Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | February 19, 2017

“To me, my darling, you are like My mare among the chariots of Pharaoh.”

Today’s devotion comes from Song of Solomon chapter 1.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Song+of+Solomon+1&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“8 “If you yourself do not know,
Most beautiful among women,
Go forth on the trail of the flock
And pasture your young goats
By the tents of the shepherds.

“To me, my darling, you are like
My mare among the chariots of Pharaoh.
10 “Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments,
Your neck with strings of beads.”

11 “We will make for you ornaments of gold
With beads of silver.”

12 “While the king was at his table,
My perfume gave forth its fragrance.
13 “My beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh
Which lies all night between my breasts.
14 “My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
In the vineyards of Engedi.”

15 “How beautiful you are, my darling,
How beautiful you are!
Your eyes are like doves.”  Song of Solomon 1:8-15.

——————————–

The love of Solomon for his bride is a figurative image of the love of Christ for His church.

In chapter 1, we read expressions of love back and forth between the bride and the groom.

We notice the special love of Solomon for only His bride pointing out special qualities in his bride.  Solomon did not love all the women, but his love was fixed on his bride.  We see this most strongly in the following verse.

“To me, my darling, you are like
My mare among the chariots of Pharaoh.”  Verse 8.

Let us consider how this figurative language vividly illustrated how his bride clearly stood out as worthy of his focus of love.

What a contrast!  First, a living mare (a female horse) stands out as very different than dead chariots, so to speak.  Second, a black mare even more stands out as being very different than chariots that were likely white or a lighter color than a black mare.  Third, Solomon did not care for (if not hated) Egyptian chariots, but loved his own horse that he purchased.

I remember seeing my wife for the very first time.  She was standing across the dance floor in this blue dress.  Although she was about 40 feet away, it was as if every one and every thing else in the room disappeared when I saw her.

Other doctrine teaches that Christ loves everyone.

But, consistent with this Scripture, Reformed Doctrine teaches that Christ only loves His church (the elect).

And, Christ only died for His church (the elect).  This is “Limited Atonement”, the “L” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing;  but that she would be holy and blameless.”  Ephesians 5:25-27.

“Jesus spoke these things;  and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come;  glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.”  John 17:1-2.

Jesus said:  “I am the good shepherd;  the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”  John 10:11.  Does a good shepherd lay down his life for all sheep or only His sheep?

Other doctrine maintains that even though Christ loves everyone, Christ allows a great many of those to go to hell.  What kind of love is that?!

But, Reformed Doctrine maintains that all of those whom God has given Him (which are the elect) Christ has saved every one of them.

“While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me;  and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.”  John 17:12.

There is the sharpest difference between the elect and the non-elect, between Christ’s sheep and those who are not His sheep.

“I ask on their behalf;  I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me;  for they are Yours;”  John 17:8.

“But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.  My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;  and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish;  and no one will snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all;  and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”  John 10:26-29.

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