DAY 13 - WHEN LOVE IS TESTED

Updated: Mar 10, 2020



INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Read the Bible verses related to each devotion.

  2. Then follow the actions and prayers for yourself and a nonbeliever at the bottom of the page.


READ Song of Solomon 2




A friend of mine is getting married in a few weeks, and it is going to be a perfect wedding. This young man is absolutely amazing. He is truly a sign and a wonder of God’s redemptive mercy and grace. He grew up in a hard situation, fatherless, and essentially raised by his grandparents. They ran a small rural black church, where his grandma was the preacher. If you don’t know anything about this kind of church, then let me tell you a few things. First, you can’t get away with anything in a small-town church. Second, you have to stay extra long all the time; you are the first to arrive and the last to leave a service that really doesn’t have any official start or end time. Third, you learn to pray. More out of necessity than anything. Last, you have to learn to play some type of instrument, which he did. And man can he sing. Oh, and by the way his first kiss will be at the wedding. (Yeah, he is that kind of guy.) I know that he will make a great husband, and she will make a great wife.


The girl he is marrying is equally a saint. She is pretty, smart, can sing like an angel, and has a heart of deep tender love for Jesus. I have prayed with her for hours at a time and her intense desire to search and find Jesus is evident. Her song writing ability is unmatched, and her compassion for people warms your heart and makes you smile. So then, let’s talk about what will happen on their honeymoon.


They have been graciously gifted a place to stay for a week. I asked him what they would do in their spare time. He talked about the pool, walks, and lunch by the river’s edge. Of course, they will undoubtedly sleep in. This is the privilege of every newly married couple. There will be late night dinners with nowhere in particular to go and conversations that are worthy of a Hollywood movie. And there will not be any friends stopping by. So, they will just have time to themselves. What do you think will happen on the last morning?


I assume when they get up, they won’t be able to sleep as late, because they will have to be out of the hotel before check out time. They may shower, pack up, load the car, and go get breakfast. Probably in a local coffee shop with a unique breakfast twist. Definitely something out of the ordinary. Then they will begin to make their way home and come into their new apartment. This will be the first time they enter the home as a married couple (he might carry her over the threshold). Most likely, a friend will have gotten them a gift, left it in their apartment, and they will talk about it. Next, they will slowly make and eat dinner, and then go to bed. What will my friend do the next morning?


Let me ask you a question. What would his new wife think if he showed up the next morning with his bags packed, wearing army fatigues, carrying a gun, with an intensely serious look in his eyes. How would she respond? I assume she would freak out, and wonder what happened to her gentle, loving, new found husband. Imagine if he then explained to her that there was a distant war he had to go to. A war against some really evil people. And then he pops the big question. Will you leave all this to go to war with me? And this is where we pick up the story of the Shulamite and the king Solomon.


Read Song of Solomon 2:8-14


"The voice of my beloved!

Behold, he comes

Leaping upon the mountains,

Skipping upon the hills.

9 My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.

Behold, he stands behind our wall;

He is looking through the windows,

Gazing through the lattice.

10 My beloved spoke, and said to me:

“Rise up, my love, my fair one,

And come away.

11 For lo, the winter is past,

The rain is over and gone.

12 The flowers appear on the earth;

The time of singing has come,

And the voice of the turtledove

Is heard in our land.

13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs,

And the vines with the tender grapes

Give a good smell.

Rise up, my love, my fair one,

And come away!

14 “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,

In the secret places of the cliff,

Let me see your face,

Let me hear your voice;

For your voice is sweet,

And your face is lovely.”


I want to go through this section by section to lead you on a journey; an amazing love story between a man and a woman. But remember this is more than just a story about king Solomon. It is also a story about the Bride and Bridegroom. It is a story about you and God’s untold affection for you. And lastly, but oh so importantly, it is a story about maturing in love; your journey of growing in love. To go from one season to the next. If you are wise, you will pay attention to these next few paragraphs and learn. What you learn may save you time and pain. You will grow up quicker and closer to God’s love, because you know the way, and you will actually be able to give your friend good advice. Instead of agreeing with them and being dragged down by the same rut they were in last year. Let’s look at this line by line.


“The voice of my beloved!

Behold, he comes

Leaping upon the mountains,

Skipping upon the hills.”


She now sees the king in the most intense way, and she is thinking this is not the guy I signed up to spend the rest of my life with. Instead of waking up and having coffee, he is shouting, running across the mountain tops, talking about a distant country far away. In the same way our own walk with God takes this turn as He calls us from one season to the next. You may have started your walk with God in this amazingly awesome and delicate season. There was seemingly nothing wrong. Every worship song was amazing. Your Bible reading times were energizing, and every conversation with others was remarkable. But then something changes. You don’t feel God like you used to, conversations aren’t the same, and you may become a little confused or fearful at this time, because this is not what you signed up for.


“My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.

Behold, he stands behind our wall;

He is looking through the windows,

Gazing through the lattice.”


She refers to king Solomon as a gazelle or a young stag. He is vibrant, powerful, and ready to run! But he is standing behind their wall. He is not coming to morning breakfast for coffee. Instead, he is standing outside of their breakfast spot, intensely staring, his eyes telling a story of a far-off place, a battle yet to come, and his every motion is asking a question of her heart. You might have started out your walk with God, and it was awesome. But then one day, it changes. God's eyes, His devotion, His plan, His divine will stares intensely at you. And that once comfortable chair, bed, or luxury, no longer seems so comfortable—when He gazes fiercely at you with those piercing eyes!


My beloved spoke, and said to me:

“Rise up, my love, my fair one,

And come away.


Then it comes. King Solomon, the one that found her in the field, the one that saved her from a job of toil, the one that brought her into the chamber, the one that has given her the finest things—beckons her to come away from the very comfort he gave her. The fairy tale is over, or is it actually just beginning? In your life, there is that day when God calls you. It may come right away, or it may not. But He will call. He is not coming to sit in the same spot anymore. Instead, He is faithfully determined to go to war.


For lo, the winter is past,

The rain is over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth;

The time of singing has come,

And the voice of the turtledove

Is heard in our land.

The fig tree puts forth her green figs,

And the vines with the tender grapes

Give a good smell.


The springtime is when all kings go to war. Actually, they plan all year, carefully watching the harvest to see if their kingdom will have a bountiful harvest season, one where they can provide for the kingdom and the army—then they go to war. If the season is good, then they can provide; if it is bad, then the nation is in trouble. You see at that time, there were no stores to go to. You grew what you ate. And a king had to go to war to protect his kingdom, or else they may end up being taken over by the kingdom next door, and his household destroyed by the enemy. In the same way, Jesus is battling a very real enemy—satan. He is trying to destroy your household, your neighbors, your city, your nation and the nations of the earth. And Jesus is going to war. Will you come?


“Rise up, my love, my fair one,

And come away!”


King Solomon was calling her to come away and go to war. He had awakened her in love. He shared his heart, speaking tenderly and affectionately to her, while meeting her every need. But then he calls for her to go to war. It is more than just going to war. He wants to share a part of himself with her. This is about intimacy! There is coming a time when Jesus will share His heart with you. He will call you out of your comfort zone and bring you where He is. The safest place is where He is. If He is out of the boat, walking on the water, that is the safest place. And with Him is the only place you will know more about Him—the source of true love.


“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,

In the secret places of the cliff,

Let me see your face,

Let me hear your voice;

For your voice is sweet,