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Do not stir up love until it pleases

This morning we see the joy it is of admiring first love beauty and then enjoying it under the blessing of God in marriage. This parallels Christ's love for us.

Song of Solomon 3:The Bride's Dream

1 [She ] On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not.

2 I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not.

3 The watchmen found me as they went about in the city. "Have you seen him whom my soul loves?"

4 Scarcely had I passed them when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him, and would not let him go until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her who conceived me.

5 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.

Solomon Arrives for the Wedding

6 What is that coming up from the wilderness like columns of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the fragrant powders of a merchant?

7 Behold, it is the litter of Solomon! Around it are sixty mighty men, some of the mighty men of Israel,

8 all of them wearing swords and expert in war, each with his sword at his thigh, against terror by night.

9 King Solomon made himself a carriage from the wood of Lebanon.

10 He made its posts of silver, its back of gold, its seat of purple; its interior was inlaid with love by the daughters of Jerusalem.

11 Go out, O daughters of Zion, and look upon King Solomon, with the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, on the day of the gladness of his heart.

Song of Solomon 4:Solomon Admires His Bride's Beauty

1 [He ] Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful! Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Gilead.

2 Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes that have come up from the washing, all of which bear twins, and not one among them has lost its young.

3 Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth is lovely. Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate behind your veil.

4 Your neck is like the tower of David, built in rows of stone; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors.

5 Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that graze among the lilies.

6 Until the day breathes and the shadows flee, I will go away to the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense.

7 You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.

8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride; come with me from Lebanon. Depart from the peak of Amana, from the peak of Senir and Hermon, from the dens of lions, from the mountains of leopards.

9 You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

10 How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!

11 Your lips drip nectar, my bride; honey and milk are under your tongue; the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.

12 A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a spring locked, a fountain sealed.

13 Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates with all choicest fruits, henna with nard,

14 nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all choice spices---

15 a garden fountain, a well of living water, and flowing streams from Lebanon.

16 Awake, O north wind, and come, O south wind! Blow upon my garden, let its spices flow. Together in the Garden of Love [She ] Let my beloved come to his garden, and eat its choicest fruits.

Things to think about…

1.Always in the Song of Solomon there are literal and allegorical meanings to be taken. Let's look at both in SofS 3:1-5. Here the young bride is seeking after her husband to be. In a literal sense, we can seek after a life partner and this is not wrong, so long as this desire is not greater than the desire to seek after the heavenly husband, our Saviour Jesus. Paul says if you desire to get married, then do so, you have not sinned. But the advice here is "do not waken love until it pleases", SofS 3:5, repeated again. The feeling needs to be mutual. The second allegorical truth is that even though our husband 'Jesus', seeks after us and brings us to Himself, there is a very real sense that we must seek after and look for Him. When we find Him we must 'not let him go', SofS 3:4. Keep seeking after our wonderful Saviour even if it is at night 'spiritually' and a dark time. You may have to lose some sleep, to find Him, but your salvation is worth it!

2.In SofS 3:6-11 we see Solomon coming to sweep his bride away. A man in love will stop at nothing to get his girl. Unmarried women, if he is not totally distracted by you and consumed with pursuing you, then he is not interested in the way that he should be. As a result, neither should you be. The man must be a pursuer of you. If he isn't, forget it. In like manner Christ pursues us until we surrender. Hallelujah, we have a Saviour who loves us more than we love our sin. Just think about that for a minute.

3.Why is Solomon so distracted with this middle eastern beauty? What a ridiculous question. Look at her, SofS 4:1-11, she is a veritable Noah's ark, being described as a dove, goat, ewe, fawn and gazelle with all the fruit besides. But seriously, she is 'all together lovely', just as we are to Jesus. Do you ever feel that you are not worthy? Sometimes others can make us feel like this, especially if we long for an earthly relationship that would bring us comfort. Christ of course makes us worthy, because of His sacrifice, we are perfect, and are made pure without spot or blemish before Him. Is there anything better? You know there isn't.

4.Look at the SofS 4:12-16. Solomon wants to so desperately to be with her and yet look, she is a locked garden, a spring locked, a fountain sealed, vs 12 – she is a virgin. Young ladies who are not married, may I say this, the most cherished gift you can give your future husband is your virginity. Keep it and hold onto it and let no lust filled thief come in and steal it from you. You never get it back of course. I would say this also for the young men. Your first love should remain and always be your first love. If you have been abused or have abused others by lacking self-control (shamefully I am in this boat), there is wonderful news. Jesus sees us as pure, chaste, faithful virgins before Him. There is no guilt or shame in Christ. The past has gone and we are new creatures in Christ. Find time to rejoice in this truth again today!

5.There is a time to be joined with your husband. The young bride says 'Let my beloved come to his garden', SofS 4:16. What a joy that is for a young married couple who have waited. As a church, let us never cease in doing good in making sure purity is exalted and marriages are strengthened. Encourage someone in their marriage today, even if it is your own.

Vision Point

CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.

Sunday morning's message on "What's the point?" from Eccl 8 and 9.

1.Solomon begins the book of Ecclesiastes and continues throughout by saying "Vanity of vanities" all is vanity. What does Solomon mean? Why would he say life is vain – effectively saying it is without purpose or meaning?

2.Read Eccl 9:3. What is the significance of this verse? Is man full of evil? Solomon says "after that they go to the dead". How is this related to the fall? Was it meant to be that way in the beginning in the Garden of Eden?

3.Read and explain the meaning of Eccl 9:7-10. How do you achieve this in your own life?

4.How can we ultimately be at peace with Solomon's final conclusion of the book, Eccl 12:12-14?

Prayer Points

1.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.

2.Next Sunday's messages. Song of Solomon "You are God's gift to me" in the morning, "What's it like to be loved"– Axiom 6pm.

3.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop.

4.New folk as they settle in to the life of CBC.

5.Recharge – Pray for someone to take over Recharge.

6.Church finances – Pray all expenses are met and that we can again support Digital Harvest and One for Israel.

7.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.


Praise Points.

1.More visitors on Sunday

2.New visitors settling in.

3.New ministries being considered – Outreach opportunities and Church services

4.Unity, love and peace


Announcements

1.Backwell group - Hosting morning tea on Sunday morning.

2.Playpatch – Back this week. Carly Backwell leads this ministry.

3.Recharge– back this week. Pete Alback leads high schoolers from 7-9pm Friday nights at church..

4.Kids at Church – back this Sunday.

5.Members Meeting – 18th August after morning service.

6.Mapleton Women's retreat – Fri August 23rd- Sun Aug 25th. Cost $175. More details here https://www.anewconference.org.au/conferences/mapleton


This month's catechism question...

Q. 2. In whose name should we pray?
A. Only in the name of Christ.

Bible Reference – John14:13&14; John 16:23&24; Heb.4:14-16.


"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3

Pastor Jay

The bride searches for her husband
The Song which is Solomon's