We have come to the last chapter of this year’s reading.
And as we come to the end of this year, it seemed fitting to reflect … after a year of reading the Bible, have we drawn closer to the Lord? Is our love for Him stronger?
After all the exhilaration, the despondency, the highs and lows of the experiences of love of the Shulamite woman and her beloved, it ends with this declaration by the Shulamite to the Beloved …
7 Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor can the floods drown it.
If a man would give for love
All the wealth of his house,
It would be utterly despised.
~ Songs 8:6-7
Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve!
This declaration by the Shulamite is the culmination of her love that has been growing, developing and maturing since the 1st chapter.
What started out as infatuation, or a shallow kind of love, has now grown to an all consuming, embracing love.
It sorts of reminds me of the hymn, “None of Self and All of Thee”.
In the beginning, it was all her. Her Beloved is hers. She “owns” him. Then as we continue reading, she moved on to being delighted that she now belongs to her Beloved.
So should it be for our Christian journey. In the hymn, we sing, “All of self, and none of Thee”.
But our love should grow gradually to “some of self and some of Thee”.
As we mature more, it is “less of self and more of Thee”.
But finally, it should be “none of self and all of Thee”.
Which stage are we at right now?
The Bible tells us that “we love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19). At first, we love the Lord because of all that He has done for us.
But it is very much still “us” as the focus.
We must move beyond ourselves to be more God focused.
It’s all about Him. Not us.
What does God require of us?
Why not consider the words of Micah for our journey next year?
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
~ Micah 6:8
We thank God for truly another year of His grace day by day.