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My Heart Bursts Its Banks

One last psalm before we begin our Lenten Adventure!

And a glorious psalm it is!

Not often do we get a peek into how holy men were inspired by the Holy Spirit

to write the Scriptures, but here we get a glimpse.

The psalmist is so taken with what God has impressed on his heart,

that “his heart bursts its banks,”

breaking forth from his pen.

I am so excited for you to meet Lucy, for I LOVE LUCY!

Sometimes people ask me,

“Are you afraid to go into the prisons?”

I tell them,

“Oh, I wish you could go with me and meet

these women. These are women who have been so strengthened

by the ministry of Discipleship Unlimited.

http://www.discipleshipunlimited.org/

An army of volunteers is discipling them, and they, like Lucy,

soak it up like a man dying of thirst in the desert.

Their hearts bursts their banks and that beauty spills forth.

Well, now you can come with me.

My son J. R. and his friend Eric filmed the women and me

last November for He Calls You Beautiful.

Now J. R. and his wife Dianne are editing the video. (Pray for them, please!)

This is the first I’ve seen of their work — and I am excited.

Lucy’s testimony has that same sense of

joy bursting forth from her heart that you see in Psalm 45.

Both are reflecting on this noble theme.

And what is that?

Jesus is our Bridegroom,

who rejoices over us and is coming back for us!

And Lucy’s sisters are cheering her on,

like the “daughters of kings” in Psalm 45,

who rejoice with the bride.

I know we have a few men who silently follow this study, so if you are still with us, I want to acknowledge that this metaphor is easier for women, but meant for you too. 

 

This Metaphor is Meant for Men Too

Men can relate to Jesus being their Good Shepherd, to the Friend who is closer than a brother; and to the Father who cherishes His children – but to the Bridegroom? I was talking to one group of men about “a kiss from the King, (Song of Songs1:2) and one man rolled his eyes and quipped: “Dee, I think I’ll take a hug.” And yet, just as both men and women are sons of God, both men and women are the bride of Christ. Women don’t want to miss being sons, for it means we too receive the inheritance — an inheritance that in biblical days was given only to sons. (And I am saddened that some Bible translations have changed “sons” to children, for we are “sons!”) And men don’t want to miss being the bride of Christ, for Christ rejoices over them too. And indeed, Christ is not just coming back for women. Michael Card told me that he didn’t want to be so sexualized that he missed the beauty of this metaphor for him. When he thought about how deeply he cherished his wife Susan, it thrilled him to realize Christ cherishes him like that.

So let us dive into this beautiful Psalm, and be so encouraged in doing so!

Sunday:

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

Monday: Overview

2. Read Psalm 45 in its entirety and share what stands out to you and why.

3. Read Hebrews 1:8-9, which quotes this psalm. Who does the author of Hebrews say this psalm is about?

For those of you who were not with us when we studied the Songs, the parallels between Psalm 45 and the Song are abundant, which caused Jonathan Edwards to confidently state that the Song of Songs is also about Christ.

Tuesday: The Most Excellent of Men

4. What insight does Psalm 45:1 give you into how the Spirit of God inspired the writers of Scripture?

5. How do you reconcile Psalm 45:2 a with Isaiah 53:2?

In the Song of Songs she calls him “the fairest of ten thousand. Psalm 45 calls him “the most excellent of men.” In the Song she says, “his lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh,” the psalmist says “grace is poured upon your lips.” When Jesus was on earth, they said, “No one ever spoke like this man!”(John 7:36)

6. Share a verse from the Word who became flesh that has given you grace, has been like liquid myrrh to your soul.

Wednesday: The King is Coming in Majesty

Prepare your heart with this: 

 

 

7. Describe this Bridegroom/King coming in majesty according to Psalm 45:3-8.

8. Compare the above to Song of Songs 3:6-8. What similarity do you see?

9. Now compare Psalm 45:3-8 with Revelation 19:11-16. What similarity do you see?

10. The Bride has enemies, enemies who have persecuted her, shed her blood, martyred her loved ones — but one day, the King is coming in justice. What thoughts do you have concerning this? (Some of you are in most difficult of situations because of the enemy, so I pray this ministers to you.)

 

 

In the wedding in the Song, the groom is perfumed with frankincense and myrrh, a most unusual fragrance for a bridegroom. Likewise, the bridegroom of Psalm 45 had robes fragrant with myrrh. Michael Reeves of England says, “Frankincense was used to anoint the high priest, and myrrh was used to anoint bodies – so the King arrives for his wedding day smelling like a dead high priest…” How strange — unless you realize that this symbolizes how Christ, our high Priest, died that we might be cleansed and beautiful in His sight. As Tim Keller says of Psalm 45, “he doesn’t love us because we are lovely, but in order to make us so, by grace.”If my confidence in His love rests on my goodness, my confidence is as shaky as a house of cards. But if my confidence in His love rests on His grace, then I stand on the solid rock, as sure of His unfailing love each morning as I am that the sun will rise. And if we are sure of His love, not in just an intellectual sense, but with all our hearts and souls, then we will do what he asks, both in the Song and in Psalm 45.

11. In what does your confidence that you are loved rest? Be honest!

Thursday: Hear, O Daughter!

In the Song, he asks her to come away with him. Likewise, in Psalm 45, he asks her to leave her father and mother and cleave to him, to “forget her people and her father’s house.” As in earthly marriage, this doesn’t mean that we abandon our families, but that now, there is a new priority, and spiritually speaking, this means we first seek Christ and His righteousness all through the day. Our chief end each day should be to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. As A. W. Tozer observed, the reason some get set free and some do not is correlated with their predominant desires. If our predominant desires are for things other than God, we will never be set free – but if our predominant desire is to glorify God and experience His presence, we will indeed experience a joy and a freedom that those who cling to other things can never know.

12. What would you say is your predominant desire in life, and each day? And how might that be related to setting you free or keeping you in bondage?

 

13 Compare Psalm 45:10. What do you think this means?

 

14. Compare the above with Matthew 10:39. What light does this shed on Psalm 45:10?

15. Write a prayer for your own heart based on the above.

Friday: Rescuing Sexual Intimacy

Not only is the bride’s wedding dress beautiful, she is glorious within. Some have worked hard to spiritualize this, saying this is talking about the Temple, or the chamber she is in, or her sparkling personality or character. In the same way many ancients spiritualized the Song of Songs, saying, for instance, that her two breasts must mean the Old and New Testaments! But not all ancients tried to avoid the earthly part of the metaphor. Many think the Puritans were prudes, but that is a false characterization. They were not called Puritans because they had negative feelings about the gift of sexual intimacy, but because they were Reformers, seeing the need to purify the church from philosophies and practices that diminished the purity of the gospel. Puritans often wrote eloquently and passionately about the beauty of the marriage bed. Puritan Jonathan Edwards criticized those who avoided the earthly meaning of the Song of Songs, calling it a “bad construction,” and likewise criticized those who tried to spiritualize this description that the bride “was all glorious within.” Of this he writes:

            … where there is mention of the beauty of the bride’s clothes, and her being “glorious within,” where setting aside the allegory, or mystical meaning, what is most naturally understood as the most direct meaning would see to be, that she had not only glorious clothing, but was yet more glorious in the parts of her body within her clothing, that were hid by her clothing.[1]

 

Indeed, God created a woman’s body to be glorious, and surprises us by using the way a bridegroom rejoices over his bride as a metaphor for how He rejoices over us! It’s almost too good to believe, but just as the Adam broke out into song when a naked woman was presented to him, our God rejoices over us. And the very fact that God uses the marriage bed as a metaphor for His rejoicing over us,helps to rescue and redeem it from the world’s filth.

17. What comments do you have on the above? (The way your version translates this may show the translator’s prejudice, for in the Hebrew it is simply “she is glorious within.”)

18. How do you think God views sexual intimacy?

19. If you were with us when we studied The Song of Songs, can you remember why Ellen Davis said that marriage and the marriage bed is the least inadequate metaphor for our relationship with Christ?

Saturday:

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

 

[1] Jonathan Edwards, Journal Entry 507, 1756, as reported in: http://feedingonchrist.com/jonathan-edwards-on-christ-and-the-song-of-songs/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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103 comments

  1. Oh Dee! Lucy made me cry. How sweet she is! I sent the video to Sarah because I really want her to know how much God loves her.

    1. Laura-yay! 🙂  So glad you sent it to Sarah. 🙂

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

    Lucy’s testimony! This is the second time I have watched it and her excitement is contagious. I don’t know anything of her past but I am willing to bet she may have been abused by people in her life and may have seen God as not wanting anything to do with her. So just seeing her burst at the seams experiencing His Love in The Song is so encouraging!  J.R. and Dianne, you are doing a great job!! Keep it up! I can’t wait for the video to come out! 🙂

     

  3. Sunday:
    1.  What stands out to you from the above and why?
    a.  The title J It is an awesome picture to imagine once again-a river bursting its banks for I have seen it often in the Philippines and here in MO. All I could say is wow-the beauty and its power is breathtaking.
    b.  I Love Lucy too. She exuded the heart bursting its banks. Her testimony is powerful. Her use of the words “the use of THE in reference to THE song of songs”, “escalation” and when she said, “even if you have a bad wedding or bad marriage, we can visualize that good marriage with (God).” Thanks for sharing Lucy with us.
    c.  Men being the Bride of Christ as well. And women being sons.

  4. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    Lucy’s testimony. I rejoice with her and will remember to pray for her and all of the people who are involved in Discipleship Unlimited.
    I also am glad that you acknowledge how uncomfortable it must be for men to think of themselves as the bride. We know that the sexual metaphors make some women uncomfortable, it must be doubly hard for the men. The inheritance of sons doesn’t cause as much trouble for us women in countries where sons and daughters get the same treatment.

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

    Your love for the women in the prison, Dee. Your enthusiasm is contagious. It is so touching to hear Lucy’s love for God, the bridegroom who is enthralled with us not just on our wedding day, but every day, forever. So amazing!

    Also, your continued references to Song of Songs that I see here. Dee’s study that our little  church women’s group are doing “He Calls You Beautiful” is the hardest study I have ever done. (We have one week left to go.) It would be easy to be distracted by all the possible interpretations out there of the Song. It is hard work to see the ancient imagery and dig, really dig below the surface to really get at the heart of God’s message of how much he loves us, despite our continued failings.  But I have discovered that really seeking to understand God’s Word is where God meets us. I think the message that God adores me has sunk from the surface of my heart into its depths. As Psalm 45 points out, we need to kneel in adoration and submission to our King and Beloved.

      1. I should explain further, Dee, regarding our study on Song of Songs and your study book. It is not that you made the study too hard, but, as a leader, I have approached the Song by first looking carefully at each set of verses for the week, trying the inductive method of study to see what I could without other helps- trying to see what it said (who, what, when, where, why and how; repeated words, connecting words, meanings, asking questions, etc. Then I read what you said, Dee, in your book; and then I looked up words and passages in another commentary or other translations. I do use an ESV Study Bible. Then I answered your questions and even listened to other online studies on the Song such as Nancy Wolgemuth, and a couple that you recommended such as Jim Hamilton and Mike Reeves. It is a lot of work, but, in order to lead well, I want to digest the Song itself and learn everything I can to explain it, realizing there are other perspectives. Most of the other perspectives I looked at were helpful, not too controversial, but made me aware that there is a lot of controversy out there.

        1. Diane and Dee, I admire the work that you have done with this study. Pat and I kept telling ourselves when we were doing it that we felt like we were just scratching the surface of the Song of Songs! There is so much there. So glad I did it with a friend and hoping to do it someday with a group.

  6. Oh the video of Lucy just moved my heart so much! What a sweetheart, & just overflowing with the goodness & revelation of the Lord’s love for her. Wow, it made me want to go on one of those retreats with u Dee. Maybe one day! How I would love to just love those dear women…they must need it so much. I just saw the Superbowl & how excited the world got over a football game ( it was a good one! ), but to see these ladies & Lucy getting so excited over their Lord was awesome. How I need fresh revelation of His love for me over & over again.

    Dee, so glad it was a fruitful & blessed retreat.  🙂

      1. Yes Dee, I can look into that in the future. Will see how the Lord leads  🙂

  7. 2. Read Psalm 45 in its entirety and share what stands out to you and why. 
     

    Nothing in particular stands out other than the whole thing sounds like the Song of Solomon!

     
    3. Read Hebrews 1:8-9, which quotes this psalm. Who does the author of Hebrews say this psalm is about?
     

    It’s about Jesus.

     

    I love it when different parts of the Bible are correlated to match up! It reminds me of the field of interest I chose for my undergraduate degree (I worked in this field for about 5 years prior to being a teacher) which was geology. There are places all over the earth where outcrops of rock are and some of them actually go together (they were one entire bed of rock at one point). Since the continents “drift” over time, they are separated and it is left to geologists to put the clues together to figure out what was what at a point in time. It’s a puzzle!

  8. 2. Read Psalm 45 in its entirety and share what stands out to you and why.

    I too see The Song in this Psalm. Verse 13 stood out: The King’s daughter is all glorious within, and then the virgins who follow her are brought to the King too. The glory within her is radiating or bursting out and the virgins who follow her are brought to Him and are glad. I think the point is within..His glory inside us bursting forth attracting others to Him..encouraging other believers.

    3. Read Hebrews 1:8-9, which quotes this psalm. Who does the author of Hebrews say this psalm is about?

    Jesus

     

     

  9. 2.  Such a beautiful and Messianic Psalm. In vs 8, we are the palaces the King dwells in, and our smiles are the ‘adorned with ivory’. Our spoken and sung praises are the music of the strings (vocal chords) that make Him glad, the thought that I can make His heart flutter is new to me, and drives me to praise and sing!

    3.  Hebrews says the Psalm is about Jesus. It only quotes two verses, but the context in Psalms does not shift.

     

    Laura, I am so sorry if I offended you in any way. If I did, could you let me know what it was so that I can learn?

    continuing to pray for you….

    1. Heavens no! Mary. I am not upset with you at all. I have been pondering what you said to digest it and take a clear look to see if we are enabling her. I actually looked up the word “enable” because I think it is a fine line between that and helping your children out. Our issue, I have come to believe, is we are working with mentally ill people. An example is that we would get a call from her saying she wants to come home. She would need money for the bus ticket. Well, since we don’t want our daughter on the street (which is where she is tonight and most nights – in NYC) we would give her the money for the ticket. Bus tickets from Boston to NYC range from $5-$50. Problem is that she was lying and would use the money for something else but tell us she “decided to stay in NYC.” We have been burned by her several times so we then learned our lesson. We just want what is best for the kids and her, but nothing we do is helping so as of today I have decided to stop communicating with her for awhile. It is painful to be in this position. Our family has been devastated by her and her boyfriend this past weekend with their actions. We don’t understand and don’t know what to do. It’s hard to believe my beautiful daughter has turned into this awful beast; but there it is. Satan at his best. It is the ugliest situation I have ever seen of our world. Luckily, every so often, God pops in to remind me He is here. Saturday prior to the horrible event I was reading the verse of the day on Bible gateway and decided to read the entire Psalm. It was Psalm 59; all about David being hunted by Saul and he was crying out to God to help defeat his enemies who speak evil of him. It was just what we were going through. I knew He was near. I shared that with my friend who struggles with the idea of God and she was amazed. So there is beauty within the ashes still. Thanks for your prayers.

      1. Laura–no words. I’m just so sorry, and continuing to pray dear sister

      2. Thank you for your kind words. They put my mind at ease. Guess this is an area I am pretty insecure in. I am continuing to pray for you and the situation, for dealing with mental illness in a family member is especially difficult. My mother had issues, and I struggled with how to honor her while still having healthy boundaries. It is also a rather lonely road, because no one else can give you a roadmap on navigating it. Yet God desires to be that still small voice, saying in your ear, this is the way; walk in it. May you rely on His voice only, and may He give it clearly to you.

      3. Oh Laura, so hard to step back and let them ‘live’. It is hard, but when you give your children to the Lord, since they are his, he will take care of them. I continue to pray for you and your family.

      4. Laura, ache. Don’t have much words but I remember the tears I have shed for my daughter and continue to have. I keep on praying Ezekiel 37 for “Dry bones to come alive” for our loved prodigals.

      5. Laura, such pain you are persevering through..and I hate to hear this. I know you may not see this but this paragraph so so so so so lifted me up..just to see how you are pressing into Him..My how He has grown you over the years. You are becoming more and more beautiful. Just hearing how you shared with your friend reminded me of the most beautiful way He shines His light to others through our pain.

  10. I love what Laura, Rebecca & Mary each had to say! There is so much in this psalm. Yes definitely parallels Song of Songs. What stood out to me was the beauty & majesty of the Lord…how desirable He is. I love the picture of Him riding on a horse with His sword girded; riding in gladness & triumph, with beautiful fragrances coming forth from Him, & overflowing with goodness & righteousness. To think that He desires us…me! Lord help me to take it in.

    Heb 1:8-9 – says this Psalm is about “the Son”…Jesus  🙂

  11. Sunday: 
    1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    A lot!!!

    Lucy’s testimony is delightful to watch.  Yes her heart is bursting it’s banks and the beauty is spilling forth.  She glows with the truth of what she has learned.

    I appreciate the observations of the metaphor of the Bridegroom being for men as well as women.  And the correlation of women having the status of “sons” and having a full inheritance is a good one.  As I gave gotten older it is so apparent how important deeper study into the context of God’s Word is in relation to the culture of biblical times. We Americans often lose a lot in interpreting and understanding Biblical truth because of our own cultural influences. Which sadly have become so distorted.

    Praying for J.R. And his wife in their editing process. Looking forward to the finished product.

  12. What stood out to me was the clear description Lucy gave of what it meant to her to imagine her wedding and applied it to the Song! In all my years in church studies I never had this picture of Jesus loving me like that. It is wonderful to study the Song. Yes, thank you, Dee. I am doing the study , He Calls You Beautiful, on my own and have invited a friend to join me, but it is a new and enlightening approach for me.

  13. 4. What insight does Psalm 45:1 give you into how the Spirit of God inspired the writers of Scripture? 
     

    The Holy Spirit dwelt inside them so they could be imspired.

     
    5. How do you reconcile Psalm 45:2 a with Isaiah 53:2?
     

    They do seem to contradict one another. However, maybe “beauty” isn’t as we think; on the outside. Maybe beauty is that which is inside; the idea of what He represents? The most handsome, most desired and blessed vs that which we would not desire; formless and not beautiful. With no majesty and undesireable. Of course we would want to be with the Psalms man. Would we want to be with the Isaiah man? Maybe the Isaiah man isn’t handsome, but He is kind, humble, consistent; all those other qualities that make a man attractive?

     

    6. Share a verse from the Word who became flesh that has given you grace, has been like liquid myrrh to your soul.

     

    It’s got to be Isaiah 41:13 for me….

     

    “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.””

    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    http://bible.com/59/isa.41.13.esv

  14. Dear Laura: praying for wisdom in your situation; for the love & encouragement & grace of the Lord to envelop u & lead u & your husband. Also for His comfort in those aching places. We love u .

    Tues: Ps 45:1 I think the Spirit of God filled & blessed those He used to write Scripture: the words flowed out of a heart that was praising God & receiving from Him.

    Ps 45:2 & Is 53:1; I think the difference in these 2 verses is physical vs spiritual? Jesus in the flesh looked like an ordinary man, not a king with pomp & ceremony. But in God’s Kingdom, & God’s eyes he was filled with Spirit, spoke words of grace & truth ; He was one with the Father & the delight of Heaven. People were drawn to His words of truth & His healing power, not His physical beauty.

    Jer 31:3 “The Lord appeared from of old to me, saying; “Yes I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you”.    This verse is like liquid myrrh to my soul!   🙂 Thank You Lord.

  15. Dear sisters, I am going to Aussie tomorrow after work, for 3 weeks to visit my family. I would love your prayers for smooth travel connections, & that the Lord will use me as a blessing while I am there. Also my son Jake will meet me there for 2 weeks, so am praying for his heart to be touched by the Lord thro the love of his family there. Thank u so much!  xxx   🙂

    1. Jenny–praying now for your trip and for your son Jake’s heart to be touched by the Lord!

    2. Jenny I will be praying for your travels and for your son’s heart to be open.

    3. Enjoy a lovely trip, Jenny…blessings upon your travel and time with family.

    4. Jenny, safe travels! May the Lord watch your coming and going and may it be a special time especially with Jake.

    5. I will pray for your trip, James as well. Thank you for your kind words Jenny. I appreciate them.

    1. I will continue to pray for Philip, Lizzy and her husband and the doctors to have the wisdom they need to help him. Also for a quick recovery and healing.

  16. Sunday:

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

    Well, I haven’t read through yet, just to this question, and before watching the clip, what stood out to me was this: “Are you afraid to go into the prisons?” I’ve always wanted to go with Dee, but reading that question just now, I had to be honest and try to think. Would I be afraid? And if so, why? But then I watched the clip. And I SOBBED. First, Lucy–she is not in prison, not spiritually, not emotionally–though they have her locked up, she is free. Her passion for Him, her joy–more than most women here I know who are physically “free”. She truly does glow of His love. Her wisdom: “The Song of Songs. There’s something in there that I have to know, because God wouldn’t have put it in there if there wasn’t”  And then, the faces of the other women. No one is looking away or uninterested–they are intently listening, they are nodding in agreement. They are praising Him alongside her. This so filled my heart this morning–WOW.

    Now I want to go with Dee more than EVER!!

  17. 2. Read Psalm 45 in its entirety and share what stands out to you and why.

    How it begins “my heart”. Immediately we recognize this will be a psalm of emotion, passion, coming from the depths of the soul.

    Vs. 4a, I love His holiness: “In your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;”

    v.6-His eternal throne “forever and ever”

    vs. 7a, I love that He does have hate for what is evil. He fights against it “you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness”

    vs. 10 intrigued me “Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father’s house” I went to Spurgeon to hear his thoughts and I liked this: “We have much to forget as well as to learn, and the unlearning is so difficult that only diligent hearing, and considering, and bending of the whole soul to it, can accomplish the work; and even these would be too feeble did not divine grace assist.” I think of the things I have learned, subconsciously, in the environment I was raised, and while not all bad, there are many things I need to forget, “unlearn”, and not allow my heart to be divided.

  18. 3. Read Hebrews 1:8-9, which quotes this psalm. Who does the author of Hebrews say this psalm is about?

    “the Son”, Jesus

    4. What insight does Psalm 45:1 give you into how the Spirit of God inspired the writers of Scripture?

    The were filled with love and praise, overflowing, for Him.

    5. How do you reconcile Psalm 45:2 a with Isaiah 53:2?

    I’ve often thought of this as Laura said, psalm 45 is speaking of His inner beauty and Isaiah 53 describes outward appearance. But I am wondering if it’s possible Isaiah 53:2 speaks of His earthly condition and the psalmist is speaking of His glory in Heaven and in His second coming? I should probably research that a bit more, when I can!

  19. Lizzy’s pondering about His glory in heaven is intriguing.

    4.  The ’84 NIV reads “my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer”. In other words, God writes it, using the personality and directed thoughts of each particular Bible author.

     

    5.  Reconciling. My first thought was that Psalms is written from God’s perspective, how God sees Jesus. Isaiah writes from the perspective of people, thinking there is nothing regal here – just an ordinary person. But for those who believed in Him even before the resurrection, they discerned He was different and beautiful. John 7:36

     

    6.  Last Friday, when I met for mentoring, my student was burdened. The anniversary of a murder/suicide in her family is coming up. So we left John on the shelf and went through the first part of Psalms. So many sections simultaneously lift me up and melt me. One that has always spoken to me, and did to her that day, is Psalm 34:18. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

    This is like balm because He came to me, and comes to me frequently, without my seeking Him first. He came to find me, like the lost lamb. He delighted to give me grace and healing and salvation. It is hard for me to put into words just how grateful I am for who He is and what He has done.

  20. Sunday:
     
    1. What stands out to you from the above and why? – WOW!! Dee you never disappoint in these studies and opening our eyes to how much Jesus loves us. What stood out first to me was the heart bursts at its banks spilling goodness. Before I even read more, I was excited by this. To have a heart so filled with joy from the Lord that we want to tell everyone, Christian and Non Christians alike. But sadly I have room to grow. I still hold back when talking to nonbelievers for fear of rejection I’m guessing, or a rebuttal that I would not know how to answer to make them believe God is so good. I loved how excited Lucy is knowing that it doesn’t matter where she is or what she has done, but that God loves her just the same as everyone else. She had me tearing up, that despite her circumstances she is not letting that hold her back from learning and knowing the Lord. I’m excited to read on in this study.
     

  21. Monday: Overview
     
    2. Read Psalm 45 in its entirety and share what stands out to you and why. – What I see coming from Psalm 45 is a life filled with joy and blessings. The more I follow the Lord, the more I will be blessed and others will wonder where the goodness that has been poured on me is coming from. They will follow me and ask how they can have the blessings too.
     
    3. Read Hebrews 1:8-9, which quotes this psalm. Who does the author of Hebrews say this psalm is about? – It’s about the Son, Jesus and how he will rise above everyone.
     

  22. Psalm 45 is growing on me as I continue to read it.

    “Beautiful words stir my heart.”  “My tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet.”

    The Spirit of God inspired the writers of Scripture. However because of his words and his works,

    the scripture of Isaiah 53:2 does not contradict though it says there was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance.

    When Jesus was on earth, they said, “No one ever spoke like this man. He said “You cannot go where I am going.”

    6. The verse from the Word who became flesh that has given me grace is Matthew 11:28-29,

    “Come to me , all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

    This gives me hope and reassurance!

  23. 4. What insight does Psalm 45:1 give you into how the Spirit of God inspired the writers of Scripture?

    It just welled up inside of them.

    5. How do you reconcile Psalm 45:2 a with Isaiah 53:2?

    The verse in Isaiah seems to be talking about his physical features. Some people attract others with their good looks. Jesus attracted others with His words and His character.

     

    6. Share a verse from the Word who became flesh that has given you grace, has been like liquid myrrh to your soul.

    Psalm 103:17-18 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

  24. Monday: Overview
    1.  Read Psalm 45 in its entirety and share what stands out to you and why.
    That this is a wedding song.
    Most excellent of men; set above your companions; Majestic. These words are apt descriptive words of Jesus-He is the only one.
    3. Read Hebrews 1:8-9, which quotes this psalm. Who does the author of Hebrews say this psalm is about?
     
    But about the Son…

  25. 2. Psalm 45…what stand out to you and why?
    v. 1, “Beautiful words stir my heart”…oh my goodness, the words in his heart could not be contained, the beauty was bursting forth.
    v. 6-7, “endures forever and ever…God, your God anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than anyone else”…this speaks of Jesus.

    I must admit, I am a bit confused by v. 9, “at your right hand stands the queen” and then v. 13, “the bride…led to the King”…???

    3. Who does the author of Hebrews say this psalm is about?
    Jesus, the Son of God

    4. What insight does Psalm 45:1 give you into how the spirit of God inspired the writers of Scripture?
    The Holy Spirit put words in their hearts that could not be contained, but that which needed to be released, shared.

    5. How do you reconcile Psalm 45:2 with Isaiah 53:2?
    The beauty spoken of isn’t referring to physical beauty, but over all beauty of person.

  26. 6. Share a verse from the Word who became flesh that has given you grace, has been like liquid myrrh to your soul.
    Psalm 46:1, The Lord is my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.

  27. Tuesday: The Most Excellent of Men
    4.  What insight does Psalm 45:1 give you into how the Spirit of God inspired the writers of Scripture?
    The heart has been stirred.
    5. How do you reconcile Psalm 45:2 with Isaiah 53:2?
    Isaiah 53 maybe speaking of Jesus’ physical appearance as we may call ordinary or average. Yet, I can attest that however “ordinary” the saints I know may look, there is beauty in each one that is unexplainable. For who sets the standards for beauty? I believe the beauty of Jesus is found in His character, humility, and all the good that He stands for. “He may not be safe, but He is good.”
    5.  Share a verse from the Word who became flesh that has given you grace, has been like liquid myrrh to your soul.
    Psalm 16:5-6
     
    Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;     you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;(because of you)
        surely I have a delightful inheritance. (in you)

  28. 7. Describe this Bridegroom/King coming in majesty according to Psalm 45:3-8. 
     

    He is all decked out! Scepter, crown, and sword are adorned. People bow to Him. He wields truth and righteousness; He is anointed with the oil of gladness. He has a myrrh, cassio, aloe scent and the castles are also decorated with ivory.

     
    8. Compare the above to Song of Songs 3:6-8. What similarity do you see? 
     

    The scents are common, as well as the crown, sword and dress in general.

     
    9. Now compare Psalm 45:3-8 with Revelation 19:11-16. What similarity do you see? 
     

    He comes on a white horse. He has a sword and is dressed in a long robe. He is righteous and comes to judge. He represents truth.

     
    10. The Bride has enemies, enemies who have persecuted her, shed her blood, martyred her loved ones — but one day, the King is coming in justice. What thoughts do you have concerning this? (Some of you are in most difficult of situations because of the enemy, so I pray this ministers to you.)
     

    I hope and pray that God will come save me. Unfortunately the pain is great and I wish He would come and take me from it soon. But if that happens then I lose my loved ones who aren’t as loyal to Him, or even believers right now 😔. I just want the pain to end.

     

    1. Laura, hugs to you.

  29. 7.  The Bridegroom King coming in majesty, girded with a His sword on His side. The sword of the Spirit? Which is the Word of God (Eph 6). No longer hidden as the carpenter from Galilee, now He has all the splendor of who He really is. He rides in victory over all evil, on behalf of truth, humility and righteousness. His words will pierce His enemies and they will fall under His feet. His throne is not temporary. It is for forever! He reigns with justice as the symbol of His government. He has been anointed with the oil of joy. No longer is He a man of sorrows, but rather joyful. Yes, the smell of His robes brings to mind the high priest and death, but now they serve to remind of His victory over our distance from God and spiritual death.

     

    8.  In both places there is a victory procession with riders wearing swords. In both He emerges from somewhere difficult and non impressive. In imagery, both make it plain they are talking about God, and not some mere man.

     

    9.  Jesus is the rider in both references. Both talk of righteousness and truth. His robes have been dipped in blood, a euphemism for death, that scent of myrrh. The Word of God comes out again. His companion riders are mentioned again, His warriors, ready for anything. He strikes down the nations here with the sword, that word of God. He will deliver justice, including harsh judgment. He is King and Lord in both places, though it is only inferred in Psalms.

     

    10.  The first thing that comes to mind is that when He comes in justice, the last threads of slavery will be cut off. There will be no more deception to blind us or enslave us.

  30. 7. Describe the bridegroom: He is riding victoriously, with his sword at his side, clothed with splendor and majesty, with truth, humility and righteousness.

    8. Compare with Song of songs 3:6-8: Solomon’s carriage, escorted by 60 warriors, all wearing the sword, perfumed with myrrh and incense.

    9. Compare with Revelation 19:11-16: A rider on a white horse, called Faithful and True. His eyes like blazing fire with many crowns on his head, dressed in a robe dipped in blood, with armies of heaven following him,  with a sharp sword coming out of his mouth and the name written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

    10. The King is coming in justice! Yes, it is true we are in a spiritual battle, with armor to protect us, the shield of faith, and the one offensive piece is the sword of the Spirit, the word of God.

    The word that blesses me is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 1:13

    And the word from I John 4:17,18 is that “perfect love casts out fear.” So I am reassured that I can endure along with my sisters and brothers through the difficulties, the persecutions . Christ’s love covers me, I Peter 4:8, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” The pain and suffering of this present time will pass.

     

  31. Tuesday: The Most Excellent of Men
     
    4. What insight does Psalm 45:1 give you into how the Spirit of God inspired the writers of Scripture? – Their hearts were stirred to write.
     
    5. How do you reconcile Psalm 45:2 a with Isaiah 53:2? – I believe this is about Jesus who is the only excellent man there was as Psalm 45:2a states and in Isaiah it’s talking about a man who was a root out of the dry ground which to me represents Jesus as it was very unlikely for him to be born the way he was just as a root would not grow out of dry ground since it would need water to flourish. Jesus was born to be one of us and his looks were just as any other man at that time.
     
    In the Song of Songs she calls him “the fairest of ten thousand. Psalm 45 calls him “the most excellent of men.” In the Song she says, “his lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh,” the psalmist says “grace is poured upon your lips.” When Jesus was on earth, they said, “No one ever spoke like this man!”(John 7:36)
     
    6. Share a verse from the Word who became flesh that has given you grace, has been like liquid myrrh to your soul. – I love Isaiah 53.5, it’s a good reminder to me of what Jesus did for me and because he took my sins and died for them, I am healed by his wounds.‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. ‘

  32. 7. Describe this Bridegroom/King coming in majesty according to Psalm 45:3-8. – His sword will be at his side and he will be clothed with splendor and majesty. He will ride victoriously in truth, humility and justice. The nations will fall at his feet and his throne will last forever. His robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
     
    8. Compare the above to Song of Songs 3:6-8. What similarity do you see? – Solomon is perfumed with myrrh, incense and spices of the merchant. They are wearing the sword at their sides.
     
    9. Now compare Psalm 45:3-8 with Revelation 19:11-16. What similarity do you see? – The rider is called Faithful & True. He judges with justice, he has many crowns on his head (majesty). The armies of heaven were following him dressed in fine linen. A sharp sword is coming from his mouth. And though they were on horses, I sense they were marching on.
     
    10. The Bride has enemies, enemies who have persecuted her, shed her blood, martyred her loved ones — but one day, the King is coming in justice. What thoughts do you have concerning this? (Some of you are in most difficult of situations because of the enemy, so I pray this ministers to you.) – Many, many years ago my cousin was murdered and to this day, they still don’t know who did it. But I know that the Lord will serve justice to the family and will reveal what happened and who killed her. I also feel saddened for our country. There is so much hatred going on even among family members and friends. This world is getting to the place where we can’t have our own opinions or think differently from the next person without being called a racist. I just don’t understand how what I believe, that may be different then you, makes me racist. This really saddens me but my hope is in the Lord and one day, this will all be over and there will be peace among all people again. I trust in the Lord and I know this will come to pass soon.
    11. In what does your confidence that you are loved rest? Be honest! – I have been hurt by people in the past, ones that I loved and I thought loved me. I found out that people will fall away and leave me hurting and alone. Struggling while they survive. Through this, I have found only one person who never lets me down, never hurts me and never leaves me struggling. That is Jesus. In Him I know I will always have arms around me to comfort me, to never feel alone. He is where I place my trust and faith and love first and foremost. Others will now fall behind him.
     

    1. Julie, me too. Hurts in the past and even recently made me want to cling to Jesus more. He never hurts us and he bore so much for us it helps me bear my pain right now. Hugs, sister.

  33. 12. What would you say is your predominant desire in life, and each day? And how might that be related to setting you free or keeping you in bondage? 
     

    Wow Dee! These are hard questions this week! I’m not sure my predominant desire each day….I’m just trying to get through life here on earth. Work, dinner, exercise, bed, work, dinner, exercise, bed. The grind. So my predominant desire is to pay the bills, keep my body somewhat healthy, and such? I do spend a lot of time reading things about Christ to learn the things I need to know for when the end time comes. But, I’m  not consistent. I read and answer questions here to contemplate, I am reading RC Sproul, etc. Earthly life takes over often.

    13 Compare Psalm 45:10. What do you think this means?
     

    I think it means to put your focus on Christ.

    14. Compare the above with Matthew 10:39. What light does this shed on Psalm 45:10? 
     

    Focusing on Christ helps you find your life. It reminds me of the CS Lewis quote that goes something like this: search for yourself and find nothing. Search for Christ and find Him and everything else. Not sure the exact quote but you get the idea.

     
    15. Write a prayer for your own heart based on the above.
     

    Oh Lord You are good. Thank You for Your grace. Please help remind me that You are to be my focus each day; not the things of Earth. It is so hard to remember because I get so sucked in to things each day that are not about You. I try to remember You within my day; I do talk to You. However, my daily torment with my family pulls me away from You unless I am praying as the struggle ensues. I do feel close but since I don’t understand our predicament I also feel far away from You. I am better than I used to be though, so thank You for my desire to get to know You better. I am a better person because of this blog, podcasts like Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth, and daily Bible reading. There was a time I didn’t do these things. Thank You for making me better as I get older. In Your Holy Name I pray, Amen.

    1. Laura, I just love you. There is no pretense in you at all and when you express your struggles it resonates with all of us and encourages me-helps me to see things inside I may not be admitting to before God.  I think Dee has wise insight too so I hope everyone reads these posts.

  34. 4.  Describe this Bridegroom/King coming in majesty according to Psalm 45:3-8.
     
    He was girded with everything that speaks of royalty-a sharp sword, a scepter, a robe, a palace, ivory. Riding in a horse is a symbol of power and rule; so is the phrase “right hand”.
    4.  Compare the above to Song of Songs 3:6-8. What similarity do you see?
    Sword, sixty warriors, perfumed with myrrh and incense, battle ready.
    5.  Now compare Psalm 45:3-8 with Revelation 19:11-16. What similarity do you see?
    White horse, faithful and true; justice, crown, robe, army. Fine linen, sharp sword, rule, robe, king of kings, Lord of lords.
    6. 10. The Bride has enemies, enemies who have persecuted her, shed her blood, martyred her loved ones — but one day, the King is coming in justice. What thoughts do you have concerning this? (Some of you are in most difficult of situations because of the enemy, so I pray this ministers to you.)
    All wrongs will be made right. All the pain of any type of injustice will be judged by the righteous judge. I will grieve over things while on this earth but I know there will be no more tears when Jesus comes again!

  35. 11. In what does your confidence that you are loved rest? Be honest!
    In God’s Word but it is a struggle at times with my emotions. One time feeling loved because God is working things out but then at other times when the windows of heaven seemed shut, I feel unloved. But it is a temporary thing, thank God! When I lean on the Holy Spirit to guide, to comfort, my soul wells up in gratitude for gifts far beyond anything earthly can provide.
     
    I am a work in progress but secure in the knowledge that I will be completed as promised! Philippians 1:6

  36. 7. Describe this Bridegroom/king coming…Psalm 45:3-8.
    This is one like none other…He is “majestic” (i.e., stately, dignified, distinguished, grand, magnificent, impressive, awe-inspiring, noble) and His strength mighty, He conquers the enemy, He defends truth, humility and justice…He is royalty…a King.

    8. Compare the above to SoS 3:6-8…what similarity do you see?
    The mention of fragrant spices, specifically myrrh…”an expensive spice, used for making perfume, incense, medicine, and anointing the dead.”  Mentioned three times in relation to Jesus…a gift of the wise men, offered to Jesus on the cross mixed in wine, used in anointing Jesus’ body.

    9. Now compare Psalm 45:3-8 with Rev 19:11-16…what similarity do you see?
    The sword is mentioned in both texts and both reference a warrior: Psalm 45: “put on Your sword, O mighty warrior”; Revelation, “Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.”  

  37. 4.  What would you say is your predominant desire in life, and each day? And how might that be related to setting you free or keeping you in bondage?
    I will confess that lately, I have been struggling with pride being my predominant desire. I want to share this with you, my friends as I know you would understand and love me anyhow. I have been one of the 4 teachers in our district in the running for district teacher of the year. (yeah, yeah, yeah) LOL Now I tell you when I was told last December, my mind couldn’t shut its bite sounds of “ Now, I have made it” etc kind of thinking. I was not ready for the prideful thoughts I had especially in light of the hard situation with a student’s mother. “Now, I will show them.” Yikes! So, I think I prayed one of the hardest prayer in my life-“Lord, humble me; I don’t like this feeling even the thought of being vindicated, or the lofty idea of honoring you if I win etc. If this is not good for me and my relationship with you, please do not let me win.”
    I feel like a hypocrite vacillating between being humbled by the nomination and being prideful and feeling deserving.
    Today, I found out somebody else won the Award. I felt sad and disappointed and yet realized God had answered my prayer. This is what His will is and it is for my good. Mind you-I did not just say Hallelujah, somebody else won. Na-ah…but I have learned submission and thankful to the One who knows what is best for me.
    So Tozer says it best, “If our predominant desires are for things other than God, we will never be set free – but if our predominant desire is to glorify God and experience His presence, we will indeed experience a joy and a freedom that those who cling to other things can never know.
    Lord, may my predominant desire be your glory and to experience you. May I be free of the love for this world’s appetites.

      1. Thank you, Dee. Love being here where I feel loved and free to be me.

        1. Bing we love YOU..you are authentic and have such a kind and sweet spirit.

    1. Bing, hugs to you. You are teacher of the year in my books! But better yet, I love your honesty and turning to God in your struggle with pride. You have had such a hard year, but God is teaching you so much. Yes, our relationship with God must be first and foremost!

       

      1. Thanks, Diane. My husband officiated a funeral for one of our dearly loved ladies at church today. She was also my friend. Visiting with her 2 sons and their families, relatives and friends made me realize I do have other ministry opportunities beside being a teacher. I felt the nomination was a ploy by the enemy to distract me but God used it to do surgery to get to the real matter of my heart. Yes, He is teaching me much these days. Am so glad He does not leave us to our defenses but is our Defense against the enemy.

    2. Amen to all Bing!

  38. 12. What would you say is your predominant desire in life, and each day? And how might that be related to setting you free or keeping you in bondage? – Honestly, my desire is to be retired so I can concentrate on Bible Studies and be able to dig deeper in to them and not just think about a question for a bit and answer. I would love to be able to have time to read different versions and find different meanings. I think if I had more time to do this, it would set me free from the worldly things that surround me now.
     

     
    13 Compare Psalm 45:10. What do you think this means? – I’m thinking this means that you need to focus on God and his ways, so that our ways follow the Lord’s teachings. When we are in our parents house, we have to follow their rules for the most part, but once we are grown, we should be seeking the truth about those rules and to follow the Only One that can save us in the end, Jesus.
     

     
    14. Compare the above with Matthew 10:39. What light does this shed on Psalm 45:10? – Our own ways need to be discarded and we have to dig deep into the Word of God and follow His ways in order to truly live.
     
    15. Write a prayer for your own heart based on the above. – Lord, I know I need you. I need your guidance and protection Lord while here are earth. Help me Lord to understand you more. Help me to know what is the right thing to say and do that will glorify you. Lord, I just want time to truly know you and to soak up your word like a sponge, so I can walk in your footsteps. Thank you Lord for opening my eyes and heart and thank you for your blessings each and every day. In Jesus Name I pray. AMEN!
     

    1. Julie, I so resonate with your desire to be retired! God’s Word is so beautiful and resplendent of Jesus and like you I hunger for more, to truly know Him. right now, I am kept busy at work but really enjoy when I read His Word especially the psalms. It is so good to see you here.

    1. Lord, we pray that you would fill Dee’s heart with a deep well of praise and adoration of You. We ask that her time in Milwaukee would be a liberal time of the overflow of her heart and her times with You. May You bring many into Your presence and convince many that You are more than able through this seminar. Be with Dee in the travel and in the technical aspects of her presentation. Give her the joy of participating in what You are doing. Thank you, Lord.

    2. Praying for you at retreat in Milwaukee, Dee.

    3. Praying Dee. Be blessed. I know the Ladies will be.

    4. Dee, thinking of you right now and praying God’s presence will be especially felt by all at this retreat.

  39. 11. My confidence rests in Gods’ Word. His work is finished. His promises are true!

    His grace is all I need. II Cor. 12:9 “My power works best in weakness.”

    I will pray, Dee, for the retreat near Milwaukee, for your safety traveling and for many blessings for all who come.

  40. 12.  If it were as easy as looking at a checkbook, my most frequent withdrawals on a daily basis have to do with food. When, where, what, how much, and when next after that. It is keeping me in bondage. Trying to think that through better, I am suddenly asleep. Hmm. There is a pattern here. Every time I seek to understand more fully and give it to God, I get headaches, confusion, and sleepiness. Maybe I need a different tactic. Instead of taking food straight on I should just work on making God my most frequent thought.

     

    15.  Lord, thank You for the richness of the Bible, Your word. Thank You that I don’t have to figure it all out, that it is Ok to put away what I need to from the past, and even from today. I choose to start living in praise of You right here, right now. It is hard, Lord. It takes more determination than I am known for. I fling myself on Your mercy. Please Lord, help. Please Lord, save.

     

    18.  God thought up sex. He isn’t surprised or embarrassed by it. Sex inside of marriage is something He wants us to experience as a part of understanding better His love for us. I think Communion is a picture of this, with the bride taking into herself the body and blood of the Lord.

  41. 12. My predominant desire in life… Well, Yes I can say honestly to honor God in words and actions. However I know I am definitely a work in progress! I have some goals: to see all my children putting God first in their lives-not really apparent, to be a role model for my grandchildren-yet feeling frustrated with their behaviors, but as Dee has shared,  becoming somewhat angry when their personalities come into conflict. My marriage- to have peace and harmony, yet that only sometimes happens!

    13. Psalm 45:10 “forget your own people, and your father’s house. Leave family, worship the King.

    I believe that this means these family desires are not to preoccupy my life, they are out of my control. My only goal needs to be focusing on God’s plan, To love him with all my mind, my soul, my heart and my strength.

    14. Compare Matt. 10:39 with Psalm 45:10. If you cling to your life, you will lose it, but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. This clarifies this verse to me. I had purpose in my childrens’ lives to bring them up to know the Word of God, and now I must let go and trust God’s work to draw them to him.

    15. My prayer: Father God, Thank you for calling me to you, for forgiving my sins. Thank you for all your precious promises to me. My desire this day is to honor you, to turn from my selfish desires and especially the worries that return. My desire is to keep my focus on You. When I stray, I will confess.

    Thank you for the peace you give, as I know you will never leave me nor forsake me. Though others may let me down or hurt my feelings, your love is everlasting.

    All praise for the wonderful messages I receive in your Word. May I forgive my loved ones as you have forgiven me. To God be the glory. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray.

  42. 17. What comments do you have on the above? (The way your version translates this may show the translator’s prejudice, for in the Hebrew it is simply “she is glorious within.”) – It’s interesting to see the different views that were taken on this. How just one person, or group, can make others see something that may not even be there, but they are so convincing that you may believe untruth.
     
    18. How do you think God views sexual intimacy? – God created everything and that includes sexual intimacy. He created it for good and for husband and wife to enjoy each other. 
     
    19. If you were with us when we studied The Song of Songs, can you remember why Ellen Davis said that marriage and the marriage bed is the least inadequate metaphor for our relationship with Christ? – I don’t think I finished that, but interested to see what others in the blog say.
     

  43. 17. What comments do you have on the above? (The way your version translates this may show the translator’s prejudice, for in the Hebrew it is simply “she is glorious within.”)  
     

    I wasn’t too clear which verse in SOS I should read and comment on; I couldn’t find any that said “glorious within.” I only looked at the ESV though.

     

    But, I did learn that the Puritans weren’t the prudes I always thought they were! I do believe women can be lovely on the inside even when we aren’t quite perfect on the outside. It reminds me of the scripture where Jesus says something about what comes out of our mouths shows our true heart. Women who are very beautiful outwardly my be total trash inside and vice versa.

     
    18. How do you think God views sexual intimacy? 
     

    I suppose He wants us to be close to one another. He definitely wanted us to carry on the human race and to do so means we must be intimate.

     
    19. If you were with us when we studied The Song of Songs, can you remember why Ellen Davis said that marriage and the marriage bed is the least inadequate metaphor for our relationship with Christ?
     

    I don’t remember this just off the top of my head. I went back and searched the blog for her her comments (I cheated!) here it is:
    “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.”
     

    So it is a place of prayer. Funny to me because it’s where I work on this study each morning as well as pray for others.

    1. 4.  What comments do you have on the above? (The way your version translates this may show the translator’s prejudice, for in the Hebrew it is simply “she is glorious within.”)
      I appreciate what Jonathan Edwards said about a woman’s body. He is long been dead yet he still speaks today. Along the way, there seems to have been a subtle shift in how we view our bodies whether its use applies to the marriage bed or the way we take care of it. Either abuse or inordinate love for it as shown by feverish emphasis on food and exercise and staying youthful. Yet when wholly viewed from God’s perspective, the body indeed is glorious within. For we are wonderfully made, parts created for God’s purposes.
      18. How do you think God views sexual intimacy?
      Since He is the author of all good things, and His Word commends the marriage bed, then God views sexual intimacy as one of His good gifts confined to the married.
      19. If you were with us when we studied The Song of Songs, can you remember why Ellen Davis said that marriage and the marriage bed is the least inadequate metaphor for our relationship with Christ?
      I had to look at my notes for this chapter. I don’t think we ever come to a point of getting out of our self-absorption (the human condition that Davis speaks of) to experience what she calls self transcendence. So the marriage bed is not adequate enough to use as a metaphor for our relationship with Christ. It remains a mystery while on this earth. Not sure if I got this right or reading too much into it.
      Saturday:
      20. What is your take-a-way and why?
      “…but if our predominant desire is to glorify God and experience His presence, we will indeed experience a joy and a freedom that those who cling to other things can never know.”
       
      Am surely a work in progress in this area.

    2. Laura, thank you for the notes on question #19. I looked at my book instead and got kind of befuddled (smile) as one can see in my answer. A place of prayer. Aaahhh… a place where God is sought intently-how can intimacy be more found in elsewhere?

  44. 10. The Bride has enemies, enemies who have persecuted her, shed her blood, martyred her loved ones — but one day, the King is coming in justice. What thoughts do you have concerning this?
    There is an immense amount of suffering in this world, so much of which I cannot wrap my head around (e.g., human trafficking, genocide, holocaust, slavery, abuse).  I don’t understand how humanity can act so horribly against humanity, it sickens me.  I know in my heart in one way or another that the evil one is at root of it all .  What comfort and relief to know that a time is coming when our Lord will make all things right.

    11. In what does your confidence that you are loved rest?
    In the knowledge that Jesus suffered and died for me…He took on my sin and paid the price, a price I could not, to bring me home.  No greater love…