OT: Song of Solomon 1:1-4:16
What an interesting book. I mean, what do you do with it? Being married and all, I love the theme of it, though I don't foresee myself discussing it in detail on a blog:). I will just give a few comments:
1:2--Well. The author just jumps right in there, doesn't he?
1:5-6--I like how the woman in the poem is not physically perfect, and yet, she is okay with herself. She says, "Dark am I, yet lovely" (5). I think women have a tendency to let our culture's standards of beauty mess us up. The irony, I think, is that a lot of what is perceived as beauty lies in confidence. So when we let our culture's standards rob us in our confidence in ourselves, they kind of become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Also, I found it ironic that the cultural standard of the "beloved," was the opposite of what it is today. She feels self-conscious b/c she is tan. Ha! Today, we would be more likely to feel self-conscious being pale! The point is, this woman was not the mirror of what her society defined as beautiful, and yet both she and her "lover" were quite satisfied with her appearance.
2:7, 3:5--I like the advice the beloved gives to younger girls not to awaken love before it desires. I quote this verse to my teen girls a lot. I truly believe that the phenomenon we describe as "being in love" can happen to almost pubescent person, given the right physical proximity to another person and the right level of emotional need. I totally believe it when my teen girls earnestly tell me that they are in love. And yet, if they are not married, then they are going to have a hard time keeping their desires in check in order to please God, especially given the length of adolescence these days. When you have to wait ten years to get married, I'm thinking that's too long. So I urge them not to put themselves in emotionally compromising positions at such a young age. Keep their lives and relationships in perspective until their life circumstances make "being in love" a more feasible option. (Yes, I know. I'm a real romantic:).)
2 Cor. 8:16-24
Paul says he is sending Titus to collect the Corinthians' financial gift.
One of Asaph's psalms.
A proverb against exploiting the poor.