistent echo of another biblical passage: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” That repeated echo of the weightiest verse in the Old Testament confirms — in my judgment, beyond reasonable doubt — that at one level of the poet’s meaning, the one who is loved and sought after so intently is God. The poet’s original hearers would make this association in the present passage more easily than we do, because they were familiar with biblical idiom.

THE LOVE HE LONGS FOR IS NOT JUST “HEAD” LOVE

WHERE WE NOD IN AGREEMENT TO A CREED,

BUT A PASSIONATE LOVE,

LOVING HIM  WITH

ALL OUR HEART

AND ALL OUR SOUL

AND ALL OUR MIGHT.

LOVING HIM AS HE HAS LOVED US.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVOG15Zj5KM

SUNDAY ICEBREAKER

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

2. Can you think of a time when your heart felt broken because of a rift, but then, the great comfort of reconciliation? Or of a separation and then a great re-union?

MONDAY: SCENE ONE: LOST AND FOUND

Last week my heart leapt when Lizzy got the heart of the passage and then gave us this song. Prepare your heart with this:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie1jHhTSTK4

2. Read Song of Songs 3:1-5

A. What is she doing in verse 1? What clues do you see that you should not interpret this literally but poetically?

B. Compare verse 1 to Psalm 6:6 and Psalm 63:6. What similarities to you see? What does this teach you?

C. Do you seek the Lord on your bed in the night? If so, how?

I’d like to share a comment from my husband’s journal that I shared in A Woman of Worship. He often prayed “on his bed,” was often awakened with a phone call, but then prayed. His prayer was not so much one of distress, but simply one of communing with the Lord during wakeful times.

When the distractions of my medical practice are over for the day, I reflect on how God’s lovingkindness flowed to me during the hours past. In the still hours of the night, I respond with praise to the Lord, And then, I respond with prayer, asking for help with the problems of the coming day, for grace, for forgiveness of my sins.

D.  Find three repeated phrases in Song of Songs 3:1-3 and comment on what you think is the significance of each of them to your life.

E.  What is the emotion of verse 3? Have you experienced this on an earthly level or a spiritual level? If so, share.

F.  James Hamilton, in the sermon you will hear this week, presents the possibility that in chapter 2 that he was proposing marriage and she was not ready. (I don’t know if I agree but it is interesting and does make sense of repeating the thought of verse 5 here.) What do you think?

TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY: SCENE TWO: THE WEDDING

Our family had stopped pestering J. R. and Dianne about getting married. We decided that, for whatever reason, theirs was just a beautiful platonic lifelong brother and sister friendship.

That all changed in the twinkling of an eye.

(You can read the whole story on this past post: CLICK)

On their honeymoon they went to a fine restaurant.

J. R. and Diannedinner

Dianne left to go to the Powder Room, and the waitress asked J. R. if he knew what “his wife” would like to drink. He surprised the waitress by throwing back his head and crying:

YES! SHE’S MY WIFE!!!

And though it seems too good to be true, we are Christ’s Bride. As “The Church’s One Foundation” puts it:

From heaven He came and sought her to be His holy Bride, and with His blood He bought her, and for her life He died.

And one glorious day we could hear:

YES! SHE’S MY WIFE!!!

Amazingly, in the Song, the wedding takes place right in the middle of the wilderness journey. For the last time we saw her, she has sent him away, for she was unwilling to come out of the cleft and follow Him. He bounded away and she becomes distraught. The first love time is past and the wilderness time has begun. Perhaps the fact that he marries her now is a poetic way of showing that He did not choose us on the basis of our merit, but on the basis of His love.

Song of Songs 3: 6-11 describe a royal wedding. There are great similarities to Psalm 45, which describes the royal wedding between Christ and His Bride, the purchased Church.

http://www.fullofeyes.com
free usage from: http://www.fullofeyes.com: The day of his wedding, on the day his heart rejoiced

There are also great similarities, as the sermon will point out, between God leading His Bride, Israel, in Exodus,  through the wilderness with a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of clouds by day.

pillaroffire

3. Read Song of Songs 3:6-11. Describe the scene of Solomon bringing his bride to the wedding. Find everything you can. What stands out to you and why?

4. What question is asked in verse 6 and how is it answered in verse 7?

5. How is the picture in verse 6 reminiscent of God leading his bride Israel through the wilderness? (See Exodus 13:21-22)

6. The pronoun in S. of S. 3:6 is feminine singular. How is she perfumed and what might this signify? (See Leviticus 6:15 and Romans 12:1)

7. Another royal wedding is described in Psalm 45, which Hebrews 1:8 quotes as being “about the Son.” The parallels between Psalm 45 and the Song convinced Jonathan Edwards that the Song pointed to Christ as well. Here are seven of the many parallels Edwards saw. See if you can discover them too:

  • Psalm 45:1 and S. S. 1:1
  • Psalm 45:2 and S. S. 5:10
  • Psalm 45:3-5 and S. S. 3:7-8
  • Psalm 45:7-8 and S. S. 3:5
  • Psalm 45:10-11 and S. S. 4:7-8
  • Psalm 45:14 and S.S. 3:11
  • Psalm 45:15 and S.S. 3:11

 

To see more from Edwards, google Jonathan Edwards Song of Solomon or click here: Jonathan Edwards

8. Read Psalm 45:9-10. What parallel do you see with the Song, and what might the King be saying to you?

9. What follows the wedding is the wedding night.

      A. He praises every part of her in 4:1-5. There are many Old

         Testament allusions to historical events when God was with

         His people See if you can find one.

    B.  What do you think is the meaning of 4:6? (He is speaking)

    C.  Since this is most likely when the marriage is consummated,

                  what might verse 12 mean?

    D.  Though this is very physical there are still two levels here, as

                   may become clearer next week. You can definitely see the

          spiritual level in 4:16. What do you think this means?

THURSDAY-FRIDAY SERMON

James Hamilton – Song of Songs 3

9. What comments do you have?

SATURDAY

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

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135 comments

  1. 1.  What stands out to you from the above and why?
    The wilderness is a gift from God to refine us until we realize how desperately we need Him.
    As I read this this morning, I have the sudden realization of how this song REALLY parallels the love of Christ for His bride. Looking back, I saw the wilderness I wandered in and His faithful, patient love waiting for me to seek Him like no other.
    In Biblical idiom, the bed signifies more than sleep and lovemaking. It is also a place of prayer where God is sought intently, and sometimes in great anxiety, and revelations are granted.
    I do remember nights in my bed when tears and anxiety were my companions in bed-over a lost relationship that I thought should have been forever, the death of a dream, the deaths of my sister and my mother-in-law and to a lesser degree the challenges I face at work. One thing has stood out amidst this and that is the unconditional love of God although it always has taken a long time for my soul to accept this fact.
     
    And I pray for a passionate love for Christ-I wish I could say I have it NOW. 

    1. oh Bing–you have been through much, and your heart has been refined, shaped, made so tender and beautiful–so thankful you are here. 

    1. Will be praying, Dee.   Have a great trip!  and Rebecca 🙂  

    2. Dee, I want to thank God right now for you and for your unwavering trust in God. Your love for Him strengthened by going through the fiery trial of losing Steve has been a propelling force to my own walk of faith. I have been learning from you through your books since I heard you in KC and never envision I will meet you again in this blog. So, I am thankful for your company and others on this blog as we travel this earth on our way to Heaven-encouraging, exhorting one another and helping one another love our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

    1. Oh Dee…your mention of Larry Crabb’s book makes me so nostalgic!  About 25 years ago I was part of a 2 year (pretty intensive!) Lay Counseling course at my church.  Our fearless leader, Doris, was one of the greatest gifts of God into my life.  A true and dear mentor to the end (she went to be with Jesus years ago).  She knew Larry Crabb well and loved his work – and at the time I read everything of his I could find…..of course, Soultalk came later, but I read that one as well many years ago…..excellent!  And….thanks for the memories…..  🙂  

    2. Praying, Dee, for quickening and technical stuff.  I’m surprised you were able to post at all 🙂 

    3. Dee, I had forgotten this was when the cruise was to happen.    Bon Voyage to all of you!     It sounded like such a good idea, but I knew my life situation would not let me even consider it.   I guess in the end it is good that I didn’t sign up, because this week I am a sickie — terrible respiratory illness.   It has been difficult enough to give up my planned activities.  If it had included the cruise,  I don’t know what I would have done.   Will be praying for you, Rebecca, Twila, and all the rest.    Hope the internet doesn’t let you down!

      1. Feel better, soon,  Deanna.   Both you and Jackie.   Stopping to pray for health to return to you both.  

  2. I love the older rendition of the song “O love that will not let me go”. It is reflective of the poignancy of George Matheson’s feelings as he thinks about life without his eyesight. Here is the link to the story behind the song http://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/justintaylor/2010/08/04/o-love-that-will-not-let-me-go/

    1. Bing – thank you so much for this story.  What can I say to such a story?  Poignant doesn’t do it justice. What an amazing picture is this true story of “wilderness love”.  Reading it, I felt almost like I was sitting in the corner of that room watching George Matheson as he went through what, in his own words, was “the most severe mental suffering”…..and then this song came to him…..”like a dayspring from on high”.  He even stated that: “I had the impression of having it dictated to me by some inward voice rather than of working it out myself.”  Oh, how powerful the Spirit of God is within us!!!!!  Like a laser beam He comes to us in our wilderness “like a dayspring from on high”.  Amen!  

      1. Yes, indeed, Jackie! I felt the very same thing as I read the story that I became familiar with a while back. I could just see George wrestling with such deep anguish of the soul and then the Dayspring from on high came! I couldn’t imagine! O love that will not met us go, indeed!

    2. Thanks, Bing! I had never heard the history of that hymn.

    3. I’m with you, Bing.   I love this old hymn.  I remember one pastor we had during my youth, who had us sing this often at church.    Haven’t read the story yet…..but will!

    4. Bing,   Thank you for the story of George Matheson and the lyrics for the song “O Love that will not let me go.”       Just in case someone has not heard the older rendition,  I found this youtube link which gives the melody that you and I both love.
       
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nt69WDtYNLo

      You can skip the ad. 🙂

      1. Deanna, thanks for posting the song. Yes, that is exactly the melody I have loved  growing up and still do. And you know what? While listening, a flicker of memory started to form and realized I was hearing my Mom’s voice singing that song! No wonder this song is so special to me!

  3.  
    1.  What stands out to you from the above, and why?  
     
    “The one my soul loves,”.   “This awkward phrase…..seems to be a deliberate and insistent echo of another biblical passage: ‘You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.’ ”
     
    This stopped me in my tracks this morning (as I’m home from church, sick with a sore throat, fever…..and “the yucks”!).  I seem to connect with everything that you bring to us, Dee, from Ellen Davis.  She calls the phrase, “the one my soul loves”, awkward…..but I find my soul yearning to let the phrase flow naturally from my tongue…..from my heart…..it amplifies the wonderful, wonderful OT Scripture about loving God with all of our heart, soul,  and might and personalizes it as I find my heart moving toward Christ.  Yes.  May I love Him more than life itself.  
     
     

    1. Jackie–praying for healing, so sorry

  4. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    Song of Songs 3:3-4a  and “When Vincent Van Gogh painted ‘Starry Night’ he was attempting to penetrate your heart with the emotion that comes from gazing at the heavens, rather than taking a photograph that would be a literal representation.”    (this sentence opens a lot of doors!)

    Last week, I tried several times to post, but I was so distracted by the deer image and my experience with deer that I was bogged down. I did understand well that deer come and disappear quickly.  The sudden fear and “turn my stomach” images were so strong; those images already had penetrated emotion and it was hard to get past them.What clicked this morning is when I looked ahead to tomorrow and listened to the song Lizzy had posted.  Ok, that’s not exactly my style 😉 but it still clicked, and I thought “I know these lyrics” and then listened to a version closer to the hymn version.  I am so thankful God brings powerful associations through music and art that penetrate my other emotional associations & my head-strong attempts to protect my emotion (although that’s not as common anymore).  I’m even beginning to see how God will redeem and use the analogy of those deer images (How common it is to turn that beautiful, graceful animal into an inanimate object on the wall; to try to make God support our own personal beliefs).
     
    2. Can you think of a time when your heart felt broken because of a rift, but then, the great comfort of reconciliation? Or of a separation and then a great re-union?  The one that is most prominent on my mind is a “that’s always how the relationship has been.”  We haven’t known it any other way; there’s just something there between us (clear as mud?).  I can see that relationship changing as God is changing both of us — but so far, it’s not a huge comfort.  I’m excited but also afraid to trust.  Yet I do see God restoring and preparing my heart, reminding me I am safe in Him, in His time.

    1. Renee – I rejoice to see your answer to #2!  So precious that you can respond while still “in the mud”, so to speak!  You say “I’m excited and yet afraid to trust”….and yet trusting is exactly what I see you doing….and it spurs me on – thanks, sister!

  5. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?       This passage: 
     

    That repeated echo of the weightiest verse in the Old Testament confirms — in my judgment, beyond reasonable doubt — that at one level of the poet’s meaning, the one who is loved and sought after so intently is God. The poet’s original hearers would make this association in the present passage more easily than we do, because they were familiar with biblical idiom.

     
    These words jumped right out at me.  It’s because I do not remember ever hearing this correlation.   As you say, the ‘weightiest’ verse in the OT; to love the Lord with our heart, SOUL and mind and then……here it is.   This is such a compelling statement to look at the true depth of the Song.  Suddenly, it pulls things together in a new way for me.  

  6. What stands out for me?
    Sadness at the thought of taking our blessed Savior for granted. He does allow the wilderness in our lives, yet this week I have been disappointed with 2 situations in my life.
    It feels like such a let down. I will describe one of the stories I am grappling with. A young woman I will call Mary came to salvation after a long struggle with alcoholism that started in her teen years. I have known her on this recent journey of about 4 years. Her life dramatically changed though her self esteem was damaged as she realized how she had brought pain to herself and others. This was one red flag that she didn’t seem to forgive herself. Now after so much goodness she is making a choice to sin deliberately by becoming intimate with a non-Christian. I am fighting my feelings of despair for her. I will love her and stay friends as long as she lets me. I feel others giving up on her somehow.
    This seems like the bridegroom is gone. Am I thinking of this correctly, I wonder.

  7. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
     
    Dee,  such a touching, heart-wrenching story of the time when you first learned of Steve’s diagnosis!    I’m pretty sure I heard it before, but it is all the more powerful, as I have felt like I have gotten to know your family through your stories here on the blog.   And I couldn’t help but think of how Steve must have felt as he placed that call to you in Indiana!

    2. Can you think of a time when your heart felt broken because of a rift, but then, the great comfort of reconciliation? Or of a separation and then a great re-union?
     
    When I was about 12 years old,  there was a terrible time between me and my mother.   She later said she was going through menopause, and I was going through adolescence — that in itself is a bad combination.   She had a headache, my father had just come home from work, my little brother (approx. 3-years-old) was running through the house, and I took that bad moment to nag my mother about something  which  I had  already approached her two times .   She lost her cool!   She didn’t physically strike me, but she pounded her two fists together over my head, and told me to just “get out of here!”   She probably meant to the next room, but I interpreted it in a much stronger way.   We owned an acre of land — it was a long narrow strip that ran back through our yard, out a gate, through a large garden, a strip of woods, a sage brush field, and into a crabapple grove.   So when this altercation between Mom and I occurred, I ran (without a plan in my head) with hot searing tears down my cheeks.  I ran as fast as my young legs would carry me, even tearing through the woods without thought of possible poison ivy or snakes or anything.  I didn’t stop until I got to the crabapple grove.  Then I didn’t know where to go.  There was a large log lying at the edge of the grove, and I sat down on it to bawl my heart out.    What I didn’t know, but soon learned, was that my mother had followed me — she was in her 50s and couldn’t run nearly as fast.  When she finally arrived, of course, I was so relieved to see her, because I didn’t want our separation to be permanent.  I hopped up off the log and into her arms.   She apologized — I don’t remember her precise words — but they were the right ones for me!    

  8. 2. Repeated phrases, all night.  When it is dark, lonely, cold.  When we don’t feel a purpose or a goal.  When we wonder if we will ever be in the light and warmth again.  The emotion of desperation.  There have been times when I toyed with not obeying, and He let me know that I was free to do that, but it would result in distance between us.
     
    3. He has a carriage for her, escorted by 60 warriors wearing swords and ready for battle.  Perhaps because the bride is besieged?  The carriage is made from the same materials as the tabernacle, the place to come together with God.  What stands out to me is that the Bible talks of angels protecting believers, just like the Warriors in these verses.  It doesn’t fit in with my image of a wedding,and is even startling.  But when Christ comes, Revelation speaks of Him snatching His bride away and then manning an end of His enemies.
     
    8. He calls the bride to leave the past behind.  It is so wonderful to know that the past doesn’t have to stay baggage.  It can become a memory, a testimony of how God worked and redeemed, but no longer a burden or hindrance.  And He is the one who is the ultimate initiator.  I’ve heard it pointed out that we will say we found the Lord, while it was He that chased us, cornered us, and overwhelmed us with His love.  In part D, 4:16, the purity of the bride is for the groom to enjoy.  For Him to partake of her fruit (of the Spirit?), that He endowed her with.
     
    Dee, I really look forward to these blogs.  Missed last week because we were in Yuma AZ for a mission trip, but thought of you all.

    1. Mary B.  “It is so wonderful to know that the past doesn’t have to stay baggage.  It can become a memory, a testimony of how God has worked and redeemed, but no longer a burden or  hindrance.” Oswald Chambers has said “Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ.”  I’ve preached that one to myself a lot over the years!  I think what you have written beautifully illustrates the truth of Galatians 5:1  “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”  (ESV).  Thank you Mary.  

  9. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    THE LOVE HE LONGS FOR IS NOT JUST “HEAD” LOVE WHERE WE NOD IN AGREEMENT TO A CREED, BUT A PASSIONATE LOVE, LOVING HIM  WITH ALL OUR HEART AND ALL OUR SOUL AND ALL OUR MIGHT. LOVING HIM AS HE HAS LOVED US.
    I just don’t feel like I am there yet. There is a lot in my head, but my heart seems far from him.
    2. Can you think of a time when your heart felt broken because of a rift, but then, the great comfort of reconciliation? Or of a separation and then a great re-union?
    This may sound trivial, but my sister’s husband left her and moved across the country when she was pregnant for my niece. My sister had to move in with our parents and I watched my niece every day for her while she worked 10-12 hour shifts. Needless to say I became very attached to my niece. When my niece was 8 months old my sister and her husband decided to reconcile so she packed up and moved across the country. I had never before felt such grief and loss, it’s hard to explain, but it felt like she had died. After 4 months it was apparent that things were no different between them and my sister moved back. It was like a dream come true. I was so overjoyed to be with that baby again that I honestly wanted to keep her with me 24/7. (They didn’t divorce then and my brother in law ended up moving back after 2 years later).

  10. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
     
    Sad about Steve’s call and the three of you driving to be with him, leaning on him, and he being your strength. 
     
    Oh, to have the love of Christ; to know it and feel it. I’m not quite there yet. These days I am having trouble loving myself so it is hard to think God would love me as I am. Does He make us for some reason? Did He form Dee because He knew she would be an excellent teacher and writer? My husband for his logic? My mom because she was so kind? The ultimate question is why are we here? What value do we have? Or, did He make us just to please Him? Regardless of our gifts, or lack thereof? Is that what this book (sos) is about? His love for us no matter what? Just a few questions running around in my head tonight.

    1. Laura-d, I am pondering your use of the word “feel” in “to know it and feel it” …but too tired to ponder clearly!

    2. Laura – sometimes the old King James version says it so beautifully.  I have always loved this verse in Revelation 4:11   “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are, and were created.”  Isn’t that lovely?  We can just REST in that truth!!  
       
      And here is another that I have turned to time and again….it might speak to your dancing heart!  Zephaniah 3:17 says “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”  Oh so many times I have carried this picture in my heart…..the Mighty Warrior running to me …..in the heat of the battle….where I lay wounded….and saving me, rescuing me….SINGING over me!!!  What can compare??  It is not unlike what we have been pondering here in Song of Songs 2:8….he comes “leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills,….”.  Peace.  

      1. ……added your references to my notebook (regarding the above post)  as well,  Jackie.  Thanks!

      2. Jackie- beautiful. Ministered to my heart this morning. How easy it is to focus on the functional of who we are and what we “should” do and forget the beauty of who we are…created…and for HIS PLEASURE! Yes…rest.
         
        (praying for your health)

      3. Ah, Yes, Jackie ~   Love this reminder of Zeph. 3:17    Rescuing,   singing over me.  Nothing compares.

      4. Thanks Jackie, I will look up some KJV verses now. That is a good idea!

    3. Laura,   I like your questions.   And I like that you ask them because I’m far too e’asily able to just take the ‘right’ answer and not think more deeply.   Our pastor/women’s study leader asked us to come up with answers to the following questions:  ‘What is my definition of self?’  ‘What challenges my definition of self?’  and ‘What do I do when my definition of self is challenged?’    As we are going through Jerry Sittser’s book,  A Grace Disguised.   And she gave us references from Psalms, Jeremiah, Genesis and Philippians to use to guide our thinking.  So I have this ‘assignment’ to work on while I’m on vacation the next two weeks.  I could very easily come up with something ‘pious’ and scripturally correct.…..but what I need to do is get to the heart of the matter and get to my own heart.   Your questions just gave me more to consider.  I am writing them down in my notebook!  

    4. Laura, I’m just getting around to reading posts this week. I listened to a message by Chip Ingram in the wee hours of the morning. He was talking about how to help your chidren find their purpose in life, but it is applicable to us all. He said something like “what you DO doesn’t make who you are, what you do IS who you are.” What I’ve seen here about you is one thing you love is science, the natural world. You share that knowledge and love of it with your students. You are a learner. You also love to dance, and you share that gift with your church in helping them worship. Those are just two of your gifts. I believe God gives us unique gifts, talents, and abilities and wants us to use them to impact those he puts in our path. Now you would not want to put me in charge of the finances of any organization; I’m not good at math and that stuff doesn’t make sense to me nor do I have any interest in it at all. But I am one who can sit at the bedside of a patient and listen to them and comfort them. Those things that you are passionate about – God gave you those passions. But even if we couldn’t do anything at all…God chose us to be the objects of His love. You loved your children when they were infants and couldn’t “do anything” but be dependent upon you, but you valued them because they were yours.

      1. Beautifully said, Laura!

      2. Susan!!  Laura also says wonderful things, but in this case I was responding to YOUR response to Laura, Susan!

      3. I agree, Susan.   This is a really good answer.  I especially love the correlation to loving a helpless infant.  

      4. Susan–I agree with ALL you said of Laura, but I have tears because of who YOU are–you listen with your whole heart. You seek to understand others, you encourage and continually remind others of the beauty God has put in them and the work He has begun. You are filled with compassion–really going into another’s pain and seeking to help. You serve others, with diligence and humility. I have been so blessed by you, as have others here, and has your family, especially your aging parents. You model real friendship, real love. So thankful for you sweet sister~

      5. thanks for these very kind, thoughtful words, Susan (and everyone). I wonder if God planned it in advance, or it just happened to be what it was after we were made? Were we made with a specific idea in mind or was that something that was formed over time as we lived here on earth? Am I who God wanted me to be, or am I going down the wrong path in my life?

        1. Laura, I love your questions that started this discussion. I also loved Susan’s response!I believe God designed us with his purpose in mind, and we can fulfill it or blow it if we don’t act and be the blessing to others. The special part of this blog to me is how each one ministers in a unique way to give understanding to the study.
          I have had trouble with the poetry of the Song, also. There is so much and it often goes over my head so to speak. Thanks for your questions and thanks for each one’s input.
          Deanna, the beautiful hymn you posted ministers deeply to me. Modern versions are nice, but somehow do not reach me sentimentally with the meaning. The words of Matheson are special.
          Jackie, I now have a wonderful verse to recall from Zephaniah 3:17! Thanks for each of you helping me to see some of the special meaning from chapter 3.
          I hope the cruise was a special time, Dee, for you, Rebecca and the others that joined you.

  11.  
     
    1. What stands out to you from the above and why? Wilderness love – God’s gift of refinement. Perhaps this is a season of wilderness for me, to really press in to Christ, to let go of perfectionism, approval idols, comfort and getting my own way so that I am free to seek him and free to receive him. Also, the image of Mary Magdalene clinging to the risen Jesus. What a fantastic image and statement!
    2. Can you think of a time when your heart felt broken because of a rift, but then, the great comfort of reconciliation? Or of a separation and then a great re-union? My heart felt broken when my only sibling and I seemed to be on opposing teams, he despised me. You see, my parents divorced after 33 years of marriage, my brother turned his back on me then because I would not allow my father to force me to choose sides. My brother and I were best friends until this and I was crushed when it appeared like we may never reconcile. It took years, but God is love, He is for us and now not only are my brother and I friends again, He has given his life to Christ and we share our faith, we encourage each other with scripture and so forth. We are growing closer as family as we grow closer in Christ. It is prayer answered. 
     

    1. Rachel,
      Your #2 is so moving.  Thank you for sharing here.    The Lord has also restored a sibling relationship for me in recent months.   Impossible things made possible only because we have One who restores and redeems, who specializes in bringing beauty from the broken.  So grateful.

    2. What a redemption of your relationship, Rachel.  Such sorrow turned into gladness!   Thank you for sharing from your heart here.  

  12. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    “In Biblical idiom, the bed signifies more than sleep and lovemaking. It is also a place of prayer where God is sought intently, and sometimes in great anxiety, and revelations are granted.”      Reminded me of Psalm 56:8    (The Message)
     “You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn  through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger,   each ache written in your book.”
     
    Fernando Ortega has this beautiful rendition of “Jesus Lover of My Soul” .    Sometimes my prayer in the night.  
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsXcCdWjsmg
     

    1. Nila, thank you for sharing that song.  It is beautiful!

    2. Beautiful song, Nila.   And it reminds me to pack my Fernando CD’s in our car for our travel this week.  I love to listen to him while on the road!  And I may have forgotten.  

    3. Nila–fellow Fernando Ortega fan here, and that is one of my favorites! Glad you shared it here~

  13. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    The parallel of Dee, Annie, and Sally rushing to be back with Steve in Nebraska, Annie at his feet—OH. All the feelings God of All Comfort stirred in me come rushing back with that scene—and how perfectly it fits here. This indescribably deep love that propels you to drive and drive, the “no vacancy” signs…and finally the reunion, so full of emotion. 
     
    2. Can you think of a time when your heart felt broken because of a rift, but then, the great comfort of reconciliation? Or of a separation and then a great re-union?
    Oh yes, many times—both in human relationship, and spiritually with the Lord. Well, as I re-read “separation and reunion” a happy one came to mind. Almost 4 years ago, the first (and only) time I had left my kids and husband over night—gone for 3 days and my sweet husband cried over skype at missing me! My flight home was delayed and I remember finally getting to the airport, terrible storms, and they were all there, kids in footie pj’s, with signs, flowers…I felt so loved!
    I am still thinking though, we have been talking about this “wilderness” she experienced and I see that it is because she delayed in coming to Him, but I keep feeling how it’s possible to go through “wilderness” times that are not something we could have prevented so much as they are evidence that we are not yet “face to face”-? The tension of the now and the not yet, that we are not yet Home? I like what Ellen Davis said: “It is also a place of prayer where God is sought intently, and sometimes in great anxiety, and revelations are granted.”  This seems to show it can be a gift—a time of recognizing our need of Him but also of strengthening our faith to seek more earnestly, to not grow complacent, lazy, but to seek with all our hearts. I’m reminded too of the wilderness in Hosea 2:14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” Maybe I am using “wilderness” wrongly but I’m thinking of how just as with earthly relationship—there is much pain we cannot prevent—as with losing Steve. And just as He will use our pain in those times to draw us closer to Him, it seems to me spiritually, there are times we “miss”, long for, Him. We know He has not left us, but with circumstances of life we can feel such an ache, wonder what He is doing, why He feels far off…but we are still aliens living in this fallen world, and while we have tastes of what it will be One Day, but we do not have it fully, consistently yet-? Sorry—I doubt I’m making sense! Will give it more thought & prayer!
     

  14. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why? The image of Annie clinging to Steve….how much she probably wanted to just keep him here (forever!) by her own sheer will! And the pain in knowing the end of the story…. It fiercely emphasizes our futility and desperate need for a God who cares. 
     
    2. Can you think of a time when your heart felt broken because of a rift, but then, the great comfort of reconciliation? Or of a separation and then a great reunion? I have felt separation. I have had a severe betrayal in my life…but to think of the comfort of reconciliation…I was stunned to find that I had none. Rejection lingers and even if there is a restoration of the relationship there is always this threat of rejection again. Or there is always a wondering of whether the person really likes me or is just putting up with me because they feel obligated. This is not unforgiveness! This is a lingering fear from years of being told I am “not-good-enough.” 
     
    On another note: I have lived the reunion after deployment! Such an exciting time! =) it truly is like Song of Songs 2:11 “…for behold the winter is past, the rain is over and gone…” But I also remember not really being able to come to grips with the fact that he was home. I kept reaching out to touch his face, “Is it really you?!” all through the night. It had become so real to have him gone, that to have him back was surreal and unbelievable… 

  15. 2. Can you think of a time when your heart felt broken because of a rift, but then, the great comfort of reconciliation? Or of a separation and then a great re-union?    For years, our relationship with those in my husband’s family was highly strained and then….became non-existent.  The dysfunction and difficult dynamics goes back generations and we were not in a place to fight the battle anymore, so we let the estrangement take it’s course.  (This was over many years and a long distance geographically). But it was always a source of pain for me.  He was able, first to ‘break the ice’ and find his way back in.  I haven’t traveled as much and it took me longer to have those face to face times.  In the past five years, the barriers have come down.  In fact, we are in close contact with all of his siblings again and genuinely deep friendships have returned.  We all respect the layers and layers of ‘stuff’ and family dysfunction that have been coming off and the blame and shame has left with the layers.   This is an evidence of God’s love and mercy!  I’ve had two truly wonderful visits with one family member in the past year and the sadness over the rift has been replaced with kindred hearts again. 

    1. Wanda-WOW. I am full of emotion from your answer here! So much I related to, and then feel convicted of, but what a beautiful, encouraging example of real reconciliation. Yes, evidence of love and mercy that only God can bring–wow. Love too that your husband made the first move. I’m always convicted by Keller’s statement about forgiveness and reconciliation: “It’s always our move”. Wow. 

  16. 2. Read Song of Songs 3:1-5
    A. What is she doing in verse 1? What clues do you see that you should not interpret this literally but poetically?
     
    She says all night long on her bed she is looking for the one her heart loves and can’t find him.       This should be interpreted poetically, as the bed could only be just so large!  How could she not see him, if he was there?   No, she is lying awake seeking the Lord’s presence.     

    B. Compare verse 1 to Psalm 6:6 and Psalm 63:6. What similarities to you see? What does this teach you?
     
    Psalm 6:6 refers to lying in bed groaning and crying.  Psalm 63:6 talks of “remembering you…during the watches of the night.    All three passages are referring to being awake at night and in a disturbed state of mind.  

    C. Do you seek the Lord on your bed in the night? If so, how?
     
    Yes,  if I can’t sleep.   Sometimes I am like pleading,  “Dear Lord,  I NEED my sleep.  I won’t be able to do (whatever it is) the next day.”  Or  “Please, Lord, just help me get into a peaceful sleep.”    However, sometimes I am aware that my insomnia may be because the Lord wants to lay something on my mind, and I haven’t been quiet enough during the day for him to be able to get through to me.  I have been known to say, “What is it, Lord?”     I think that is because of the story of Samuel in 1 Samuel 3.    Three times the boy Samuel jumped up during the night and ran to Eli’s side, thinking he had heard Eli call his name, but Eli had not called him.    We are told that the boy Samuel did not know the Lord yet.   By the third time, Eli began to perceive what was going on, and told Samuel the next time to answer “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”   

    1. Deanna – I so loved seeing you tie your answer to 1 Samuel 3 and Samuel and Eli!  “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”  What words of LIFE ……I actually first read your entry here last night, right before bed.  I’ve been having trouble sleeping the last few nights because of sickness…..and your words here were enormously encouraging and helpful to me!  

    2. Deanna, “the bed is only so large” that made me laugh.
      Like Jackie, I appreciated your comments on Samuel and Eli. I, too, assume that if the Lord wakes me (versus illness) there is a reason and I need to listen, or perhaps someone to pray for that needs it…
       

  17. 2. Read Song of Songs 3:1-5 
    A. What is she doing in verse 1? What clues do you see that you should not interpret this literally but poetically?
     
    She is searching for her love. The only way I can see that this might be poetry is that the ESV labels this section  “The brides dream.” The text seems plausible to me, except that back then, most women would probably not be wandering late at night through the city searching for their love.
     
     
    B. Compare verse 1 to Psalm 6:6 and Psalm 63:6. What similarities to you see? What does this teach you?
     
    All these verses talk about having trouble sleeping, because the person can’t find their love. They are distraught and in at least one case crying. This teaches me that God is elusive; not just for me either…for those in the bible as well!
     
     
     
     

  18. C. Do you seek the Lord on your bed in the night? If so, how?
     
    Hmm this seems like a weird question (sorry Dee!). God in my bed? Meaning I am crying out to Him all night long? I would have to say perhaps a year ago was the last time….when I was desperate to get Sarah to listen and come home. When she continued to be disrespectful and disobedient to us and our wishes. When I was so scared that she would be killed at 3 in the morning wandering the streets of NYC; needing to know she was safe, my mind wandering in all directions. Then, peace, in a weird way. Not what I would have really liked, but a peace, of sorts……she came home. She has flourished, and we are blessed with life, A baby. A baby Jesus brought peace with Him. He brings peace to us. Interesting upon reflection.

  19. Sigh, I guess I lost my answers to 3 a,b, and c ?. I just don’t have the energy right now to go back and reanswer. I’m hoping I just typed my name/email in wrong. Sorry if that’s the case Dee.
     
    D.  Find three repeated phrases in Song of Songs 3:1-3 and comment on what you think is the significance of each of them to your life. 
     
    She sought him, she/they went about, she/they did not/did found him. “They” are the watchmen. 
     
    I search for God often during the day. I “go about” looking for Him in  various ways using different media to do so. Sometimes I find Him and sometimes I feel lost, as she does here. Those times are depressing for me. I am in that mode right now. He feels far away and I wonder if the evil one is encroaching?
     
    E.  What is the emotion of verse 3? Have you experienced this on an earthly level or a spiritual level? If so, share.
     
    I’m not sure I really understand this verse. They find her and she asks if they have seen her love. If I am totally literal here, yes I have had a love be elusive. Usually that means a break up is coming. If she is dreaming this, then she is probably realizing she should be more attentive and is concerned that she might lose him due to her actions. When I have dreamed things bad about my kids, my mom would say I was worried because I loved them so much.
     
     
     
     

    1. Laura – the last half of LIZZY’S answer to question #2 above made me think of kindred “feelings” to those that you expressed in your answer to 3E.  Hoping her words there will be a balm.  🙂  

      1. Laura – sorry, I meant your answer to “D”.  Nothing like trying to “help” and ending up muddying the waters!!

  20. I just finished up last week’s study, reading Hudson Taylor’s commentary on the close of chapter 2 in The Song, and reflecting about delayed obedience. What came to my mind was a quote I’ve heard many times, “If you don’t feel close to God, guess who moved?” And the answer: you…as in, you moved away from God; He never moves. But what we’re seeing here in The Song seems to contradict that thought. The other quote about God being a “shy lover” who will withdraw if we’re in the arms of our idols…so I was reflecting on the lies that I tell my soul when I put Him off are the lies the maiden told herself…”He’s already mine and I am his…he’ll always be waiting around for me…” and I thought how deceptive it is because it causes me to create in my mind a “god” who is not like the real God of the Bible, treating Him like some lovesick schoolboy who is just hanging around waiting for me to pay attention to Him, and how wrong that thinking is, because the truth is I owe Him everything and most of all, respect and honor.

    1. Susan–such good thoughts, “because the truth is I owe Him everything “

  21. D.  Find three repeated phrases in Song of Songs 3:1-3 and comment on what you think is the significance of each of them to your life.
    I look for the one I love; I looked for him; I will search: I looked for him.
    E.  What is the emotion of verse 3? Desperation
    Have you experienced this on an earthly level or a spiritual level? If so, share.
     
    “Looking for love in all the wrong places” as an old song goes. I have looked for “him” in relationships, accomplishments, material things only to find them wanting, void of what I thought I needed. Only when I realize that my soul is REALLY looking for Jesus and He is the ONLY true blue lover of my soul did the desperation simmer. And though I am often tempted to look elsewhere after this realization, His faithful love brings me back to Him. It is my prayer that I will exponentially love Him through this earthly life.

  22. My husband introduced me to Evie Karrlson years ago. Here is a wonderful love song to our Lord. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHIAG0MNTcE&list=PL_eF41fl06BfGhFTRhBj8ZD-dSS-2wrqI

    1. Bing…….I also remember and enjoy the music of Evie (the sweet singer of Sweden 🙂 )   But when I copy/pasted the link in my browser, it didn’t open.  What’s the name of the song??
       

      1. Evie Karlsson “How I love you, Lord”. Put your ear phones on, Wanda so you can hear the crystal clear sound of her voice. Sorry, the link did not work. The other song of hers to listen to is “unfailing love”.

        1. OH yes, BING …..  I will look these up.  (I still have a couple of Evie’s old vinyl records but there is nothing crystal clear about them and my old stereo system. 😉 )  I’m such an old school listener, but I am discovering the impact of ear phone listening!  I LOVE the Unfailing Love song.  

  23. 2. Read Song of Songs 3:1-5
    A. What is she doing in verse 1? What clues do you see that you should not interpret this literally but poetically? She is looking for the one whom her soul loves, in her bed. As Deanna said, the bed is only so big To interpret this literally would mean she was awake looking for an individual in her bed and not able to find him….. I hadn’t considered this might mean dreaming of him, I have always though it meant she was just missing him, but that would mean they were already married. 
     
    B. Compare verse 1 to Psalm 6:6 and Psalm 63:6. What similarities do you see? What does this teach you? Someone is remembering and meditating on the Lord in bed, at night, and someone spends all night mourning and crying, can we assume they are crying TO the Lord? It teaches me that I am not the only one who stays awake with emotion or pleading to the Lord, or meditating on Him.
     
    C.Do you seek the Lord on your bed in the night? If so, how? My initial response was yes. But as I think on it I tend to supplicate in my bed, not necessarily SEEK Him. I begin praying as soon as my eyes open in the morning and until they close at night but until I read Deanna’s answer to this I had never thought to just LISTEN. I always assumed I was supposed to pray for someone if I was awoken in the night. How easily I am self-centered without even realizing it!

  24. I have to share one more rendition of   Oh Love that Wilt Not Let Me Go !   This one is the Westminster Men’s Chorus singing in a 14th Century Cathedral in Germany.  SO moving!   My favorite thing to do all Advent season, is a choir concert by a prominent Lutheran choir at the Basilica in Mnpls.  The acoustics, when they surround you with song….is truly heavenly.  This is akin to that…..(even though it is not an official performance.)  
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiZ9xXoZ1Mk

  25. 2. Read Song of Songs 3:1-5 
    A. What is she doing in verse 1? What clues do you see that you should not interpret this literally but poetically?   love this 2nd question  🙂   (Typing briefly, cut index fingertip!)
    B. Compare verse 1 to Psalm 6:6 and Psalm 63:6. What similarities to you see? What does this teach you?   teaches me to see him at night.  I also like the differences btwn Ps 6:6 and 63:6.  Ps 6:6 = crying during suffering, refers to every night.  Ps 63 = satisfaction, praise, reflection, thankfulness
    C. Do you seek the Lord on your bed in the night? If so, how? not as intentionally as ch 63 implies.  I do seek him when I am in “sob my guts out desperation” because that’s what is most likely to keep me awake.  Lately, I have been exploring how to seek him at night; I can easily get SO engaged that I am awake most of the night= not usually good.  Or the opposite=mindless, wasted time.  Last night I read a little bit of a not too engaging, supposed to be Christian novel.  Last week, I listened to sermons on my cell phone.  I do tend to drift off in contentment in Him, but want to try the model in Ps 63. This seems like what Steve did.
    D.  Find three repeated phrases in Song of Songs 3:1-3 and comment on what you think is the significance of each of them to your life.
    I sought/will seek  = a continuing processBut found him not.  = may not see immediate results, keep seeking
    Whom my soul loves = His love is what is drawing me to continue seeking, not just searching for the sake of searching
    a 4th one:  I will (seek, rise)= requires a decision/intention to pursue him, doesn’t always happen “automatically” though I am thankful He takes the initiative so that I do sometimes seek Him without much effort.  Seems like a habit or pattern of seeking Him could kick in here though (I don’t particularly want it to be the sobbing my guts out pattern; though a habit of praise also paves the way to go immediately to him with concerns)
    E.  What is the emotion of verse 3? Have you experienced this on an earthly level or a spiritual level? If so, share.  Not really sure??  Could be relief for having found someone and hope in expected answers of others.  OR it could be desperation, running around like a “chicken with my head cut off” asking everyone I see for answers.  I have done both, but don’t hold out much hope any more that another person will have “the answer.”
    F.  James Hamilton, in the sermon you will hear this week, presents the possibility that in chapter 2 that he was proposing marriage and she was not ready. (I don’t know if I agree but it is interesting and does make sense of repeating the thought of verse 5 here.) What do you think?  hmmm, no clue. Will have to dig in 🙂
     
     

  26. FYI Dear Sisters:   I noticed last night that Dee had posted on Facebook that she has been unable to get on this website while on the cruise.    She said she would read our comments on Saturday.  I think we need to just go on without Dee commenting until that time.   

    1. How helpful – thanks Deanna!  

  27. D.  Find three repeated phrases in Song of Songs 3:1-3 and comment on what you think is the significance of each of them to your life.
     
      “I looked for him,”  and   “the one my heart loves,”   and  “I did not find him”   are the repetitive phrases I see.      The Lord is the “one my heart loves,”  and that causes me to seek him, and when I don’t seem to find him, it is very upsetting.   You notice I say “when I don’t SEEM to find him…”   I know that the Lord does not abandon me, even when I take Him for granted.  My experience is that He tends to do things to get my attention.    When I do seek him and find him I am thrilled and delighted: I am buoyed up and I soar!

    E.  What is the emotion of verse 3? Have you experienced this on an earthly level or a spiritual level? If so, share.
     
    The emotion I  find in verse 3 is “anxiety.”   I am sure we have all experienced a time when we thought a loved one was missing  (lost a child in a department store,  had an offspring not come home one night or exceeding late, a traveling family member who doesn’t arrive on time).    What I feel is anxiety — “What if something happened to them; what if I don’t ever see them again? ” 
     
    F.  James Hamilton, in the sermon you will hear this week, presents the possibility that in chapter 2 that he was proposing marriage and she was not ready. (I don’t know if I agree but it is interesting and does make sense of repeating the thought of verse 5 here.) What do you think?
     
    I haven’t listened to Hamilton yet, but I don’t think I agree with him at all.   If this was a rejected proposal,  I don’t think she would have directed her comments to the Daughters of Jerusalem.

    1. Deanna–what you shared for “E” brought an but vivid memory to mind–“losing” my then 2 year old in Walmart–OH the anxiety (for all of 30 seconds)! Thank you for your insight-really brought it “alive” for me! I like this too” I know that the Lord does not abandon me, even when I take Him for granted.” Amen! 🙂

      1. OH Lizzy….and I am remembering when my second son was 2…..he was in the barn with me, his baby sister on a pack on my back and the phone rang.  Now, 26 years ago….the phone was attached to the wall with the receiver on a cord!  I went to answer the phone….and within about 30 seconds said “hold on” I can’t see my son – let me get him secured……..several hours (3 or 4?), dozens of neighbors and friends, the police and fire department and the search and rescue dogs just arriving (along with my husband driving in with the horse trailer from the races – no cell phones, remember….he just arrived to what he knew was terrible trouble….) he was found laying by a pond in the woods by the neighbor’s nanny.  I had only been a follower of Christ for about 6 months…..but you can believe that He taught me innumerable lessons through this whole ordeal.  though I had been in utter anguish of soul for several hours….I so clearly remember “hearing”…….”I’m here….I’m with you…..”  I know the outcome could have been very different, and even IS different for parents who have “lost” their child when “on duty” all the time……I surely feel a different kind of compassion and less of a rush to judgement ever since my own brush with such an outcome……

        1. Jackie–no! I cannot imagine!! Oh this just put the hugest lump in my throat! I love, love that you can hold on to this time of hearing Him speak to your soul, even as a new believer. You did remind me of a more recent version–I won’t share here, I wish I could say I felt the peace of hearing Him in it, but at the time I actually felt anger–and lots of self-blame. Good reminders though that He is always FAITHFUL–when we can’t know the why, and when we struggle to hear, He remains, “I AM”. 

        2. Dear Jackie,  your post had me in knots!  So glad you could hear “I’m here…I’m with you….”    I have heard that message also — the trick is to remember that the NEXT time I get into a crisis.   One would think that would be easy, but it isn’t for me.   I seem to always start with the worst scenario and then work my way back from there!   

      2. Deanna:   Your example surely does hit home.  I’ve read both Lizzy’s and Jackie’s posts and breathed with everyone, a collective sigh of relief.  And, yes…..it also stirred in me, more than one very harrowing scenarios of ‘lost’ children and many more of teenagers  (some pre-cell phone and some with cell phones) who didn’t come home at a time they were expected.   My whole being gets tied up in knots with that kind of anxiety.   I saw a funny pie chart once that was drawn with one HUGE piece and one teeny piece.  The HUGE piece was labeled something like:  ‘all the horrible things that a mother imagines has happened when her child hasn’t called home’    and the teeny piece ‘mom realizing that her child’s cell phone battery died and her child is fine’  Aack!   I fall into the large piece nearly every time.  

        1. Wanda–That pie chart is a great visual! I can apply that more generally too–the large piece being all the things I fear will happen (health and otherwise) and the tiny piece being what actually ends up happening. When my youngest struggled from an early age with anxiety, I tried reminding us both to focus on the “what IS” vs. the “what IF” but OH how the Enemy loves to help us create disastrous “IF’s”! OK, and bring in Truth–even if all my “IF’s” come to fruition–He is still on the Throne, He has overcome (preaching to myself now!) 

        2. (replying to myself as I couldn’t reply below)    Lizzy:  I love how you broadened the pie chart imagery.  That is so, so true.  
          The more I’ve thought about this, (the verses that Deanna likened to anxiety)  a different example came to my mind.  When my youngest was in 2nd grade,  I was working at church and had flexible hours, so that I was always able to pick her up from school or be home before she would arrive by bus.  Once in awhile, though, the elementary kids would get let out early for teacher’s conferences or something and we always knew this in advance.  Except one day, it totally went past me.  I was at church, where my office was in the basement (no windows to the outside world) but I just happened to be upstairs in a room with windows toward the main road, this particular day and I saw buses coming past at an unusual time in the afternoon.  I knew immediately that this meant early dismissal and I was 15 minutes from home.  I knew that my daughter would arrive at an empty home; something that she had never experienced. (she knew where a key was hidden though)  Of course, this day, I had been dropped off at work and my car was in the shop, so I ran to the church office and ‘declared’ to the admin asst that ‘I need your car right now!”  She generously handed me the keys and off I went.  When I arrived at home and ran inside, there was my sweet girl, sitting in the rocker, crying and clutching a photograph of my husband and I.   Heart in my throat, we hugged and cried together.  And then what relief. What joy for both of us!   What strikes me as I read about the beloved searching and searching for the ‘one her heart loves’  is how focused, how determined she is.  She cannot rest until she finds him.  I think of her as seeing only His image in her mind’s eye, as she wanders the streets.    And then when she finds him, how she …’holds him and won’t let him go…..’   Even though my stomach turns over when I think about my daughter being frightened and alone,  I think if I can remember this incident (knowing she really wasn’t in any danger) by remembering how focused she was on us…..  Holding on to the hope that we’d be back soon……  it could help me focus on the image of Jesus.  Knowing He loves me more than any other and He will feel near again.  I will have to rely on the fact of His love until I feel the warm embrace again.  

      3. Oh the years of waiting for teenagers; crying, pleading to God to bring them home safely…..SO SCARY. Sarah calling me at 1:00 am in the Bronx with no money for the subway! John, who was always wild, riding his brothers bike to a town at 11:00 pm that was 20 miles away, and me not knowing where he had gone. A stranger called me late the next afternoon to tell me he was sitting on a swing at a park across the street from her house. I had laid on my bed crying and pleading to God all day. I get teary eyed thinking of this ?. I remember wondering where God was; why He didn’t seem to care? He needed me to be totally broken so I would only rely on Him. I DO NOT miss those days. It was awful.

  28. A. He praises every part of her in 4:1-5. There are many Old Testament allusions to historical events when God was with His people. See if you can find one.
    The scarlet thread. It is found in Joshua 2 when the scarlet thread was used by Rahab to lower the Israelite spies out of the window and it was the same thread that she tied to her window to save her and her family.
     

    1. Dawn, I love your example of Rahab and the scarlet thread.  Her faith in the God of Israel is so unbelievable as to lead me to praise the ways of God in bringing us to faith!  It is HIS work in a heart, and Rahab illustrates this in such a lovely way…..and in the geneology of her children’s children…..right up to Jesus!  How He delighted in plucking her from her sin and unbelief and polishing  her like a brilliant gem!  

    2. Love this story Dawn! Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth has a wonderful series on Rahab from several years ago (2010?) check it out!
       

      https://www.reviveourhearts.com/series/rahab-and-the-thread-of-redemption-cd/
       

      1. Laura – I’m so glad to see this entry, for I realized I’ve been spelling Nancy’s last name incorrectly!  Correction noted.  It is not an “easy” name!

  29. 3. Read Song of Songs 3:6-11. Describe the scene of Solomon bringing his bride to the wedding. Find everything you can. What stands out to you and why?
    something that looked like columns of smoke: interesting, wondering if this somehow ties in with how the Lord showed himself in columns of smoke and how this connects to when Jesus comes back for his Bride (maybe not connected at all)
    the fragrance: multi-sensory and expensive
    the litter of Solomon. This struck me as funny, both before and after I realized what a litter was (the couch on which servants carry a king).  Maybe I will suggest this to my nephew for his wedding this summer.
    60 mighty men: I am curious about the significance of ’60’, especially since cross reference is to 6:8, referring to 60 queens.  The mighty men sound like warriors, but are these guys married to the 60 queens?  Maybe they are some kind of royalty or high ranking soldiers??
    -Swords at their thighs: Either they were ready to fight or this was decorative/symbolic?
    King Solomon made himself a carriage: He went to a lot of work and was quite an artist.  I’m guessing this carriage might be the same thing as the litter??
    -the interior of the carriage was inlaid with love by the daughters of Jerusalem. They are not only observers but also participants in the wedding preparations.
    his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding: not sure of the significance of this, maybe something about intergenerational nature of royalty?It strikes me that this wedding required a lot of preparation by multiple people, definitely not a quick elopement with a justice of the peace. The King valued his bride SO MUCH that he prepared a huge celebration — and not just with money or hiring others to do the work.  He was personally involved.  (I think I am missing a lot in the passage)

    1. Renee–love it when you’re here–oh your amazing mind–you spur me on to dig deeper! You got me curious (my weird love of #’s) about the “sixty”…I searched blueletterbible and wow, there are a lot of references to “60”! Especially used as the # for sacrifices…too much for my brain to dig further at the moment…but interesting! So thankful for you : )

  30. 5. How is the picture in verse 6 reminiscent of God leading his bride Israel through the wilderness? (See Exodus 13:21-22)  pillar of smoke (so maybe I wasn’t imaging things when I answered the last question?)
    6. The pronoun in S. of S. 3:6 is feminine singular. How is she perfumed and what might this signify? (See Leviticus 6:15 and Romans 12:1)Hmmm… will have to find another version.  I thought it was was what looked like the pillar of smoke that was perfumed.  ESV: “What is that coming up from the wilderness like columns of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the fragrant powders of a merchant? Behold, it is the litter of Solomon!” Is the “she” the wedding party?
    Well, the (literal) “how” seems like it could be with powders purchased from a merchant. The Lev and Romans verses refer to an aroma pleasing to the Lord and worship. This also reminds me of 2 Cor 2:14-16 (and this passage helps me connect the dots): “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing…”
    This wedding party was a triumphal procession, sort of a celebratory military parade. I’d probably get this more quickly if I lived in a monarchy! In the 2 Cor verse, the sweet aroma comes from Jesus.

    1. oh my.  Renee.  The way you led us to the 2 Corinthians passage (two Corinthians??  oh, no…..) is so powerful and profound to my thinking this morning….I have got to turn there now and soak in this awhile!!  Good, good stuff!!!

      1. Jackie, haha — I thought of the Two Corinth as soon as I looked up the passage 😉

    2. Yes, Renee.  This II Corinthian passage captured my attention.   He is that sweet aroma.
      Then, my mind took me to that powerful song, He’s Alive.  The seventh verse:
      But suddenly the air was filled 
      With a strange and sweet perfume
      Light that came from everywhere
      Drove shadows from the room
      And Jesus stood before me
      With His arms held open wide
      And I fell down on my knees 
      And just clung to Him and cried.
       
      So, when we cling,  we can’t help but take on some of His sweet aroma.
       
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKxD8WnSYqQ
       
       

      1. Good example and insight, Nila.   Taking his aroma with us……  And the song.  

      2. Nila–I caught this while scrolling on my phone the other day and this leapt out to me: “So, when we cling, we can’t help but take on some of His sweet aroma.”  How I want to be filled with His love for others. I fall so short…but the way you said this, just spurred my heart–the more I cling to Him, I cannot help but be filled up with more of Him. I just love how you worded it. Thank you

      3. So good, Nila…  I hadn’t heard that song for a LONG time.  Thanks for sharing it.

  31. F.  James Hamilton, in the sermon you will hear this week, presents the possibility that in chapter 2 that he was proposing marriage and she was not ready. (I don’t know if I agree but it is interesting and does make sense of repeating the thought of verse 5 here.) What do you think?
     
    I suppose it could be that way; she does say:
     
    “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.”
    ‭‭Song of Solomon‬ ‭2:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬
     
    are you referring to verse 5 in chapter 2 or 3?
     
     
    3. Read Song of Songs 3:6-11. Describe the scene of Solomon bringing his bride to the wedding. Find everything you can. What stands out to you and why?
     
    He brings a huge wedding party with him; all his warriors. There is smoke, myrrh, and Frankincense too. These three things totally remind me of God and Christ; God in the fire that lit the way for the Israelites to lead them, and the myrrh and frankincense the wise men brought when Jesus was born. Cool. He has a beautiful carriage that he made from the finest of things presumably to take his bride away in. Something focusing is how the daughters of Jerusalem are referred to: 
     
    “He made its posts of silver, its back of gold, its seat of purple; its interior was inlaid with love by the daughters of Jerusalem.”
    ‭‭Song of Solomon‬ ‭3:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬
     
    what does that mean?? Does it make reference to his many lovers of the past? Or did they just help him decorate the carriage?
     
    He wears a crown and is extremely happy on his wedding day.
     
    4. What question is asked in verse 6 and how is it answered in verse 7?
     
    What is coming from the woods surrounded by smoke? It is solomon and his mighty men.

  32. 3. Read Song of Songs 3:6-11. Describe the scene of Solomon bringing his bride to the wedding. Find everything you can. What stands out to you and why?
     
    Column of smoke   
    Perfumed with myrrh and incense
    Escorted by 60 warriors, each wearing a sword
    Solomon’s carriage:   Carriage is made from wood from Lebanon (cedar?) also its posts are silver and its base is gold.   Seat of carriage is purple
    Solomon was wearing a crown, crowned by his mother

    4. What question is asked in verse 6 and how is it answered in verse 7?
     
    Who is coming up from the wilderness?  Answer:  Solomon

    5. How is the picture in verse 6 reminiscent of God leading his bride Israel through the wilderness? (See Exodus 13:21-22)
     
    Particularly the “column of smoke.”   Moses and the Israelites were led through the wilderness by a column of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night.  

    6. The pronoun in S. of S. 3:6 is feminine singular. How is she perfumed and what might this signify? (See Leviticus 6:15 and Romans 12:1)
     
    I’m not sure I’m getting this part.   I was about to say that the feminine singular “she” might refer to the nation of Israel, which I believe is referred to as “she.”   The Leviticus passage is describing how a grain sacrifice was made (with incense mixed in).   So Israel (she) was perfumed by its sacrifices to the Lord.  But I can’t figure out how to relate all of this to Romans 12:1.  That passage was referring to our offering ourselves as a living sacrifice.   Our giving of ourselves fully to the Lord would offer up a fragrance to the Lord.   That is the best I can do with this!

  33.  
    6. The pronoun in S. of S. 3:6 is feminine singular. How is she perfumed and what might this signify? (See Leviticus 6:15 and Romans 12:1)
     
    I checked three versions of this verse and only got “what” and “who;” neither being feminine?
    I thought Solomon was coming out of the woods, so I would think he is the one who is perfumed. As I said before, it reminds me of Jesus at the beginning and end of His life. 
     
    7. Parallels:

    Psalm 45:1 and S. S. 1:1

    Tongue and kisses of my mouth.

    Psalm 45:2 and S. S. 5:10

     
    most handsome of all men and blessed forever, and distinguished among ten thousand.

    Psalm 45:3-5 and S. S. 3:7-8

    Both are wearing swords and are expert warriors
     

  34. D. Find three repeated phrases in Song of Songs 3:1-3 and comment on what you think is the significance of each of them in your life. 
         1. “I sought him…” This reminds me of Psalm 1 ‘meditates on his law day and night’ he is in her thoughts, she seeks him mentally and then later physically. Seeking him is all inclusive, we know what we worship by what we meditate on and seek.
     
         2. “The one I love…” Or in ESV “…the one whom my soul loves…”  This brings to mind a battle between my idolatrous heart and the new heart he h given me. I am a new creature in Christ, he calls my soul to love him, yet my heart is deceitful and leads me astray. But it is him whom my soul really loves.
     
         3. …”but did not find him…” She didnt respond when he called and now she thinks she can just have whenever she wants but he is not there, the opportunity is gone…many times we seek Him with expectation, thinking well, I will seek Him and then _____ will happen. But He is not bound by expectations.
     
    E. What is the emotion of verse 3? Have you experienced this on an earthly of spiritual level? If so, share. Desperation. I feel desperate spiritually when I see ugly things rising up out of me and I seek Him, desperate for Him and His presence, thinking that He can ‘fix it’ He can calm me and guide me. But it doesn’t usually happen in the way I contrive in my mind. Usually it involves a humbling and breaking and then suddenly I find Him there. 
     
    F. What do you think? I do not know, but it seems to fit somewhat. She is in love with him and enraptured by him and yet to marry…eek!…. That is a commitment that is lifelong…am I really ready for that?! Same as commitment to our Lord, many study and do not come because they are “not ready” for that sacrifice. Others come willingly. Like Anne and Gilbert, she refused him because she had not yet seen in her heart that it was him she was to be with, and she mourned losing him but didn’t actually accept the proposal till her heart had realized what she needed.

  35. 7. Another royal wedding is described in Psalm 45, which Hebrews 1:8 quotes as being “about the Son.” The parallels between Psalm 45 and the Song convinced Jonathan Edwards that the Song pointed to Christ as well. Here are seven of the many parallels Edwards saw. See if you can discover them too:

    Psalm 45:1 and S. S. 1:1
      The mention of tongue and lips

    Psalm 45:2 and S. S. 5:10   
    “You are the most excellent of men” and “outstanding among ten thousand.”

    Psalm 45:3-5 and S. S. 3:7-8
       From Psalm 45:  “Gird your sword upon your side,”   “clothe yourself with splendor,” “in your majesty ride forth victoriously.”   Compared to SOS 3:7-8:   “Solomon’s carriage,”   “escorted by sixty warriors,” “all of them wearing the sword.”  

    Psalm 45:7-8 and S. S. 3:5  (I’m guessing Dee meant SOS 3:6)
        Psalm 45: 7-8:   “your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.”  SOS 3:6:  “perfumed with myrrh and incense made from the spices of the merchant.”
       

    Psalm 45:10-11 and S. S. 4:7-8
        Psalm 45:10-11: “The king is enthralled by your beauty.”  SOS 4:7-8:  “You are altogether beautiful, my darling.”

    Psalm 45:14 and S.S. 3:11
       Psalm 45:14:   “in embroidered garments.”   SOS 3:11:  “His seat was upholstered with purple.”  

    Sorry,  I can’t figure out the last one.

     

  36. 8. Read Psalm 45:9-10. What parallel do you see with the Song, and what might the King be saying to you?
     
    Psalm 45:9-10 is saying that the bride of the King is clothed in gold, and addresses her “Listen, O Daughter” (listen to the king).    Going on to verse 11 “Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;  honor him, for he is your lord.”       That would parallel with the overall message of Song of Songs, that the Lord finds you beautiful, you are cherished by Him, and you should submit your whole life and serve Him fully.             
     
    9. What follows the wedding is the wedding night.
     
          A. He praises every part of her in 4:1-5. There are many Old
     
             Testament allusions to historical events when God was with
     
             His people See if you can find one.
     
    What seemed to jump out at me was mention of a “scarlet ribbon,” which I associated with the scarlet  ribbon/cord that the prostitute Rahab tied to her window above the Jericho wall for the Israelite spies to see.   Because she had kept the spies safe by hiding them on a previous visit, Rahab’s family was saved when the Israelites conquered Jericho.   
     
        B.  What do you think is the meaning of 4:6? (He is speaking)
     
    I think he is “spending the night with her” or otherwise stated, this is when the marriage is consummated.  
     
        C.  Since this is most likely when the marriage is consummated,
     
                      what might verse 12 mean?
     
    It would seem he is praising her virginity.
     
        D.  Though this is very physical there are still two levels here, as
     
                       may become clearer next week. You can definitely see the
     
              spiritual level in 4:16. What do you think this means?
     
    I almost skipped this part, because I am very uncertain about it.  She is asking for the winds to blow the fragrance of the garden everywhere.   So I would hazzard a guess that this would be like the winds of the Spirit blowing the message of the gospel over the world.  

  37. 8. Read Psalm 45:9-10. What parallel do you see with the Song, and what might the King be saying to you?
     
    I suppose the daughters of Jerusalem are akin to these daughters in the Psalm? Not following on these Psalm/SOS verses entirely. I tried to do the parallel link and got the first few. Did not feel that way about the last ones. Is he asking her to come away with him?

  38. 3. Read Song of Songs 3:6-11. Describe the scene of Solomon bringing his bride to the wedding.      Others have done this so well already,  I just want to comment on vs. 11.   ‘…..look at King Solomon wearing the crown, the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding; the day his heart rejoiced.’
     
    I shared this once before; must have been when we studied Psalm 45 that we also went back to this portion of the Song.   My son married a woman whose father and grandmother are native Hawaiians.  They had a beautiful ceremony during the wedding, where myself and the bride’s mother wore flower leis to represent our daughter and son, during the processional and the first part of the wedding.  Hers, representing her daughter was delicate and petite.  Mine; representing my son, was more masculine.  They were both lovingly woven together by the bride’s grandmother, in the tradition of her family.  At a certain point in the ceremony, we mothers both stood by our children and transferred the leis from us to each of them.  And then bride and groom exchanged leis, symbolic of their union.  The two fathers then read prayers.  My husband read it in English and the bride’s father read it in native Hawaiian.   It really was so meaningful.  The joining of a man and woman; the joining of two families and two cultures.  I’ve also been to a Russian Orthodox wedding which involves a very complex ceremony with wedding crowns.   All of this to say that the imagery of crowning (or wreath wearing)  is so deep and rich.  And now, as I’m typing this I’m thinking once again of Mike Reeves’ correlation of us giving our groom a crown of thorns and Him giving us a crown of glory and honor.  Hallelujah! What a Savior.  

    1. Wanda, Thanks for making “the crown” come alive!

  39. oh WANDA! I can’t reply above–but I think we all need to read your reply to me above!! I hope Dee sees it too–what a picture! My stomach was in absolute knots reading..but then, when you FOUND each other! That is it! That sums up this whole lesson I think! Our broken heart of wanting His presence, and then His overwhelming love when He holds us and assures us He has not forgotten us, He will never leave us–oh this is His kiss to me today, I want to sit with this picture, thank you Wanda. 

    1. Thank you, Lizzy.   I probably should have posted it lower, since it’s several comments up.  But anyway….my daughter is home this week for break, and I think I should remind her of this and ask her what she remembers.  I told the story from my perspective…..I should find out hers!  

  40. 9A. He praises every part of her in 4:1-5. There are many Old Testament allusions to historical events when God was with His people See if you can find one.
     
    “Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power. He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry, and he led them through the deep as through a desert. So he saved them from the hand of the foe and redeemed them from the power of the enemy. And the waters covered their adversaries; not one of them was left. Then they believed his words; they sang his praise.”
    ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭106:7-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬
     
        B.  What do you think is the meaning of 4:6? (He is speaking) 
     
    He is saying that he will run to God until it is time? Not sure here. 
     
        C.  Since this is most likely when the marriage is consummatated,  what might verse 12 mean? 
     
    She is a virgin?
     
        D.  Though this is very physical there are still two levels here, as  may become clearer next week. You can definitely see the spiritual level in 4:16. What do you think this means?
     
    Is this a blessing?

    1. Oh Dee, praying for this family now–so sorry to hear this, thankful you are back safe~

    2. oh my Dee.  How like even the passage we are looking at in the Song.  The high places of rest, reflection, worship, rich teaching…..finding intimacy perhaps with the Lover of our souls.  And then….He reminds us that His call is to follow on in a weary world where despair abounds.  Stopping to pray for this one’s family in this moment.  As Nila gave us a resource this week on “The Mercy Prayer”…..yes, Lord Jesus, have mercy upon this dear family.  We ask You to do what only You can do….to bring LIFE from death.  amen.  

    3. Oh, so sad.  Praying for his mother, his family & friends.

    4. Oh my,  Dee — how terrible!    Prayers going out for this family!

    5. Speechless regarding the tragedy.  Praying now, Dee.

  41. 2.  Read Song of Songs 3:1-5
    A.  What is she doing in verse 1?  What clues do you see that you should not interpret this literally but poetically?  
     
    Others have pointed out that the bed is a pretty quick place for a search!  It quickly becomes obvious whether someone is there or not there.  I have been pondering all of the questions all throughout this week and also found WONDERFUL mining of this particular passage of the Song on Day 10 of Revive our Hearts’ series on the Song!  One of the first things that Nancy DeMoss Wogelmuth pointed out is that the word “night” in the first phrase is actually plural.  ?  I did not fact check her on that, but if that is the case the first sentence implies a night after night longing and searching on her bed.  She starts where she is, where it is convenient and doesn’t cost too much.  Yes, her emotions are in a turmoil….but she’s not yet DESPERATE!  She hasn’t left the warmth of her bed in the night…..night after night.  It’s emotional and painful….but she’s not yet given the search everything she has within her!  
    This little verse nailed me.  I began to wonder:   if I’m searching (poetically!) my bed for Jesus and He is not to be found…..I have to wonder just who/what IS in bed with me?  Is there no room for Him?  Have I refused His call to the mountains and the difficult paths of life so that I can stay in my warm bed with my idols to comfort me?  
     
    B.  Compare verse 1 to Psalm 6:6 and Psalm 63:6.  What similarities do you see?  What does this teach you?
     
    It was hard for me to move beyond the comparison with Psalm 6:6…..”I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping; My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes.’  (included v. 7 there!).  In comparing this with Song 3:1, and using some of the perspective I was presented with in ROH, I did find a deep connection.  Three years ago, in a season of deep and unrelenting grief, there came a time when the Lord was saying to my soul “Enough.  It is enough”.  I began to “see” that even though my search was for my Lord…..who I KNEW I truly loved with all my soul…..I had allowed many IDOLS into my bed.  Even grief had become an idol to me.  I got very “comfortable” there.  I was tracking right along with Naomi (book of Ruth)…..(NOT that I suffered anything like what she had suffered….)  “call me Bitter”.  Yes, for night after night I was seeking the Lord on my bed…..BUT I WAS NOT YET DESPERATE…..for HIM.  I was desperate all right….but I wasn’t desperate for Him.  I was “hurt” by Him.  And so, in His most amazing GRACE and MERCY…..He brought me to the end of that season of taking comfort in my idols and not finding intimacy with Him.  And so my earthly sojourn continues on…..more wounds, more idols revealed, more repentance, more seeking…..and His lavish GRACE always.  He loves me.  Wow.   
     

    1. yes Dee….but need to see where she’s getting that from!  I might ask on her site.  🙂  

    2. Dee – just a quick glance at Bible Hub commentaries showed me that several of them (Gill, I remember and Jamison..something?) did indeed bring out that night is PLURAL.  Intriguing and brings new shades and depth to that phrase for sure.  🙂  

  42. loved the sermon!!! Helped me understand so well ?

  43. Laura – thanks for the sermon reminder!  I just listened to a good bit of it…..I LOVE Hamilton’s gentle teaching style.  He follows, many times word for word, from his wonderful book on SOS called….Song of Songs – A Biblical-Theological, Allegorical, Christological Interpretation.  If any of you are like me – a STRONGLY Visual/Print learner, I’d highly recommend his book!  

  44. I’ve been thinking on questions 3-9 all week and taking a whole lot of rabbit trails from that thinking – good questions really inspire that, I think!!  However, I didn’t want to leave this week without commenting on remembering again the AMAZING wedding of J.R. and Dianne – and that PICTURE!!!!  Dianne looks absolutely radiant and peaceful…..content.  And J.R???  He looks like he’s about to leap over the table!!  I just could not stop smiling as I came back to it time and again……I don’t know who took the photo, but he/she surely captured so MANY emotions.  It is mesmerizing in the story it tells.  🙂  
     
    One thing I love about commenting so late in the week is that I know not many will read the comments!  I know, I know, we need one another’s input and iron sharpening iron!!  But it’s also very freeing to feel less like writing for a response!  Amen?  

  45. 7.  Another royal wedding is described in Psalm 45, which Hebrews 1:8 quotes as being “about the Son.”  The parallels between Psalm 45 and the Song convinced Jonathon Edwards that the Song pointed to Christ as well.  Here are seven of the many parallels Edwards saw.  See if you can discover them too:  
     
    Psalm 45:1 and S.S. 1:1.  
    I’m seeing an overflowing heart in both verses….expressed differently, but still there.  S.S. says “Your love is better than wine” – THAT’s overflowing!  
     
    Psalm 45:2 and S.S. 5:10.  
    In both cases, the bridegroom is the STANDOUT!!  Compelling.
     
    Psalm 45:3-5 and S.S. 3:7-8.  
    The POWER of the King.  His readiness to go to battle for righteousness and against wickedness.  He brings ultimate protection.
     
    Psalm 45:7-8 and S.S. 3:5 (6?)
    Fragrance, essential oils……
     
    Psalm 45:10-11 and S.S. 4:7-8
    The leaving and cleaving are being entreated here…..”come away..”  “forget your people and your father’s house”.  
     
    Psalm 45:14 and S.S. 3:11.
    The wedding procession.  The giving of the Bride to the King. 
     
    Psalm 45;15 and S.S. 3:11.
    The joy and gladness of heart of the King and his Bride!
     
     

  46. 8.  Read Psalm 45:-10.  What parallel do you see with the Song, and what might the King be saying to you? Oh my.  Where does my loyalty truly lie?  “Come Away with me” He calls…..what will my answer be?  “forget your people and your father’s house”……forget my people??  ” Come away with me”.  Yes.  I will come with You, Jesus.