Through The Bible Thursday 08-23-18 Devotions
1 This is Solomon’s song of songs, more wonderful than any other.
2 Kiss me and kiss me again,
for your love is sweeter than wine.
3 How pleasing is your fragrance;
your name is like the spreading fragrance of scented oils.
No wonder all the young women love you!
4 Take me with you; come, let’s run!
The king has brought me into his bedroom.
Young Women of Jerusalem
How happy we are for you, O king.
We praise your love even more than wine.
How right they are to adore you.
5 I am dark but beautiful,
O women of Jerusalem—
dark as the tents of Kedar,
dark as the curtains of Solomon’s tents.
6 Don’t stare at me because I am dark—
the sun has darkened my skin.
My brothers were angry with me;
they forced me to care for their vineyards,
so I couldn’t care for myself—my own vineyard.
7 Tell me, my love, where are you leading your flock today?
Where will you rest your sheep at noon?
For why should I wander like a prostitute[b] among your friends and their flocks?
8 If you don’t know, O most beautiful woman,
follow the trail of my flock,
and graze your young goats by the shepherds’ tents.
9 You are as exciting, my darling,
as a mare among Pharaoh’s stallions.
10 How lovely are your cheeks;
your earrings set them afire!
How lovely is your neck,
enhanced by a string of jewels.
11 We will make for you earrings of gold
and beads of silver.
12 The king is lying on his couch,
enchanted by the fragrance of my perfume.
13 My lover is like a sachet of myrrh
lying between my breasts.
14 He is like a bouquet of sweet henna blossoms
from the vineyards of En-gedi.
15 How beautiful you are, my darling,
Your eyes are like doves.
16 You are so handsome, my love,
pleasing beyond words!
The soft grass is our bed;
17 fragrant cedar branches are the beams of our house,
and pleasant smelling firs are the rafters.
2 I am the spring crocus blooming on the Sharon Plain,[c]
the lily of the valley.
2 Like a lily among thistles
is my darling among young women.
3 Like the finest apple tree in the orchard
is my lover among other young men.
I sit in his delightful shade
and taste his delicious fruit.
4 He escorts me to the banquet hall;
it’s obvious how much he loves me.
5 Strengthen me with raisin cakes,
refresh me with apples,
for I am weak with love.
6 His left arm is under my head,
and his right arm embraces me.
7 Promise me, O women of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles and wild deer,
not to awaken love until the time is right.[d] 8 Ah, I hear my lover coming!
He is leaping over the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
9 My lover is like a swift gazelle
or a young stag.
Look, there he is behind the wall,
looking through the window,
peering into the room.
10 My lover said to me,
“Rise up, my darling!
Come away with me, my fair one!
11 Look, the winter is past,
and the rains are over and gone.
12 The flowers are springing up,
the season of singing birds[e] has come,
and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.
13 The fig trees are forming young fruit,
and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming.
Rise up, my darling!
Come away with me, my fair one!”
14 My dove is hiding behind the rocks,
behind an outcrop on the cliff.
Let me see your face;
let me hear your voice.
For your voice is pleasant,
and your face is lovely.
Young Women of Jerusalem
15 Catch all the foxes,
those little foxes,
before they ruin the vineyard of love,
for the grapevines are blossoming!
16 My lover is mine, and I am his.
He browses among the lilies.
17 Before the dawn breezes blow
and the night shadows flee,
return to me, my love, like a gazelle
or a young stag on the rugged mountains.[f] Young Woman
3 One night as I lay in bed, I yearned for my lover.
I yearned for him, but he did not come.
2 So I said to myself, “I will get up and roam the city,
searching in all its streets and squares.
I will search for the one I love.”
So I searched everywhere but did not find him.
3 The watchmen stopped me as they made their rounds,
and I asked, “Have you seen the one I love?”
4 Then scarcely had I left them
when I found my love!
I caught and held him tightly,
then I brought him to my mother’s house,
into my mother’s bed, where I had been conceived.
5 Promise me, O women of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles and wild deer,
not to awaken love until the time is right.[g] Young Women of Jerusalem
6 Who is this sweeping in from the wilderness
like a cloud of smoke?
Who is it, fragrant with myrrh and frankincense
and every kind of spice?
7 Look, it is Solomon’s carriage,
surrounded by sixty heroic men,
the best of Israel’s soldiers.
8 They are all skilled swordsmen,
Each wears a sword on his thigh,
ready to defend the king against an attack in the night.
9 King Solomon’s carriage is built
of wood imported from Lebanon.
10 Its posts are silver,
its canopy gold;
its cushions are purple.
It was decorated with love
by the young women of Jerusalem.
11 Come out to see King Solomon,
young women of Jerusalem.[h] He wears the crown his mother gave him on his wedding day,
his most joyous day.
4 You are beautiful, my darling,
beautiful beyond words.
Your eyes are like doves
behind your veil.
Your hair falls in waves,
like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead.
2 Your teeth are as white as sheep,
recently shorn and freshly washed.
Your smile is flawless,
each tooth matched with its twin.[i] 3 Your lips are like scarlet ribbon;
your mouth is inviting.
Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates
behind your veil.
4 Your neck is as beautiful as the tower of David,
jeweled with the shields of a thousand heroes.
5 Your breasts are like two fawns,
twin fawns of a gazelle grazing among the lilies.
6 Before the dawn breezes blow
and the night shadows flee,
I will hurry to the mountain of myrrh
and to the hill of frankincense.
7 You are altogether beautiful, my darling,
beautiful in every way.
8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride,
come with me from Lebanon.
Come down[j] from Mount Amana,
from the peaks of Senir and Hermon,
where the lions have their dens
and leopards live among the hills.
9 You have captured my heart,
my treasure,[k] my bride.
You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes,
with a single jewel of your necklace.
10 Your love delights me,
my treasure, my bride.
Your love is better than wine,
your perfume more fragrant than spices.
11 Your lips are as sweet as nectar, my bride.
Honey and milk are under your tongue.
Your clothes are scented
like the cedars of Lebanon.
12 You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride,
a secluded spring, a hidden fountain.
13 Your thighs shelter a paradise of pomegranates
with rare spices—
henna with nard,
14 nard and saffron,
fragrant calamus and cinnamon,
with all the trees of frankincense, myrrh, and aloes,
and every other lovely spice.
15 You are a garden fountain,
a well of fresh water
streaming down from Lebanon’s mountains.
16 Awake, north wind!
Rise up, south wind!
Blow on my garden
and spread its fragrance all around.
Come into your garden, my love;
taste its finest fruits.
1:1 The headings identifying the speakers are not in the original text, though the Hebrew usually gives clues by means of the gender of the person speaking.
1:7 Hebrew like a veiled woman.
2:1 Traditionally rendered I am the rose of Sharon. Sharon Plain is a region in the coastal plain of Palestine.
2:7 Or not to awaken love until it is ready.
2:12 Or the season of pruning vines.
2:17 Or on the hills of Bether.
3:5 Or not to awaken love until it is ready.
3:11 Hebrew of Zion.
4:2 Hebrew Not one is missing; each has a twin.
4:8 Or Look down.
4:9 Hebrew my sister; also in 4:10, 12.
A psalm of David.
1 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
listen to my plea!
Answer me because you are faithful and righteous.
2 Don’t put your servant on trial,
for no one is innocent before you.
3 My enemy has chased me.
He has knocked me to the ground
and forces me to live in darkness like those in the grave.
4 I am losing all hope;
I am paralyzed with fear.
5 I remember the days of old.
I ponder all your great works
and think about what you have done.
6 I lift my hands to you in prayer.
I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Interlude
7 Come quickly, Lord, and answer me,
for my depression deepens.
Don’t turn away from me,
or I will die.
8 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk,
for I give myself to you.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord;
I run to you to hide me.
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
on a firm footing.
11 For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life.
Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.
12 In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies
and destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.
Greetings from Paul
1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.
I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a] who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.
2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.[b] 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
9 God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God,[c] for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
12 God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. 13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own[d] by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.
Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom
15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere,[e] 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom[f] and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.[g]
19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
1:1 The most ancient manuscripts do not include in Ephesus.
1:6 Greek to us in the beloved.
1:11 Or we have become God’s inheritance.
1:13 Or he put his seal on you.
1:15 Some manuscripts read your faithfulness to the Lord Jesus and to God’s people everywhere.
1:17 Or to give you the Spirit of wisdom.
1:18 Or called, and the rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his holy people.
34 When God began killing them,
they finally sought him.
They repented and took God seriously.
35 Then they remembered that God was their rock,
that God Most High[a] was their redeemer.
36 But all they gave him was lip service;
they lied to him with their tongues.
37 Their hearts were not loyal to him.
They did not keep his covenant.
38 Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins
and did not destroy them all.
Many times he held back his anger
and did not unleash his fury!
39 For he remembered that they were merely mortal,
gone like a breath of wind that never returns.
40 Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland.
41 Again and again they tested God’s patience
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember his power
and how he rescued them from their enemies.
43 They did not remember his miraculous signs in Egypt,
his wonders on the plain of Zoan.
44 For he turned their rivers into blood,
so no one could drink from the streams.
45 He sent vast swarms of flies to consume them
and hordes of frogs to ruin them.
46 He gave their crops to caterpillars;
their harvest was consumed by locusts.
47 He destroyed their grapevines with hail
and shattered their sycamore-figs with sleet.
48 He abandoned their cattle to the hail,
their livestock to bolts of lightning.
49 He loosed on them his fierce anger—
all his fury, rage, and hostility.
He dispatched against them
a band of destroying angels.
50 He turned his anger against them;
he did not spare the Egyptians’ lives
but ravaged them with the plague.
51 He killed the oldest son in each Egyptian family,
the flower of youth throughout the land of Egypt.[b] 52 But he led his own people like a flock of sheep,
guiding them safely through the wilderness.
53 He kept them safe so they were not afraid;
but the sea covered their enemies.
78:35 Hebrew El-Elyon.
78:51 Hebrew in the tents of Ham.
Friday, August 24, 2018