Still Can Not Contain Him

1 Kings 5-6 and 2 Chronicles 2-3

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I never much cared for reading the descriptions of the temple preparations or building. That is, until I had an open-ended project in school to study an ancient culture and create artifacts from that time.  My group picked the Hebrew culture, and one of the items we chose to create was a to-scale replica of Solomon’s temple.  That section of reading got a whole lot more interesting for me as I took notes on the dimensions, did the math to scale it down (probably the most fun part for me!), and found objects to use to build it.

I still struggle reading the descriptions, but when I stop and picture what our group made, it makes it easier!  So if you are a visual learner, go look up a drawing of Solomon’s temple.  I think it will help.

I don’t know why such an elaborate description of the temple is included for future generations to read, but if you can picture it, it really is an impressive work.  It took 7 years to build!  I know they didn’t have the technology we have today (and didn’t use iron tools at the site – take some time to look that up – some interesting theories), but that is still a long time to build something.  2 Chronicles 2:5-7 says:

5 “The temple I am going to build will be great, because our God is greater than all other gods. 6 But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him? Who then am I to build a temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before him? 7 “Send me, therefore, a man skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, and in purple, crimson and blue yarn, and experienced in the art of engraving, to work in Judah and Jerusalem with my skilled workers, whom my father David provided.

Solomon, recognized that though this temple would be great, it couldn’t contain God.  But they would build it to offer sacrifices which was the best option at the time.

One thing that stood out to me in this section is the relationship between Hiram & Solomon – I found it interesting in the 1 Kings account, Hiram reached out first to establish the good relationship with Solomon that he had with David.  Even though God didn’t allow David to build the temple, He worked through him to provide the materials and skilled laborers that Solomon would need by way of a relationship.  Do you ever think about how the relationships you establish could affect the future generations?  I always enjoy hearing about connections.  How someone’s grandparent established a church which lead to another group of people coming into the faith, and their family, and now today I know their descendants because of that.  The connections we make today can have a lasting impact.


~Stephanie Fletcher


Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at

Tomorrow’s reading will be 1 Kings 7 & 2 Chronicles 4 as we continue the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan


Strong-Willed for God

Proverbs 22-24

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If you are just jumping in now, I have been pulling out a few lines in Proverbs that stand out to me, but I encourage you to do the same – you will likely find different ones!

22:6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

My mom always tells these horror stories from when I was a young child about how I was a nightmare to deal with (I’m sure she exaggerates…), but that didn’t mean that she just accepted it.  She tells me she prayed and asked that God would turn my stubborn, strong-willed self to be stubborn and strong-willed for God.  I can’t say that I have done a perfect job, but I know I am thankful for the prayers my mom said.  I don’t hit people in anger anymore (or throw whatever is in my hand across the room when I get mad).  Though I sometimes struggle to stay on fire for God, I am trying to do what I can to stay faithful through it.  The attribute of being strong-willed has been put to use in staying steadfast even when I go through times of struggle.   If you are the child who was raised in the faith and is still in it, thank your parents!  If you are someone who has children or plans to someday, keep this in mind.  It starts young.

23:4-5 Saying 8

4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
do not trust your own cleverness.
5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Finding a balance between providing for life and accumulating wealth can be difficult.  Most of us want to have nice things in life, but it can consume us.  That first line stands out to me – “Do not wear yourself out to get rich;” If I am so focused on work that I am worn out everyday, or don’t have time to spend with my family, I don’t think that is right.  Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of other places in the Bible that tell us we should be hard workers and not to be lazy (see next section), but overworking yourself just to gain wealth doesn’t feel right.  You might not be able to get everything you want, but learning to be content with what you have is for the better.  Contentedness is something I have been working on the last few months. What I have is enough.


30 I went past the field of a sluggard,
past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.

Being lazy leads to an inability to thrive.  We have to find that balance of hard work, but not letting it consume us to where gaining possessions becomes our sole focus.  How are your priorities?  Where is God on that list?

We are moving out of Proverbs tomorrow, so enjoy these little bits of wisdom!


~Stephanie Fletcher


Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at


Tomorrow we jump from Proverbs (many of Solomon’s writings) to 1 Kings 5-6 and 2 Chronicles 2-3 to read some of the events of King Solomon’s life and reign.  We return to the rest of Proverbs next week on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan.

God’s Way Wins

Proverbs 19-21

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I encourage you to read these chapters focusing again on what stands out to you.  Depending on where you are at in life right now, different words of wisdom might stick.  Here are some that stuck out to me:

19:11 – A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

I’m someone who tends to hold grudges.  Especially if I wasn’t asked for forgiveness.  When someone asks, I am usually willing to offer it, but the thing is, people don’t always ask.  And sometimes I perceived I was wronged when the other person doesn’t see it that way.  This proverb reminds me that it is better to forgive and move past an offense than to let it sit and weigh me down.

19:20 Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

Accepting correction isn’t easy.  I tend to bristle at it (especially when I know it is something I did wrong, or need to change).  It puts my defenses up, and I imagine many others feel the same.  But when we accept proper discipline, we come out better.  We learn and grow, and don’t continue to make the same mistakes.  It is an important part of life to heed Godly advice and discipline, even when we don’t like it.

21:30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.

This one is an encouraging one to end today’s thoughts.  Sometimes it can feel like in this world, evil is winning.  That people have made their plans, and they are succeeding despite it being contrary to God’s ways.  So here is your reminder: they won’t win out in the end.  Nothing can succeed if it is against the LORD.  We might feel weighed down and defeated when we see evil prevail, but we know how it ends.  We know who wins.  And it isn’t evil.

I’m writing this while life is weird.  We are stuck at home, not going to church (I don’t think I have ever not been to church on Easter Sunday), many people not going to jobs, not having dinner with families, not enjoying a dinner out.  But we can have peace when we remember that no matter what is happening now, God has a plan, it will come to be, and we can look forward to eternal life.

~Stephanie Fletcher


Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at

Tomorrow’s reading will be Proverbs 22-24 as we continue seeking and growing in God’s way during our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan


Follow Your Heart – or Not?

Proverbs 16-18

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For those of you that don’t know, I love Disney.  Like, a lot.  But one thing that often bothers me about many of the movies is the message to follow your heart.  It sounds nice, but I know if I always followed my heart, I would not be in a good place.  The beginning of Proverbs 16 reminds me of this.

If we just follow our hearts, we are likely to go the wrong way.  We need to seek the LORD, and He will establish our steps (16:9).  When we set our hearts on the LORD, then we become the wise.  When we are the wise, then we become the discerning (16:21), the ones who say what is right (16:23).  There are examples of many kinds of people in these chapters, but one thing is clear – all of the good things come from God.

A couple other of the lines of these proverbs stood out to me:

17:6 Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.

I have a daughter, and I know how much she is loved by her grandparents.  I may have even heard them say something like grandkids are better than kids.  What really struck me in this one is that parents are the pride of their children.  Am I living a life that my child would be proud of?  I mean, she is almost 2 right now – she loves everything I do.  But give it a few years – are my actions worthy of her pride?  Maybe some of you reading are parents and can ask yourselves this.  Maybe some of you are younger – direct yourselves to that first part – are you living a life that makes you a crown to your grandparents?

18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

When we talk, do we think about this big of an impact in what we say?  The power of life and death.  Sometimes we (or at least I) say the first thing that comes to my mind, and it is not always the best thing.  If I could remember this proverb, would it make me take the time to think about what I am going to say before I say it?  I hope so.

As you read through these chapters, spend some time focusing on the lines that stand out to you.  Take time to examine the parts of your life that might be calling out as you read these Proverbs.


~Stephanie Fletcher


Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at

Tomorrow’s reading will be Proverbs 19-21 as we continue the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

A Cheerful Heart in Difficult Times?

Proverbs 13-15

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Disease, murder, rioting, losing your job.  There is a lot happening in our country right now that weighs on the heart.  Those are a few things that are affecting the whole country, but don’t forget about loved ones dying, car accidents, fights, floods, financial strife, break-ups, and a whole host of other bad things that happen to people every day.  How can we possibly stay happy when so many lousy things are happening in our lives?

Proverbs 15:15 says that a miserable heart means a miserable life, but a cheerful heart fills the day with song.  You might think that the verse is only stating the obvious; if I feel sad, I am going to live a sad life, and if I feel happy, I am going to live a cheerful life.  However, this is a proverb meant to teach us, and it is trying to tell us that we have a choice as to how our heart feels.  You get to choose if you have a miserable heart or a happy heart.  You still might be thinking, dude, how in the world do you expect me to choose to be happy when my mother just died, or my best friend was just diagnosed with cancer?  That is some heavy stuff for a person to deal with, especially when it involves someone you love so dearly.

I was having a bad day some time ago because of something happening with someone I love, and then it hit me.  God loves this person even more than I do so I wonder what His day is like?  Then it hit me some more.  God knows and loves every person in the world and there are many millions of them dealing with bad stuff every day.  I was down in the dumps because of the one person in my life, so God must have been super-duper down in the dumps because of all the people He loves so dearly that were suffering in some way.  However, I knew that couldn’t be true.  I just don’t picture God moping around up in heaven.

So how does He keep a cheerful heart?  I know, I know, He’s God so He can do anything, and we don’t begin to have the capabilities He has.  Though, I think there are two main reasons He is not overcome with sadness and these are reasons we can also be happy when bad things happen.  First, He focuses on all the good things that are happening.  His heart is made glad when He sees someone feed the poor, go to church for the first time, be baptized, or when someone praises Him for all that He is.  In the same way, we can also choose to focus on the good things in life.  Second, He knows what is coming, a Kingdom on earth where there is no more pain and suffering.  There is not one bad thing that can happen to you that can take away your chance to be in the Kingdom if you have made the choice to accept the gift of eternal life.  That reward FAR outweighs anything that can happen during this very short lifetime.  All that bad stuff becomes quite insignificant when you realize it has no effect on your salvation.

Will you be sad if your mother dies?  Of course, but it is your choice if you want to mope around for months or years and continually dwell on her death.  Or you can appreciate the great memories you had with your mother and focus on what is good in your world.  Hopefully, you can also look forward to seeing her again in the Kingdom after she gets done with her long nap.  Those twenty or fifty years without her in this life may seem like forever, but that amount of time is insignificant when you consider you will get to spend infinity years with her in the future.

You may be thinking, what if my mother was not a Christian and will not be in the Kingdom?  There is more sadness when that hope for her is gone.  It seems like we will be sad when we reach the Kingdom and some of our loved ones are not there with us, but we know that there will be no sadness in the Kingdom.  How can that be?  My guess is that we will understand that justice needed to occur, and we will be ok with the punishment they received because they deserved it.

Bad things are going to happen to you and those you love, but you have a choice to be happy or not.  Don’t dwell on what makes you sad, think about what makes you happy.  Moreover, don’t let the bad parts of life rob you of the joy you can feel knowing that Jesus will soon return to establish the Kingdom for us for an eternity.

Rick McClain


Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at

Tomorrow’s reading will be Proverbs 16-18 as we begin a week of devotions with Stephanie Fletcher on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

Don’t Be a Hater

Proverbs 10-12

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I have a lot of thoughts and emotions swirling in my head after the death of George Floyd and all the events surrounding it afterward.  There is a lot to dig into and talk about, but I am going to keep this devotion simple by sharing some very pertinent verses from our reading in Proverbs today.

Proverbs 10:12 starts out by saying that hatred stirs up conflict.  Well, that has certainly been proven true.  If you want to dig to the core of this whole problem, racism, you will find hatred there.  People have chosen to hate someone based on the color of their skin.  Some of this hate is intense, and unfortunately leads to death at times, but there are also many people that carry with them a milder form of hate that still makes the problem worse even though it may not be so blatant.

So how should we combat hatred?  The second part of verse 12 says that love covers over all wrongs.  Love is what is needed to make this situation better.  Considering everything that has happened, you might not be feeling that right now.  There is a lot of anger out there, and it is ok to get angry sometimes.  Some things are worth getting angry over. However, that anger can’t last.  It will ruin you and those around you if you hold on to anger for too long.  There have been many wrongs through the years that can’t be undone, but love can cover those wrongs, and forgiveness needs to be part of that love.  The wrongs can be forgotten with forgiveness and love.

You have a choice to make.  Are you going to be part of the problem or part of the solution?  Proverbs 12:18 states, “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”  You can speak harshly and blame people for their wrongdoings.  You might even be accurate about what you are saying, but if your tone is cruel and insensitive, it is like piercing them with a sword.  A wise person’s words are softer, gentler, loving, and empathetic, which brings healing.

I think it is safe to say that most people have been feeling anxiety over what has been happening.  The first part of Proverbs 12:25 says that anxiety weighs down the heart.  I’m sure many of you have experienced that during these trying times lately.  The good news is that there is a cure for your heart.  The second part of verse 25 says a kind word cheers it up.  Again, you can choose to speak harshly to others about what they have done wrong and make the wounds worse, or you can say something kind to help make their heart glad.

Proverbs 12:20 goes one step further by saying those who promote peace have joy.  Peace feels so good and it is what most of us strive for.  If you can promote peace, even in very small ways, it will bring joy to your heart.  The only thing that will completely end racism is the return of Jesus, but that doesn’t mean we should just give up until then.  I encourage you to make this world a better place one person at a time.  You can’t solve this whole problem by yourself, but you can make it better by being a light to the individuals you come into contact with in your daily life.

I am not saying we all need to pretend nothing happened and try to live happily ever after.  There are many conversations that need to take place and changes need to occur.  I am saying that we need to embrace the wise words from scripture and go into those conversations with love, not with hate boiling on the inside.  You also need to search your own heart to see if there is any hatred there, no matter how strong or mild it may be, and rid your heart of that hatred.  Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers all wrongs.

Rick McClain

Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at

Tomorrow’s reading will be Proverbs 13-15 as we find more of God’s wisdom on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

Heavyweight Battle:  The Brain Versus the Heart

Proverbs 7-9

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We have already covered the first six chapters of Proverbs and they all center around wisdom.  We are now moving on to chapters 7 through 9, which focus on……..drum roll please…….wisdom.  Wisdom must be really really important.  Proverbs 8:19 says wisdom is better than pure gold and Proverbs 8:35 says those that find wisdom find life and obtain favor from the Lord.  Wisdom is clearly something everyone should have and use, but why do so many people come up short in this area?

Where is wisdom stored?  In the brain.  Wisdom is the ability to process information correctly and that is all done in the brain.  Many people actually have a pretty good brain that correctly tells them the difference between right and wrong, but they do not always follow the right path because of the brain’s nemesis, the heart.  We have many sinful desires in our hearts because we are selfish beings.

There are some people that have evil desires in their heart and their brain is lacking wisdom, so they are going to struggle in life until they search out some wisdom.  They will always do the wrong thing because their brain and heart are in agreement and working together.  They can accomplish a lot together, but none of it is good.

The rest of us are in another group that are wise enough to know something is right or wrong, but struggle to always do what is right because of our heart’s selfish desires.  That is called temptation and we all have it.  When temptation arises, our heart and mind go in to battle.  Our heart has two main tactics in this fight.  First, it may try to get us to ignore what our brain might say about the sin.  Second, it sometimes engages the brain and tries to convince the brain that the sin is ok.  This is called justifying the behavior.  The heart is very strong and can be very persuasive.  In order to do the right thing, the brain must be stronger, which is where wisdom comes into play.

The brain must know the difference between right and wrong to stand any chance of beating the heart (don’t be confused here – we still want the heart to keep beating).  That wisdom is found in the Bible and it needs to be searched out, but that is just the start.  If you want to make sure your brain is strong enough to defeat the heart, you can’t just “know” what is right and wrong, you need to “understand” why it is right or wrong.  Understanding comes with a lot of reading, thinking, learning from others, and praying.

Proverbs 7 tells of a story where a man is seduced by a married woman who was not his wife.  He gave in to the temptation because he lacked enough wisdom to fight it.  He probably knew it was wrong, but he didn’t understand all the consequences.  The lost trust and ruined reputation that he may never get back, the pain he caused his family, sexually transmitted diseases, getting the woman pregnant, a broken nose from the husband when he finds out, and the guilt he will feel because he let God down are just some of the reasons why God tells us not to have sex outside of marriage.  Once you take the time to understand why something is right or wrong, the brain will be much more powerful and most likely will win the fight against the heart.

But wait, it gets even better.  When a brain has enough wisdom and understanding, the brain can convince the heart to change its desires.  The heart can be trained to agree with and follow the brain!  This is the ultimate goal, and this is why wisdom is so important.  James 4:2-3 says that you do not have because you do not ask God.  It goes on to say that you do not receive when you ask because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.  Simply put, your heart is not right.  So, it stands to reason that if your brain convinces your heart using Godly wisdom, you will get what you ask for because your desires will line up with God’s desires.  In this case, when the brain and heart are in agreement and working together, they can accomplish a lot together, and it is all good.

Rick McClain


Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at

Tomorrow’s reading will be Proverbs 10-12 as we continue seeking God’s wisdom on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

Status:  In a Relationship

Proverbs 4-6

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This is going to get a little weird since I am happily married.  I am also in a relationship with another woman.  I love her, I prize her, I embrace her, and I guard her because she is my life.  She watches over me, exalts me, honors me, places a garland of grace on my head, and has presented me with a crown of beauty.  We are truly in love.  Her name is…Wisdom.

Proverbs says wisdom is a lady and chapter 4 describes the relationship you should have with her.  When a man falls in love, he usually falls pretty hard.  He can’t stop thinking about her and will do anything for her.  He wants to be with her and just can’t get enough of her.  I suspect the same is true for women, but I don’t have any experience with that.  I suspect this analogy was written to make us understand how important wisdom is and how it should be an integral part of our life.  We need to search out wisdom, especially in the Bible, and not forget about the wise teachings from our parents growing up.  We need to be in love with wisdom as much as that guy was in love with that girl in “The Notebook”.

Why is wisdom so important?  It is because it will lead us on the straight path and keep us away from evil.  Chapter 5 tells us to beware of the sweet lips of the adulteress and her words that are smoother than oil.  If you are married, you should rejoice in the wife of your youth.  In verse 19, it talks about your wife’s breasts.  I can say that because it is in the Bible.  If you think the Bible is too boring to read, you haven’t read far enough yet.  Verse 19 is not boring.

I love the book of Proverbs because there is so much “quick-hitting” wisdom that gets right to the point.  In chapter 6, out of nowhere, it lists six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him.  I admit that the wording is a bit confusing here.  Is one of the things detestable to Him, but He doesn’t hate it?  If so, which one?  Anyways, if you are wise, you will pay attention to the list of things God thinks is detestable:

  • Haughty eyes (proud, snobbish, or arrogant)
  • A lying tongue
  • Hands that shed innocent blood
  • A heart that devises wicked schemes
  • Feet that are quick to rush into evil
  • A false witness who pours out lies
  • A person who stirs up conflict in the community

Maybe the confusion between the list being 6 or 7 is that #2 and #6 seem to be quite similar – I dunno.  You can quickly read this list and move on to the next verses; however, if you are in a relationship with Wisdom, you will slow down, study this list, and put it in your heart and mind.  This is your chance to see into the mind of God.  I am fascinated to learn what God thinks!  When you embrace the wisdom that is found in scripture, you are embracing the wisdom of our all-knowing Father.  He knows everything – and that is a lot of stuff to know.  I am extremely grateful that He has put so much wisdom in a book for us to read.  The opportunity we have to become wise is right there for the taking.  You just need to take the time to search it out.

Rick McClain


Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at

Tomorrow’s Bible reading will be Proverbs 7-9 as we continue to seek the things of God’s mind on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

How to Become Smart

Proverbs 1-3

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How do you become smart?  Are you just born that way?  Do you have to go to school to get smart?  Proverbs 1:7 says that the beginning of knowledge is to fear the Lord.  You will start down a path of intelligence as soon as you fear the Lord.  You might be a great doctor or an impressive lawyer that studied a long time to get where you are, but if you don’t fear God, you aren’t that smart.  Fear seems like a very odd first step in becoming intelligent, but let’s talk for a second about why that is true.

Why should we fear God?  Well, He knows everything, has the power to do anything He wants, has been around forever, made everything, is in control of the whole world, and could squish you like an ant if He wanted to.  That is really intimidating!  If you are not fearful of someone with that kind of power and control over your life, you probably don’t really believe He exists.  If you don’t believe He exists, you’re not very smart.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

The first step in becoming smart is to fear God, but what are the next steps?  You may think that certain people are born intelligent, that some people are just naturally smarter than others.  That may be true to an extent, but wisdom is not going to just automatically happen for you.  Proverbs 2:4 says that you need to search for wisdom and understanding like it is a hidden treasure.  It takes the action of searching on your part to become wise.  Proverbs 2:2 mentions that you need to make your ear attentive to wisdom and incline your heart to understanding.  You need to study the Bible and listen to what it has to say and listen to what wise Christians may also be telling you.  You need to open your heart and mind to the possibility of changing your mind and learning from the Bible and others.  You may think you already have all the answers and can handle everything on your own, but you don’t and you can’t.  Verse 3 goes on to say that you need to cry for discernment and lift your voice for understanding.  You should take the time to ask God for wisdom, and not be scared to ask others you can trust for their help or advice.

On a side note, in Proverbs 1:20 it mentions that wisdom is a “she”.  Gentlemen, take note of that.  I don’t think it is just a coincidence that the author says wisdom is female.

There are many benefits of wisdom mentioned in today’s chapters:

  • God will protect those with integrity and discretion will guard you.
  • It will deliver you from the way of evil and from evil men and women.
  • Days and years will be added to your life.
  • Peace will be added to your life.
  • You will find favor and have a good reputation with God and man.
  • Trust in God with all your heart and He will make your paths straight.
  • It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones if you fear God and turn away from evil.
  • It will give you riches and honor.
  • All her (wisdom’s) paths are peace.
  • Happiness to all who hold her (wisdom) fast.
  • You will not be afraid and your sleep will be sweet.
  • Confidence will come from the Lord.

Fear God, search for wisdom, study the Bible, listen to wise Christians, be open to different viewpoints, and ask God for wisdom.  That is how you become smart.  And once you become smart, you will live longer, have special protection, be at peace, have riches, have honor, and be happy.  Seems like the smart thing to do.

Rick McClain


Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at

Tomorrow’s reading will be Proverbs 4-6 as we learn more about wisdom on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

Ooh La La

Song of Songs 1 to 8

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Song of Songs…it’s in the Bible, and since we are going through the whole Bible, someone needs to write about it.  I know Marcia was probably a bit apprehensive when she saw that I was the one that signed up for this book, but I am very experienced with this topic, so I think it is a good fit.  When I was much younger, I wrote a poem about my girlfriend and gave it to her, and she is now my wife.

You may know this book of the Bible as Song of Solomon, but in the original Hebrew it was called Song of Songs.  It is saying that this is not just a song, it is the song of all songs, like King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  I must admit, it is a very unforgettable song and I was a bit surprised to learn such a book was in the Bible when I first read it long ago.  For some reason my Sunday School teacher did not cover this part of the Bible with us when I was a child.

The visuals painted in these chapters about a bride and groom are very sexual in nature, but is that what this book is about?  Some say it is an allegory of Jesus and his bride, the church.  I doubt this is true because Jesus wasn’t even around in the Old Testament when this was written.  I don’t think the concept of the church being the bride of Jesus was known back then so why would someone write an allegory about that?  It is also believed by some that it could be an allegory about God and the people of Israel.  There are no doubt similarities between the relationship of a bride and groom and the relationship between God and His people, but why would someone use such erotic sexual material to describe how God thinks about Israel and vice versa?

I believe it is love poetry and I am thrilled that the Bible has affirmed that the sexual desire I have for my wife is a good thing.  I know that will make some of you squirm a bit because we don’t usually talk about this stuff, especially in church.  However, I think one of the main points of this book is to show that the physical attraction between a bride and groom is a beautiful thing that God has created for them to enjoy.

I could be very wrong about this, but how much does that matter in this case?  What if it turns out it is about Jesus and the church?  It is perfectly ok for people to have different opinions about topics such as this because it will not affect your salvation if you are wrong.  I really look forward to the day when we will be able to sit and talk with the authors of the Bible and ask them to explain what they were writing about.  I can’t wait to be in the same room as God and Jesus and listen to them talk about so many things we weren’t totally sure about.  That does not mean we should twist meanings and be wrong about things that are plain to see, but you must admit that you don’t completely understand everything.  It is sometimes ok to say “I think” something is true without being 100% positive it is true.

But back to the song of all songs.  I am not going to go in great detail here about this book because you should read it for yourself.  I couldn’t stop thinking about how much in love these two seemed to be.  It reminded me of when you see two young people in love, and their love is just oozing all over each other so much so that they don’t even notice anyone else is around.  They can’t stop smiling at each other and they are on cloud nine.  We usually roll our eyes at them and think they are being ridiculous, but this is exactly the kind of love that was on display in these eight chapters.  Solomon gushed about her eyes, hair, neck, lips, and body parts that reminded him of fawns, but it didn’t stop there.  I knew this was a story about real, intense, true love when he mentioned her teeth.  He didn’t just say she had beautiful teeth, he said her teeth were like a flock of newly shorn ewes.  Don’t picture dirty ewes that have been rolling around in the dirt, Solomon said the ewes had just come up from their washing.  Moreover, all these ewes bore twins, and not one of them had lost their young.  He said all of that about her teeth!?!?  That dude was crazy in love!  And she was just as ridiculous as him, which can be seen when she says her beloved is like a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of Engedi.

We might shake our head if we saw a bride and groom going on and on about each other like that, especially since they focused so much on the physical aspects of love, but this is not a trashy book from the local bookstore, this is a poem about love in the Bible.  The Bible teaches us that true love is on the inside, but this book teaches us that true love can be on the outside as well.  Our world has made a complete mess of love on the outside; not all love between any two people on the outside is good.  However, when a bride and groom love each other on the inside, God created another way for them to show that love.  Song of Songs is not a ridiculous poem to shake your head at; it is a beautiful expression of how much two people can love each other.

Rick McClain


Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at

Tomorrow we begin the book of Proverbs – chapters 1-3 – as we continue the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

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