A strange lesson from Song of Songs

God speaks to each of His people individually in His Word.  What did God say to me in the Song of Songs?  

Marriage is not always as Song of Songs depicts it – the love, the electric, the magic.  However, the teaching is clear: enjoy your marriage partner.  He or she is to be a source of joy and contentment; a lifelong covenant of commitment to each other out of love  

Similarly, as part of the Bride of Christ, the message to me was very clear: Gerard, as part of the Bride of Christ, enjoy Jesus, the Bridegroom.  It is not something to wait for in eternity.  No, revel in the beauty of the Lord, here, today.  Be joyful as you read the Bible, pray and listen to the Holy Spirit’s teaching about the Bridegroom and His fantastic Father, God.  

My experience is that there are times when life with God becomes a bit much.  It happens when I put myself under pressure to be more godly, to obey the Lord in all things, to read more Bible, to fast, do this, do that, et cetera.  Yet it does not please God or the Bridegroom if the joy and experience of love is replaced by the drudgery of duty.   That is where I discovered the mercy, grace and many miracles that happen when I consult the Holy Spirit for His help when I am a bit down. 

Song of Songs emphasises the wonderful lesson that the Bridegroom, Jesus the Messiah, saved and saves out of love and He wants us to enjoy His love and care.

The Short Gospel

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul gave us a very short Gospel, ‘Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.  This is my Gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal.’ 1

#  Why David?

Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we can be confident about our own resurrection into eternal life, but why do the verses mention David?  God promised David an Offspring, One [Jesus Christ] who will sit on David’s throne eternally. 2  

#  Why did it take so long for Jesus to come?

If it is true that God promised Jesus would come, why did it take such a long time before He came?  At least 1,000 years passed between David and the coming of Jesus.  At least 4,000 years passed from the time God promised the serpent (Satan) that ‘…He [Jesus] will crush your head….’ 3

#  God illustrated that salvation would be by grace and faith.

  • God created the Jewish nation from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, gave them the Covenant and blessed them.  Despite God’s care, they eventually messed up and were exiled twice.  With their history God illustrated that no one can be saved by keeping a law.  Man’s uncircumcised heart makes it impossible.  
  • Salvation would be by grace and faith.  That would ensure that the strong and disciplined are not advantaged above those who struggle to keep laws.  Once the message was very clear, so obvious that no one could miss it, because the Israelite kingdom was terminated, God could take action.  ‘But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.’ 4  
  • Salvation would be by grace and mercy alone, ‘But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions, it is by grace you have been saved.’ 5

Conclusion

Short Gospel, long Gospel.  It does not matter.  It remains a wonderful Gospel of hope and grace for anyone who believes it.

References

  1. 2 Timothy 2:8-9  
  2. 2 Samuel 7:13  
  3. Genesis 3:15b  
  4. Galatians 4:4-5  
  5. Ephesians 2:4

Why the Old Testament if we have the New Testament

Atheists love to confront Christians with the ‘horrible’ God of the Bible who killed babies, allowed rape, and Titus archstoned rebellious teenagers and homosexuals. Often they distort the Bible to succeed in their derision. They use the Old Testament history to prove their point.

 

Besides the clever distortion of facts, it is convenient to forget that God’s laws were designed to promote peace and prosperity in a nation. A nation that follows His rules, will be very orderly without theft, murder, immorality, et cetera. The laws were the physical ‘outworking’ of the holiness of God.

 

The Law or first covenant was made with the Israelites of old: ‘These are the decrees, the laws and the regulations that the Lord established on Mount Sinai between Himself and the Israelites through Moses.’ 1  That was around 1,400-1,300 BC. The Israelites that God made that covenant with (those people who approached the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with sacrifices at the Tabernacle and Temple) no longer exist.  The Temple in Jerusalem was raised to the ground by Titus in 70 AD. They could never rebuild it and the Islamic Dome of the Rock occupies the spot.  Animal sacrifices ceased with the destruction of the Temple. The Old Covenant was replaced by the New Covenant.

 

Why are the details of the Old Covenant in the Bible?

# 1. It proves that no one can keep the law. The Old Testament proves that God’s special nation, the Jews, could not obey His laws. It proved that nobody can keep God’s commandments by his or her own decision or will power.

 

# 2. Grace and love are the solution. God wanted to show us that grace and love are much more powerful than law. If a nation moves into fraud, robbery, murder and immorality, it is no use trying to change their behaviour with laws. A heart change is the only permanent solution. That is where Jesus, the Son of God comes in. He changes hearts and makes it possible for people to live lives that please the Lord.

 

# 3. Jesus made a relationship with God possible. Without Jesus there can be no eternal Kingdom of peace and happiness. Only He makes it possible for us to obey God and live in a relationship with Him. Jesus is the one essential ‘ingredient’ to make God’s future Kingdom of peace possible. Without Him, there is no hope for us to ever live with God on the new earth.

 

# 4. No one can please God without Jesus. The Old Testament with its narratives of basically failure to please God is very important. Nobody will appear before the Judgement throne and be able to claim that he or she could please God without Jesus. It is impossible, as the Old Testament so decisively proves.

 

Conclusion

Jesus is the only solution to live a life pleasing to the Lord. Conveniently atheists don’t mention Jesus and the New Covenant in their eagerness to promote the ‘Terrible Tyrant’ idea. They also forget that there is nobody alive to whom the Old Covenant applies. Lastly, why do they so often refer to the Old Testament without mentioning the role of Jesus in what is lacking in the Old Covenant?

 

References

1. Leviticus 26:46

 

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