Australia Ministry Trip (Sept 26-November 10, 2017)

Australia Ministry Trip (Sept 26-November 10, 2017)
From September 26 to November 10, 2017, my husband, daughter and I will be on a ministry trip in Australia and New Zealand. The places we will be visiting are shown on the map above - along with the dates in which we'll be in these places (and what we'll be doing while there). Please keep this ministry trip and all of us in your prayers! Blogs will appear daily throughout this time, as I have written them and scheduled them in advance. I welcome your comments - and enjoy them! Just know I will not have Internet access for much of this time. So, I will look forward to reading your responses upon my return. Thank you for your understanding! And please keep reading to complete the "Reading the Bible in a Year" challenge and blessing! I am very grateful to Claire for her faithful blog comments (please everyone - join her in sharing each day as a discussion blesses everyone so much more!) And I am thankful that Claire has graciously agreed to add a bit more into her daily comments during my time of absence. Please direct special comments or questions which require immediate responses to her (on this blog). Blessings as you continue your journey through God's Word this year!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - March 26, 2017

Today's Reading:

Matthew 22:1-22

Numbers 21

Song of Solomon 1:1-2:7

Listen to the Bible

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

Song of Solomon is quite a book. Having finished Ecclesiastes in our daily reading, we now find ourselves starting the "oldest love story" as some might call it. But Song of Solomon is much more than a love story between Solomon and one of his many wives or concubines. Song of Solomon is a prophetic book. And the love story it tells is primarily the story of Christ and His Church. Details, written like a love poem, actually are prophecies of the Church in the Last Days. To demonstrate this, I invite you to join me in looking at the book of Song of Solomon, maybe with fresh eyes.

As Marion Berry pointed out in her book The Prophetic Song of Songs, Song of Solomon is written like a drama. The players in this drama are:

 Leading Roles:
  • The Bridegroom - Christ Himself
  • The Bride - God's people, His true Church
Supporting Roles:
  • The bride’s mother
  • Her elder brothers 
  •  A little sister 
  • The bridesmaids or “virgins”
  • The uncouth street boys 
  • The city watchmen 
  • Sixty valiant soldiers
  • The keepers of the vineyard 
  • And a musical chorus 

“In both the Old and New Testament the marriage relation is employed to represent the tender and sacred union that exists between Christ and His people… In the Song of Songs we hear the bride’s voice saying, ‘My Beloved is mine, and I am His.’ And He who is to her ‘the chiefest among ten thousands,’ speaks to His chosen one, ‘Thou art fair, My love; there is no spot in thee.”
Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, p 64
Let's begin with looking at the Bridegroom in this story. Many have thought it was just Solomon himself, being portrayed throughout the book Song of Solomon. But actually, Solomon is a prophetic shadow picture of Christ. Here are a few of the characteristics which they share, to make that connection:

Both Solomon and Christ sit upon the Throne of David - Solomon did this in the past, while Christ does this in the future. And both Solomon and Christ establish the kingdom:

Both Solomon and Christ are filled with the wisdom of God:

Both Solomon and Christ are ordained of God to do Judgment. And both experienced a "Triumphal Entry" in which they entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey:



In terms of earthly kings, Solomon was the greatest king of all. Christ outstrips even Solomon, of course, being King of kings and Lord of lords:


Solomon built God's physical Temple, laying it with "great stones". Jesus (Yahshua) builds God's Spiritual Temple, being Himself the Chief Corner Stone:

Solomon in his peaceful reign (and the meaning of his name) prefigured the Messiah, Who was to be called “…the Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6-7, Daniel 9:25, 1 Kings 11:34, 1 Kings 4:24).

Solomon’s name means “prince of peace”. In all these ways, we can see that Solomon, in the story of the Song of Solomon, is a shadow picture – which means that he gives us a prophetic glimpse of Christ and His Bride…

THE KISS

So, with this important background, let's look at the Bible reading from today, starting with the holy Kiss.

Song of Solomon 1:2 "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine."
 In Scripture, a kiss, in figurative language, represents reconciliation or atonement:
Psalm 2:12 - “Kiss the son… Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.”

Genesis 33:4 - After years of estrangement, Jacob and Esau were reconciled with a kiss.

Luke 15:20 - The prodigal son and his father sealed their reconciliation with a kiss.
Song of Solomon 1:2 – “Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth…”

The word “mouth” (6310) is from the Hebrew word peh – meaning “speech or commandments”

This is significant as the Law is part of Atonement!

—“…I will make a new covenant… I was an husband unto them… I will put My LAW in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Jeremiah 31:31-33
   
In Song of Solomon 1:2, the Bride is the one who is speaking. By asking Him to "kiss" her, she is requesting reconciliation and atonement!

But more than Calvary is referenced here… For Atonement was not fully complete at the Cross.  (Remember how on the Day of Atonement, not only did the Lord's goat get sacrificed - representing Christ's Death - but also the Azazel goat was taken out into the wilderness - representing Satan's final Judgment. The final work of Atonement is yet future - taking place at the End of the World. This is an End-time message to an End-time bride.

 Now let's look at the second part of verse 2, which gives us the motivation behind her request:


Song of Solomon 1:2 – “…for Thy love is better than wine.”

Here the bride proclaims the motive behind the great Gift of Atonement – God’s Love!

1 John 4:8 – “God is love.”

Ephesians 3:19 – “…the love of Christ… passeth all knowledge.”
The beautiful concepts found in Song of Solomon 1:2 are also found in Ephesians 5:25-27:

“Let Him kiss me with the kisses of Him mouth for Thy love is better than wine.” Song of Solomon 1:2

—“…Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it… That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27
 
THE OINTMENT

So, with this important background, let's look at the Bible reading from today, starting with the holy Kiss.

Song of Solomon 1:3 – “Because of the savour of Thy good ointments Thy Name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love Thee.”

“Because of the fragrance of Thy good and healing balm, Thy Name is as perfume poured out.”

What about Christ’s Name could the bride find sweet like perfume?

Acts 4:12 – “There is none other Name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Philippians 2:9-10 – “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name: that at the Name of (Yahshua) every knee should bow.”
Here the Bride is asking Her Bridegroom to Seal her.  The Bride is Sealed in His Name:
Revelation 14:1 - "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father's Name written in their foreheads."
THE DRAWING
The Bride has asked her Bridegroom to complete the final work of Atonement in her and she has asked Him to Seal her in His Name. Now she asks Him to draw her. 
Song of Solomon 1:4 – “Draw me, we will run after Thee…”

Why does the bride ask to be drawn to Yahshua?

John 6:44 – “No man can come to Me, except the Father… draw him.”

Jeremiah 31:3 – “…Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.”






THE RUNNING
Song of Solomon 1:4 – “Draw me, we will run after Thee…”

Once we understand the true ugliness of sin, we are ready to live in victory – “run the race”

Hebrews 12:1 – “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

Galatians 5:7 – “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”

WAITING IN THE BRIDAL CHAMBER

Song of Solomon 1:4 – “Draw me, we will run after Thee. The King hath brought me into His Chambers:  We will be glad and rejoice in Thee, We will remember Thy love.. The upright love Thee.”

The King's Bridal Chamber is the Sanctuary. We are not literally taken into the Sanctuary, of course. But it was always predominantly a spiritual lesson.  Let's take a look at the Sanctuary, seeing how it is a personal experience. As we do, we'll understand the Bride's need to remain in this Bridal Chamber, while she awaits the Return of her Bridegroom.


 In the above diagram, the Sanctuary is the white rectangle area on the right.  On the far left of the diagram, we have two disgusting worms...  They represent us in our carnal natures. This is how we are before being transformed by Christ.
Job 25:6    "How much less man, that is a worm? And the son of man, which is a worm?" 

Psalm 22:6  "But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people."

Romans 7:24  "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" 
In our unsaved, carnal, worm state, we are selfish and destructive. Like the worm in the garden who does not appreciate the loveliness which it is selfishly devouring, we are spiritual takers and not instruments of blessing. When a gardener finds a worm in the garden, he is not happy to see it. 

"Ewwww! A worm!" And, "Oh no! Get it out of here before it destroys everything!" Are the responses the worm invokes, when it is discovered.

The worm is not only disgusting in his sinful selfishness, but he can't help himself, nor see his true condition to even seek help. But God has provided a way for the worm to see his need of salvation. That way is the Law of God, which serves as a mighty mirror, revealing our sinfulness and our great need of a Saviour. This is why the Law is shown next to the two worms in the above diagram:
Romans 7:7    "...I had not known sin, but by the Law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."
Next, it is important to explain why there are two worms, one with wings taped onto its back, and the other without wings. Wings in the analogy, represent living in victory over the flesh. The lower worm is not making any pretense of belonging to God. He is simply lost and out in the world. The "higher" worm thinks he's better off. He actually thinks he's saved! This is a "Christian" worm. But since his wings are legalistically taped on, he puts on appearance of being "Christian" (a butterfly in the analogy), but he cannot fly (he has no victory over his past sinful habits). The nature of the worm is unchanged. And Christ came to save us from our sins - not in them.
2 Corinthians 5:17  "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
Now let's look at the Sanctuary itself, and track the journey of the worm into its "chrysalis" phase. The chrysalis is the stage in which the worm is transformed. In science, you learn that a caterpillar actually experiences a molecular change when he goes into his chrysalis. 

The Sanctuary Courtyard is our spiritual chyrsalis phase, for this is where we experience Justification (which is to be made Just as if we had not sinned). After discovering his need of a Saviour, the worm may enter into life, by accepting Christ as his/her personal Saviour. Yahshua is the Door of the Sanctuary - and the only Door to Salvation.
John 10:9    "I Am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved..."
Having accepted Christ, a sinner needs two more things to be fully transformed from a spiritual worm into a spiritual butterfly: 

1) He needs to personally confess his sins and claim Christ's Blood for his forgiveness (which is represented by the Altar of Burnt Offering - a symbol of the Cross) 

2) He needs to be baptized and put on Christ (which is represented in the Laver - a symbol of the watery "grave" of baptism).

When these steps are taken, the person spiritually leaves the Courtyard (Chrysalis Phase) of the Sanctuary and enters the Holy Place as a spiritual butterfly. The Holy Place is the Bridal Chamber, where we are to await our Bridegroom's Return.

At every stage of our spiritual development, we are made "perfect" in Messiah. Yet, we enter the Bridal Chamber with much more to learn. We will continue to "grow in Grace" as God shines more Light of Truth upon our lives day by day. As we adjust our lives and walk in this Truth, never rejecting the next revelation of Light from His Word, we remain in the Bridal Chamber. But, if at any time we decide that the next revelation of Truth is too much for us - we don't want to change our lives in that way -  we can no longer remain in the Bridal Chamber. Cherished sin cannot abide in this Holy Place. Once we have been saved, choosing sin over the Saviour is "Crucifying Christ afresh":
Hebrews 6:4-6  "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the Heavenly Gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good Word of God, and the Powers of the World to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame."
Now let's look at the Bridal Chamber of the Holy Place. When the Bride is brought into the King's Chambers, this is what it means - and this is how to stay there, awaiting His Return:

 Yahshua promises that if we "abide in Him" we will bear fruit. Abiding in Him is remaining in the Bridal Chamber. As we do this, we are empowered to live in victory over our past ways. We are filled with His Spirit and bear His lovely Fruits in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23). These things are impossible to us, unless we are abiding in Him (which is also experientially remaining in the Bridal Chamber).
John 15:4-5  "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.  I Am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much Fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." 
There are three pieces of furniture in the Sanctuary Holy Place. These three pieces of furniture represent the three elements of Spiritual Life. They are to be our daily practice! As we incorporate these furniture lessons into our lives - daily - we abide in Christ - and remain in the Bridal Chamber as a faithful Bride. The three pieces of furniture found in the Sanctuary Holy Place are:

1) The Table of Shewbread (which contained bread and wine - both of which were unleavened representing Christ's sinless Body and Blood). To experience the Table of Shewbread, we need to daily read from and partake of the Word of God. The Word is the Bread - our spiritual Food. As we spend time in the Word, we will not only find spiritual Nourishment, we will also find greater spiritual Enlightenment. This means that we may find new areas of our lives that our out of harmony with God's Will. When this happens, we claim the Blood of Yahshua (represented in the grape juice on the Table) for forgiveness for our past previously unknown sins. We then make prayerful adjustments in our lives to "walk in the Light" we have now learned. Here is the connection, shown in the following verses:

Yahshua is the Living Bread - His Flesh is the Bread - His Flesh is the Living Word. We are to spiritually eat of His Word...
John 6:51  "I Am the Living Bread which came down from Heaven: if any man eat of this Bread, he shall live for ever: and the Bread that I will give is my Flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."  

John 1:14    "And the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His Glory, the Glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and Truth."

Jeremiah 15:16   "Thy Words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy Name, O LORD God of hosts."  
2) The Altar of Incense (the incense-smoke represented the prayers of God's people, which are a "sweet savor" unto our Heavenly King). To experience the Altar of Incense, we need to pray. Prayer is the breath of Heaven. This is the vital second element for abiding in Christ.
Romans 12:10  "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer."
3) The Menorah (the seven-branched-candlestick represented the godly testimony and witness of a life transformed and indwelt by God's Spirit). To experience the Menorah, we need to share in ministry and witness. This is how our lives will be used of God to bear fruit. It is impossible to sustain spiritual life without also sharing what we've found. We need all three pieces of furniture found in the Holy Place.
Matthew 5:14-16  "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven."   
With that brief introduction into the deeper gems of Truth found in the prophetic book of Song of Solomon, I pray you will be better prepared to mine them out for yourself. Enjoy! There is such beautiful in this book - with tremendous personal application especially relevant to us all right now.