The Song of Solomon is quite a book. It has entertained a lot of boys sitting through dull sermons. Some people have tried to justify its presence in Scripture as a metaphor of Christ and His bride, His church. I really don’t think so but I could be very wrong. I am wrong about much. However, it is true that God does think we are beautiful. Love is blind; even for God. Most likely it is because He knows what we will be. We are bundles of potentiality. In Revelation we are portrayed as the bride for Christ and have you ever seen a bride that isn’t beautiful? Beauty isn’t about the shape of a nose or cheekbones. It is the glow of happiness. That’s what I saw in the elderly lady in the restaurant.
I thought about not paying for my house insurance for my former teacher’s reason. Was my purchase of house insurance an act of disbelief in God’s promise? I don’t think so. I had to pay because I believe God expects us to do as much as we can to protect ourselves and He will do the rest. Actually it was He who made sure I had the funds to purchase the insurance.
Was my professor being foolish? I don’t think so. I believe God treats each of us in a unique manner. He knows our thoughts. He knows our levels of faith and why and how we arrive at our conclusions. Thus for me it would be foolish not to purchase insurance. But, what about people who have watched in agony as their children die because the parents would not seek modern medical care and trusted in prayer? God didn’t save their children because of their parent’s faith. So the issue is murky in my mind. There are so many issues about which I wish I knew more and someday I shall know. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all the answers?
Paul was an extremely well-educated man, who could hardly be classified as ignorant. Yet, he orchestrated the stoning of Stephen. Paul knew Scripture but, he didn’t know God. He never knew God until He met Jesus. To the Ephesians he wrote regarding those who don’t know Jesus, “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.”
He also wrote in Ephesians 4, “. . . we all reach unity in the faith in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ignorance is expensive because it retards our growth. When we learn about Jesus we can grow into the whole measure of being like Him. That knowledge equips us for an eternity of becoming. Let’s shed the “I want to go to heaven for material things.” Let’s want to go to heaven that we might understand the deepest secrets of the universe and that we might be everything God wanted us to be when He first said, “Let us make man in OUR image.”
God’s law isn’t burdensome unless we decide to make it so. It is a law of freedom. It frees us from the tyranny and violence of others. It gives us the guidance to be free from the retaliation of others, since they will have nothing to retaliate against because we haven’t harmed them. Actually, that only works if they are intelligent people. So often other’s selfishness wants to harm us when they see us living so well. They don’t understand. They think somehow we are cheating them. However, “Thou preparest a table before me. My cup runs over. Goodness and mercy follow me.” They just don’t understand that they too could have the same daily banquet. God isn’t playing favorites. Obedience bears good fruit. When we understand we get it. When we obey God we are obeying ourselves. The fruit is what we really want.
Psalm 119 tells us that God’s law makes us wiser than our teachers.
It’s been a quiet day in Leominster, Massachusetts. The sun drifted across the sky warming the maples and birches to 75 breezy degrees. It was a day to go into the backyard with a salt shaker and pick vine ripened tomatoes. We don’t have any tomato plants but we do have a generous neighbor who says, “Come and help me. I have zillions of tomatoes.”
One of the things I don’t like about the 21st century is the lack of children playing outside. We loved summer evenings in the 40s and 50s when everyone’s yard was a playground for all the children to play hide and seek and to fill a mason jar with lightning bugs. Fortunately the ice cream truck still creeps through the neighborhood playing Turkey in the Straw. But I do miss hearing “Ally Ally in Free” echoing down the street.
After reading the Gospel of John in one sitting I have this gut feeling that our God is frustrated. I think He has an urge to say something that just will not work. Have you ever wanted to say something but just couldn’t get it out? Is there someone you love but every time you start to tell them the words get caught in your throat? In a new relationship who will be the first to say, “I love you”? What if you say it and the other person doesn’t say it back? Does it sort of just hang out there in no man’s land?
God has certainly been able to tell us He loves us. He not only said it, He demonstrated it for thirty some years. Jesus was a walking “I love you” card. So what is it that He wants to say but can’t? “Ally Ally in Free.”