Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2023

Day 120: Bound by Blood (Bonus Lesson 19)

 When the Bride made the bold statement: my Beloved is mine and I am His, it was a statement backed up by confidence in an unbreakable bond.  When we say Jesus is ours and we are His, we claim the benefits of our oneness with Him. However, our claim is only as potent as our understanding of that union. A union is only as strong as its bonds. Let's examine what binds Jesus and His Bride. In ancient Israel, it was a father's responsibility to find an ideal mate for his son. We see an example of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 24. In the absence of the father, an older brother, uncle, or next of kin did the honor. So, love was not the reason many couples married though there were exceptions. For example, Samson and the Philistine woman he loved in Judges. However, whether the man and woman loved each other did not matter. Marriage is a covenant and as said in Lesson betrothal was as final as marriage. It was expected that you would love whoever you were in covenant with. The highest

Day 119: Oneness 2 (SoS 2:16)

My beloved is mine, and I am his. He feeds his flock among the lilies. (Song of Songs 2:16) We're on the Bride's statement: I am my Beloved and he is mine. Marriage is the only institution used to refer to Christ and His Church. Ephesians 5: 22-32 particularly refers to that.  Just as there are responsibilities and benefits in a marriage institution, there are rights and expectations in our union with Christ. Let's look at them. Concerning the husband, Ephesians 5:25-30:  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does t

Day 118: Oneness (SoS 2:16)

 My beloved is mine, and I am his. He feeds his flock among the lilies. (Song of Solomon 2:16) After the Beloved finished his request for the Bride to come away by showing her the signs of the harvest, He spoke tenderly to her to come out of hiding and catch the foxes destroying the fruits of love. The Bride replies here with a beautiful statement: My Beloved is mine and I am his. Every encounter with God should and is designed to leave us with a revelation. It is the revelation of God and the truths of scripture that transform us, shape our lives and determine our experiences in life. The last revelation of Christ received was of Him as the Triumphant King leaping over hills and mountains. To do what was requested of her (to go over hills and mountains), she needed another revelation. A revelation of shared ownership and unconditional commitment. That her beloved belongs to her and and her to him.  God in many passages of the Bible called Israel His people and Himself their God. His p

Day 117: Walking in the Spirit (Bonus Lesson 18)

 From the Old Testament to the New, many scriptures discuss how we should walk as children of God. Walking is often used as a metaphor for living. One such popular Old Testament scripture is Psalm 1. Verse 1 says:  Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful It then goes on to say how this blessed man lives his life. Our text today is Galatians 5:16:  ...Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  Let's get into it. To walk in the Spirit is to defer to the Spirit every day. It is to allow the Holy Spirit to influence our decisions, actions and words. It is the only way we will not fulfil the lust of the flesh. It is the only way we can conquer the works of the flesh. These are the little foxes that destroy our fruit as branches of the Lord's vine. Walking in the Spirit is not difficult, but it takes determination and continuous surrender. Relinquishing control o

Day 116: Catching the Foxes (SoS 2:15)

 Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes. (Song of Songs 2:15) In the previous lesson, we defined little foxes as whatever impedes our unconditional love relationship with God and men. We said they are any actions not motivated by, done in, or result in love. They are also actions that do not promote godly character and spiritual edification. We said at the centre of these actions and habits is self so we classified them under one broad heading: the works of the flesh. They are not necessarily sins, but they are not expedient and may eventually lead to sin. We said all the works of the flesh Paul mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21 covers them all. So, to catch the little foxes we must then look at how Paul recommends that we deal with the works of the flesh. Works of the flesh are propagated by our fleshly desires which are oftentimes legitimate but not submitted to God's will. Many times when we begin to see these little foxes we beg

Day 115: Little Foxes (SoS 2:15)

Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes. (Song of Songs 2:15) Foxes are not mentioned much in the Bible. They live in desolate places, according to Ezekiel 13:4 and Lamentations 5:18. Jesus in Matthew 8:20 mentioned they live in holes. Jesus called Herod a fox in Luke 13:32 referring to his cunning nature. Samson in Judges 15 caught 300 foxes and used them to destroy the Philistine farms. Foxes are cunning, shrewd, and crafty animals. Big predators when they make their way into a vine would often pick a bunch of grapes. Little foxes, however, love maturing grapes. They are often too small to reach the grapes on the vine so they burrow under the vine roots and chew the stems so they can access the grapes when the vines fall over. This leaves the vine unable to bear fruits. If left unchecked, they will eventually destroy the whole vineyard. Farmers often build fences of rock and torns to keep animals away from their vineyards. It is oft

Day 114: Where Are You? (SoS 2:14c&d)

“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret places of the cliff, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely. ” (Song of Songs 2:1) The Beloved in our text today expresses why he asks to see and hear his Bride. He had requested her and in response, she withdrew from him.  It has not become a reality to many that the Lord longs for communion with us more than we long for communion with Him. He delights in our presence and prayers. When we look at the first time man withdrew from God, we'll see God's attitude and disposition to it. From the very beginning when man was created and put in the Garden of Eden, the Lord sought fellowship with man.  When Adam and Eve fell, Genesis 3:8 says they heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day and hid. That sound was familiar. They didn't need to see Him. They had such knowledge of the Lord that He need not say a word. He only had to move and they kn

Day 113: Qualified to be Called (SoS 2:14c)

“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret places of the cliff, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.” (Song of Songs 2:14) The Beloved requesting to see the Bride's face and hear her voice is an indication that she withdrew from him after he made his request. Let's take examples from the scriptures. When Israel asked for a king, God ordered the steps of Saul to Samuel. He had told Samuel earlier that Israel's king was coming. After some events, Saul was anointed king over Israel, but it wasn't announced to the people yet.  When the time came for him to appear before all of Israel, no one could find him until the Lord revealed he was hiding in the baggage. Why was he hiding? He told Samuel earlier in 1 Samuel 9:22:  And Saul answered and said, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like t

Day 112: The Secret Place (SoS 2:14b)

 “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret places of the cliff, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.” (Song of Songs 2:14) The word translated cliff here actually means a steep/inaccessible place or a step (stair). The word is singular and emphasizes the direction of travel more than the location. It is also used to express height and by some spiritual level. Its only other use is in Ezekiel 38:20 when God said He would pull down steep places and walls. In essence, high leveled places that depicted security. When you consider all this, one Bible verse expresses this idea perfectly. Psalm 91:1&2: He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”  To dwell in the secret place of the Most High is to dwell in the most high place where the Most High Himself is. Another scripture that c

Day 111: The Dove and the Cleft (SoS 2:14a)

 “ O my dove, in the clefts of the rock , In the secret places of the cliff, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely. (Song of Songs 2:14) The Song of Songs uses a dove to refer to the Bride. It is however not the same Hebrew word translated as turtledove in chapter 2 verse 12. The meaning of the root word translated dove is the same word for wine which also means to effervesce. We saw in SoS 2:5 that the Bride was indeed consumed by love for her Beloved like doves are. As stated in Lesson 105, doves are symbols of purity, humility, dedication, loyalty, grace, etc. The mention here is more about her position than her character. Because doves are gentle and defenseless against predators they often take refuge in high rock crevices. These places according to Jeremiah 49:16 and Obadiah 3 are impenetrable refuges. In Judges 15:8 it was stated that Samson dwelt in the cleft of Etam, a cliff in Israel. This is because cliffs give an exce

Day 110: The Time is Now! (SoS 2:13c)

The fig tree puts forth her green figs, And the vines with the tender grapes Give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away! (Song of Songs 2:13)  After the Beloved describes the changing times, giving her seven indications of spring, he speaks to her again to rise up and follow. Again he uses terms of endearment and reaffirms her beauty and identity. This time, however, there was an urgency in his words that was not there the first time He asked her to come away. This urgency is indicated by the exclamation mark at the end of the verse. Spring is about timing. As spring progresses, uncultivated plants will not yield as much harvest as they should. Wild grapes for example though edible are usually sour, unlike cultivated ones. Wild figs are also said to be small and flavorless, unlike sweet cultivated figs.  As time progresses, as the Lord reaffirms us and reveals our identity, He communicates increasing urgency of the harvest through the Holy Spirit to every believer

Day 109: Your Part in the Harvest (Bonus Lesson 17)

We have spent the last week talking about the harvest. Our discussion is incomplete if we do not know what God expects of us as laborers. God's heart according to 1 Timothy 2:4 is for all men to be saved. It's the sole reason Jesus came. Earlier in our study, we said the two closest things to Jesus our Beloved's heart are the salvation of the lost and the well-being of His Bride (the church). If we truly love Him and desire intimacy with Him, we must commit to what is most important to Him. Just like it is injustice for a man to pay for a good and not receive it, it is inappropriate for Christ to get less than what He paid for. While not all men will be saved because man has a will God will not bypass. Love is only love if there is a choice. We must try our best and do our part to ensure men come to know Christ's love so they can make informed decisions. Every believer regardless of their God-ordained purpose or path in life has two responsibilities in the harvest:    

Day 108: The End-Time Revival (Bonus Lesson 16)

For the last 5 lessons, we have looked at the signs of the harvest. We have interpreted these signs in SoS 2:11-13 in relation to the birth of the body of Christ and the ongoing harvest. There is however a last great harvest season prophesied in the scriptures and through men of God past and present as inspired by the Spirit of God. Today, we're looking at the signs of the harvest in light of the final end-time move of God that will usher in the second coming of Jesus. The early rain as discussed in Lesson 103 when we looked at the first 2 signs of harvest usually came in Autumn (October - November) and the latter came in Spring (March - April). Farmers plowed their land and sowed in the early rain. It is believed that the early rains allow seeds to germinate, but the latter brings maturity and ripening of the harvest. In spring, grain is harvested first, followed by fruit harvests in summer and fall. When we consider this, it all makes more sense. Jesus told the disciples in John

Day 107: Signs of the Harvest 5 (SoS 2:13b)

  The fig tree puts forth her green figs, And the vines with the tender grapes Give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away! (Song of Songs 2:13) The last sign of the harvest is perhaps the most critical for Christians. 7. The vines with tender grapes give a good smell. Vines like figs are one of the most valuable plants in Israel. Vines are most cherished for their grapes used to produce wine. Like the fig tree, the vine also symbolized the health and state of Israel as a nation. The term sitting under or eating from one's vine was used to denote prosperity, safety, and well-being. Israel was often compared to vines. When they disobeyed and faced hardship as a result, they were often called wild or sour grapes. When they followed God's ways they were described as fruitful vines or having plenty of new wine. Some examples are Jeremiah 2:21, Isaiah 24:7, Joel 2:22, and many more. Most importantly, vines are a symbol of joy and love because wine is used in cele

Day 106: Signs of the Harvest 4 (SoS 2:13a)

  The fig tree puts forth her green figs, And the vines with the tender grapes Give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away! (Song of Songs 2:13) Today we look at the sixth sign of the harvest: 6. The fig tree puts forth her green figs. The word translated as put forth also means to mature and ripen. It seems more appropriate when we consider how figs bear fruit. Fig trees are one of the choice plants of Israel. They take time to cultivate and will not bear fruit until about 2-6 years after planting. Their fruit according to Judges 9:11 is very sweet so it makes them a favorite of the people.  Figs produce two sets of fruits with their seasons interwoven so it's rare to find a bare fig tree unless it is unhealthy. The late figs grow on newly formed branches as spring and summer progress and ripen at different times in the summer. The late figs that do not ripen till winter comes are preserved even as the tree sheds its leaves. These fruits can survive cold winte

Day 105: Signs of the Harvest 3 (SoS 2:12c)

The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land. (Song of Songs 2:12)  In the last two lessons, we discussed the first four signs of the harvest. Today let's talk about the fifth.      5. The voice of the turtle dove: Doves are gentle and peaceful and are used in many passages of the bible to signify that. They are also symbols of hope and new life as seen in Genesis 8 at the end of the flood. They are also symbols of purity and grace because they were the only birds allowed as sacrifice to God in the Old Testament. Those who could not afford lambs for sacrifice in the Old Testament could bring doves.  Most importantly, they symbolize the Holy Spirit. When Jesus came out of the water after His baptism in Matthew 3:16-17 the Holy Spirit descended on Him in the form of a dove.  Our text mentions one turtledove with a definitive article: the. This tells us that it's referring to one turtledove in particular: the H

Day 104: Signs of the Harvest 2 (SoS 2:12a&b)

 The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land. (Song of Songs 2:12) Yesterday, we looked at the first and second signs of harvest that marked the end of winter. Today let's look at the third and fourth signs of harvest. These signs are visible, undeniable signs that spring has come.      3. The flowers appear on the earth: The first true sign of spring after the rain stops is the appearance of flowers. They bloom, sprout, and barren branches come back to life. The fields become colorful and vibrant. The result of the long months of rain and the labor of the plowmen becomes visible for all to see. Flowers in the scripture are sometimes used to refer to men. Jesus compared Solomon in all His splendor to the lilies of the field in Matthew 6:28-29. In many other scriptures, it depicts man's mortality. One such example is Psalm 103:15. It says:  As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he

Day 103: Signs of the Harvest (SoS 2:11)

  For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. (Song of Songs 2:11‭) We said in the previous lesson that the seven reasons the Bride is asked to go away with the Beloved are signs of spring. They point to the church: her birth and present age.  Today, we'll look at the first two reasons the Beloved gave the Bride. We'll interpret them with events in keeping with our Christian faith and the climate and calendar of Israel where this song originates. We'll then end with a brief explanation of it's significance to us as Brides of Christ and laborers in the harvest. 1. The winter is past: Winter is the season of the year with the least outdoor activities. The word translated winter means to hide or dark . This correlates with the fact that the winter months (December to February) are the coldest months of the year in Israel when there are fewer outdoor activities because of the heavy downpour of rain. This correlates with the Bride remaining at rest, hidden away