I was quite younger when I first read through a book of the Bible titled Song of songs or Songs of Solomon as some call it. I was so surprised that this book was part of the Bible. I thought it shouldn’t. I mean, God is a HOLY GOD, why in the world should He permit such to be included in the ‘Holy Bible’? I thought. In fact, I felt like hiding it (can you imagine that?). But I will eternally be thankful for the ministry of the Holy Spirit as the Teacher of the Word and all good things. Not long from the time I had read this book of the Bible, I was on transit on a certain day (the best place to get my attention) and the Holy Spirit brought this book to my remembrance and removed the covering veil from my mind. He made me remember what my name ‘David’ meant (David means ‘beloved’) and that was it! Bearing in mind that Song of songs is partitioned into ‘Lover’ and ‘Beloved’ communication, I got the picture. God is the Lover and I am His Beloved. Wow! That meant everything in the world to me. I thought to myself, so the Lord would dedicate a special book to describe our love relationship? I was changed. Something happened to my heart that day that still remains in me to this very moment. I’m so captured by the love of the Lord for me. He’s not just a God to me. He’s my Father and He loves me so dearly. What a thing to know! Ever since I have read this book in a different way, a new perspective. And I have come to believe that it takes a personal revelation from the Holy Spirit to understand the Bible and all the matters of life – no other way.
Understanding the book of Song of songs has always been an issue of who is reading it and from what perspective is he seeing it. Is he reading with the spirit of revelation or with sense knowledge interpretation? Is he reading as a carnal man or a spiritual man? The reader best answers these questions. If some believers have a chance they’d want to vote out this book from the Bible, they think it shouldn’t be there. But thank God they don’t have a chance for that. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable – none is irrelevant (2 Timothy 3:16,17). Check this out:
My dove in the cleft of the rock,
in the hiding-places on the mountainside,
show me your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.
Catch for us the foxes,
the little foxes
that ruin the vineyards,
our vineyards that are in bloom.
My lover is mine and I am his;
he browses among the lilies.
Until the day breaks and the shadows flee,
turn, my lover,
and be like a gazelle
or like a young stag
on the rugged hills.”
Song of Songs 2:14-17 (NIV).
Christians believe that Song of Songs is meant for married couples and could also be used as a picture of the love relationship between Jesus Christ (The Groom) and the Church (The bride). However, I have come to discover that the key to experiencing the revelation in this book is studying it from the perspective of one who is in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s about a love commitment. You’ll get to see how that the Lord Jesus is personally committed to having you experience His love for you which was expressed on the cross and you will also experience how that agape-love of God spurs you into going the extra mile for the Lord. Hence, you will understand words like “If you love me keep my commandments” (John 14:15) and “For the love of Christ compels us.” (2 Corinthians 5:14). The Word of God tells us “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3, NKJV). The love of God gives us hope. Have faith in the love of God for you personally and remain in His love!
It is one thing to give to the Lord and it is yet another thing for the Lord to be honoured by your offering. A huge number of givers are not even recognized before God. They throw away their substances in the name of giving. Our pursuit in giving should be to honour the Lord with our substances and not just to give the Lord ‘something’, for He’s not in need. The harvest we get in return when we give is not as important as the Lord honouring our offering first of all. Proverbs 3:9-10 shows us something we must never forget if we must honour the Lord in our giving. It says “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” It is either the Lord is honoured by your offering or He is despised by it. There’s really no middle ground! The Lord would rather have you give nothing than to dishonour Him with your offering. Honour always comes first when it comes to giving to the Lord.
Many believers think that so long as there was a harvest after giving to the Lord that means the Lord honoured their offerings – not at all. The fact that there was a harvest in return after giving is not a sign that the Lord honoured your offering. The law of sowing and reaping works for everyone – both sinners and saints alike. God initiated that cosmic law. It is a law that functions here on earth (as long as this earth is still in existence) and doesn’t only relate to giving but to every action or decision we make in this life. Genesis 8:22 shows us God’s declaration to that effect. It says “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Also we see that in Galatians 6:7-9 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Glory to God! Note what is says “whatsoever a man soweth...” ‘a man’ there doesn’t refer to only the saints but to every man (and woman). So you can see that this law works for whoever puts it to work.
However, there is the Bible way to give an offering that honours the Lord and that the Lord honours! It is found in 2 Corinthian 9:7. It says “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” The Amplified Version renders it this way: “Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, ``prompt to do it") giver [whose heart is in his giving].” Wow. This is amazing. I recommend, if possible, that we always read, study and meditate on these portions of Scriptures before giving to the Lord and stop despising the Lord and wasting your substances. Giving is a serious business before God. It’s a matter of honour. Remember what the Lord says in 1 Samuel 2:30 “...but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” It should be our quest to honour the Lord in all we do.
The whole purpose of giving to the Lord is to honour Him and once that is not in place the whole essence is lost. Just like in the old covenant, God gave the Israelites various specifications for their offerings and sacrifices. If they followed these specifications their offerings were accepted but if they didn’t then their offerings weren’t accepted. It was more of the issue of honour than it was the gifts or offerings. So it is also in the New Covenant. We must always remember that in whatever we do, God is always focused on the attitude of the heart with which it is done – He’s not a man! Why was Abel’s offering accepted and that of Cain rejected? It was for this same purpose. It appears as though we have wandered away from the foundation or basics of this principle. We seem to lay more emphasis on the size of the offering or even the currencies in which they come instead of focusing on the Kingdom’s essence of giving. Have you ever asked yourself why giving is such an important part of the Kingdom principles? I mean giving in all ramifications – time, talent, treasure, service etc. Giving is one major way we show value and honour. What’s the difference between a $10 and a $10millon offering? – The heart! Before God it has nothing to do with the size!
Now when it comes to the issue of what to give, it is very important that we listen to the Spirit of God. God doesn’t honour emotional giving. He never touches whatever comes from the flesh. He only receives what comes from and through the Spirit. Even Jesus Christ offered Himself through the eternal Spirit of God – the Holy Spirit (See Heb. 9:14). What the Lord provides for you is either seed for sowing or bread for food (2 Cor. 9:10). When you don’t listen to the Spirit, you will do dumb things – eat the seed and sow the bread. Check out how the Macedonian Church gave. Paul speaking by the Holy Spirit in II Corinthians 8:1-5 tells us. In verse 5 particularly, he said “And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.” Wow. We must follow their example. In the Kingdom of God, giving has never been a money or material issue. It has always been a heart, honour and attitudinal thing. So will you follow the Macedonian example or will you do it your own way? If your goal of giving is to truly honour the Lord with your substance, then you must do it the Bible way. “Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.” Ecclesiastes 5:1. Blessings!