We will make for you ornaments of gold with beads of silver. (Song of Songs 1:11 NASB)

The two most precious materials of ancient times – Gold and Silver.

This is how the Shepherd king intends to deck out his maiden fair.

Can you imagine how our maiden feels when she hears this from the mouth of the one she adores? Remember we are still looking at her recovery from feeling dark and frustrated by her inability to keep her affairs in order.

When her Man sees her, He sees a fashion model, who should be wearing the finest jewelry.

But what does the silver and gold represent?  Are they simply a sign that the Lord wants to lavish us with good things, wants to deck us out in splendor and majesty?

Perhaps.

Mike Bickle says the gold represents divinity and the silver salvation and I like that. Peter tells us in one of my top 10 favorite verses:

…seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4 NASB)

We are adorned in gold – partakers of the divine nature – and sparkling with silver – rescued from the corruption of the world though His marvelous salvation.

So I am good with that.

Then as I was getting ready to write this I was doing a bit of a search and found this little passage in Zechariah.

Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, And against the man, My Associate,” Declares the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; And I will turn My hand against the little ones. And it will come about in all the land,” Declares the LORD, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it. And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’ (Zechariah 13:7-9 NASB)

In this little parable the Father allows the sword (the Cross) to destroy the Shepherd (Jesus) and those who lightly follow Him are scattered.

The gold is tested and the silver refined.

Gold is your faithfulness when tested by adversity. As in the Parable of the Soils in Matthew 13 where the sun come and scorches the seedlings with no root – so it is with the fire used to test the believer. We will go through the fire, and your faithfulness will be tested.

As this happens, silver is refined. Your purity of character is enhanced by the testing you walk through.

Back to the Song – so it is with our maiden. Her initial encounters with adversity have not shaken her love for the Shepherd a bit, but intensified them. This demonstrates that she is worthy of adornment in gold.

These trials of her faith have purified her, and so she is worthy to be decked out in silver.

So it is with you, beloved. Remain faithful as circumstances and people attempt to separate you from the Lover of your soul, and He will adorn you with silver and gold. And this is a good place to start with Jesus.

Paul uses the same metaphor in 2 places:

For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. (1 Corinthians 3:11-13 NASB)

And again

Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. (2 Timothy 2:20 NASB)

So you see, though we start our walk with Christ in crisis over our own failure, and our inability to keep our spiritual house in order (our unkempt vineyards) He sees our faithfulness and adorns us with the most precious of goods.

God is so good! What a wonderful salvation!

BenThanks for coming by

See you next week!

Ben


Jesus said:

But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face so that you may not be seen fasting by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you. (Matthew 6:17-18 NASB)

What does fasting have to do with intimacy you ask? Walk through this with me for a few minutes.

John the Baptist taught his followers to fast often. As they observed the disciples of Jesus moving from party to party, and carrying away baskets full of food, and pitchers of wine, they began to wonder why their deal  did not include their least favorite part of discipleship – fasting.

Here is how it went down.

Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast." (Matthew 9:14-15 NASB)

So let’s talk about this mourning for a minute. You are probably asking what does mourning have to do with intimacy?

What does it look like to mourn a loved one?

You miss him.

You think about him.

You remember good times you had together.

You long to be close yet again.

Mike Bickle puts it like this: A mourning heart is fiercely discontent and desperately hungry for God.

We can put aside our plates, and press in with our hunger for God.

This type of fast – this intimate fast is – has at it’s core desire. A desire to be closer to Jesus, to be alone with Him, to know Him.

Remember that Hillsong worship song from the 90’s, “I want to know you (more)”

In the secret, in the quiet place
In the stillness you are there
In the secret, in the quiet hour
I wait only for you
Cause I want to know you more

I want to know you
I want to hear your voice
I want to know you more

I want to touch you
I want to see your face
I want to know you more

I am reaching for the highest goal
That I might receive the prize
Pressing onward, pushing every hindrance aside
Out of my way
Cause I want to know you more

That is exactly what is going on with this fast. We are pushing every hindrance aside, out of the way so we can know Him more (pardon my grammar.)

Thanks for stopping in today.

I hope this is helping.

Tomorrow I will talk about some more of the nuts and bolts of fasting.

See you then.

Ben