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Bible Pathways - July 31, 2009


July 31

Song of Solomon 1

Highlights In Today's Reading:

This beautiful love story shows the love of God for Israel and illustrates the love of Christ for His Church. It provides a model for the quality of love God desires to see between a man and his wife as well as our love for His Church. It opens with a Shulamite maiden working in a vineyard. A handsome stranger wins her heart. He promises to return and when he does he reveals himself as the mighty monarch.

The Song of Solomon is a poem of love. The book praises the mutual love between a husband and wife and thereby teaches us to honor married love.

The reading of this song should lead us to praise the Creator who made the human body. It was God who led Eve, the first bride, to Adam her admiring bridegroom. Seeing and experiencing the purity and holiness of this earthly bond of love instituted by God will also lead us to a better understanding of and appreciation for that love relationship which is heavenly and eternal — the love relationship that should exist in the believer's heart toward his Lord and His Church.

Many see in this song a parable of the great love of Christ for His Church and the believer's desire for and enjoyment of Christ's love. In fact, the Apostle Paul used marriage to illustrate the bond of love which exists between Christ and His Church (Eph. 5:22-33).

As the Shulamite woman expressed: My beloved is mine, and I am his (Song 2:16), so every believer is assured that Jesus Christ has become an intimate part of our lives. Our love relationship continues to grow and deepen as we listen to Him speak to us as we read and meditate on His Word.

As Christians, sometimes we enjoy a very close sense of the presence of Christ and can say with the Shulamite: His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me (2:6). But, there are times when His presence seems far away: By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not (3:1). Yet our love for Christ continues to grow as we wait expectantly for that first glimpse of Him when He welcomes us home (Eph. 5:31-32; I Thess. 4:16-17).

How rich is the most poverty-stricken Christian, for he can say: I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me (Song 7:10). It is an amazing condescension that the King of glory can stoop from His throne to love a worthless beggar who has been taken from the gutter. The soul that gives up all for Him will be fully satisfied with His love.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins (I John 4:10).

Thought for Today:

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet (Matt. 2:5).

Christ Revealed:

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

Word Studies:

1:3 savour = fragrance; 1:11 borders = ornaments; 1:12 spikenard = perfume; 1:16 our bed is green = we recline on a grassy field; 2:5; Stay me = Invigorate, refresh me; flagons = delicacies; sick of love = overcome, overwhelmed by your love; 4:4 bucklers = small shields; 5:4 bowels = heart; 8:5 raised = awakened.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Dr. John A. Hash in memory of Letha Hash • Staff: Bernice Rathbone • Government Officials: Gov. Deval Patrick (MA), Rep. Adam Putnam (FL), Rep. Betty Sutton (OH), and Rep. Joe Wilson (SC) • Country: United States (270 million) in North America • Major languages: English and Spanish • Religious freedom • 55% Protestant; 28% Catholic; 1% Orthodox; 2% Mormon; 2% Jewish; 1% Muslim; 11% Other/None • Prayer Suggestion: Pray, remembering that there is no one like God (II Kin. 19:14-15,19).

Optional Reading: Hebrews 8

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 9:38

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