Daily Discipline

by Colleen Donahue

There is no relationship so intimate on this earth as that between husband and wife in marriage and lived out as a life long partnership. An illustration of this partnership has been the subject of our study--The Song of Solomon. A Shulamite maiden - poor, yet lovely, has been the focus of King Solomon's attention. In our last study, "The Communion of Love", we walked with them through their wedding day and then through some ups and downs as they started their life together.

While the first line of this introduction is what everyone thinks, it is not true! There is a relationship deeper than a man and his wife and that is what Solomon in his use of this beautiful story is really speaking to you and I about. The relationship each believer has with his Lord is the deepest one possible. It transcends all physical and emotional feelings and reaches to the heart of every man and woman --their spirit.

Christ in the figure of the bridegroom stands before every one of us and calls us to Himself. His loving heart longs to be united with ours so that we can live the most fulfilled life possible - i.e. in union and partnership with Himself. As the bridegroom in our story has been patient with his bride, so is Christ with us as we continue at times to walk and work independent from Him.

Now, as we enter our last study, we find a more mature bride and one ready to leave her selfish desires to be in step with her husband in HIS life and work. Jesus is very patient and loving with us. He will wait for us to leave ourselves behind and when we do, we'll be ready to go...

Into Service With Him

Part V of The Song of Solomon

Day 1 When we are united with Christ (Represented by the Shulamite with Solomon) our purpose becomes one with His and we go where He goes. Others may want to draw us back to see things from their point of view, but we are no longer two armies (or two camps or Mahanain) i.e. our camp and the Lord's. Thus, why should we allow others to look upon us as though Christ were one camp and we another? Song of Sol.6:13 (Note:13A is spoken by the Daughters of Jerusalem and 13B is spoken by the Bride) I Corinthians 6:17/ I John 4:17

The Daughters of Jerusalem Describe The Bride

Read Song of Solomon 7:1-5

The effect of being united with Christ reflects itself to others through every part of our lives. This is represented now by the Daughters of Jerusalem describing the Shulamite and the results of her being with the king. The description they give, is in the MidEastern tradition and is pregnant with meaning, although there is only space here to give a very brief explanation of Song of Sol. 7:1-5...

Day 2 FEET--shod with the gospel of peace. Isa 52:7 / Ephesians 6:15

Day 3 THIGHS--strength formed by God. II Corinthians 12:9-10

Day 4 NAVEL & BELLY--speaks of what she is inwardly and of one who has partaken of the Lords body & blood. Galatians 2:20/ Colossians 2:9-10

Day 5 BREASTS--capacity of faith and love (twins) to feed others. Song of Sol 7:3/ John 21:17b/ I Peter 5:2

Day 6 NECK-- the will of man- strong and upright in the Lord's purpose. Phillipians 2:13

Day 7 EYES--reflect a heart free from sin and at peace with God. Hebrews 10:22

Day 8 NOSE--she has a sense for what is high and holy. I Timothy 6:11

Day 9 HEAD--her whole mind and heart expressed the superior knowledge and power of heavenly things. I Corinthians 2:16/ Philippians 2:5

Day 10 LOCKS (HAIR)--extraordinary devotion so that believers such as this one may take hold of the Lord and thus their petitions cannot lack an answer. In Old Testament times a NAZARITE was a man or woman that made a special vow of separation to the Lord. Their uncut hair was one sign of this vow. Numbers 6:1-5/ Judges 13:5 / I Samuel 1:11

The King Finishes The Bride's Description

Read Song of Solomon 7:6-9

The Lord Himself now speaks of her maturity. He wants to have fellowship with us and now in this maiden there is something to take hold of and seek out. He mentions three aspects of her mature life that are especially satisfying to Him...

Day 11 #1- Her capacity to feed others (Breasts) --Song of Sol.7:6-7/John 15:5

Day 12 #2- Her developed organ of smell. A fragrance comes from her that results from previous contacts and experiences with Him. Song of Sol. 7:8 / II Corinthians 2:14-15

Day 13 #3- The Holy Spirit so fills her that He pours from her like the best wine in her thoughts and words. Song of Sol.7:9 / Galatians 5:22-23/ Ephesians 5:9

Co-Worker With The Lord

Read Song of Solomon 7:10-13

Day 14 When our heart is wholly given to God, our main concern is for HIS work and HIS satisfaction as this bride exemplifies. We become eager to enter into the Lord's work with Him and it is in the midst of these pursuits that our love can be expressed to Him. John 17:4/ Acts 20:24

Longings of The Bride

Read Song of Solomon 8:1-4

Day 15 As we grow deeper with Christ there is a realization that the presence of our outer man imposes limitations upon our spirit within. In ancient Israel, public kissing was against all decency except between blood relatives like brother and sister. The bride feels restrained and unable to display adequately to the world the reality of His loveliness and the depth of her love. She longs to give to Him all the best and then rest with Him in it.Song of Sol. 8:1-3/ Deuteronomy 6:5/ Ephesians 5:2

Day 16 Others will always demand that we meet this or that demand, but the Lord has times of rest for us and these need to be respected. Song of Sol. 8:4/ Mark 1: 35-37

It is Through The Bride That Attention is Drawn to Her Bridegroom

Read Song of Solomon 8:5

Day 17 She is coming up from a wilderness of spiritual poverty and wandering and is reminded by the king that He chose her from the very beginning as the object of His love. This is the same way God has chosen us and raised us up when only a poor sinner and saved us by His grace. Ephesians 2:8/ Romans 5: 5-11,15/ Romans 8:32

The Bride Asks For The Assurance of Love

Read Song of Solomon 8:6-7

Day 18 The bride longs that she'll always have a place in her Beloved's heart and that the strength of His love will uphold her. She now knows her own weakness and helplessness to even love and hold the Lord. His response is magnanimous and is a lovely example to us that God's love is free and generous. Song of Sol. 8:7/ Jeremiah 31:3/ John 3:16/ I John 3:1

Together in The Work

Read Song of Solomon 8:8-10

Day 19 Being freed from anxiety on her own account the bride now asks for guidance to work with her beloved in helping an immature believer ("little sister"). When we are certain of God's love and provisions for ourselves then we are totally free to devote our energies with God for others. Song of Sol. 8:8 / I Corinthians 3:9 / Mark 16:20

Day 20 A person's will makes the crucial choice between spiritual life and death. If this immature believer can resist temptation (i.e. be a wall), then there can be constructed upon her life all that is high and noble derived from redemption (i.e. a battlement of silver). Song of Sol. 8:9a / Ephesians 6:13

Day 21 But, if she permits temptation to come through (i.e. be a door) they will help her by taking strong and hard measures (enclose her with boards of Cedar) to protect her from it. Song of Sol. 8:9b/ I Corinthians 10:13/ Hebrews 2: 18

Day 22 The bride herself declares at this time what had resulted in her own life for choosing to be a wall (i.e.. resist temptation). Her faith and love had grown to full maturity (her breasts were like towers) and her life now expressed the true peace that comes from being united with her bridegroom. Our decisions for or against God in our daily affairs are important and ultimately declare what we will become. Song of Sol.8:10/ Ephesians 4:14-15

Work Beyond Duty

Read Song of Solomon 8:11-12

Day 23 It is through the vineyards (the business of secular life) that God teaches us about the practical affairs of life and how to be a faithful steward in the smallest detail. She had gotten beyond the service of duty and worked in the free service of love. Not only did Solomon profit from her vineyard, but all the workers that assisted as well. Psalm 40: 8

To Love God Himself is Better Than Just Doing His Work!

Read Song of Solomon 8:13-14

Day 24 She is now busy with the work and others are dependent on her for advise and direction. But has she become too involved in the work and neglected the one she loves for Him to have to ask to hear her voice? Revelation 2:2-4

Day 25 Just this simple reminder from her Beloved to hear her voice made her instantly aware that she was loving her work more than Him. Thus she makes an appeal similar to Song of Sol 2:7, calling for a return to fellowship. Song of Sol. 8:14

(Is this not the same mistake many Christians make when the work takes priority over those times when we were just content to sit with the Saviour and love Him? )

Day 26 And so the song ends with the important thought that to love the person of Christ is more important than just doing the work of Christ. The work will flow and be accomplished when our priority is to love our Lord first. Deuteronomy 6:5/ 10:12/ 11:1 (Notice the order in these verses between loving and serving).

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