1 – “Draw me after you; let us run. The king has brought me into his chambers. We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine; rightly do they love you.” (Song of Solomon 1:4, ESV)
RAF: As a woman in love longs to be “drawn after” the one she loves – to be led, but led out of love, so the Church. When her heart is truly after Christ, delights to be drawn away and led by Him. It is always a sign that the Church (or individual Christians) are no longer love oriented, when we rebel and seek not to be led, but to lead.
Note too, that our tendency with Christ, as with women since the Fall, is to try and seize the lead over time.
1 – “The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.” (Proverbs 16:21, ESV)
RAF: Sweetness of speech is not flattery, lying or failing to deal in complete truthfulness. It is rather the attitude in which our communication is carried out. Would we persuade, or simply hammer our view home? Would we win or keep a friend, or are we simply after stating the case? Jesus never shrunk back from delivering the whole truth – but He was no man’s enemy, even though they were His. Father, teach me this holy skill. How I would rather thunder out my way, than persuade by a heart set on blessing the other. How I want to be right, more than righteous. Deliver me. See: Verses 23 & 24.
1 – “Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.” (Proverbs 4:5, ESV)
RAF: What becomes increasingly plain in this book is that insight and wisdom have to do with understanding how things are, and how they work – from God’s point of view. It is insight into the divine economy. It is like having sight in a world of blind men. It isn’t that we see things that aren’t there, but see them as they really are. Values are assigned by eternal standards, not temporal. Eternal justice must always be held in tension. God’s sovereignty as well as man’s responsibility have to be kept together. Man’s relationship to God must define his relationship to all others, and to the the universe itself. Heavenly Father, how we need this wisdom. how we plead to you for this insight.
1 – ” A Maskil of Asaph. Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth!I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.” (Psalm 78:1-4, ESV)
RAF: What a good thing it is for each generation to make known what they’ve come to know and have learned about the goodness, power and wonder of God. For parents to tell their children of their own conversion to Christ. To tell them how God rescued them in trouble, provided for them, walked with them, comforted them, sustained them and blessed them. Parents – do not be silent. Give your children the heritage of your life in Christ. Recount it. Glory in it, joy in it, and tell them of it.
1 – “You, Lord God of hosts, are God of Israel. Rouse yourself to punish all the nations; spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. Selah” (Psalm 59:5, ESV)
RAF: Note carefully that this is an imprecatory Psalm. The occasion is when Saul sent men to take David at his home to kill him. While David prays for God to intervene and punish, yet his own actions are merciful and gracious. God will deliver Saul into his hands several times in the future, but David will spare him. He leaves his anger, his desire to strike back – even his actual defense – to God. In prayer we may safely rage against our enemies. For our God can not act unjustly. He can neither over-punish, nor under-punish. We can get it off our chests. And then, in real life – like David – we can act in mercy.