SONG 5:1-8:14 | 2 CORINTHIANS 9:1-15 | PSALM 51:1-19 | PROVERBS 22:24-25
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The love-poetry from the Song of Solomon continues. It is a dialogue between the man and the woman, declaring their love one for another. It is to remind us of the great love that Christ has for his Church, i.e., the body of believers, and hopefully one that the Church also has for Christ. In some of the most memorable lines from the passage, the woman professes her great love for her beloved with these words:
6 Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of one’s house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.
Turning now to our reading in the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians, we find Paul commending his readers for their generosity in giving to the needs of the missionary work that he and others like Titus are engaged in, and in line with this, exhorts them to continue in their generous spirit.
He says, 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Paul wishes them to know that their generous pockets will be replenished abundantly: 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
And if they still had any doubts about whether they were doing the right thing or even able to afford it, Paul explains the ramifications of their generosity: it not only helps the people that the monies are being spent on, but it also serves as an offering of thanksgiving to God. Plus, it sets a good example and encourages other believers to also be generous.
Paul says, 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.
Turning now to our psalm of the day, we see David in a most contrite and humble mood, showing us what it means to be truly strong in our weakness when we can say to God:
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Finally, some words of wisdom from the book of Proverbs in these verses:
24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
do not associate with one easily angered,
25 or you may learn their ways
and get yourself ensnared.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.