Rest and Replenish

Message from Erin Warford, PRAY LRCA Chair

This is actually not what I intended to send out for Christmas. My plan was to cut and paste an old Christmas blog I had because I am too busy – busy buying, cleaning, decorating, wrapping, cooking, etc….. but I can’t get the lesson I heard last Thursday at Torah study (Bible study at the temple) off my mind. We are studying Song of Solomon and looking at it from two perspectives. The first is as if it is love poetry between a man and a woman. The second is as if it is love poetry between God and his people. It is the relationship shown between God and his people in the beginning of chapter 2 that has played over and over in my mind. Verse 2 is spoken from his (God’s) perspective.

“As a lily among brambles, so is my love among the young women.”

In this verse God’s people are referred to as a lily. The role of a lily is to produce a sweet smell.

Verse 3 is spoken from her (the bride or God’s people) perspective.

“As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men.”

God here is compared to an apple tree among other forest trees. The role of an apple tree is to provide nourishment; a nourishment that other forest trees cannot.

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger,” Luke 2:7

It was not a mistake that the son of God was placed in a manger. A manger is a place for sheep to feed. Their nourishment lies within a manger. So does ours. Our nourishment does not lie in the latest decorations, the best gifts, or the most decadent pumpkin pie. It lies in the fulfilled promise of Jesus the Messiah. We are to sit and rest in the promise that God sent his son to first take care of sin.

“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring everlasting righteousness,” Daniel 9:24

This promise was accomplished by Jesus first coming. The baby who lay in the manger eventually lay in a tomb after completing the necessary sacrifice for atonement of sin. But, that isn’t the end. The angels who appeared to the shepherds in the fields proclaimed peace on earth and good will among men. Unfortunately 2000 years later we watch around the world and in our own country and there seems to be a decline in peace. But we feed on His promises.

“The meek shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD,and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.” Psalms 22:26-28

“He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn was anymore.” Isaiah 2:4

All the ends of the earth and all the families of the earth will turn to the LORD and worship before him as he rules over the nations in peace. He came as promised and will return as promised to establish peace throughout the world. So take a moment in this busy season to thank Him for His provision, and feed on the finished work of the cross and on the promise of peace on earth to come. Merry Christmas!!

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