Song Of Solomon Series

Unless otherwise noted, scripture references are from the Message Bible.

Song of Songs

Chapter 1:

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is more delightful than wine.”  (NIV) In chapter 5 of the Message Bible, it says, “His words are kisses.”  We can look upon God’s Word as His kisses to us.  When you receive a rhema word from God, it is a ‘now’ word for you.  It bears witness with your spirit.  It can be those times when a scripture leaps off the page at you, giving you what you need for that day.  It can also be when you see something in scripture that you’ve never noticed before.  When that happens to you, you’ve just been kissed by your Bridegroom.  When that happens to me, I write ‘kiss’ beside that portion of scripture.  It’s a gentle reminder to me of the great love my Savior has for me, how He longs to ‘kiss’ me.  It makes me want to be even more sensitive to listening to Him, so that I don’t miss out on a ‘kiss’ which He may have for me.

“I am weathered but elegant.  My brothers ridiculed me and sent me to work in the fields.”  Thinking upon this verse, it could refer to being pulled out into the workforce because of the opinions of others, or because of feeling like you must keep up with what other people have, or that you must do what other people do.  I’m not talking about those who truly must work, but I’m referring to those of us who feel that awful peer pressure to go out and work in the ‘fields’ because we seek the approval of other people.  Are we trying to win the approval of God or man?  (Gal. 1:10) Seeking the approval of God can bring us sweet satisfaction along with some eternal rewards.  Seeking the approval of man will always leave us wanting more, looking for more satisfaction.  Also, seeking the praise of man will end up causing much hurt because man is very fickle and ever-changing in his opinions and ideas.  Man will always find something else that we need to be doing to receive his applause.

The NIV states “Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun.  My mother’s sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I have neglected.”  Looking at this scripture in light of Jesus, our Bridegroom, we see that she is telling Him not to stare at her.  Do we say the same thing when Christ looks at us?  Does it make us uncomfortable when we feel His gaze upon us?  Do we get offensive when we find Him wanting to look deep inside our heart, looking to further change us into Him image?  He indeed looks at us intently, but He doesn’t stare at us.  Jesus looks at us similar to how a groom beholds his bride — there is that thrill of emotion, a heart filled with love, anxiously awaiting the days ahead when they share beyond just their thoughts, words, and hearts.  They will be sharing the intimacy of dwelling together.  Jesus longs for that with us.  He wants to indwell us, to share His dreams with us, but to also have us share our dreams with Him.  Just as the bride and bridegroom once lived separate lives, through marriage, they are molded into one.  We are to be molded to Christ, taking on His Name, leaving the fleshly ways of our past behind us.

Later in the chapter, it says, “We enjoy a canopy of cedars enclosed by cypresses, fragrant and green.”  When we choose to work the ‘field’ which God has called us to work, we will find that we are enjoying that canopy of cedars, which is enclosed with cypresses.  Cedar was used in building material because of its great growth and strength.  We are to be building a foundation upon the Solid Rock.  We want the materials we use to be strong, like cedar wood.  Taking this a step further, are we building with things that give growth and strength to our marriage?  Or are we like the foolish woman who tears down her marriage with her own hands? (Pr. 14:1)

Another interesting thing to note about cypress is that it is actually the ‘gopher wood’ that was used to build Noah’s ark.  That wood was strong, and able to withstand the worst flood ever seen.  God can make us strong, able to stand firm and secure no matter what storms we face.

“My beloved is a bouquet of wildflowers picked just for me from the fields of Engadi.”  Engadi was an oasis with fresh water and hot springs.  It was a source of fine dates, aromatic plants used in perfume and medicinal plants.  Our relationship with Christ is to be one where we have fresh, living water flowing from us.  We are to be growing fine ‘fruits’ through the fruit of the Spirit who dwells in us.  We are to be the aroma of Christ to our world.  Thinking about our ‘world,’ what aroma do we
give when we are stuck in traffic, when the line at the grocery store is long, when the cashier rings up an item incorrectly and we don’t notice it until we get home?  What aroma do we offer to our family at the end of the day when we are tired?  What aroma do we give when our hormones are raging, and we don’t feel up to par?  Are we able to offer the ‘medicine’ of loving care and compassion to those around us?  Jesus offers us that oasis of Engadi — it’s found in abiding in Him.  (Jn. 15)

Do you feel the need to visit the oasis today?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I love to see rainbows.  They remind me of how faithful God is to His promises.  One thing about rainbows though — you can only see them after the rain.  Even though all the components are there in the atmosphere for making a rainbow, you won’t ever see one until there’s been some rain.  Then suddenly, you see it, off in the distance is a fascinating sight — a rainbow.  It’s beauty is captivating; you don’t want to take your eyes off of it.

In our own life, we have the opportunity to see rainbows, but first we must go through the storm.  While in the midst of the storm, we may see the wind blowing furiously.  We may be engulfed in a raging storm, with thick, dark clouds turning our light into darkness, obscuring our way.  We may even feel ourselves bending like a tree branch in the wind, feeling like we are going to bend far enough to break.

While the scenario I’ve just described doesn’t sound inviting, we need to take a moment and look at some examples in scripture of people who have gone through storms.

Naomi found that there was a famine in her land, so her husband took her and their two sons and moved to Moab, which was a land filled with very ungodly people.  Soon after that, Naomi’s husband died, leaving her with two sons.  Then her two sons marry pagan women from Moab.  Ten years later, her sons die.  Now she is all alone… except for Ruth.  We see that Ruth refuses to leave Naomi, even in Naomi’s bitterness of soul.  They go back to the land of Judah.  Ruth marries the kinsman redeemer, then gives birth to a son.  At that point, the women from Judah approach Naomi and they tell her that Ruth loves her and is better to her than seven sons.

Another example of a person who went through a violent storm is Job.  In one day, he lost his sheep, camels, oxen, donkeys, servants, and all of his children.  Shortly after that, he is afflicted from head to toe with very painful sores.  After all of the afflictions on his own body and dealing with a nagging wife who wants him to curse God and die, he also has to deal with judgmental and critical comments from his friends.  (Some friends!)  In Job 42, we see where Job prays for his friends.  It’s after that point that Job finds that God makes him prosperous again, giving him twice as much as before.  The latter part of his life was more blessed than the first.  It sounds to me like Job saw a beautiful rainbow in his own life.

Our last example is found in Mary, the mother of Jesus.  She was visited by an angel and told that she was highly favored.  Then the angel proceeds to tell her that she will bear the Messiah.  Mary finds that she’s having one of those mountaintop experiences, only to find that in the very next chapter, Simeon tells her that a sword will pierce her own heart.  She had to face the sneers of people who believed that she had sex with Joseph before she was ever married to him.  Then, as Jesus got older, she heard the people call her Son a lunatic and a blasphemer.  She watched as He was brutally beaten, then as He carried the cross to Golgotha, and then, she watched her precious Son die on that cross.  But three days later, Mary saw a rainbow shining brightly after the worst storm of her life.  Her Son was no longer dead, but He was risen!

Sister, if you are seeing storms all around you, don’t fret.  Don’t give up!  You are about to see a rainbow in your own life!
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Solitude

Solitude

Most women will admit that they feel guilty if they try to take some time for themselves.  We get so caught up in our “Martha” role that we forget to do our “Mary” role. (Luke 10:38-42)  Often times, we are so caught up being like Martha that we end up being uncomfortable when we try to switch and be more like Mary.

A precious friend of mine, whose name was Mary, went to be with Jesus recently.  Our pastor paid the ultimate tribute to her when he said that Mary was a marvelous example to us of someone who could be busy like Martha, yet never failed to take time at the feet of our Lord.  Mary certainly knew the importance of those times of solitude with Jesus.

When I first started teaching a Sunday school class, Mary was one of the ladies who faithfully attended.  At first I was rather intimidated, having a lady who was quite a bit older than me in attendance.  I was thinking, “She should be teaching me!”  As time passed, I got to know Mary better and deeply appreciated her wit and wisdom.  The ladies who attended the class really looked forward to coming every Sunday, not because I was some great teacher, but because we couldn’t wait to see what Mary had to say!  She was so much like the Proverbs 31 lady.  When Mary opened her mouth, wisdom and faithful instruction easily flowed from her lips. (Proverbs 31:26)  She will be greatly missed by many in the years to come.

What we must realize about solitude is that it is a MUST for us.  Even Jesus had times of solitude.
He spent forty days alone in the desert. (Matthew 4:1-11)
He spent time alone before choosing the twelve disciples. (Luke 6:12)
After the twelve disciples returned from a preaching and healing mission in Mark 6:31, Jesus called them to a quiet place to rest with Him.
After healing a leper, Jesus went off to be alone. (Luke 5:16)
He took only three disciples with Him to a solitary place for the transfiguration. (Matthew 17:1-9)
He went off by Himself to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane before giving His life for us. (Matthew 26:36-46)

If the Son of God needed times of solitude, how can we possibly think we don’t need it?
Solitude is not selfishness.  Rather, it is vital for us if we hope to accomplish the tasks set before us.  Rest and refuel before you try to meet the needs of your own ‘masses’ of people.

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

A Smoldering Wick

A Smoldering Wick

During the winter months, I enjoy having candles lit throughout the house.  While they are burning, they give off light, even in the darkest of nights.  Even a very small candle in the bathroom can send out a nice light into the darkened hallway, helping me to see my way.  Candles give a cozy feeling — of warmth and peace.  They make a home inviting.  When I visit a friend of mine, her house always smells wonderful because she uses candles frequently.  As soon as I step in through the doorway, an inviting fragrance fills my senses.

As I was reading in the book of Matthew, I saw where it mentions a smoldering wick in chapter 12.  Thinking back to my candles, when I blow them out, there is that smoldering, where you just see the smoke rising from what was once aflame.  What previously gave off a beautiful fragrance now gives off the stench of smoke.  As I pondered on the contrast between a burning candle and one that is smoldering after being blown out, I had began to wonder how many times I have been like the smoldering wick.

Pondering on your own life, are you like the candle that burns brightly, giving off a lovely fragrance?  Or are you a smoldering wick with the smell of smoke on you?  Are you in desperate need of the Holy Spirit’s fire to light you once again?  Matt. 12:20 tells us that God won’t blow out a smoldering wick.  He’s ready and waiting for you to tell Him to light the fire once again.
© 2004, Stacy R. Miller

Offended

I was reading through Matthew 24 and noticed something I found interesting.

10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Notice the progression:
1. Many shall be offended.
2. They will then betray one another.
3. After the betrayal, comes hate.
4. They will be more susceptible to being deceived by the false prophets because they’ve already opened “doors” in steps 1-3.

This scripture made me think about offenses in my own life.  When I get offended, am I going to take it to the Father and allow Him to help me through it?  Or am I going to choose to hold onto that offense, and thus, open a door for me to be easily deceived by the false prophets?  (And there are MANY of them out there right now.)

When I see the reality of how I could become deceived if I choose to hold onto an offense, it suddenly makes offenses seem like little “bumps” in the spiritual road that I need to just step over and go on my way.  :waving3:

Slaves of Righteousness

Slaves of Righteousness

After being a stay-at-home mom for thirteen years, the economic situation required that I reenter the workforce.  That was a major culture shock to me!  Much to my dismay, I discovered that any topic was opened to discussion.  I was appalled by the amount of backbiting I observed.  On top of that, gossip and negativity abounded where ever I went.

It is very hard to keep a positive attitude in those kinds of situations.  In fact, all too often, it was too easy to join in.  However, I soon realized that doing so left a very bitter taste in my spirit.

However, in Romans 6:15-18, it is clear that I don’t have to be a slave to sin.  Rather, I can be a slave to righteousness.  It is my choice — I can continue to join in with the gossip and negative conversations at work.  Or, I can choose to be a slave to righteousness and walk away, keeping my integrity intact.  What an encouragement to realize that I do not have to let sin reign in me!

© 2011, Stacy R. Miller

Simulator

Simulator

I took my daughter to a local college to attend an annual event where they had many hands-on activities.  One of the popular attractions this year was a flight simulator.

Just as a flight simulator imitates flying without actually taking flight, I began to wonder if we are ever Christian simulators.  Do we do all the right things?  Do we say all the right phrases?  Do we simulate to others that we are Christians, when in reality, we act totally different behind closed doors?

Matthew 7:22-23 tells us about some Christian simulators.  Jesus makes it very clear that not all who prophesy, drive out demons, and perform miracles will actually enter the kingdom of heaven.  He specified that it is the ones who do the Father’s will who will be welcomed into His kingdom.

I think it is helpful to take as assessment of our own fruit once in a while.  Jesus tells us that if a branch bears no fruit, it is will be cut off, thrown into the fire, and burned. (John 15:2, 6) If we feel that we are not bearing much fruit, we may need to ask the Lord to prune us so that we will be more fruitful.

You may think, “It is painful to be pruned!”  Having experienced the feel of a knife pruning away some scar tissue several years ago, I know how bad it can hurt, even if given something to numb the pain.  Believe me – I still felt the sting of that scalpel!  So, I am not going to lie to you.  Yes, going through the pruning process will hurt, but at the end, we will be a real work of God’s grace and mercy.  That is much better than being a simulator!  A simulator is only pretend.  We want to be the real thing!

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

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