Tuesday, February 12, 2013
"On Fire": "You Have Thrilled My Heart." (SOS 4:9-15)
"My sister, my bride, you have thrilled my heart; you have thrilled my heart, with a glance of your eyes, with one sparkle from your necklace.Your love is so sweet, my sister, my bride. Your love is better than wine, and your perfume smells better than any spice. My bride, your lips drip honey; honey and milk are under your tongue. Your clothes smell like the cedars of Lebanon. My sister, my bride, you are like a garden locked up, like a walled-in spring, a closed-up fountain. Your limbs are like an orchard of pomegranates with all the best fruit, filled with flowers and nard, nard and saffron, calamus, and cinnamon, with trees of incense, myrrh, and aloes—all the best spices. You are like a garden fountain—a well of fresh water flowing down from the mountains of Lebanon."---Song of Solomon 4:9-15(NCV)
SIDEBAR: So in time for Valentine's Day, I'm going to strive to get this message plus one more done. I believe the Spirit (John 4:24) has a timeline on me because as much as I know that most of us want to be sexually pure, I'm also a realist (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message). SOMEBODY reading this is planning to engage in sexual activity on February 14 and then "repent" (repenting is not just asking for forgiveness but making the wrong right, by the way-2 Corinthians 7:9-10) on February 15 and so I believe that all of heaven desires for these two upcoming messages to attempt to "reroute" that "wide mission" (Matthew 7:13-14). That said, here we go...
If you read the post that preceded this one, then you know that this is "part two" of what the Shulamite woman's beloved said to her in Song of Solomon 4. And let me just say something about this off of the top. Not all men are wordy. Not all men are writers. But when a man is into you, and I mean *really into you*, he will find some kind of way to express it (and without you nagging him to death to do it). No, it may not be in the form of poems and love songs, but something that I have learned about love, shoot, just from how God loves me/us alone (Jeremiah 31:3), it's that when you really and truly love someone, nothing that you do is enough. You're always looking for new ways to express how you feel about them as a sign of gratitude to God first and them second for being in your world.
So that said...
I adore that her beloved had so much to say about her. It's like this man really couldn't find enough ways to explain all that she brings to his "life table". Now, in fairness, there are a lot of women out here that want to be praised and...well the Word, which is Adonai (John 1:1), tells us what kind of woman is worthy of that: "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." (Proverbs 31:30-NKJV) It's another message for another time, the amount of women who want something that they did not earn (or have not yet earned). If a man is not giving you the credit that you feel you deserve, you might want to talk to God about it first. There may be some "spiritual fine tuning" that needs to take place...first. Praise is not meant to be a "given". It is meant to be *earned*.
Yet when it comes to his man's praises in these verses, several things jumped out at me.
First, I find it to be very sweet and endearing that her beloved would call her his sister *and* his bride. The reason why is because it immediately made me think about this verse in the Bible: "For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother." (Mark 3:35-NKJV) One thing that I said at the start of this series is that the main thing I appreciate about the poetry of the Song of Solomon is that it's a lot like art; it can be interpreted in so many different kinds of ways. For me, whenever he said "my sister" it made me think that he was declaring her as a part of his spiritual family (I Peter 2:9) first and then his bride, second.
I have shared before that there was a guy in my past, who, after he got a girlfriend, we (the girl and I) had "issues" with one another for years. Then one day the Spirit was like "Actually you two are my daughters which makes you sisters and until he marries one of you, he is your brother. What both of you are doing, I find to be spiritual repulsive. Only marriage makes a man your husband. He doesn't belong to either one of you yet and sisters should love one another." I've written a blog on spiritual incest before. Sleeping with your brother in Christ is...sleeping with your brother (in Christ).
Yet in the sense of transitioning from "brother" to "husband", it's really special that her beloved saw that she was a sister to him *and because of that*, she could transition into being his bride. Due to her relationship with God, he could trust her to be his helpmate (Genesis 2:18). *Just as it should be*.
When you find the one who is like family to you...when you find the one who you know is suitable to be your life partner...can we not see how *thrilling* that can be? I really like that he chose "thrill" as the word to define the sensation that his heart had towards her because it means "to be stirred by a tremor or tingling sensation of emotion or excitement". This man was *excited* about his woman. He was "aroused" by her. He was "stirred up" by her. But do you know one of my favorite definitions of excite is? He was "awakened" by her. As a direct result of his beloved, there was an *awakening* that transpired:
Awakening: the act of awaking from sleep; a revival of interest or attention; a recognition, realization, or coming into awareness of something; a renewal of interest in religion, especially in a community; a revival
Boy oh boy! If you're paying close attention, there is some really rich stuff going on right through here! He declared that the Shulamite woman awakened him from his sleep; that she revived interest and caught his attention; that because of her, he came into some realizations of some things and...(dig this!) a renewed interest in *the community of religion* came over him.
Is it just me or does this seem a bit like deja vu? Let's take a walk through the Garden of Eden once more, shall we?
"Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is right for him.'
From the ground God formed every wild animal and every bird in the sky, and he brought them to the man so the man could name them. Whatever the man called each living thing, that became its name. The man gave names to all the tame animals, to the birds in the sky, and to all the wild animals. But Adam did not find a helper that was right for him. So the Lord God caused the man to sleep very deeply, and while he was asleep, God removed one of the man’s ribs. Then God closed up the man’s skin at the place where he took the rib. The Lord God used the rib from the man to make a woman, and then he brought the woman to the man.
And the man said, 'Now, this is someone whose bones came from my bones, whose body came from my body. I will call her "woman," because she was taken out of man.'
So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body. The man and his wife were naked, but they were not ashamed."---Genesis 2:24-25(NCV)
God still desires for the "Garden of Eden" (Joel 2:3) to transpire when it comes to covenant relationships. God still wants to be the One who determines who is a good fit for one another. God still wants to cultivate the woman to be suitable *before* the man notices who she is to be in his life (in other words, God uses our single time as our preparation time). God still wants a man to have a *spiritual awakening* to the revelation of who his bride is to be. Fornication doesn't produce a (healthy) spiritual awakening. Neither does ultimatums or pressure or nagging or manipulation. None of those things represent godly love (I Corinthians 13:4-8) and being that God is love (I John 4:8&16), when he joins two individuals together (Matthew 19:6), it is for the purpose of LOVE COMING TOGETHER. No lust (I John 2:16), *love*.
Do you know something else that I *just noticed* about those verses in Genesis 2 (and *trust me*, I spend a lot of time in the Garden!-LOL) Adam started his words of praise for his bride with "Now". Before that very moment, she was made from him but he did not declare her as being a part of him. There was something about God and his divine timing (Ecclesiastes 3:11) that made her as someone he declared as a part of him *now*:
Now: at the present time or moment; without further delay; immediately; at once; at this time or juncture in some period under consideration or in some course of proceedings described; at the time or moment immediately past; in these present times; nowadays
During the season that the Woman was being made (because we really don't know how long days lasted in "Garden of Eden" time-2 Peter 3:8), yes Adam was asleep (unconscious and unaware). Oh, but when his spiritual awakening came (which can only come from the Spirit), he lined up with God and realized that the time to become one with her was *now*. Nowhere in that story, do we see that the Woman had *any say* in the timing. God decided Adam shouldn't be alone, she was made and then Adam, after his spiritual awakening, said "NOW this is the woman for me." In the Garden of Eden, the only time when a perfected union transpired, while it would appear that the Woman may have known her purpose in Adam's life before he did (because he was indeed asleep while she was being made), when it came to the time being the right time, it wasn't the Woman who said that. Adam said that the time was "NOW".
A lot of gals tend to put pressure on men, especially around holidays. It's an "out of order biblical formula" in the sense that it's *so not God's best for you* if you decide to tell a man that the time is *now*. That is something that he and God have to work out; not you. So if you are planning to have some kind of "Now is the time" conversation anytime soon, honestly, you and the Creator of time need to have a chat and he's probably going to remind you that “'You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit.'" (Acts 1:7-Message) Trust me, that is no concession prize to a wedding ring. A wife is defined as being a helpmate and the Holy Spirit is defined as being our divine Helper (John 14:26). If this time is not God's best time, he's probably going to tell you "You are to be a helpmate. You need to spend more time with the Helper on what that means." WHEW!
OK, but that's not all the Shulamite woman's beloved said.
He told her that her love is better than wine. Turning water into wine was Christ's first miracle, remember (John 2)? Wine was a drink not only used for celebrations but the Word also tells us this about wine: "No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities." (I Timothy 5:23-NKJV) An infirmity is a physical *or moral* weakness. Her love was better than any remedy (shorter than God-Exodus 20:3) for a physical or moral weakness (love that!)
Her told her that her lips drip honey and milk and honey are under her tongue. When the Israelites were in the wilderness, they were told "'You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.'" (Leviticus 20:24-NKJV) And do you know where that was? *The Promised Land*. For this man, the Shulamite woman's mouth was like the Promised Land! Oh, there are so many directions we can take this (LOL) but let me just leave it here. God promised and he delivered (2 Corinthians 1:20). A man wants to feel that what his beloved says, he can trust her to deliver (Matthew 5:37). Also, honey has many antioxidants. It's a natural healer. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that there is death and life in the tongue. A wife should speak words that "drip" with healing not harm. And milk? A lot of people drink warm milk to go to sleep. That's because it is high in calcium and l-tryptophan; both of which help prepare the body for rest. Something that the Shulamite woman once said to her beloved was "A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, that lies all night between my breasts." (Song of Solomon 1:13-NKJV) My last and final boyfriend once told me that a wife should be a sanctuary for her husband. That said, you have *no idea* how many couples I counsel where the husband feels like *the last thing* his wife is, is...a cup of warm milk (LOL). If you are not a gentle and quiet spirited individual (I Peter 3:1-6), that's definitely something to spend some time with the Spirit talking about.
He told her "...you are like a garden locked up, like a walled-in spring, a closed-up fountain." Yeah, we're going to bust out an old-school music video in the next message about gardens (wink). But I'll say this for now. Proverbs 5:15-16(NKJV) says "Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets?" There are a lot of women out here who honestly, because they try and "marry people without marrying them", their waters are not clean and God is using this time to make them so. No man of God deserves to drink water that has been tainted by other people's hands and mouths (just sayin'). Each man is to have *his own cistern* or as I Corinthians 7:2 says "his own wife" and yes, until each and everyone of us are joined to our husbands, our gardens are to be locked up just like a walled-in spring and closed-up fountain (no wonder he said in Song of Solomon 4:15 that she was *like a well of FRESH water*).
He told her that her limbs were like pomegranates---the best kind of fruit. Being that I am so enamored with Jewish culture, I have been collecting pomegranates for quite some time now. You can read an extensive read about their symbolism here. But for the sake of this message, in Jewish culture they symbolize righteousness. In Christian culture, they symbolize royalty, the Church, hope and Christ's resurrection. And in the Chinese culture, they symbolize fertility. *Nice*. Within her body, she was a symbol of righteousness, hope and fertility. And by the way, a fertile woman is not just someone who is able to bear offspring but someone who is "abundantly productive". A man of God desires a woman who is *abundantly productive* when it comes to her own life *before* uniting herself to his. Are you like a pomegranate? That's something else to ponder (Proverbs 4:26) for sure!
Which brings us to the close of this message...
A couple of days ago, while ordering some things for the women who participated in the masturbation fast, I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) these:
The are pomegranate charms that you can wear on your necklace and I'm going to give five of them away but with a few contingencies.
1) You are a woman whose hope is *very fragile* right now when it comes to believing that your husband is on his way to you.
2) You are barren in the sense that you feel like your life is not as full of meaning and purpose as you would like.
3) You are struggling with moral weakness. You want to live a life of righteousness but it seems like you continue to hit a wall.
If you are one of *those five women*, shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and once the pomegranates come in (they're coming from Turkey-go figure-LOL), I'll send you one to wear on your neck. Sometimes we have "wear the truth" as we strive to "live the truth" (John 8:31-32).
Here's to all of us not settling for any less than a man who can *and will* tell us that we *thrill his heart!*