Two Fawns, Twins of a Gazelle

(Today’s post by Adam Cooper)

Song of Solomon 6:4-8:4

two fawnsThere is very little that I can add to the wonderful examination of the book Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) that was written by Wayne Bunting in his post from yesterday. The fact that this book demonstrates to us that God cares about every aspect of our lives, including our love life, is both bold and inspiring. God’s love is all encompassing.

What I like about this book is how it makes such tremendous use of literary simile in such a way that it conveys rather boldly its subject matter. In chapter 6, verse 4, “4 You are beautiful, my darling, as Tirzah, lovely as Jerusalem, majestic as troops with banners.” In verse 5, “Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Gilead.” In verse 6, “6 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep coming up from the washing. Each has its twin, not one of them is alone.” In verse 7, “7 Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate.”

In chapter 7 the author raises the stakes a bit towards the “hot and sweaty.” In chapter 7, verses 1 through 5, “1 How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince’s daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of a craftsman’s hands. 2 Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine. Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by lilies. 3 Your breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. 4 Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon looking toward Damascus. 5 Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel. Your hair is like royal tapestry; the king is held captive by its tresses.” You can see all of the simile in these few short verses.

The author continues using simile in almost EVERY verse.

If a writer today were to use simile this much they would be called “uninspired” or “untrained in proper technique” but in this book it works. It works because it makes the words, even though they were once simple scratchings on a scroll, REAL. As you read these verses the author paints a beautiful picture of love and physical beauty. We never see a real picture of the subject of these verses but we see what our mind creates from the simile used. We see beauty. We see love. Knowing that everything in the Bible is the inspired Word of God we know that this book was not written to inspire the lust that so many see when they read these words. I think it is safe to suggest that the fleshly and sinful side of our humanity leads some to those rather colorful interpretations of this book. But don’t think I am saying that love and sex are not present but it is the sinful mind that distorts that imagery into something it shouldn’t be.

Like Wayne said, “Song of Solomon flies in the face of the popular notion that God is a prude that wants his followers to be painfully abstinent. This is a very sexual book. It promotes sex in a greater way than a lot of popular culture does. But it does it in its proper context, marriage.”

I see the Bible as a tremendous guidebook for living a life that brings glory to God. Every one of the 66 books enclosed is accepted as God inspired Word and seen as vitally informative to the life of a Christian believer. Song of Solomon is one of those books and therefore should not be overlooked, or conveniently dodged, as is done by some denominations and pastors. God is giving us a rather vivid picture of what a healthy, Christian relationship should look like.

Culture would have us believe that living together before marriage is okay. Culture would have us believe that relationships between two men or two women are okay. Culture would have us believe that sex before marriage is also okay. But this book paints a different picture of dedication and love in the committed institution of marriage.

As you pray today spend time considering whether you believe enough in God’s Word to be counter-cultural? Are you willing to stand up for what you believe; even if it is not popular?

Steamy SEX in the Bible

(Today’s post by Wayne Bunting)

Song of Solomon 3:6-5:l

wedding nightToday we venture into The Song of Solomon. Also called the Song of Songs, the meaning of this book has been debated for quite some time as far as what exactly the author is talking about. The most obvious assertion of this book is that it is talking about love, marriage, and sex. But many assert that all of these are used as a metaphor to describe the loving relationship that God has with His people, put into the context of a marriage. Traditionally, Rabbis would not allow boys who were being taught the Bible (Old Testament) to read The Song of Solomon because of the sometimes intense nature of its revealing of marital intimacy between a husband and wife. This should tell us that this book is pretty heavy, and is not to be taken lightly. This book is also one that is oftentimes skipped over by preachers and teachers because it is many times difficult to discern a contemporary application from.

If you have children reading this now and you feel that they are not ready to read about sex then now is the time for earmuffs, because this book is about the intimacy in a loving relationship between a man and a woman which culminates in marriage, and ultimately sex.

Song of Solomon is a book that shows that the Lord is concerned with every detail of our lives, especially our love lives. One thing that is interesting about the Song of Solomon is that one of the dominant voices in this book is that of a female. In fact, this book takes the perspective of three main voices: a man, a woman, and their friends. The man and the woman are obviously lovers and are crazy about each other. Notice that in 4:9 Solomon refers to his bride as his “sister.” This may seem strange at first, but during this time when a man called a female lover sister he was affirming the closeness of their relationship. It was to say that their bond and relationship was never ending, like how a brother and sister never cease to be brother and sister. This permanence shows the commitment that they shared for one another. Verses 4:16-5:1 are significant in this section. Up until this point the book details the courting relationship of this man and woman that love each other. But now they marry and consummate their love. They do what they have wanted to do all along: they express their love through the physical act of sex.

Song of Solomon flies in the face of the popular notion that God is a prude that wants his followers to be painfully abstinent. This is a very sexual book. It promotes sex in a greater way than a lot of popular culture does. But it does it in its proper context, marriage. I find it interesting that the man and woman in this book both describe the enjoyment of each other physically (or at least the possibility of it) in terms of partaking in the enjoyment of fruit. At times, such as in 2:3-7, the description and possible enjoyment of a physical expression of their love escalates, and then is abruptly stopped by the phrase “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases,” a phrase that repeats throughout this book. This is a very obvious display of physical affection and sexual desire between this couple. It escalates into what could be a sexual encounter between these two unmarried people, until this voice of reason stops it.

I like that this book shows the tension and desire for sexual expression in a courting (or what we might call dating) relationship, because it is a real and valid tension that almost everyone that is crazy about someone of the opposite sex feels. This is a normal thing to go through. It would be weird if you were not physically attracted to the one you were seriously dating and didn’t want to act on that attraction. God gave us these desires for a purpose and a reason, and much of that is spelled out in this book. Most importantly these desires find their proper culmination within the confines of marriage. Do we as the church seek to guide younger people in courting relationships through these desires and this process? I think it is very important that we should, which includes the importance and significance of abstinence in an unmarried relationship.

The idea, as is so poignantly woven throughout this book, is that within a relationship between a man and a woman the act of sex should be done in its right time. That means that the act of sex cannot have its true, proper, and ultimate fulfillment until it is realized within the ultimate context of human love: marriage. If ever there was a book that maintained the absolute importance of withholding sex until marriage, and also the importance of diving headfirst into the enjoyment of sex within this context, it is the Song of Solomon.

So if we can learn anything at all from the Song of Solomon its that God has made sex as a very good thing. He has given us the ability to cultivate relationships with the opposite sex in the form of marital bonds in which we can enjoy this wonderful gift. God made all of creation and called it good, including sex. So what I would like to see in the church is for the proper view of sex to be embraced and taught. God saw it fit to be a major theme in one of the books of the Bible so why should we shy away from it? The church should, in the right way, teach the proper view of sex in marriage, not shun away from it. We should not seek to run away from and do away with things that the world has perverted that God has created as good. God has given His church a guide to marital relationships and the importance of the purity therein. And the point of that purity is so that we can enjoy the wonderful and good things that God has created for us in the best and right way, namely within the structure of love and marriage.

Also, I was thinking the other day about our ability to have sex and create life. When a child is conceived the father and mother of that child has in that moment set in motion a soul that has an eternal purpose, and an eternal trajectory. As of that moment that child will live eternally. It really makes you realize the importance of couples (especially Christians) waiting until they are married to have sex. They have the ability to create a life that will either live eternally in Heaven or Hell, and the way that we raise our children largely influences that. We set in motion eternal purpose and significance through the act of marriage. Our ability to create and shape life is one of great power and great responsibility. Sex is a gift, a very wonderful one. We should honor it in the church, and teach its proper use and understanding. We should assert the proper way in which relationships should develop and embrace this gift within the wonderfulness of marriage. Through this the church could see families rise up and demonstrate to the world the proper view of love and sex. And as some assert is the ultimate meaning to the Song of Solomon, we might show the world the love that Christ has in his redemption of the church through the metaphor of marriage.

Sunday Sermon // Recipe For Thankfulness :: Live With Purpose

Recipe For Thankfulness // Live With Purpose

[Lead Pastor, Scott Moore, ECC Covington Campus]

And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear. It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance. (‭Philippians‬ ‭1‬:‭12-19‬ NLT)

 

Living with purpose is the only way to live.

What is my purpose?

We exist to make disciples who Love God, Love People, and Reach the World.

 

  • Purpose trumps circumstances.

And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear. (‭Philippians‬ ‭1‬:‭12-14‬ NLT)

Jesus forgives sinners!

This is the greatest news in the world. And Paul saw this as his mission/purpose to share that good news with the world.

And being in prison did not stop him from living out his purpose.

Our goal in life shouldn’t be to “retire”..but instead it should be to make disciples.

  • Purpose produces joy.

It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance. (‭Philippians‬ ‭1‬:‭15-19‬ NLT)

You may find yourself in bad circumstances, and they are real. We don’t need to deny their real-ness. But all too often we are more concerned with changing our circumstances rather than living and fulfilling our mission/purpose of making disciples.


  • Joy results in thankfulness.

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5‬:‭16-18‬ NLT)

Living with purpose is the only way to live.

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