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First Reading: Song of Songs Chapter 4 and 5 and 6
Song of Solomon 4
4:1 The Bridegroom Praises the Bride
Behold, you are fair, my love!Behold, you are fair!You have dove's eyes behind your veil.Your hair is like a flock of goats,Going down from Mount Gilead. 2 Your teeth are like a flock of shorn sheepWhich have come up from the washing,Every one of which bears twins,And none is barren among them. 3 Your lips are like a strand of scarlet,And your mouth is lovely.Your temples behind your veil Are like a piece of pomegranate. 4 Your neck is like the tower of David,Built for an armory,On which hang a thousand bucklers,All shields of mighty men. 5 Your two breasts are like two fawns,Twins of a gazelle,Which feed among the lilies.
6 Until the day breaks And the shadows flee away,I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh And to the hill of frankincense.
7 You are all fair, my love,And there is no spot in you. 8 Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse,With me from Lebanon.Look from the top of Amana,From the top of Senir and Hermon,From the lions' dens,From the mountains of the leopards.
9 You have ravished my heart,My sister, my spouse;You have ravished my heart With one look of your eyes,With one link of your necklace. 10 How fair is your love,My sister, my spouse!How much better than wine is your love,And the scent of your perfumes Than all spices! 11 Your lips, O my spouse,Drip as the honeycomb;Honey and milk are under your tongue;And the fragrance of your garments Is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
12 A garden enclosed Is my sister, my spouse,A spring shut up,A fountain sealed. 13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates With pleasant fruits,Fragrant henna with spikenard, 14 Spikenard and saffron,Calamus and cinnamon,With all trees of frankincense,Myrrh and aloes,With all the chief spices 15 A fountain of gardens,A well of living waters,And streams from Lebanon.
16 Awake, O north wind,And come, O south!Blow upon my garden,That its spices may flow out.Let my beloved come to his garden And eat its pleasant fruits.
Song of Solomon 5
5:1 The Bride Praises the Bridegroom
I have come to my garden, my sister, my spouse;I have gathered my myrrh with my spice;I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey;I have drunk my wine with my milk.
Eat, O friends!Drink, yes, drink deeply,O beloved ones!
The Shulamite's Troubled Evening
2 I sleep, but my heart is awake;It is the voice of my beloved!He knocks, saying,"Open for me, my sister, my love,My dove, my perfect one;For my head is covered with dew,My locks with the drops of the night."
3 I have taken off my robe;How can I put it on again?I have washed my feet;How can I defile them? 4 My beloved put his hand By the latch of the door,And my heart yearned for him. 5 I arose to open for my beloved,And my hands dripped with myrrh,My fingers with liquid myrrh,On the handles of the lock.
6 I opened for my beloved,But my beloved had turned away and was gone.My heart leaped up when he spoke.I sought him, but I could not find him;I called him, but he gave me no answer. 7 The watchmen who went about the city found me.They struck me, they wounded me;The keepers of the walls Took my veil away from me. 8 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,If you find my beloved,That you tell him I am lovesick!
9 What is your beloved More than another beloved,O fairest among women?What is your beloved More than another beloved,That you so charge us?
10 My beloved is white and ruddy,Chief among ten thousand. 11 His head is like the finest gold;His locks are wavy,And black as a raven. 12 His eyes are like doves By the rivers of waters,Washed with milk,And fitly set. 13 His cheeks are like a bed of spices,Banks of scented herbs.His lips are lilies,Dripping liquid myrrh.
14 His hands are rods of gold Set with beryl.His body is carved ivory Inlaid with sapphires. 15 His legs are pillars of marble Set on bases of fine gold.His countenance is like Lebanon,Excellent as the cedars. 16 His mouth is most sweet,Yes, he is altogether lovely.This is my beloved,And this is my friend,O daughters of Jerusalem!
Song of Solomon 6
6:1 I Am My Beloved's
Where has your beloved gone,O fairest among women?Where has your beloved turned aside,That we may seek him with you?
2 My beloved has gone to his garden,To the beds of spices,To feed his flock in the gardens,And to gather lilies. 3 I am my beloved's,And my beloved is mine.He feeds his flock among the lilies.
Praise of the Shulamite's Beauty
4 O my love, you are as beautiful as Tirzah,Lovely as Jerusalem,Awesome as an army with banners! 5 Turn your eyes away from me,For they have overcome me.Your hair is like a flock of goats Going down from Gilead. 6 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep Which have come up from the washing;Every one bears twins,And none is barren among them. 7 Like a piece of pomegranate Are your temples behind your veil.
8 There are sixty queens And eighty concubines,And virgins without number. 9 My dove, my perfect one,Is the only one,The only one of her mother,The favorite of the one who bore her.The daughters saw her And called her blessed,The queens and the concubines,And they praised her.
10 Who is she who looks forth as the morning,Fair as the moon,Clear as the sun,Awesome as an army with banners?
11 I went down to the garden of nuts To see the verdure of the valley,To see whether the vine had budded And the pomegranates had bloomed. 12 Before I was even aware,My soul had made me As the chariots of my noble people.
13 Return, return, O Shulamite;Return, return, that we may look upon you!
What would you see in the Shulamite As it were, the dance of the two camps?
5:1 Christian Liberty
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do
not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you
that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify
again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole
law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified
by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait
for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision
nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
7 Love Fulfills the Law
You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does
not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10
I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but
he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!
13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
16 Walking in the Spirit
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh;
and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that
you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
WHO IS GOD?
Part 8 of 11
The anger of the LORD is recorded many times in the Bible. It may be difficult to consider the anger of God when we believe that he is a loving God. However, anger has it's place. God's anger comes from the faithlessness and disobedience of his people. God's anger is a righteous anger. He hates sin and faithlessness because he knows it ends in pain and destruction. He is patient and slow to anger but evil and sin cannot continue:
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