2

Tell me, O You whom my soul loves, Where do You pasture Your flock, Where do You make it lie down at noon? (Song of Songs 1:7 NASB)

Three major detractors pulled our maiden away from spiritual vitality into a kind of religious funk. She didn't like what she saw in the mirror, her elder brothers and sisters were dousing her enthusiasm and finally, her own relationship with the Lord suffered neglect. The intimacy she brushed up against in her first encounter with the Lord faded in her memory. The pull of ministry stirred by her early passion, under the pressure of her peers, caused her to step away from her first love.

Like the Church of Ephesus in Revelation 2, she was getting the good stuff done, but leaving ‘One Thing’ undone.

Today, she get’s it. It drives her to prayer. And check the focus of her prayer

Tell me, O You whom my soul loves, Where do You pasture Your flock, Where do You make it lie down at noon?

The fastest way to bring life back to a withering vine is to reconnect to The True Vine.

Above the din of her distress, her heart cry makes itself audible once again—I just want to know Your tender care.

Let’s walk right through it.

First – You Lord are the ONE my soul loves – she identifies herself as a Jesus Lover. She knows her life has been out of balance. But her desire for intimacy with the Lord takes back the ground her distresses gave up. Her vineyard succumbed to the chaos of nature—the old nature.

Next – Where do You pasture Your flock? I want to be where You are. I know you will care for me. I know you will help me prune my vineyard. I know time in your presence will recenter my heart and life.

Finally – Where do You make it lie down at noon? I understand a sheep will only lie down and rest in the heat of the day after it has been thoroughly fed and watered. For the sheep to lie down it must be completely satisfied!

Here Solomon inserts into this Song of Songs a throwback to his father's wonderful Psalm, the Psalm of the Shepherd.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
(Psalm 23:1-3 NASB)

Her heart cries out for His tender and loving care.

If you're like me, the business of life and ministry can get you running so hard, you edge away from time spent with the Lord in the secret place. You see that Jesus, who faced every temptation we do, faced this pull too. When He learned of the death of John the Baptist, He longed to be alone with His Father, but the press of the crowd kept Him from immediate retreat. He pushed through ministry, not brushing anyone off, but still focussed on getting into the quiet place. (Mark 6:17-46)

Don’t let life and ministry be the undoing of your vineyard.

Call out today and tell Jesus, the Great Shepherd, that you want to be fed in the green pastures, and drink from the still waters.

BenSee you next week!

Ben

2

They made me caretaker of the vineyards, But I have not taken care of my own vineyard. (Song of Songs 1:6 NASB)

We have arrived at the third of three disasters that have presented themselves in quick succession to our Maiden. Keep our paradigm in mind, the Maiden is an individual, passionate—and at this point in the story—newly ignited, Christ follower.

Disaster one – she looked in the mirror and didn't see what He saw. In the light of His glory and grace she felt dirty.

Disaster two – she ran into the men and women of the bucket brigade who were put off by her passion and zeal, and did what they could to dampen—or drench—her spirit.

Today we find that our young woman is thrust directly into ministry. I hinted at this in an earlier post, but today we see the fruit of too much ministry and not enough intimacy.

Does this sound like anyone you know? (Check the bathroom – they might be in the medicine cabinet looking out.)

  • Every time the Church doors are open she's there.
  • She volunteers for everything in the bulletin:
  • Nursery work
  • Set up and tear down after the pot luck
  • Teaching Sunday School
  • Chaperoning the Sr. High retreat
  • Painting and Maintenance day
  • Spring cleanup
  • Leaf raking
  • Filling the communion cups
  • Cleaning up the communion cups
  • Dusting the pews Bibles (you wouldn’t want dusty pews Bibles would you?)
  • Collecting the art work left behind by the little ones after church.
  • She even signs up for creating sign up sheets.

Then she faces the problem of what to do next week.

You get the point. She is immediately overworked, and what happens next? Her spirit begins to call out for God. She remembers her intimate encounter with the Lord, and thinks “This is not what I signed up for.”

Her vineyard goes uncared for and begins to show signs of neglect.

Those who should be stoking her up and feeding her passion, are actually (and I assure you this is unintentional) drawing her away from what makes her so valuable to the Body of Christ – her connection to its Head.

In the song, her vineyard or garden is her personal spiritual life.

We (maidens) must make our own relationship with the Lover or our Soul of paramount importance in our lives.

We (church leaders) must make ‘How to love God well’ a major part of instruction for young believers. We must guard against allowing anyone to become over committed to program. When program trumps Spiritual life, program must die. Let's stop sacrificing young God lovers for the sake of keeping programs in place.

The first time I taught through this Song in a Sunday School setting, when we came to this third disaster in the maiden's life, there was a couple in the class who had been working with pre-k children in the Sunday School program since their college student had been pre-k.

They were so hungry, and their own vineyards ached for nourishment. Don’t get me wrong. They were not back-slidden, just desperate for some teaching that did not involve crayons. They craved something to dig their teeth into, that would help them tend to their own spiritual lives.

Does your vineyard need tending? Don't be afraid to set something down so you care for your own spiritual health.

Thanks for stopping by.

See you next week.

Ben

 

2

My mother’s sons were angry with me (Song of Songs 1:6 NASB)

For the last two weeks, we looked at the Maiden’s first big problem. She felt dirty on the outside but had beauty on the inside.

Today we get a look at a second crisis in her walk with the Lord – Momma’s boys.

It is interesting to me that she does not say “my brothers.” Instead, she calls them "my mother's sons." Are these some kind of wicked stepbrothers?

First, we have to understand the age-old question – who’s your momma?

The great commission in Matthew 28, puts the job of evangelism squarely on the shoulders of the Church. And throughout the ages since then the Church has been in a motherly role. It is her job to make disciples. A young babe in Christ is said to need mother’s milk of the word.

Consider:

Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. (Gal. 4:26)

My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, (Gal. 4:19)

As apostles of Christ…we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children (1 Thes. 2:6-7).

The interesting thing to me here is that the Church is made up of people and these people are our brothers and sisters.

But as a new believer you might feel more like an outsider, and so we find the phrase “mother’s sons.” Our girl, new to the faith, feels a bit outside the camp.

Worse than that, after her intimate encounter with the King, she has a zeal and passion that sets her apart.

I know that many of you have been there. You are (or were) that passionate guy or gal who just won’t shut up about the Lord. You’re the ones in the lobby of the Church talking about your God encounters throughout the week, while everyone else is talking sports and fashion.

Ray Comfort (writer, speaker, evangelism teacher) says (I paraphrase here) that when he was a young Christian he had great zeal and passion, and told everyone he ran into about Christ. He was on fire. And over the years (long pause here) he has never cooled off. He is still on fire for the Lord with the same zeal and passion for the Lord as ever he had.

I love that. I feel like that is my story. I might say that years and experience have given me a different perspective on some things, but the passion is there, and one of my favorite things is to see a young Christian, full of that “first love.”

So here is the problem. There are many in the Church who have left their first love. And when they run into our maiden – our zealous, passionate firebrand – they feel a twinge of conviction.

So begins the unsanctified bucket brigade. They immediately start dousing our maiden’s fervor. They don’t want to be around her, they don’t have that same passion, and are not as consumed by a desire for the presence of the Lord like her.

This causes a reaction in the maiden—perhaps a twinge of self-righteousness? Our holy zeal can develop an edge of condemnation. Why aren’t they where I am? Why don’t they want to talk about the Lord? Why don’t they want to spend their Saturday on the street with me preaching to passers-by?

And so, strife infiltrates in the Body of Christ.

Take a step back today and consider – are you a firebrand in the hands of the Lord, or are you in the bucket brigade?

We all need correction, and I want you to stop and listen to the Lord today.

Put Down your Buckets!

Those of us in the Church for years need to be cheerleaders, mentors, equippers, throwing logs (or even accelerants) on the fires burning in our young brothers and sisters. Put down your buckets!

Those of us who are full of zeal and passion be careful with not to write off your elder brothers and sisters. Many have known your zeal and inwardly want it back.

God put us together for a reason, so we can “spur one another on towards love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24 NIV)

BenThanks for reading today.

See you next week

Ben

"Do not stare at me because I am swarthy, For the sun has burned me."  - Song of Songs 1:6 NASB

There are three books in our Bible attributed to Solomon, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. We know the Song is a love story, but Ecclesiastes is the musings of a man frustrated by the futility of life. In it, he uses the phrase "under the sun" twenty-seven times, in the NASB.

Solomon uses "under the sun" to mean "in this life," and throughout the book, it's a look at the natural life.

Where Ecclesiastes comes across as a huge "why bother" toward life in the natural, Song of Songs demonstrates that life in the Spirit sets a purpose in our hearts and a love for life and ministry.

Paul echoes Solomon's disparity in Romans 7.

I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. - Romans 7:21-25 NASB

And this is where we find our Maiden this morning. Right at the end of Romans 7.

Don't look at me. I'm ashamed of what I have become in my life "under the sun." Life directed by my old man, my lower nature, has left its mark on me. If you stare at me, I'm afraid it's all you will see. I'm marred by the sun.

When Adam and Eve surrendered to the will of the evil one, their first move was to cover up, and next, to hide.

LIfe lived in the shadow of shame leaves us hiding from the Holy.

It takes courage, and the call of the Spirit on our lives to cry out with David,

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. - Psalm 139:23-24 NASB

We'll get there, but today, we're hiding in the bushes.

Lord, we need to hear Your voice today, reassuring us that You are willing and powerful enough to heal the damage done by a life lived "under the sun."

Thanks for stopping by today.

God is able!

Ben

5

The King hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee. (Song Of Songs 1:4 KJV)

Today we see our first brush with intimacy between our Maiden and the King.

Out of a nation of women, the Shulamite catches the eye of the King, and He invites her into His chambers. The courtship is ON!

Just to be clear, marriage is a few chapters off, but here she gets the first taste of one on one interaction with the King. Up till now, she gazed at him from afar, but today they make the first moves toward relationship.

Picture a boy who grew up in the faith. He knows the Sunday School stories, perhaps he walked through a confirmation process in his youth. Jesus holds the place of a far off hero, a long ago superstar. Suddenly he encounters Him, perhaps during worship, or his time in the Word—a poignant moment in a sermon. A phrase jumps off the page—a lyric stirs his heart. He gets a glimpse of the beauty of holiness and he's ruined for anything else.

How can we keep this from being a one-time infatuation?

How can we avoid the persistent press of time separating our hearts from His?

She, our Shulamite, faces this question and the Song gives us three ways to keep our relationship with the Lord fresh while we live life in the midst of a world tugging for our attention.

Be Glad – The satisfied soul carries you a long way through the times of separation from  King's chamber. Gladness—joy stands as one of the most powerful forces in life. The presence of the Lord—a visit to the chambers of the Lover of our Souls—stirs up joy. (In His presence is fullness of Joy! Ps 16:11.) Joy creates strength as we step out of the chamber. (The joy of the Lord is our strength. Nehemiah 8:10.) We move from the place of intimacy into the chaos of life with renewed strength fortified by enduring joy.

Rejoice – A worshiping soul refreshes your spirit as the sense of fullness fades. Rejoicing—Praise and Worship—draws the presence of the Lord. When we do not feel or sense His nearness. Worship will call to the surface the resident Spirit of God in us. (God inhabits the praises of His people. Psalm 22:3)

Remember – A thankful remembrance of His words of love and acts of compassion in our lives will hold us for ages. In fact, as we rehearse our testimonies, it stirs up our faith and ignites our expectation for His next act on our behalf. The recounting of a testimony is the seedbed for our next miracle. [Tweet This]

These 3 postures can take us through the “dry” times and hasten the return of the springtime. They will hold us fast to our Savior, even when we are in the valley of apparent separation.

Thanks for coming by this week.

See you next week

Ben

2

Draw me after you and let us run together! (Song of Songs 1:4 NASB)

Today's verse gives us the outline of the Song of Songs. We'll find it is also a broad-stroke of God's plan for the Christian life and our walk with the Lord. We will come back to this idea over and over again as we study this wonderful Song.

What we have is our maiden's two-part heart cry.

"Draw me." I long to be with You in intimacy, Lord.

"Let us run." I desire to move in ministry with you, Lord.

But there are times when we mess this up in the church.

Have you ever seen this happen?

A young man or woman is wonderfully touched by the awesome love of the Savior and begins to come to church. They are so completely engrossed with worship and would do anything for the object of their love.

They so want to please the Lord that they “report for duty.” They volunteer for everything. They are there every time the church opens its doors.

We put them to work gladly and work they do, but soon the zeal begins to fade.

But WHY?

We have shut down a critical area of the Lord’s work in a life. We do this all too often.

Don’t get me wrong here. I've been in church leadership. I know too well that getting people involved can be a challenge. Getting folks to chip in and join the workforce is not easy.

By the same token, we are going to see in dramatic detail how this works itself out in the life of the Shulamite. We'll observe how this strategy fails in her life in the first part of the Song.

Here’s the thing.

In God’s economy Intimacy begets Productivity, but there is a gestation period. As in the natural, so in the spiritual. [tweet this]

Fruitful life is intended to flow as a matter of course out of intimacy.

  • Infatuation
  • Passion
  • Intimacy
  • Gestation
  • Birth
  • Productivity

And this is the pattern for a healthy, burnout proof, long life of ministry. We must not short-circuit the romance phase.

When we push people into ministry too soon, we can inhibit their ability to continue to return to intimacy, and they will face burnout. Intimacy refreshes, and when we elevate ministry over worship, we cripple the ability of our ministers to be refreshed and refueled.

We must also be careful not to judge others by the season we are in. We may be in a season of worship, and we can look at the worker bees and think – they just don’t get it, while at the same time the worker bees are thinking that the worshipers are no earthly good.

Both Wrong – God’s work in us takes time, and seasons are the way He works.

Perhaps you're feeling burnt out in ministry.  Maybe it's time to call out to the Lord, Draw me.

Are you sensing a restlessness in your soul to do more? Perhaps your cry needs to be, Let us run.

I hope this helps

See you next week

Ben

4

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

I have been pondering last week's post for the last few days, and it is really rocking my world. The whole concept that “As His name is declared, His passion is revealed.” WOW

I have to tell you, that was a fresh revelation to me.

This phrase “His name poured forth” has been rumbling around my brain for days now.

I picture Mary breaking open an alabaster box and its contents (worth a year's wages) poured forth– wasting it – on Jesus’ feet. The perfect picture our lives poured forth, many would say wasted, living for Jesus and leaving the outcome in His hands. Some will say you waste your life on Jesus, others will notice that you smell just like Him as He pours forth His life as a lamb to the slaughter.

Mary (Maia Morgenstern ) and Mary Magdalene (Monika Bellucci) from The Passion of The Christ

I picture that gruesome image from The Passion of the Christ of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalen sopping up Christ’s blood poured forth while He received those 39 lashes.

I picture blood and water poured forth from His side when they pierced Him.

I picture Jesus baptizing His Church, as He promised He would, in that little upper room as He poured forth His Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

Finally, I picture Jesus pouring forth His Church, shining with the light of His glory, over a dark and listless world. That light spreading far and wide as the world gets a deep breath of that wonderful fragrance.

I know there is more pouring forth to come – there are seals to be broken and bowls to overturn. But that is for then.

This is for now!

Let’s review

Ointment poured forth in Bethany

Blood and water poured forth at Calvary

Spirit poured forth at Pentecost

The Church poured forth globally

Each without reserve,

Each without stumbling over the cost

All with one aim

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NASB)

You are that joy that was set before Him, and so is your neighbor!

Have you taken His name?

Will you bear the name of your Husband the Bridegroom-Shepherd-King?

Will you be His name poured forth on your circle of influence?

Will you be that sweet savor of life to them that are saved, and are you willing to bear the stench of death, and you die to yourself so others can get a whiff of the aroma of Christ?

Say yes today!

Thanks for stopping by today. I trust this helps you. I know it stirs me up.

See you next week.

Ben

If you did not read last weeks post Fragrance and Ointment it is worth the few minutes it would take.

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

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

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