Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September 6: Song of Solomon 1 – 4; Psalm 50; Proverbs 22:22-23; 2 Corinthians 8:16-24



Overview

            Song of Solomon: The bride tells of her desire for the king. Her attendants rejoice in her love. She expresses concern over her dark tan because she had to work outdoors. The king responds by telling her how beautiful she is. The attendants make jewelry for her. She tells how she perfumed herself for him. He tells her how beautiful she is. She tells him how beautiful he is.
            She says she is a rose of Sharon and lily of the valley. He tells her how beautiful she is.
            She tells of them coming together and his embrace. She advises other women not to engage in love until the right time. She continues to figuratively describe him. She tells of his love talk to her. She commits herself to him.
            She tells of losing him and seeking him in the city. She finds him and takes him into her mother’s house. She advises other women not to engage in love until the right time.
            King Solomon arrives dressed up for the wedding. He comes with his men carrying him in his carriage, which is elegantly designed by him. The women are told to go out and gaze at him and see how glad he is.
            He tells her how beautiful she is and uses many analogies to describe her features. He explains that she has captivated him and how beautiful she is. She invites him to come into her garden.
            Psalm: God is our judge. He doesn’t keep silent and there will be a day when his people are called together for judgment. His judgment is righteous. He has some things against his people who have been offering sacrifices. Since all the cattle and bird belong to him, he is not hungry and does not require sacrifices for that reason. He rejects sacrifices because the people are not thankful as well as wicked. He lists many sins that they condone and practice. The sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifies God and saves those who order their ways rightly.
            Proverbs: Don’t oppress poor people or beggars just because they are poor because the Lord will take up their case and kill you.
            2 Corinthians: Paul explains that Titus is going to lead the delegation to Corinth to get the relief offering. He thanks God who put it into Titus’ heart to do this. He is also sending a brother famous for preaching the gospel along. He was appointed by the other churches to travel with Paul and his companion when they take the combined offerings. Other brothers will go along and have been tested; they are reliable and an honor to Christ. They are being accountable to God and to man in the way they handle the offering. He wants the Corinthians to prove their love to these men as Paul has boasted to them about the Corinthians.

What Stood Out

            Song of Solomon: “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.
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            Psalm: “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (Ps 50:15).
            Proverbs: “Do not rob the poor, because he is poor” (Prov 22:22).
            2 Corinthians: “For we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of man” (2 Cor 8:21).

Insight

            Song of Solomon: Many explain the Song of Solomon as being symbolic of the love of Christ for the Church and thus it is probably why they call Jesus the Rose of Sharon and don’t bother to see that it is the bride who calls herself the rose of Sharon. This analogy is a leap of biblical exegesis. The same applies to calling Jesus the Lily of the Valley. This leap is taken to preserve the allegorical application of the book to Jesus and the Church. The only problem is that those who interpreted Song of Solomon allegorically also applied this method to other parts of the Bible. The result was being able to pull out of the Bible just about anything that they wanted. In the early years of the church in Alexandria, this was very common. Various heresies were started in this way.
            When reading the Song of Solomon, we should read it as it was written and understood by the people who received it. I was a love song between Solomon and his bride. It is in the Bible because this kind of love is real and can be used as a model for marriage. Look at what the bride says over and over, she advises other women not to engage in love until the right time (Song 2:7). This kind of love including sex is reserved for marriage.
            Psalm: Before the Lord tells us to call on him when we have troubles, he tells us to offer sacrifices of thanksgiving. This means that we need to develop thankful hearts so that we will be able to thank God for all things, even when we have trouble. Job had developed this attitude so that when he lost everything, he worshiped God (Job 1:20). When his wife wanted him to curse God, he rebuked her saying we should receive from God good and bad, essentially thanking God even in the bad times (Job 2:10). The New Testament echoes this same theme when Paul tells us that it is Gods will for us in Jesus to give thanks in all things (1 Thess 5:18). Note, it doesn’t say to give thanks for all things because some things are evil. But we can give thanks in the middle of it. Why do we do this? Because it gives glory to God when we call on him with thankful hearts and he rescues us (Ps 50:15).
            Proverbs: Why do some people bully other? I think it is simply because they can. People who oppress the poor simply because they are poor do it because they know that the poor people have no way of getting back at them. They certainly have no regard for God because they don’t think anyone can stop them or pay them back for what they’ve done. I have news for them, God sees it all and he will hold them accountable (Heb 4:12). According to the Proverb, he will rob them of their life and I’m sure he’s talking about eternal life unless they repent and turn to Jesus for salvation.
            2 Corinthians: Other than sexual immorality, one of the biggest causes of the downfall of church leaders is money. As a side note, the same can be said of marriages. When people are too proud to be accountable and transparent in the way they handle the finances in a church, you know there could be problems brewing. Paul gave a great example for churches when he explained how different people who were already noted for their reliability were to accompany Titus and then the whole delegation when they took it all to Jerusalem. If a church wants to make sure the leaders don’t fall into temptation over money, they should install safeguards so that no one person has the whole responsibility for how money is spent. Being accountable to others is being honorable in the sight of God and man (2 Cor 8:21).

Application

             I want to be a person who thanks God for all things. I don’t want to be a person who waits to see how a situation works out before thanking God. I already know that God is sovereign and that means there is a purpose to everything and I can give him thanks in everything.

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