Solomon’s Song of Songs 1:6 “Do not stare at me because I am dark, darkened by the sun.”
New born believers drawing near to God will often times fear the wrath of God and feel stared at when convicted of their sin, guilt and punishment thereof.
Context in Bible
In the wisdom literature. Solomon uses his unmeasurable wisdom to guide his love to his bride.
Title Song of Songs
The Song is Scripture. The Song communicates God’s love and grace to the whole heart, the “very Flame of the LORD” Song 8:6 better than any other Love Song. Properly meditated upon in context, then argue from the lesser king of kings to the Greater Christ. A Greater Husband, Beloved, Friend, Shepherd and King. The lesser wisdom in the Song to the Greater Matt. 12:42 Argue from the lesser husbands most excellent love to the Greater Love of Christ to His Bride, then this Song will enflame your heart for God like no other Love Song!
Kingdom Context of the Song
- A United Southern and Northern Kingdom Theocratic Monarchy
- Greatest illustration of the kingdom reign of Jesus Christ
- During a time of the greatest world wide revival ever.
- All the non believers did the outside labor and were sunburnt and looked down upon by the Israelites. 1 Kings 9:20-23, 2 Chronicles 8:8
Phase of her spiritual life
This is the Babe section of the Song 1:2-1:17 is the babe becoming a child with assurance. By babe I mean a new born Christian. New born Christians in the bible are called babes or sometimes infants due to the new beginnings of a new life in Christ that has growth phases much like that of humans. There are 5 phases to the Christian life. Babe, Child, Young man, Strong Young man and Father.
- Song of Songs 1:6-2:6 is the first feelings of separation and desire for nearness, self-denial, praises and promises from her husband/Husband, mutual delight in one anothers presence, persecution for loves sake, more mutual delight in each other leading to desire for even more intimate displays of love in the banquet house 2:4, she passes out and he holds her sweetly supporting her as she is overwhelmed by his love. The very “Flame of the LORD” at work at one of the heights of spiritual enjoyment. And then the warning in Song 2:7
She was sunburnt, “scorched/darkened by the sun.”Song 1:6 This word “scorched” has to do with “sizzling heat” Example of the context. Its about 950 BC in Israel and the the Jews have taken over Israel and put the enemies of God to work. Forced labor outside in the sun. So every evil non believer was sunburnt and the Jews were not. Solomon was single, God and God fearing and the woman wanting to marry Solomon is a natural born enemy of God. Compare 1 Kings 9:20-23 with Song 1:5-7. She has been in slave labor outside in the sun so she was an enemy but now she is born again, single and wanting a husband. Song 8:6, Ez. 36:26 Since she still has this sunburn that makes her dark the average Israelite or Daughters of Jerusalem would “assume she was an enemy”. This assumption that she was an enemy is what she wants them to not have about her. She is changed, born again and not an enemy, so she says “Do not stare at me because I am dark, darkened by the sun.”… Due to her recent conversion she is still sunburnt and looked down upon because of it. You would look at her and think she was not at peace with God, not in a covenant relationship with him 1:7, she was an enemy and not a friend 1:7, she was treated like a prostitute continuing in sin and according to her external appearance alone she was still any enemy.
- or it would be similar if you were a Christian in America and All those who were a “hijab” are evil Muslims. The idea of the sunburn is that there is something about her that causes other’s to judge her an enemy of God. What is it about people today, that when we look at them, we tend to think they are an enemy of God? and would not be able to be have an intimate relationship with a holy God until they were friends and at peace with one another.
The verse itself
- It is her 4th request. Basically she is asking him/Him to look at her “with eyes like doves by streams of water, holy, true and sincere,washed in milk, (The first 3 are in Song 1:2-4) His eyes and her seeing them represent how she feels He thinks of her. So she see’s him/Him as having doves eyes… Even though Solomon is not staring at her
- She specifically wants the daughters of Jerusalem (and/or Solomon) to not do something. “Do not stare…
- A request for a show of affection 1:2
- To not treat her as her sunburn says she deserves.
- She doesn’t want to feel judged guilty and sense his displeasure toward her!
- She want to know and feel like he is pleased with her, that although she is a sunburnt sinner, she is born again and lives a new life of love to God.
So this is the 4th request by our sunburnt bride. She wants Solomon to not stare at her because she was an outcast, enemy of God, outside the flock of Solomons friends, in slave labor and needing redemption. She gets the “very flame of God” in her when she believed in the messiah and his coming reign. She desired to be married to single Solomon, but knowing Solomon would stare at her sunburn and treat her as an enemy and not a friend would keep her from pursuing intimacy with him.
Summary statements of the verse including the principle idea which may or may not be the same as the doctrine.
New born Christians will often feel as though God is judging them for their sin and sense his displeasure against it. When they sin or when they read their Bible or pray their sin is brought to the forefront of their thinking and they feel guilty. Sometimes they will look to Christ when they feel guilty and plead the blood of Christ and say “Do not stare at me… because I have sinned and am stained with guilt for Christ has washed me with His blood and resurrection and credited me with His righteousness. Same as David when he felt the righteous indignation of God against sin. Sensed the terribleness of God’s wrath. Psalm 51:9 “Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities.”
Christian do not want to feel that God is angry with them for their sins or sense His displeasure, they want to sense His love. So the hearts desire of those who have the flame of the Lord in them is similar to the looks the bride to be got because of her sunburn, which suggested she was continuing in sin and an enemy of God.
This guilt should lead them to Christ Gal. 3:24-25 God draws us by His Love Jer. 31: The Holy Spirit uses truth to convict of sin in order to draw us nearer to Christ.
Examples in scripture
Peter said “Away from me”. Conviction of sin caused Peter to push Jesus away.
John was afraid of the Wrath of Christ when not understanding
- Argument from the lesser to the greater Christ in Wisdom, Skill to lover her, call her, beautify her, as she behold’s the height, depth, length and breadth of Solomon’s love.
- Application in a courtship or marriage
- What will help the believers heart get enflamed?
Questions for deeper thinking.
When was the last time you felt this way?
Are there times when I feel this way more than other?
What do I do when I feel guilty and ashamed of sin?
- When feeling judged and guilty for your sin, confess it and see yourself like she did and concur with her with the fact that you are both dark yet lovely. The “Dark am I, yet lovely” in Christ meditation should balance out your religious emotions and then remember to follow your conscience and repent of all sin.
- Think about it when your convicted of sin. Think about how you feel just after you did a quote unquote “Big sin”. Your striving to obey and you blow it! How do you feel? Do you feel like God is staring at you because of your sin? Yes, you are guilty but Do you fear God’s wrath because you sinned? Or do you trust God poured out His wrath of Jesus? Feeling God is angry or staring at you because of your sin will not help you draw closer to Him, but you will feel more like Peter in
- Are your past and current sins keeping you from intimacy with God through Jesus Christ? Are you continuing in sin and not reading your Bible or not praying because you feel guilty? Is so the say with the bride to be “Do not stare at me because of my current and past sins!” Then go on confessing all your sins that come to mind and believe Christ paid the penalty for your sins, see His love for you in doing so and then grow in your love to God by beholding the most beautiful holiness of Christ in all this.
- Remember to listen to your conscience and the Word of God. Generally we feel as if God is staring at us when we continue in sin. God is gently pulling you back through your convictions of needing to repent and trust Christ paid the punishment for the sins you were continuing in. Once you truly look to Christ who displayed love by paying your debt and repent then the feeling of Him judging you will go away. Remember to listen to your conscience and the Word of God.
- Think of the devil. The hatred you have for him for offending the God you love. How would you look at him? Would it be a look of condemnation or a look of approval, acceptance and agreement with what he is doing? We would rightly stare at him with disapproval and condemnation. She says “Do not stare at me…” Knowing you are guilty of sin and deserving punishment, do you want Christ to look at you “with doves eyes by refreshing water streams, washed in milk, reposed by the full water springs.” After you have sinned and feel guilty and as if God is looking down on you or staring at your sin then view his knowledge of you as if you were in Christ. For He looks at us with Divine Doves Eyes.
Key Truth’s that I come to every text already believing.
- That this Song will help enflame your love for God better than any other love Song!
- That Solomon is both the king and the shepherd. This is not a trio.
- That the love in the song is not ordinary but transcendent in nature. Their love they share is “the very Flame of the LORD” Song 8:6
- Solomon promises Song 1:1 and desires the beautification of her soul, love desires the best for the object of its affection, “Let them be one” John 17 and husband and wife are one. The closer they both get to God the closer they get to one another til their image of God on their hearts are the same like him putter her “as a seal upon his/His heart” Song 8:5
- Jesus is not Solomon or Solomon is not Jesus. You argue from the lesser Christ to the greater Matt. 14:42 i.e.. Since Christ wisdom is immutable, eternal, infinite then Christ’s wisdom is greater than Solomon’s. The sufficiency of Christ to love and morally beautify the soul is glorified when you argue from the lesser lover to the infinitely greater Lover, Jesus Christ our Heavenly Bridegroom, Lord and Savior.
- Solomon is most glorious in his being the wisest of all kings to whom peace belongs because it was promised by God to happen during his/His reign
- You must not and she doesn’t forget her sunburn and the old sinful life as an enemy of God. Song 1:5-6 The Song of Songs illustrates a greater love than normal. A love that is willing to die for his enemies, proving his/His love. Song 8:6
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
This is one of those verses that really makes no sense to us in the year 2016. We see someone with a sunburn and we think they have been working outside. We think not much more than they must work outside and more than likely they are a good person.
Not so during the time of Solomon’s reign. Having a sunburn carried a certain stigma with it. A stigma that you were an evil enemy of God continuing in sin. Marriage between someone with a sunburn and someone without like Solomon, would certainly not happen. The one with the sunburn wether male or female at the time of Solomon’s reign meant that you were living under God’s judgement and not experiencing all the blessing the Israelites were.
The question is what is it about having a sunburn that would cause someone to stare at you or look down upon you, like you should be ashamed of yourself. She was feeling separated from the one/One she loves, outside his circle of friends. Feeling like she was an outcast prostitute continuing in sin because her sunburn meant that:
- She was an enemy of God 1 Kings 9:20-23
- To her it meant she felt like they were not friends Song 1:7 “friends or companions”
- She did all the labor for God’s people 1 Kings 9:20-=23, 2 chronicles 8:8
- She was outside the covenant promises of God.
- She was “starred” at often because of your sunburn, darkened skin from laboring outside was a sign that you were an evil enemy of God. Song of Songs 1:5-6
- She was under the wrath and curse of God and not blessed in Solomon’s kingdom
- She needed redemption from forced slave labor Song 1:6
- You were treated like a prostitute or someone continuing in sin Song 1:7
The question is often asked “How does Christ draw us by His Love?”
Jesus Christ is the best lover of our souls. He draws by His Love. We see Him loving us and therefore we are humbled and express our love back to Him by obeying His commands. In this context she is feeling ashamed, judged, looked down upon by God, she feels outside the blessings of God. She does not like this feeling. Feeling like the one she loves is angry with her. She wants to make Him happy and sense His love. She just sinned which doesn’t make Him happy but is reason for you to sense His displeasure against sin. Dark am I and worthy of God’s Terrible wrath. So you become aware that your sin has displeased God, Is. 59:2. You feel it and know it. Her desire in this situation is for Him to not feel so far away and for Him to manifest His great love to her by overlooking her current sin and past sinful life. This overlooking her sin includes a loving, pleased with look in the eye of the Husband always (a dove’s eye) no matter what the sinful yet beautiful in Christ bride does. Solomon is giving us a view of the Love of God. His Flame in us illuminates our minds to truths about God’s love to us, similar to how Solomon love his bride and overlooked the evil stigma of having a sunburn and saw right through to her heart and did not judge or stare down at her, not one bit.
This is what her going away feels like. At least one of the ways it feels like (like being stared at) This feeling will keep you from close intimacy with God! , the others are in 3:1-2 and 5:2-6:1.
Jesus calls us by His Love Jer. 31:3. Because He loved us and died for our sin, Christ forgives us and does not stare at our darkness. If we thought God judged us because of our sin then we would not draw near to him but would try to hide.
Jesus draws us by His Love because Jesus loved the Father and sinners. He displayed that love by suffering in their place so that He could not stare at sinners in judgement because of who they were and what they did. The bride to be’s request is for Solomon the lesser Christ to “not stare” or write her off as an ineligible bride because of her sunburn and the stigma that comes with it. She is born again and morally lovely and attractive on the inside due to her belief in the coming messiah who would take her sins away. Because of the coming Messiah’s Lover and Grace He is able to overlook our sins and not treat us according to the evil we have done, therefore we can draw near to God not fearing His judgement because Christ paid it for us when our sins were imputed to Him on the cross and he paid the price to the fullest and said in the Gospel of John, “It is finished.”
How could you have a close intimate relationship with someone/Someone you knew was rightly angry with you because of what you did and that person/Person was holding in that anger. Your sins would separate the two of you from a sincere close relationship until true forgiveness was possible. This is how Jesus draws us closer to him by His Love of forgiveness. Forgiveness is God saying “I won’t be angry with you because I poured out My Anger and Wrath you deserve on Christ”
Let me put it another way. Have you ever really blown it in your Christian walk? Or rather should I say, “When was the last time you really sinned and felt shame and guilt?” When was the last time you felt shame and guilt and it kept you from reading your Bible or praying. Yes we are guilty but thinking of your our guilty apart from remembering that God treated Christ as if He was guilty of sin but was innocent, Christ bore our sins during the 3 hours of darkness on the cross. Love to God and love to the sinful bride God gave Jesus to die for is what kept Him there til the full display of His Love was finished. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay His life down for His friends.”
Not feeling starred at and condemned by the one you love is crucial to a close intimate relationship with the one/One you love.
Christian do not want to feel that God is angry with them for their sins so they cry out “Do not stare at me…” Their hearts desire in a time of conviction of sin is that God would not stare at their sin on the basis of what Christ has done for them. Christ has purchased God’s love and grace to me and adverted God’s wrath by His sacrificial death, please oh Lord “Do not stare at me because I am dark” darkened by my own hard heart for I neglected my stewardship/my own vineyard, I have not guarded it.
Song 1:6 “Darkened by the sun”
She is sunburnt and the sunburn is what made her skin dark. Having a sunburn carried the idea with it that you were an enemy of God. The bride of Christ was first an enemy of God then born again.
- My heart got harder as I labored for Satan. My hatred of God only grew. My heart only got more dark and stubborn, storing up wrath for the day of wrath. Rightly darkened by the Wrath of the Son of God.
- My heart of stone only got harder and more dark. Ez. 36:26
- Having surpassed the truths about God by believing lies and not honoring God or giving thanks to Him, He turned me over to my sin, even though what may be known about Him is clearly evident by creation, I traded the Truth of God for a lie, the Wrath of the Sun of God is revealed by my darkening skin, my hardened heart.
What are the effects of her sinful neglect and slavery to sin?
Because of her sin she is an enemy of God, not a friend. Yet by getting her Doctrine right and obeying by faith in the coming Messiah she becomes His friend in 1:9. She still believes He is coming for her in Song 8:14. “Turn” or “Make haste” She is yearning quite intensely for His coming!
Because of her continued life of sin, like a prostitute who leaves her True Husband for another, she is outside a covenant relationship with God. She is a spiritual adulterous wife. Worthy to be despised, rejected and rightfully punished by God.++
“Do not stare at me because I am dark”
What did she do? What is her testimony of her life before that made her dark? Was she a dark skinned Ethiopian?
Effects of sin
- Sense of guilt for disobedience and deserved judgement with feelings of rejection, shame.
In the context of separation due to sin, but union and communion in Christ in Love and Grace.
Clearly she wants the king to not stare at her. She loves the king, has been brought into an intimate relationship with him “in his chambers.”
Is it possible for Solomon to stare at her because she is “Dark, yet morally lovely”?
What is she was sunburnt only and there was no stigma during Solomon’s reign with having sunburnt skin.
The prodigal Son felt this way
David in psalm 51 says it this way “do not take your Holy Spirit from me” “Do not stare at me because I am darkened by my sin.”
The greatness of love and grace can be seen in her being forgiven of much. What a great offense to go up against God’s anointed. To be in opposition to Solomon, chief among ten thousand.
And then the increase of grace has a tendency another way, to cause the saints to think their deformity vastly more than their goodness: it not only tends to convince them that their corruption is much greater than their goodness; which is indeed the case: but it also tends to cause the deformity that there is in the least sin, or the least degree of corruption, to appear so great, as vastly to outweigh all the beauty there is in their greatest holiness: for this also is indeed the case. For the least sin against an infinite God, has an infinite hatefulness or deformity in it; but the highest degree of holiness in a creature, has not an infinite loveliness in it: and therefore the loveliness of it is as nothing, in comparison of the deformity of the least sin. That every sin has infinite deformity and hatefulness in it, is most demonstrably evident; because what the evil, or iniquity, or hatefulness of sin consists in, is the violating of an obligation, or the being or doing contrary to what we should be or do, or are obliged to. And therefore by how much the greater the obligation is that is violated, so much the greater is the iniquity and hatefulness of the violation. But certainly our obligation to love and honor any being, is in some proportion to his loveliness and honorableness, or to his worthiness to be loved and honored by us; which is the same thing. We are surely under greater obligation to love a more lovely being, than a less lovely: and if a being be infinitely lovely or worthy to be loved by us, then our obligations to love him, are infinitely great: and therefore, whatever is contrary to this love, has in it infinite iniquity, deformity and unworthiness. But on the other hand, with respect to our holiness or love to God, there is not an infinite worthiness in that. The sin of the creature against God, is ill-deserving and hateful in proportion to the distance there is between God and the creature: the greatness of the object, and the meanness and inferiority of the subject, aggravates it. But ’tis the reverse with regard to the worthiness of the respect of the creature to God; ’tis worthless, and not worthy, in proportion to the meanness of the subject. So much the greater the distance between God and the creature, so much the less is the creature’s respect worthy of God’s notice or regard. The great degree of superiority, increases the obligation on the inferior to regard the superior; and so makes the want of regard more hateful: but the great degree of inferiority diminishes the worth of the regard of the inferior;
Common Examples in life that illustrate how we may not be drawing near to God.
Let say you have fallen back for quite some time and you get the conviction, and yes it is God wanting you to go back to church, read your Bible and pray etc. But you feel bad because it has been a while. What will the other brothers and sisters at church think? Will they look down upon me? Will they stare at me? “Do not stare at me oh daughters of Christ. Dark with sin and a sinful past it is true, but lovely am I married to Christ!
It is a work of the Holy Spirit to comfort and assure her soul that Solomon was not and would not stare at her. Song 1:6 “Do not stare at me..” is her cry The Spirit will comfort
[(3)] The third and last office of the Holy Spirit is to comfort and delight the souls of God’s people. And thus one of his names is the Comforter, and thus we have the phrase of “joy in the Holy Ghost.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6 “Having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.”
Romans 14:17, “The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Acts 9:31, “Walking in the fear of the Lord, and comfort of the Holy Ghost.” But how well doth this agree with the Holy Ghost being God’s joy and delight. Acts 13:52, “And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost,” meaning, as I suppose, that they were filled with spiritual joy.
- This is confirmed by the symbol of the Holy Ghost, viz. a dove, which is the emblem of love, or a lover, and is so used in Scripture, and especially often so in Solomon’s Song. Canticles 1:15, “Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes,” i.e. eyes of love; and again, Canticles 4:1, the same words; and Canticles 5:12, “His eyes are as the eyes of doves”; and Canticles 5:2, “My love, my dove”; Canticles 2:14; and Canticles 6:9. And this I believe to be the reason that the dove alone of all birds (except the sparrow in the single case of the leprosy) was appointed to be offered in sacrifice: because of its innocency, and because it is the emblem of love,4 love being the most acceptable sacrifice to God. It was under this similitude that the Holy Ghost descended from the Father on Christ at his baptism, signifying the infinite love of the Father to the Son, who is the true David, or beloved, as we said before. The same was signified by what was exhibited to the eye, in the appearance there was of the Holy Ghost descending from the Father to the Son in the shape of a dove, as was signified by what was exhibited to the ear in the voice there was at the same time, viz. “This is my well beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” [Matthew 3:17].
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.