The spouse of Christ is now willing to labor, and to suffer for her husband, yea contented that sometimes joys be intermitted for labors and sufferings, which hereafter shall be exchanged into full and eternal joys: But this she is both willing and able to do through her Christ that strengthens her, and she is, contented to do it, so that he be ever with her, though not still smiling and embracing, yet still supporting and strengthening her: But she hears, and says she feels, that sometimes he withdrawals himself, and then her heart is full of woe, even woe other that is alone. Ecc. 4:10
She has left all things for him, for that she knew to be the price of him, and thought him well worth it; but now he for whom she has left all things, has left her, and so she is left of him and all things. Yea he seems not only to leave her, but to send terrors to her, eve terrors without and terrors within. Within, the remnants of the old husband stir up the loathed images of the old, not love, but lust; and though the head of this serpent be broken, yet the end of it will still be moving. And while she sees nothing but these ugly shapes in the dark night of desertions, she is affrighted at them, and at her own estate, for now she thinks this to her true and only estate, because she sees no other but this. And without the old enemy of souls, and the first cursed marriage-maker between the soul and sin, renews his old business, and would yet again make a bad match between the dying old man, and a living soul. And when he cannot bring the soul to consent, he will persuade her that she has consented, and strive to make her believe that she has done it, even because he cannot prevail to make her to do it. He would have had her to perish by giving her consent to sin, and seeing yea cannot do that, he will strive to destroy her,m by this desperate thought, that she is nothing but sin, and nothing else will be, seeing she is forsaken of him, who only takes away both the guilt and reign os sin.
And thus being filled with bitterness, if she look out to men for comfort, there she finds many miserable comforters that would and smite her. ( “Watchmen” Song 5) and if she meet with that one of a thousand, that speaks right words, and tells her true comforts, yet while the inward comforter is wanting that should turn the words into deeds, Job 6:6 they remain bare words, and are like the white of an egg, that has no taste in it. For the soul says still, call me not Naomi, but Marah. Ruth 1:20 for my Lord has dealt bitterly with me. Yet still she looks out for her husband, but sees him not: she calls to remembrance his former loves, that so she may enjoy him in the representations of her for enjoyings. But hen a world of fleshly and fearful thoughts rush in upon her, and with a cloud cover that sight of him which memory would give her: and if she yield not to them, she is vexed with importunity; and if she yield to them, she is vexed with guilt and self-accusation: the Tempter buffets her with sharp and thornie temptations, to drive her to yield; and when she yields, he buffets her with fearful accusations. Now what can be added to her misery. Her best friend is gone from her, and her worst enemies are round about her; yea her best friends seem to have surrendered her into the hands of her worst enemies; for she feels a mighty force of her enemies, but no strength of her beloved.
Therefore her heart fails her, and she thinks that she has wholly lost both herself and him. Song of Songs 5. I opened (says she) to my beloved, but my beloved had withdrawn himself and was gone; I sought but I could not find him, I called him. but he gave no answer. The watchmen that went about the City, found me they smote me, they surrounded me.
But ye be of good comfort, thou weary, wounded, and deserted soul: your husband is a God that comforts the abject, that makes light to shine out of darkness, that gives refreshing to the weary and heavy-laden, that brings life out of death. Your Lord has called you as a woman forsaken, and grieved in Spirit, and as a wife of youth, when you were refused, says your God. For a small moment he has forsaken you, but with great mercies will he gather you.
A first advantage then, that may come to the soul by the desertions of her husband, is by desertions to prevent desertions; for by losing him shed may learn not to loose him, and by the miseries of her former ill keep him, learn hereafter to keep him better. Perchance you were to careless in holding him when you had him, or in admitting him when he came to visit you, and to bring your faults to remembrance, that by remembering them you may amend them, he is now gone from you. Remember wether you did not hear such a voice as this; Open to me my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled; for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.
Remember also wether this was not your answer: I have put off my coat, how shall I put it on again? I have washed my feet, how shall i defile them? You have taken up some rest in the flesh, and have put yourself into a method of ease, and then it was a marring of your method, and a fowling of you feet, to step into any action of passion for your beloved. He that was they true happiness, was grown very cheap to thee, and you were content to part with him rather than give the price of a little pains for him; and are you not well worthy to lose him, whom you thought so little worth the keeping?
But now you are put to learn the value of him by absence, whom you did so much undervalue being present. Song 5:10 And when by absence you have learned this lesson, you have gained more by absence, than you would have done by presence; For you have gained the true valuation of you lord by absence, which through your fault and frailty you forgot in his presence: and so by this first gain you shall come to a second;
For by absence you will gain His presence. For absence having taught you truly to value him, and accordingly to desire and thirst after him due entertainment, when he comes hereafter and offers his love unto you; then will you by this benefit of absence, come to enjoy His presence. Your fullness brought you to hunger, and your hunger now brings you to fullness; For he fills the hungry with good things, and the full he sends empty away. He will fill you not only with good things, but with gooness itself; for he will fill you with Himself, and he is goodness; yea you will yet have a farther gain by this absence, for when he comes again, you will hold him faster, and keep him surer, and so enjoy him nearer and longer. Now you will embrace him, and cleave to him, and wind yourself about him, and when your eye sleeps, your heart shall wake, that you may still keep his presence, whose absence was so bitter to you. You will bring him into the chamber of the soul, and bind him with the cords of love, you will clasp you affections about him, and hold him fast that he may no more escape from you:
And being thus bound by the cords of love, and love loving to be bound by love, he willingly abides in the bands which he loves: for both love and faith are might with the Almighty, and make the spouse an Israel, even a prevailer with God. Gen. 32:28; Luke 7:37. She that loves Christ much, may embrace him much, and kiss him much, and hold him much; and if any man do trouble her, he himself will say, Why trouble you the woman? she has done a beautiful thing. Mat. 26:10 And thus thrives the spouse by her losses, while by losing her husband for a time, shed loves him better, and being returned, enjoys him the more, and holds him stinger and longer.
But secondly, there is yet a father use and benefit of desertions. For it may be you have gone beyond neglect of your beloved, and have proceeded unto some offensive, cross and contrary carriage toward him; you have entertained some thought, purpose or act, which he cannot endure, and then it is best both for him and you, that he hide himself from you. If you come once to entertain his enemies, and to lodge them in one room with him, how can you expect but that he should leave that room, since her is no agreement between light and darkness, between Christ and Belial; And surely he should neither regard himself, nor thee, if her should give you his loves, when you entertain his enemies. For since you husband is you happiness, the enemies of you husband are the enemies of you happiness and both his and thine enemies.
Therefore it is a good that your friend should for a while go aside, when that you grieve him, and hurry yourself by the entertainment of his and your enemies. And while thus he is hid from you, and you are left to those enemies whom you have entertained instead of him, you may learn what odds there is between a friend and an enemy; and wha a folly it was to grieve him that loved you, by loving them that hate you. You have perchance had a touch with you old husband the flesh, and jealousy, Prov. 6:34 (which is the rage of a man, much more of a man that is a jealous God) is angry with your whorishness, and puts a day of wrath upon you, whirring he seems not to spare you.
Therefore your conscience is let lose upon you, and it tears you to pieces, it breaks you bones, and grinds you to powder. Satan also who tempted you has leave to set upon you, and to tear you with vexations, whom he had seduced by temptations, And now are you left as it were wholly in hell, who wouldest entertain a piece of hell into thy heaven. And indeed it is both a just and merciful dispensation to tire you with your own ways , to make the flesh to com out at you nostrils, to make you weary of your enemies, and to make you long, and look groan, and cry for your friend whom you have grieved, and driven out of your sight. Therefore is heaven shut up, and become as brass unto you, and hell has enlarged her mouth to swallow you: yea you are like Jonah in the belly of hell; you are like nebachandnezzar cut down by the commandment of the holy one, and driven away from men to the beast of the field, you are like sampson, when his locks were cut off, the good Spirit leaves you, and the evil Spirits like Pilgrims are upon you.
But has God forgotten to be merciful? and has he shut up his tender mercies in an everlasting displeasure? Will he break the bruised reed, and deliver up the soul of his turtle dove into the hands of her enemies completely? Nay, we shall not die O Lord; You have ordained them for judgement. Hab 1:12 and O mighty God you have established them for correction. The enemies of the soul are suffered to scourge her for loving her enemies; so to beat that love out of her, and to beat her into the old love from which in some great degree she was fallen. Thus is she beaten by her enemies from her enemies, and the stripes sent her from her friend, bring her back to him that sent them. She had grieved the spirit of her beloved, and by the grieve of her own spirit she now learns what eh grieve of a grieved spirit is , and thereby learns to grieve him no more.
Hereupon she resolves to cast out whatsoever has offended him, and to put on that singleness and purity of soul, which makes her one for one, and one fitted by holiness for that one who is holy. She will be his alone, whose alone she is, and from henceforth she will scorn and hate any sin that will offer to be a rival with her well beloved, and especially that sin, whose rivalry has lately cost her so dear, as the loss of his familiarity. And the soul being thus washed and trimmed by repentance, holy resolutions, and renewing her convenient, the bridegroom of the soul appears to her again, and gives her his loves. And now is she like a garden watered after a scorching heat; the heart being overcome by moisture, makes her more flourishing, and more fruitful: the belly of hell having vomited up the soul of a Saint, (because it could not digest her) she then runs much more readily in the ways of Gods commandments. The stump of the tree ( for it was not pulled up by the roots) Springs and flourishes again being watered with the dew of heaven, and is more glorious than before by a greater acknowledgement and glorifying of the Lord of glory. The hair (for it is only pulled) grows again, and so does the strength of the Spirit, and greater exploits are done against the enemies of the soul, than ever before. For the soul having been long kept fasting, feeds more heartily on the bread of life; and this being the true bread that strengthens the heart of man, the more feeding on it, the more strength of heart:
A long dryness of spirit has made her very thirsty, and the more thirsty she is, the more does she drink of the waters of like; and the more shed drinks of life, the more lively and active she is. The late breach of love increases her love, and by love her union with her Lord and Husband: and the increase of that union is the increase of holiness, and happiness.
These are the first two advantages page 102-133
Saved in 2000 at age 27. Nearly immediately I fell in love with the Song and grew very fast the first two years memorizing large portions of scripture purifying my mind the started chewing on meat to soon and struggled for 12 years and Christ has me on track like always but I just took the long way around and now I love leading others closer to Christ by seeing His love reflected in Solomons love for an enemy slave girl.
I have experienced God's love to me in the Song in ways that words can't express. There are many portion of the Word where she experiences extra ordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God. If you have a burning desire for a close intimate relationship with God by experiencing His Love to you over and over again at greater and greater heights, depths, lengths and breaths then The Song of Songs is where you need to be.
I can help you with this process of Growing in the experience of God's love. As of 7-23-16 I have experienced everything prior to chapter 8. The Song of Song is progressive in experience. Meaning that if you are mature then you can experience the joys and extraordinary outpourings of God's Love shed abroad in your heart.
If you are not so mature then the delights in the first chapter of the Song will satisfy your thirst for experiencing the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Many Christian are living in sin because they do not know how to experience God's love and get hooked on Loving Him. It feels good to be loved and to love Him. His burden is not heavy and His yoke is light, Jesus said in Matt. 10:28
I believe God wants to use me to help beautify His Bride through the Song of Solomon.
If you see the book literally you will not understand nor grasp the Love God has for you. If you see the book and the verses in it relating to Christ's love to you then I would love to show you how to experience this Love to the fullest. I will pray for you daily and guide you every step of the way.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
I grew up going to church but was a hypocrite. I lived my life how I chose but went to church on Sunday because my family went.
Mom and Dad divorced when I was about 5.
About this time I was sexually abused by "Bob" a made up name. This incident changed my life for the worst. I had no clue how to deal with it.
As I got older I grew in my hatred for Bob. I didn't blame anyone of my family because I was to young to know any better. Some of what happened during the abuse was in a bathroom. So overtime I would use the bathroom and look at my private parts that night would replay in my mind. My hatred for Bob would continue to grow each time.
Now I know this only happened to me one night. I can't image the pain other's go through who have had this happen to them over and over. Even as I write this now I cry with many tears for those hurting. God love you even though you may not know it or feel it. Go to Him in your time of need.
I was a really bad teenager. I only cared about myself and not even my family. I always came first in my mind. Even at the expense of hurting others. I was growing in my hatred for God by now.
I was going to church and was learned that God was in control. I thought well, if God was in control then He must have let me be sexually abused. I didn't understand this, How could a good and loving God allow this. I hated Him for it. My hatred for Bob grew as well. I was still using the bathroom and memories kept coming back. My heart grew even harder for Bob and God. As far as I was concerned God would have nothing to do with my life so I lived even worse. I thought I would be in jail or dead and I really didn't care, I thought it could be much worse than reliving your painful past over and over again. Little did I know that God's plan later would be to use these events to give me a burning passion for the closest most intimate love relationship with Himself through Christ mainly through the love poem in the Song of Songs in the Bible.
I remember hating Bob so much that the only thing that would relieve my pain was actually thinking he would suffer forever for what he did. I grew so much in my hatred for him that I had to continue to think that he would get even worse than what I imaged before. After some time I would only be relieved of hatred for him unless I thought he would burn in a hotter and hotter hell for all the suffering he put me through.
I never told my mom or family what happened, although I think some of them knew something had happened.
I grew up quite rebellious and even went to jail at the age of 20. I was living the fast life pursuing all my sinful desires and wanting more. It never seemed to be enough. I was quite happy in my sin but I just wanted more of it.
I lived life thinking I would die at a young age, riding motorcycle and living on the edge put me in the hospital many times and I should have been dead.
California at age 26.
I moved to California for a job opportunity at the age of 27. While trying to figure out what radio stations to program in my car, I ran across a RC Sproul talking about "people who have the faith that saves and people who only say that have faith" only the people who have the faith that saves will go to heaven. I thought "I don't think I have the faith that saves because my life was so bad." I searched the scriptures to try to get this faith. I found a church and thought people there could help me get this faith that saves. All along God kept showing me how sinful I was and that I deserved punishment from Him for living my life hating Him.
One weekend I read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John desperately trying to find out how to get this faith that saves. By now I knew that if you had the faith that saves that Jesus would be saving you from a life of sin. I still liked my sin and Jesus sure wasn't saving me from a life of sin, so I rightly concluded that I didn't have the faith that saves.
By the time I got to John, I saw "believe" everywhere. John 3:16 and other verses and wow the whole book was written so that you may believe. John 20:31 "these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." So at night I would pray "I believe Jesus died for me, I believe, I believe. This was just an intellectual belief. I knew that in history and the Bible that Jesus died for everyone, so I believed it. But this belief did not change my life.
I would go on night after night saying the same prayer only to wake up the next day wanting to fulfill my sinful desires. The prayer wasn't working so I started to word it different each time hoping some prayer would work. After about 2 weeks of this I was fed up with it all, nothing was happening. I still was living in my sin and wanted more of it. A Christian hates their sin and does something about it, and certainly they don't continue to make plans to sin. The prayers weren't working so I gave up. I thought to myself "God, I tried with all my might, I searched the Scriptures, went to church, read the Bible and prayed all to no avail. If Im going to be saved your going to have to do it because I tried."
So I quit praying but still the Bible kept calling me so I read more. 3 Days later I was laying in a tanning bed and God convicted me really hard that I had offended Him by the life I was living. I was so scared of God, where could I run. You can't hide from God. It seemed like forever that I was under these terrors of being punished by a Holy Angry God. This lasted about 10 minutes then this is how I understood it. God let me understand that all that anger that He had for me for all my sin should come my way but He had poured that anger out on Jesus 2,000 years ago. I immediately started weeping an couldn't stop for about 20 minutes. All the sins that I could think of I confessed for that 20 minutes one after another after another, I was so sorrowful and grieved it physically hurt inside.
After I stopped crying I thought that was the weirdest thing that ever happened. I walked out of the tanning salon and stood outside and everything seemed so beautiful, the tree's, the birds, even the air seemed pleasant. Now I was really wondering what was going on.
I pondered all of this as I drove to work that day. I brought my Bible to work and was thinking what am I doing, I want to take my Bible to work so I can read it. As soon as I got to work I started reading my Bible. I couldn't believe what I was reading!! It all was so wonderful. It felt so good to just read my Bible. My client showed up and as I was training them the only thing I could think about was getting back to my Bible. I read all night and slept about 2 hours and was reading again.
I had sinful things in my apartment and I rounded everything evil up and threw it in the garbage. It was weird I was thinking but it felt good so I left it all in the garbage. I called my girlfriend to break it up and she thought I had another girl, I said no, I just think this is wrong we shouldn't be sleeping together. She didn't understand so I told her I was a Christian now and she still thought I had another girlfriend. She said "Im glad your a Christian, so am I" I thought to myself, "I have a strong conviction that sleeping together is wrong and she thought it was okay" I wondered how she could think that. Anyway we broke up.
I kept reading my bible and repenting, there was so much to repent of and I had lived a very sinful life. I was a thief for some part of my life and all the people I stole from kept coming to mind. I owed so much money. I was instantly in debt about $80,000. As I could I paid them back. As of 7-18-2016 I still owe about $25,000 but it sure is a joy to be paying them back.
The first week of being saved a car just about ran me over, they hit me but I wasn't hurt at all. The guy in the car felt so bad. I just looked at him and said "God bless you and have a great day, I am okay" smiled at him and moved on. Now I was really wondering what was going on because I normally would have cussed him out left and right and instead of cussing I blessed him. That was so weird. But again it felt good. I learned to do good by what my conscience told me was good and that it felt good. I got hooked on this feeling good by doing good and did it more often.
About two weeks after being saved I thought of Bob. I immediately prayed for him, something like "Lord help him.." then I stopped praying and said out loud "What am I doing?" I'm praying for a man that I hated my whole life, but it feels good and right, so I did it again. I stopped again midway in the prayer and started pacing around. I was trying to make sense of what was going on and couldn't figure it out. But again it made me happy to pray for him so I did. Bob would often come to mind when I went to the bathroom and each time I would pray for Him. The more I did this the less weird it got. And the greater my love grew for him.
I started memorizing large portions of scripture and this was wonderful because it felt like the words were cleaning my mind and as Proverbs 2:10 "For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul." I wanted more and more of this pleasantness. So I memorized even more and the joy got more and more.
Then this life changing advice came:
A friend from church told me to find a book of the Bible and really understand it. Read through the Bible and pick one and read it over and over and study it and really get it. So I started in Genesis and read through. When I got to Proverbs I really liked it so I thought that would be the book. I started by memorizing all of Proverbs chapter 3. After that I thought maybe there is a better book than Proverbs. So I read on. Then I came to Song of Solomon. I read it with quite some confusion. It wasn't as good as the other books, I didn't know why. So I bought a commentary on it. George Burrowes commentary on the Song of Solomon.
In the commentary I found that George and other saw the book as illustrating God's love to the Church. And not only illustrating it but displaying the Love of Christ better than any other book. This caught my attention big time, because I was having a burning desire for a closer relationship with God and desperately learning about His Love so that I could Love God. You see I had hated Him for so long that God used that old hard heart to spur me on in loving Him. I so much did not want to hate God anymore that I was on fire to learn to Love Him as much and as fast as possible. So here was a book that would help me do that. So I landed on the Song of Solomon. I committed to learning as much of this book as possible.
I memorized the first chapter and would repeat it often throughout the day. I didn't know much of what I was repeating but it sure made me happier and on fire for God. I grew so fast repeating the first chapter over and over again all day, like a dozen times a day at least. It felt so good and I never found any other book that caused me to weep so much. I would often weep everyday just reading it. I was to immature to know what was going on. Even though it hurt to weep so much, I felt like my heart was being cleansed from the filth that was in it by repeating it over and over again so I did. As I read the commentary I understood more and more. What God was doing in me through the Song was greater and faster than any other portion of Scripture so I tended to stay there often. I was so excited about God that I thought it funny that other's in church weren't the same way. Some where happy but it seemed most of them didn't seem to care much about God. They would talk about work, football the weather. The only thing I wanted to talk about was Jesus and God and how can I grow closer to Him.
About this time there was a mission trip to Ireland.
I started to have convictions that I should try to find Bob and witness to him. I kept praying for him but how could he be saved if he hadn't heard the Gospel that has power unto salvation. So I asked family if they had any information. Like me before, my family hated him and thought he deserved hell. After some time I got his name but no location or phone number. Either they didn't know where he was or didn't want to tell me. I prayed some more and then started to get stronger convictions to do something about finding Bob.
So I went on the internet and typed in "his name and child molestation sex offender court" thinking that some court record would have some info leading to where I may find him" I even talked to a private eye and he couldn't help. So I googled some key words and spent hours each day looking through each page. I believed it was God's will for me to witness to Bob. I wanted him to be saved. Really bad. So much so that I thought God would save Bob if I were to witness to him. So I didn't stop searching for him. I kept my computer on each day and went page by page. It took two years to go through about 15,000 pages but I found someone who matched his name in a prison for molesting his grandchildren. I wrote the prison and he wrote back. All kinds of emotions went through my body when I saw his letter from the jail. I didn't open it right away but two hours later God gave me enough courage to face my fears again and I opened the letter. He admitted to being the one who molested me. We wrote back and forth I told him I was angry before but now I was saved and that I loved him and believed God wanted me to talk to him. He read my letters over and over again. I shared the gospel in each one.
I got mad at Bob 2x. Once he said that he love me. I got really angry with him. He didn't love me. That night it was hard to love Bob, I had to call a friend to pray for me to repent, after he prayed I felt greater love for Bob. Then I wrote him back saying "I'm sorry but you can't say that you loved me. You did not love me you lusted after me." He admitted he didn't love as he should have and admitted that it was lust and sinful. Finally some conviction. Yet I only thought he was saying that because I was being nice to him. All his family had left him and he said I was the only "friend" he had.
Wether or not it was true Bob said that he had cancer in his arm and that the help the prison gives was not enough and if he had money he could see a different doctor and get help. I sent him some money and since I was in jail before I knew what it was like to be in there without money, so I sent him money.
About 4-5 months in the economy went down, it was 2008. Work was hard. I still sent him money and I had to work harder. This was a really good lesson for me because I had to "work hard for the benefit of someone who did not deserve it." This was one of the greatest blessing ever because I realized with great certainty that Jesus was in me. This is what Jesus did. Jesus worked his whole life for me and I didn't deserve it!! Christ was in me! This was one of the best feelings ever and it put me in worship for months.
Then a mission trip to Croatia.
Each time I had to leave my business and amazing as it is I was completely okay each time. I am a self employed personal trainer and it is normally absurd to just leave and start over, but each time I had enough work within 2 weeks of coming back. This is a flat out miracle. I trusted God to provide and he did. How many people can start up a business in 2 weeks. Only with the help of God. God was teaching me early on in my walk that as long as I did what He wanted me to do then I had nothing to worry about.
About 3 years saved now.
I Taught the 4 year old's at church Sunday morning for 10 years.
Left my business 2x for mission trips and God miraculously provided when I came back.
I taught 5 x a week plus held a job.
Sunday morning to the kids.
Sunday night with the 5th graders
Friday afternoons at Good News Clubs. Sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Friday Nights with the Kids teaching through Pilgrims Progress, I did this 2x
Teaching Monday afternoons at a nursing home. I taught through the Song of Songs once then John, then Romans then back to the Song again! I love the Song of Songs.
I grew up hating God for what happened to me, and now I love Him because He first loved me. My passion is for children to grow up loving God and not hating Him.
My other passion which has become ever greater is to help others see the Love of Christ to His Church in the Song of Songs!!
I would love to help you, just let me know and I will lead you and pray for you.
God demonstrates His love to us in sending His one and only Son to suffer in our place, taking our sins upon Himself so that whoever believes they get to heaven because of what He did for us will not perish but have everlasting life.