Old Testament: Solomon 5:1-8:14
Solomon 5:1-8:14 Get A Room
Solomon must’ve learned something by having 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 4:32). He must’ve learned that 2 Cor. 6:14-15 was true, not to be bound together with unbelievers. He extols monogamy in Song of Solomon. He also encourages premarital chastity based on verses like Song of Sol. 4:12, 8:9. Perhaps Solomon writes this book from the vantage of one who has made mistakes.
Although Song of Solomon can be considered quite explicit in its depiction of marital love, it strikes one as pure unlike the secular depictions of sex in contemporary media.
Here is the breakdown of the rest of Song of Solomon:
Chapters 5:1 . . . continuation of the wedding night description
Chapters 5:2-6:13: post-marital friction, the real marriage begins . . . she shuts Solomon out but then realizes what an idiot she’s been . . . they reconcile around v. 3
Chapters 7:1-8:7: more praise of each other, this couple really likes each other!
Chapters 8:8-8:14 this is the story of the Shulammite (from Lebanon actually) when she was younger . . . her brothers were going to protect her, if she was a “wall” (v. 9) they won’t worry about her, if she was a “door” in other words a “loosey goosey,” they’d keep a watch on her. She turned out to be a “wall” (v. 10). Where are the brothers in this day and age?
New Testament: 2 Corinthians 9:1-15
2 Corinthians 9:1-15 Happy Reapers
The centerpiece of this section is verses 6-7. If anyone gives away a lot, it will be returned to him. Someone has said that if you sow, you will reap what you sow, more than you sow, and later than you sow. This may not be true. It may be true. More than likely a person will reap more than they sow in the sense that it may be spiritual blessings, even if material things are sowed. Judging from the life of Paul, he gave materially but we don’t see him driving around in a new luxurious chariot, do we? But we can have no doubt that he reaped bountifully and is reaping bountifully now in Heaven.
If we are not careful, we can fall into the error expressed recently by the wife of one of the most famous televangelists. She said whatever we do we should do for ourselves not for God! She said God would want it that way! Wow! But isn’t that how most Christians act? When they’re serving God, aren’t many of them really just serving themselves, thinking they’ll get something from God for being good?
Verse 7 says that we should not give from “compulsion” or “grudgingly.” This pretty much rules out “tithing,” doesn’t it? (See commentaries The Meaning Of Life and What’s In Your Wallet?.) God wants us to give out of love. Our relationship should be built on the foundation of agape love.
The promise in verses 8-11 is that if we give with the right attitude, God will make sure we have all that we need. Further, God will supply not only for all believers but the result will be praise to God (vv. 12-14). Paul ends in praise to God for Christ who is responsible for all the generosity moving amongst the churches.
Psalm 51:1-19 Con Fessin’ A Lament Psalm by David
Proverbs 22:24-25 An Angry Whiner
There was a traveling teacher who used to instruct young women not to marry a man who was prone to anger. There wasn’t a lot that he used to teach that was of value, that certainly was good advice. People who imbibe too much alcohol tend to develop problems with drinking. They are also prone to anger. That is probably why the Bible has many warnings about tanking on spirits (cf. Prov. 20:1, 21:17, 31:4; Eph. 5:18; 1 Pet. 4:3-4; Isa. 5:11-12).
In general it is not good to hang with someone with an anger problem (v. 24). You could end up being like him (v. 25a; cf. 1 Cor. 15:33). Then you find yourself being in the same kind of trouble he finds himself in (v. 25b).
Choose Life: Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:7c NASB “Cheers!”
” . . . for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7c NASB
Why would God love “a cheerful giver”? God is trying to make us like Himself. He is a cheerful giver! He wants us to enjoy giving just as He does.
Don’t be fooled by the rip-off artists that tell you that you must give ten percent or you are disappointing God. They want you to give to them so you are disappointing them if you don’t give them ten percent. After all, they have budgets to meet! Well, and mortgages to pay and other expenses!
Here’s the deal: God owns it all anyway (cf. Ps. 50:10, the “cattle on a thousand hills” are symbolic of everything )! If God owns everything, we are only stewards of what passes our way. We should look at everything we have and ask if we are spending and using it all the way God would want us to. It’s not just ten percent we are responsible for. Should we get a new car? Maybe. A new iPad. Possibly. Would God be pleased with us eating at an expensive restaurant? He might.
He cares about every little thing in our lives. He is not a kill-joy. He wants us to be happy but we shouldn’t be concerned with paying God “protection money.” Instead, we should try to please Him in everything we do and in everything we spend or save (cf. 2 Cor. 5:9).
When we look more to what we can give rather than what we can receive, then we, like God, will be cheerful (Phil. 2:4). Are you being a cheerful giver?
If you are, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
I was just thinking the other day. Why not be generous? God is. If someone has wronged you, why not give them that satisfaction and let God deal with it? Don’t you feel better about yourself when you are generous than when you are stingy? Peter said that, as Christians, sometimes we would be wronged (cf. 1 Pet. 3:17). Paul said sometimes it was better to be wronged (1 Cor. 6:7). Now, to be fair, Peter said it was OK to be wronged if “it was God’s will.” So we don’t have to be brainless about this. You don’t have to look for trouble to be spiritual. If it’s God’s will to be wronged, then we can leave any retribution up to God (cf. Rom. 12:19).
Is the Holy Spirit bringing to mind something you can be generous about? Be generous. No one likes a Silas Stingy.
The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength.
For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: Happy Reapers