This my Essay for Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. The assignment was to read and do the lessons and explain what you learned and what God showed you in at least 500 words (or more). Please enjoy. :-)
We each have gifts that God has given us. I believe God has a path for each of us to take, and God works with us and develops our talents/gifts. What I see here is that God’s path for us is not always the quick and easy way. We learn patience, how to be thankful and how good it is to work. Wherever God has put you, be faithful in it. It says you will abound with blessings. In contrast, I considered Proverbs 28:20, and asked why would someone be punished for hastening to get rich? I saw that taking the quick/easy path (hastening to be rich) could mean stepping on someone. We have a choice.
A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 28:20 ESV)
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:3 ESV) I saw that others will see my example of faithfulness. When I set an example of faithfulness, I have good success in God’s opinion. Have you ever wondered what God considers successful? I have. It’s a person who knows God’s love and is faithfully faithful, bind them around your neck and write them on your heart.
Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find? (Proverbs 20:6 ESV) The Ezine Articles (Lizzie Ducking) says that “being faithful is a jewel and a precious one indeed.” In God’s eyes, the faithful man is a valuable/rare gem. But I also saw the contrast in Proverbs 25:19. Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint. (Proverbs 25:19 KJV) Placing one’s trust in an unfaithful person can be a painful experience.
I also saw how a faithful person can be an excellent friend. A faithful friend is a strong defense: and he that found such a one found a treasure. (Ecclesiastes 6:14) I want people to value my friendship. A faithful friend is like finding a treasure. Nothing doth countervail a faithful friend, and his excellency is invaluable. A faithful friend is the medicine of life; and they that fear the Lord shall find him. (Ecclesiastes 6:15,16 KJV) As I am faithful, I can have a healing effect on my friends.
The King James Version was sometimes difficult to understand. I referred to the KJV, NIV, ESV and Companion Bibles. The Companion Bible referred to the writings of Dr. C. D. Ginsburg.
When I consider the Shulamite from Song of Solomon, I see an example of faithfulness. Her father passed away, and she lived with her mother and brothers. The family owned flocks and a vineyard. The Shulamite was a shepherdess and while she was out tending a flock, she met her beloved shepherd, and he invited her to the field. Her brothers were worried for her reputation so they put her working in the vineyard. The brothers were looking out for their sister and her honor. But, love found a way, because the couple met at night and professed their love to each other and became betrothed (a promise of marriage) to each other.
While the Shulamite worked in the vineyard, King Solomon noticed/wanted her. She was brought to his tent. Solomon poured on the charm/compliments to win her heart. Even though he promises her many things, his offers don’t work. She explained to the king her love for the shepherd. Solomon also took the Shulamite to the capital so she could see the extent of his kingdom. I think of it like he held a parade for her. Solomon wants to impress the Shulamite. I used to think Song of Solomon 7:1-9 was her beloved speaking, but it’s not. It’s Solomon pouring on the sweet talk/charm.
(Song of Solomon 7:1-9 NIV) “How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter! The joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a skillful workman. Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor; thy belly is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins; thy neck is as a tower of ivory. Thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon by the gate of Bathrabbim; thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus. Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in its galleries. How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights! This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes. I said, ‘I will go up to the palm tree; I will take hold of the boughs thereof.’ Now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples. And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.” The Shulamite proclaimed a strong affirmation…“I [am] my beloved’s, and his desire [is] toward me.” (Song of Solomon 7:10 KJV) When I think about these words, I thought about how satan can tempt couples to be unfaithful to each other. Those words frustrated Solomon, and I think that they can also frustrate satan. The Shulamite remained loyal to her beloved. The king gave up and marveled at her faithfulness, her beloved took her home to the family farm, and her brothers praised/honored her.
The shepherd goes away to his father’s house to prepare a place for her. In their culture, he would build an addition on his father’s house for him and his wife. The couple would be apart for a while because construction is going on. He would say to her, “Don’t be afraid, I go to my father’s house to prepare a place for you. I will return for you. I promise, I’ll be back soon.” He travels across the mountains of Bether or separation. As he promised, he is faithful and returns for her.
Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether. (Song of Solomon 2:17 KJV)
I considered Jesus Christ because like the shepherd, he has crossed the mountains of Bether, and we are separated for a while. As I write this essay, our Lord Jesus prepares a place for us. Jesus is doing more than sitting on the right hand of God. He’s being faithful and fulfilling His promise. Lots of construction and renovations are happening in God’s house. Jesus Christ has promised to return for us, to take us to be with Him. In 1 John it says that we will be like Him and see Him as He is.
My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:2,3 NIV) I have a place with Jesus Christ, and He’s building it right now!
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:2-3 NIV) I am going to be like Him.
The Song of Solomon poses the question…What will you see when you consider the Shulamite? I saw that she is faithful and trusts her love, the shepherd. I can bind faithfulness around my neck and write it on the tables of my heart. When others look at me, I want them to see how to be faithful and what it is. I want to be a blessing to my friends and a healing person to be around.
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon cause us to examine ourselves and to strive to improve and please God. What will people see when they consider me? Will they see an example of faithfulness? Am I someone who buckles under pressure and takes the easy path? Or do I stand firm on my belief and trust in God.
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future. (Ecclesiastes 7:14) We can’t see our future, but as Christians, Jesus Christ is the future we can count on. He said that he will prepare a place for us and return for us. We can rely on His promise because He is faithfully faithful.