2

Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; (Song of Songs 1:3 NKJV)

What is fragrance?

What does it do?

Here’s the thing. When our Song speaks of fragrance it is not talking actions. Not the visible actions of a Shepherd King, but rather the invisible features of thoughts and emotions – His passions.

When we talk about God and emotions we (the Church) have a strange box for God. We feel like God has this amazing joy when we are born again, and He spends the rest of our lives angry with us.

There is even a theological argument out there that says that God does not change so He cannot have emotions.

This is all so messed up. We are created in the image of God, emotions and all. If we learn nothing else from the Song of Songs, it is that we have an emotional Father.

There is, however, action in this verse and we don’t want to miss it. The fragrant ointment is poured forth.

Here we see the internal essence of Jesus, His thought life, His emotion, His passion, poured out by the declaration of His name. Last week we looked at His name, but today I want to draw your attention to this idea.

As His name is declared, His passion is revealed. [Tweet This]

Observe:

When He said His name was JEHOVAH-TSID-KENU  "The Lord is our righteousness" He was demonstrating His passion for transforming you into the righteousness of God in Him.

When He said His name was JEHOVAH-SHALOM  - Our perfect peace - He was demonstrating His passion for creating peace between you and God as the Prince of Peace.

When He said His name was JEHOVAH RAPHA  - I am the Lord Your Physician or I am the Lord Your Healer – He was demonstrating His passion for healing you to the uttermost.

Interestingly enough Paul talks about fragrance too.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. (2 Corinthians 2:14-16 NASB)

The fact is, as our life declares by word and deed the name of Jesus, His passion is poured forth on our circle of influence, and it has an impact. It may draw some to Christ, and it may push some away. In any case, when you stand for Christ your life will no longer be neutral.

Do you need that ointment poured forth in your life today?

Do you need that healing balm, that peace that defies understanding?

Let the name of Jesus wash over you even now. Declare His name out loud over your circumstances today.

If you are sick say out loud something like “I am yours, Jehovah Rapha – the Lord who heals me”

If you are stressed instead of blessed – declare “I am yours, Jehovah Shalom”

Hey – we are not talking magic words, or secret formulae here. But there is power in the name of Jesus.

That’s good, isn’t it? Share what you learned, or what fresh revelation you received, or even what made you mad here today. Has His name poured out in your life changed your reality? Share!

Come back next week for more of the Song. Believe me, we are just scratching the surface here.

Ben

4

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. - John 1:14 ESV

None of us have reached the full measure of Christ as yet, agreed?

That said - Jesus was FULL of Grace and Truth.

That leaves us in one of two conditions.

Either we operate out of a graceless truth, or a truthless grace.

OK - that’s probably extreme - perhaps you’re not graceless, simply grace-challenged. Maybe you ace grace, but go easy on truth.

Much is said today about having a balanced life. But the Word does not say Jesus walked in a balance of grace and truth. It doesn’t even say he operated out of a tension between grace and truth.

He was FULL of grace and truth.

He is the greatest expression of God’s grace in history, yet His own confession was “I am the Truth.”

My simple prayer today is:

Lord, teach me to walk full of grace and truth. Fill me with Your grace. Overwhelm me with Your truth.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Keep the light on.

Ben

1

I'm falling in love with this song.

Pay close attention to God's identity and yours. It will tweak your heart.

"Good Good Father"
(Written by Pat Barrett and Tony Brown)

Oh, I've heard a thousand stories of what they think you're like
But I've heard the tender whispers of love in the dead of night
And you tell me that you're pleased
And that I'm never aloneYou're a Good, Good Father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I amOh, and I've seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we're all searching
For answers only you provide
'Cause you know just what we need
Before we say a word

You're a Good, Good Father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

'cause you are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways to us

You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways to us

Oh, it's love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think

As you call me deeper still [3x]
Into love, love, love

[3x:]
You're a Good, Good Father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

You're a Good, Good Father
(you are perfect in all of your ways)
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
(you are perfect in all of your ways)
It's who I am, it's who I am it's who I am


Thanks much for coming by today.

Have a great day,

Ben

Thanks to AZLyrics.com for these lyrics.

3

Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; Therefore the virgins love you. Song of Songs 1:3 NKJV

I have written about the fact that God reveals Himself by His name throughout the scriptures. At the bottom of this post are some links to other posts going through some of the Old and New Testament Names of God and what they reveal about Him.

But today I want to share 2 things from other sources about that Name that is "as ointment poured forth."

My previous Pastor, Chet Klope, and I were chatting about the book Les Misérables by Victor Hugo a while back. It is one of his favorite books of all time, and I had never read it. My son had given me a 3 month audible.com subscription for Father’s day, so I got it in my head to download the audio book and give it a listen.Les Mis

Just a few chapters in I ran across this:

"Oh, you who are!

"Ecclesiastes calls you the All-powerful; the Maccabees call you the Creator; the Epistle to the Ephesians calls you liberty; Baruch calls you Immensity; the Psalms call you Wisdom and Truth; John calls you Light; the Books of Kings call you Lord; Exodus calls you Providence; Leviticus, Sanctity; Esdras, Justice; the creation calls you God; man calls you Father; but Solomon calls you Compassion, and that is the most beautiful of all your names."

Victor Hugo. Les Misérables (Kindle Locations 642-645).

Isn’t that wonderful? Chet told me that I would hear the gospel on every page, and I am so in love with the Bishop today. It is now one of my favorite books of all time too!

This short passage made me think again of the sermon I have somewhere on audio cassette. I know - old school, right? It's Oral Roberts preaching a sermon called the 4th man. Today I found a website that had a transcript of a portion of the message that thrills me every time I hear it.

Check this out:


Who Is The Fourth Man?

Oral Roberts Sermon (c. 1956)

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Who is the Fourth Man?

I tell you that…

In Genesis He is the Seed of the Woman.

In Exodus He is the Passover Lamb.

In Leviticus He is our High Priest.

In Numbers He is the Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night.

In Deuteronomy He is the Prophet like unto Moses.

In Joshua He is the Captain of our Salvation.

In Judges He is our Judge and Lawgiver.

In Ruth He is our Kinsman Redeemer.

In I and II Samuel He is our Trusted Prophet.

In I and II Kings and I and II Chronicles He is our Reigning King.

In Ezra He is our Faithful Scribe.

In Nehemiah He is the Rebuilder of the Broken Down Walls of our human life.

In Esther He is our Mordecai.

In Job He is our Dayspring from on high and our Ever-Living Redeemer.

In Psalms He is the Lord our Shepherd.

In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes He is our Wisdom.

In the Song of Solomon He is our Lover and the Bridegroom.

In Isaiah He is the Prince of Peace.

In Jeremiah He is the Righteous Branch.

In Lamentations He is the Weeping Prophet.

In Ezekiel He is the Wonderful Four-Faced Man.

In Daniel He is the Fourth Man in the burning fiery furnace.

Who is the Fourth Man?

In Hosea He is the Faithful Husband, forever married to the backslider.

In Joel He is the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost and Fire.

In Amos He is our Burden-Bearer.

In Obadiah He is the Mighty to Save.

In Jonah He is our Great Foreign Missionary.

In Micah He is the Messenger of Beautiful Feet carrying the Gospel.

In Nahum He is the Avenger of God's Elect.

In Habakkuk He is God's Evangelist, crying, "Revive thy work in the midst of the years."

In Zephaniah He is the Savior.

In Haggai He is the Restorer of God's Lost Heritage.

In Zechariah He is the Fountain Opened in the House of David for sin and uncleanness.

And in Malachi He is the Sun of Righteousness, rising with healing in His wings.

Who is the Fourth Man?

In Matthew He is the Messiah.

In Mark He is the Wonder-worker.

In Luke He is the Son of Man.

In John He is the Son of God.

In Acts He is the Holy Spirit.

In Romans He is our Justifier.

In Corinthians He is the Gifts of the Spirit.

In Galatians He is the Redeemer from the curse of the law.

In Ephesians He is the Christ of Unsearchable Riches.

In Philippians He is the God Who Supplies All Our Needs.

In Colossians He is the Godhead Bodily.

In I and II Thessalonians He is our Soon-coming King.

In I and II Timothy He is our Mediator between God and Man.

In Titus He is our Faithful Pastor.

In Philemon He is a Friend that sticketh closer than a Brother.

In Hebrews He is the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant.

In James He is the Great Physician.

In I and II Peter He is the Chief Shepherd who soon shall appear with a crown of unfading glory.

In I, II, and III John He is Everlasting Love.

In Jude He is the Lord Coming with Ten Thousands of His Saints.

And in Revelation He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Who is the Fourth Man?

He's Abel's sacrifice. He's Noah's rainbow. He's Abraham's ram. He's Isaac's well, Jacob's ladder, Issachar's burden, Judah's scepter, Samuel's horn of oil, David's slingshot, Hezekiah's extension of life, Isaiah's man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. He's Peter's healing shadow. He's Paul's mighty wonders and miracles. He's John's pearly white city. He's the pearl of great price. He's a rock in a weary land. He's the prince of Peace and the Government of our life is upon His shoulder.

Who is the Fourth Man?

He's the root system of our life. The source of your total supply. The one who is able to deliver you from the flames of human life. The one who enables you to live by your faith and empowers you to obey Him and gives you the strength to refuse to compromise. He's the restorer of your total life. The healer from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet. The one who enables you to survive. He's the saying one, who created you in His image, after His likeness, who says we are Whosoevers, receiving Whatsoever we say. He's the one who resides in your heart. The one at the point of your needs. The one that's closer to you than your breath. He bears no greater title than a Friend of Sinners. The Friend of the now. He's wrapped in your spirit, in your soul, in your body, and in your circumstances of life around you everywhere. He's here in the now. He is the one of signs, wonders, many mighty miracles, and marvelous works. There is no other that can deliver after this sort.

Who is the Fourth Man?

I tell you…He is the God I serve. The Written Word of God manifested in the Flesh and Spirit. He's JESUS CHRIST, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS! He's my Savior, my Lord

I found this here: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/donniemcclurkin2/message/31445

There is more to the sermon before and after, but this so ministers to my soul.

If you want to hear a recording of the whole sermon, I found it on YouTube. This is only a small portion right at the close of the message. It's a real faith builder of a sermon! The portion above is found at about 37 minutes.

Next week will open up why ointment and perfume, but for today – just soak in the wonderful fragrance of His Name!

See you next week

Ben

Post Script:

The first time through Song of Songs, one reader, Debbie, left this video in the comments, and I felt it needed to be added for keeps here -


Some other posts about His Name:

Thy Name, Part 1

Thy Name,  8 (well 9) Old Testament names of God 

Thy Name, 7 (well 8) New Testament names of God

Les Mis books photo credit: mgstanton via photopin cc

3

Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands. - Acts 14:3 NASB

Hmmm. What do you know about that? They Paul and Barnabas were hanging out in Iconium for an extended stay. This is one of those fun ‘therefores’ of the Word.

Why do folks do extended meetings today?

Well, sometimes it’s because the people demand more. They stay late into the night and are willing to listen to long nights of preaching, and will worship late into the night. So the organization ramps it up. Extend the meetings for another week, another month, maybe a year if the Lord continues to bless.

But if we chase this therefore back a couple verses, we’ll find the reason holding Paul and Barnabas in Iconium.

Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. - Acts 14:1-2 ESV

There was fruit, and then there was opposition.

What does our enemy do when the harvest starts coming in?

He turns up the heat. He plants suspicion—lies—fear.

And was do Paul and Barnabas do?

Preach the Word and let God Himself testify!

I love  the way this verse reads:

“Therefore

they spent a long time there

speaking boldly

with reliance upon the Lord,

who was testifying

to the word of

granting that signs and wonders

be done by their hands.”

What did God do? He allowed them to do signs and wonders.

Funny. Today when I hear about God allowing something, it usually something bad.

You know. God allowed me to crash into that telephone pole so I would learn this or that.

God allowed my mother to die of cancer so…

God allowed the attack on the World Trade Center because…

God allowed…

But look what God allowed—granted—(yes - I know it’s not exactly the same word, but you see what I’m getting at here?) them signs and wonders.

Why?

It was to confirm the word they were preaching in the face of harsh opposition.

God loves to show up and take our part when the heat is on.

Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

When the heat was on, God (Jesus) showed up in that furnace and granted them their freedom. The only thing that burned was their bondage—oh and their captors.

One more observation.

The signs and wonders were done by their hands. In other words. God didn’t blast a lightning bolt from the sky and do some magic. They laid their hands on the sick, or cast out demons, or multiplied the food, of shook off the snakes. They preached, then ministered the Kingdom of God in the midst of the opposition and God showed up.

And He’ll do it again today. You stand and preach and He’ll testify to your words by allowing you to do signs and wonders.

Awesome.

I’m stirring up my courage and looking for opportunities today. How ‘bout you?

Thanks for stopping by,

See you again soon.

Ben

2

For your love is better than wine. - Song of Songs 1:2b NASB

How so?

How is the love of the this Shepard King better than wine?

Wine pretends to be a provider. It offers to provide joy, peace, comfort, hope, escape. But it’s provision is brief and fleeting. Its refreshing doesn’t last past the night, and in the morning what it supplied is gone, and what’s left is deeper need.

By contrast, the Lord’s love is enduring, His provision is real and lasting. The provision we receive from Jehovah Jireh supplies felt needs as well as real needs we may not even know we have, with an everlasting supply.

The joy that comes through relationship with the Lord is not dependent on circumstances.

The peace given by the Prince of Peace is incomprehensible, a peace that passes understanding.

The comfort of the Lord is not a pat on the hand and a sympathetic hug. The Lord’s comfort comes to us in the form of the Holy Spirit. He comes beside us and brings us strength for the day and wisdom to choose for tomorrow. Where wine may calm us with a false peace and comfort, that is gone in the morning, the Spirit, the Comforter, walks with us through the valley of death and provides peace and hope each step of the way.

The escape wine offers simply delays or masks the circumstances we want to flee. In the Spirit, there is a courage that faces trouble with hope based on the sure knowledge that the Lord has a plan for us and a way has been made.

Think of Jesus getting on a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. In the midst of a life-threatening storm, he sleeps, knowing His Father’s will awaited on the other side of the lake. The assurance we have as we follow Him tells us our end is in His hands, and so, is sure.

By His love, we learn to love in like manner. His love restores our relationships and gives us the ability to love even our enemies.

His love is better than wine at every turn.

Thanks for coming by,

See you again soon,

Ben

2

A few thoughts first:

I know there are those who characterize Bethel Church in Redding CA as a "name it and claim it" church in the worst sense of the phrase. I've heard it said that they preach a gospel where if you're not healed you don't have "enough faith."

That could not be further from the truth.

I implore you to watch at least until Bill Johnson gets up, at about 5:50. He gives a small taste of the back story for this song. When I heard the circumstances of its writing I was reminded of the famous back story for the old hymn, "It Is Well With My Soul" by Horatio G. Spafford.

Enjoy

Miracles by Chris Quilala

The One who made the blind to see
Is moving here in front of me, moving here in front of me
The One who made the deaf to hear
Is silencing my every fear, silencing my every fear

[Chorus:]
I believe in You, I believe in You
You're the God of miracles
I believe in You, I believe in You
You're the God of miracles

The One who does impossible is
Reaching out to make me whole
Reaching out to make me whole
The One who put death in its place
His life is flowing through my veins
His life is flowing through my veins

[Chorus x2:]
I believe in You, I believe in You
You're the God of miracles
I believe in You, I believe in You
You're the God of miracles

The God who was and is to come
The power of the Risen One
The God who brings the dead to life
You're the God of miracles!
You're the God of miracles!
[x2]

[Chorus:]
I believe in You, I believe in You
You're the God of miracles
I believe in You, I believe in You
You're the God of miracles

The God who was and is to come
The power of the Risen One
The God who brings the dead to life
You're the God of miracles!
You're the God of miracles!

[Chorus:]
I believe in You, I believe in You
You're the God of miracles
I believe in You, I believe in You
You're the God of miracles


Come and worship Him with me today, will you?

Blessings,

Ben

3

At the end of my Christmas post yesterday, the passage I posted from John’s Gospel ended with these words.

He [the Word—Jesus] has explained Him[God]. - John 1:18 NASB

You see. The outcome of the Word coming in flesh is that we can know and understand God.

OK - I can hear it now—God is so far beyond our understanding, we could never understand Him.

Yep—that's true.

BUT

There is an expression of God that can be comprehended to a certain extent.

It’s God in the flesh. He didn’t just put on a man suit like some alien from Men In Black. He became a man with all that means, the frailty, the weakness, even the ability to be tempted. God took on those inherent desires I spoke about Saturday. He managed His God-given desires in a way that brought honor and pleasure to the Father.

So when we take a step back and look at Jesus we begin to understand the Father. The explanation of what God is like begins to form. The realization of what God is not like also takes form.

As we gaze on this God-man we see the character of God, the goodness of God, the compassion of God, the heart of God. We see what angers Him and what moves His hand to bless and heal.

We see God, and it's much clearer than looking at the history of a nation that walked in the wilderness four thousand years ago.

Jesus is the explanation of God written in terms we can begin to understand.

I’m so glad.

Aren’t you?

Blessing,

Keep the light on!

Ben

2

GOD

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God.

All things came into being through Him,
and apart from Him nothing came into being
that has come into being.

LIFE

In Him was life,
and the life was the Light of men.
The Light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not comprehend it.
There was the true Light
which, coming into the world,
enlightens every man.

UNKNOWN

He was in the world,
and the world was made through Him,
and the world did not know Him.
He came to His own,
and those who were His own
did not receive Him.

BORN OF GOD

But as many as received Him,
to them He gave the right
to become children of God,
even to those who believe in His name,
who were born,
not of blood
nor of the will of the flesh
nor of the will of man,
but of God.

GLORY, GRACE, AND TRUTH

And the Word became flesh,
and dwelt among us,
and we saw His glory,
glory as of the only begotten from the Father,
full of

grace 

and

truth.

For of His fullness we have all received,
and grace upon grace.

For the Law was given through Moses;
grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

GOD REVEALED

No one has seen God at any time;
the only begotten God
who is in the bosom of the Father,
He has explained Him.

John 1:1-5, 9-14, 16-18 NASB


Happy Incarnation Day and Merry Christmas!

See you again soon

Ben

3

For your love is better than wine. Song of Songs 1:2b NASB

What does wine say to you?

  • Luxury?
  • Desire?
  • Passion?
  • Intoxication?
  • Longing?

Our humble maiden is struck with all of this.

She looks at this Shepherd King and this lowly maiden from a nearby village is drawn into the thoughts of luxury, of the lush life, of a life with the man of her dreams in royal robes and plush surroundings.

She sees his rugged handsome beauty and she wants to spend time in His arms.

One look as He passes by stirs passion deep within her.

She imagines that drinking deeply of the scent of Him would surely intoxicate her.

She has a deep longing for intimacy with this man!

You know, for Christians our longings can be tricky. We feel like passion is a problem. We try to suppress our longings—to bury them. For centuries, longings of any kind have been frowned upon in the Christian world.

We find ourselves expressing our longings in ways that are destructive, and so we begin to repent not only for the sin but for the longings and desires themselves.

This is a problem since God created these longings and built them into who we are. They are deep inside, and if we live life suppressing our longings and passions, we end up denying the very life God intended us to live, and the wonderful things He intended us to feel and experience.

Mike Bickel and Deborah Hiebert wrote a book called “The Seven Longings of the Human Heart” where they detail 7 longings (there may be more, but this book lists 7) in every human.

  • A longing to be fascinated
  • A longing to possess and feel beautiful
  • A longing to be great and successful
  • A longing to know intimacy without shame
  • A longing for assurance of being enjoyed
  • A longing to be wholehearted and passionate
  • A longing to make deep and lasting impact

These longings are not part of out sin nature, they are built-in by our creator. They require attention and management, but not necessarily suppression.

In fact, God’s intends fulfillment for each these completely in your life, both here and in eternity.

Don’t forget, this is the God who put in the pen of David

“Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; In Thy presence is fulness of joy; In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.”(Psalm 16:11 NASB)

This is from the God who created pleasure. What sorts of deep passionate pleasures await us in heaven. I suspect it is more than we could ever think or imagine.

Personally, I love my life here, but I can’t wait.

Fact is, God’s intention is for us to walk in a great measure of this pleasure and wonder here and now, and as we unfold this Song we will see the joy and fulfillment of partnering with the One who created us, and designed us, and bought us, and loves us all to crazy!

Come on back next week!

See you then,

Ben

Wine photo credit: keeva999 (on vacation) via photopin cc