Today’s Reading: Psalm 127; Song of Songs
This Psalm has always been a special psalm to me, with its challenge, that in a new project or new beginning of stage in my life, it is absolutely essential to recognize God’s hand and ability to not only create, but maintain the success of either one. But then as I reflect, these verse comforts me, seeing that I am truly unable to do anything in my own power! And the verse we had in Proverbs, quickly comes to mind, “In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths (KJV) or in (NIV) he will make your paths straight – and knowing my tendency to make paths crooked, the promise becomes a great comfort. And notice, at the end of the chapter, it is talking about family! Is this the context of the Psalm?
And now we come to the book of Solomon’s songs. To cover this reading, you probably have read twice the amount you usually read. Some of the images are perhaps hard to understand. I suspect they may be Solomon’s personal images which came to his mind or perhaps Jewish in character (can you hear my girls laughing over thinking a boyfriend would say to them, “Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead!” But putting that aside, there can be no misunderstanding the underlying current of love between the Lover and his Beloved. Maybe for me, the phrase which is somewhat repeated three times would be a foundation, “My beloved is mine, and I am his.” (2:16) “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” (6:3) “I am my beloved’s and his desire is for me.” (7:10) And so the progression from self-centeredness – ‘mine’ to the deep satisfaction that I am his and his desire is for me. Obviously this is done perfectly only between our Lord Jesus and His bride, the church, but in real married life here on earth, that is what makes marriage progress more towards the perfection which is only found in our Lord and His bride. And if one is not married, is this the relationship you want with a future husband or wife? This world is drifting far from God’s standards and they talk about “friends with benefits,” but no responsibilities, which in actual fact is a definition of adultery or fornication! If our Lord is Lord of all in our life, it is definitely based on the fact that He gave up ALL, for us at Calvary (even being forsaken by His God (not sure if a broken relationship of His most important relationship can describe it?) while He personally ‘took our sins on His own body on the tree’ and because of this God turned His back on His son! And so as Chapter 8 says, “Many waters cannot quench love, nor will rivers overflow it; if a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, it would be utterly despised.” But interestingly enough, this may sound religious, or abstract, but there is nothing abstract about God’s love. And this book is not abstract, but very detailed in the care, longing for and joy of the Lover and His Beloved. So are the details of God’s love for us. But I cringe at how self-centered I am and seldom get to the Beloved’s stage where she says, “I am my beloved’s and his desire is for ME!”
But even in this beautiful book, in Chapter 5, the relationship between the Lover and His Beloved is not without difficulties. The Lover cannot reach His beloved and turns away, and the Beloved at first can’t bring herself to get out of bed and then must go searching for her Lover! And it brings tears, when I think of how selfish and lazy I can be, and the disastrous results both in my relationship with my Lord and in what was my relationship with Marg! And so in Ephesians to those who are married comes the command to the husband to LOVE the wife AS ‘Christ loved the church AND GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR HER!” Ephesians 5:25. And for the wife, “Be subject to your own husband, AS TO THE LORD.” Sadness fills my heart as I realize how imperfectly I did this for Marg and how (without His help) impossibly high the standard! And if you’re not married, it is a sobering thought of what we are called to in marriage to do for our future husband or wife! But just remember, God never asks us to do something which is impossible (with His help, of course!)!