July 31

Read Song of Solomon 1 -- 8

In Today's Reading:

Virtues of married love -- symbolic of Christ's love for the church.

Verses for Today:

The bride describes herself as black, but comely. . . . because the sun hath looked upon me (I have worked out in the sun). . . . Tell me, O Thou whom my soul loveth, where Thou feedest, where Thou makest Thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of Thy companions? . . . Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek Him with thee (1:5-7; 6:1).

The wholesome enjoyment of married love and the delight of the bridegroom in the bride and the bride in her husband are portrayed in this poem. The word black does not necessarily mean the skin is black, but perhaps sunburned, signifying the appearance of one who works in the fields.

Christians, as the Bride of Christ, also know their shortcomings and the blackness of their sin. At first, the question is where to find the Bridegroom, Whom my soul [loves] (Song of Solomon 1:7).

As the Bride, we are invited to enter the banqueting house, and His banner over [us] [is] love (2:4). This is suggestive of both joyful welcome and abundant provision. We experience the presence of the Lord through prayer, His Word, and the indwelling Holy Spirit by which we are refreshed and strengthened. His banner of love provides our right to enter into His presence forever.

Every believer is assured that my Beloved is mine, and I am His (2:16), for He has entered into our very lives and our love relationship continues to deepen as we listen to Him while reading His Word.

Yes, there are days when the Lord seems far away and we too share the unsatisfied longings of the Shulamite: I sought Him, but I found Him not (3:1-2). But then, with great joy, we can say with the Shulamite: I found Him whom my soul loveth: I held Him, and would not let Him go (3:4).

We become different persons by virtue of our relationship with the coming Bridegroom. He is our Life: I live; yet not I, but Christ [lives] in me (Galatians 2:20).

What blessed hope and joy for Christians to know that we are cleansed with the washing of water by the Word, That He (Jesus) might present [us] (the Church) to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that [we] should be Holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:26-27).

The daughters of Jerusalem referred to the Shulamite bride as the fairest among women (Song of Solomon 6:1).

God has said that marriage vows must not be taken lightly. Marriage means total commitment to one's spouse. Since our Creator instituted marriage, it is most sacred: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:24). He also proclaimed, through the Apostle Paul: Marriage is honorable in all, and the (marriage) bed undefiled (sacred): but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge (Hebrews 13:4).

Christ Revealed:

As the chiefest among ten thousand (Song of Solomon 5:10). Jesus is the KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:16).

Word Studies:

1:3 savor = fragrance; 1:11 borders = ornaments; 1:12 spikenard = perfume; 1:16 our bed is green = we recline on a grassy field; 2:5 sick of love = lovesick; flagons = cake of raisins or grapes; 4:4 bucklers = shields; 5:4 bowels = heart; 8:5 raised = awakened.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. Adam Putnam (FL) · Pray for your church · Country: Oman (2 million) on the southeastern coast of Arabia · Major languages: Arabic and English · Fewer restrictions on Christian activity than most of its neighbors · 97% Muslim; .5% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray and fast in secret so that only the Lord knows (Acts 10:30).

Optional Reading: Hebrews 8

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 3:24