Begin an authentic relationship with the Lord

Harem Dancers by Fabio Fabbi

This is not a normal teaching from your normal church.  Some experiences cannot be shared by the congregation.

This blog is not for the immature or new believer. It is for the believer who sits up one days and says “I want more, in my relationship with God. I want to be closer to my God, my King, my Redeemer, and my Beloved.”

The Song of Songs teaches that we are all in God’s harem.  We are all brides of Messiah, individually. For purposes of the blog I have substituted Harem where one would normally write congregation, church, or believers. The great love poem was left for us to understand that the  relationship with out Lord is to be as intimate as any passionate encounter.

Hosea 10

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Hosea 10

The Peace in the Harem that is Welfare, Health and/or Prosperity

doveIn this usage the translators go for the meaning over the word shalom, and rarely translate this one as peace. So the casual English reader never realizes that it is the word shalom. It is also the kind of shalom that we are to pray for Jerusalem. (Again all word that are shalom in the Hebrew are in red.)

He said to them, “Is it well with him?” They said, “It is well; and see, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep!” Gen. 29:6

 

But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him. Gen. 37:4

He replied, “Rest assured, do not be afraid; your God and the God of your father must have put treasure in your sacks for you; I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. Gen. 43:23

27 And he inquired about their welfare, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”28 They said, “Your servant our father is well, he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads and made obeisance. Gen. 43:27-28

But he said, “Far be it from me that I should do so! Only the man in whose hand the cup was found shall be my slave; but as for you, go up in peace to your father.” Gen. 44:17

 

Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Let me go back, I pray, to my kinsmen in Egypt and see whether they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace. Ex. 4:18

Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and did obeisance and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare, and went into the tent. Ex. 18:7

 

Of the Ammonites and Moabites God instructed them

This group is interesting because Ruth was a Moabite, and as such should have been under this curse. However salvation comes even to those who have been cursed, for Ruth attaches herself to Naomi and Naomi’s God. (See Also: Ruth)

You shall not seek their peace or their prosperity all your days for ever. Deut. 23:6

In the History books there is more seeking peace than obtaining it.

But the LORD said to him, “Peace be to you; do not fear, you shall not die.” Judg. 6:23

And they turned aside thither, and came to the house of the young Levite, at the home of Micah, and asked him of his welfare. Judg. 18:15

And the old man said, “Peace be to you; I will care for all your wants; only, do not spend the night in the square.” Judg. 19:20

 

Samuel did what the LORD commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 1 Sam. 16:4

. . . also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See how your brothers fare, and bring some token from them.” 1 Sam. 17:18

If he says, ‘Good!’ it will be well with your servant; but if he is angry, then know that evil is determined by him. 1 Sam. 20:7

And behold, I will send the lad, saying, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to the lad, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you, take them,’ then you are to come, for, as the LORD lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger.  1Sam. 20:21

Then David received from her hand what she had brought him; and he said to her, “Go up in peace to your house; see, I have hearkened to your voice, and I have granted your petition.” 1 Sam. 25:35

When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab was doing, and how the people fared, and how the war prospered. 2Sam. 11:7

Then Ahima-az cried out to the king, “All is well.” And he bowed before the king with his face to the earth, and said, “Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king.” 2 Sam. 18:28

 

Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably.” 1 Kings 2:13 

 

. . . run at once to meet her, and say to her, Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?” And she answered, “It is well.” 2 Kings 4:26

 

17 Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, “I see a company.” And Joram said, “Take a horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, ‘Is it peace?” 18 So a man on horseback went to meet him, and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?” And Jehu said, “What have you to do with peace? Turn round and ride behind me.” And the watchman reported, saying, “The messenger reached them, but he is not coming back.” 19 Then he sent out a second horseman, who came to them, and said, “Thus the king has said, ‘Is it peace?” And Jehu answered, “What have you to do with peace? Turn round and ride behind me.” 20 Again the watchman reported, “He reached them, but he is not coming back. And the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he drives furiously.” 

21 Joram said, “Make ready.” And they made ready his chariot. Then Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah set out, each in his chariot, and went to meet Jehu, and met him at the property of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 And when Joram saw Jehu, he said, Is it peace, Jehu?” He answered, “What peace can there be, so long as the harlotries and the sorceries of your mother Jezebel are so many?” 2 Kings 9:17-22

Jehu met the kinsmen of Ahaziah king of Judah, and he said, “Who are you?” And they answered, “We are the kinsmen of Ahaziah, and we came down to visit the royal princes and the sons of the queen mother.” 2 Kings 10:13

Therefore give not your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.’ Ezra 9:12

 

In the poetry books there are many questions as to how this shalom works.

Questions we all still ask, Why to the wicked have shalom? Which is pared with, Why do the righteous suffer?

We also see that the peace of Jerusalem that we are to pray for, is not lack of conflict that so many English people seem to think. Rather it is that in spite of the conflict there will be prosperity. The real theological argument is not Jerusalem’s shalom but which Jerusalem, the earthly one or the heavenly one? [c.f. Gal. 4:26]

 

Terrifying sounds are in his ears; in prosperity the destroyer will come upon him. Job 15:21

 

But the meek shall possess the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity. Psa. 37:11

In his days may righteousness flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more! Psa. 72:7

For I was envious of the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. Psa. 73:3

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they prosper who love you! Psa. 122:6

Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers!” Psa. 122:7

For my brethren and companions’ sake I will say, “Peace be within you!” Psa. 122:8

 

. . . for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare will they give you. Prov. 3:2

 

The Prophets explain why there is no shalom

“There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.” Is. 48:22

There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.” Is. 57:21

They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. Jer. 6:14

Then the princes said to the king, “Let this man be put to death, for he is weakening the hands of the soldiers who are left in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm.” Jer. 38:4

No matter what the world, the flesh, or the devil may bring our way, we are to seek shalom, as the prosperity of the soul.

 

 

It Is Well with My Soul

by Horatio Spafford

 

1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

◦Refrain:
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

3. My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

6. And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

The Story behind the Spafford’s Hymn

 

Garments of Salvation

Jewish Bride 1881 by Carbonero

Jewish Bride 1881
by Carbonero

The King of the Universe declares his love for His people in terms of a wedding.

Is. 61:10   I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.  Is. 61:10 

 

5 For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. Is. 2:5

 

Our sinful natures have been replace with garments of salvation. In this passage there are all the signs of a festival with garland and jewels. However the Hebrew word translated here as “garland” is kohen or priest in verb form, meaning to act like a priest, or minister as a priest.

. . . and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” Ex. 19:6

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Pet. 2:9 

To often the postmodern church allows the preachers to put these kind of verses off to some perfect future. However every day is the day of salvation. Everyday we are already the bride of Messiah. Everyday our righteousness and praise is to spring forth before the nations. We must stop putting off our joy and rejoicing. For God is rejoicing over us, in the here and now.

In the Harem there is Peace from War

doveThis is that elusive peace from war. This is what peace means to most English speaking people, as we have all tired of war. We yearn for the absence of conflict. As we look back over the history of the world it is quite clear that there has never been a time where there was no conflict. Humans are warriors, and there will be no peace till Shiloh come, [Gen. 49:10] and that peace will be forced with a Rod of Iron.[Rev. 19:15]

There are two laws given in regard to peace. One is a promise that if the children of Israel do all that they covenanted to do, then they will have peace.

And I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid; and I will remove evil beasts from the land, and the sword shall not go through your land. Lev. 26:6

The other law is that if a people surrender, the children of Israel must offer terms of peace.

“When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it. Deut. 20:10

The first time we see this kind of peace is in the book of Joshua as he made peace with the people of Gibeon. The people of Gibeon did not know of the law of treaties and therefore made an elaborate effort to trick the children of Israel into a peace treaty. They could have just asked.

And Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them, to let them live; and the leaders of the congregation swore to them. Josh. 9:15

When Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them, Josh. 10:1

They are never again mentione again as an independent people, so it is assumed by the scholars that they melded into the children of Israel and in a few generations there was no distinction between the two groups.

Peace is Never Lasting

This lack of war is not always honored or kept for all time. Men are not reliable in this area. If the circumstances change so will their desire to maintain the peace.

But Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. Judg. 4:17

The men of Penuel would not support Gibeon in his war with the two kings of Midian so he promised on his return to take down their defenses.

And he said to the men of Penuel, “When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower.” Judg. 8:9

This peace was not a negotiated peace but rather the peace that all out victory brings. The enemy was to be slain and so they were. The peace that Gibeon got came about by the utter defeat of Midea. They no longer had the ability to field an army. Nearly their entire army was wiped out, 120,000 men were killed leaving only 15,000 survivors. As Midea is in what is now central Iran they had come a long way, and were probably unable to support or resupply such a distant force. There war was over.

The next is probably the worst or lowest point for the 12 tribes, for after they had come into the land there was “that incident” as jewish literature refers to it. There was a civil was between the 11 tribes and Benjamin. There is nothing civil about civil war. It is always brutal and deviating to any nation that indulges in this uncivil behavior. The children of Israel were no exception. The full tale of this violent episode is in Judges 19-21.

Then the whole congregation sent word to the Benjaminites who were at the rock of Rimmon, and proclaimed peace to them. Judg. 21:13

In the end there was peace, but at a terrible price. The entire tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out.

Where Peace is the Absence of Conflict

The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel rescued their territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites. 1 Sam. 7:14

. . .  and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. You seek the life of only one man, and all the people will be at peace.” 2 Sam. 17:3

And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came again in peace. 2 Sam. 19:24 KJV

And Mephibosheth said unto the king, Yea, let him take all, forasmuch as my lord the king is come again in peace unto his own house. 2 Sam. 19:30 KJV

“Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, Abner the son of Ner, and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he murdered, avenging in time of peace blood which had been shed in war, and putting innocent blood upon the girdle about my loins, and upon the sandals on my feet. 1Kings 2:5 

For he had dominion over all the region west of the Euphrates from Tiphsah to Gaza, over all the kings west of the Euphrates; and he had peace on all sides round about him. 1 Kings 4:24

And the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and the two of them made a treaty. 1Kings 5:12

Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?” 2 Kings 20:19

Behold, a son shall be born to you; he shall be a man of peace. I will give him peace from all his enemies round about; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 1 Chr. 22:9

Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days. Is. 39:8

 

It is God who makes Peace

“Dominion and fear are with God; he makes peace in his high heaven. Job 25:2

He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant.  Psa. 55:20 KJV

. . . a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. Eccl. 3:8

I was a wall, and my breasts were like towers; then I was in his eyes as one who brings peace. Song 8:10

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Is. 9:6

However as Leviticus passage said if they did not keep their covenant with God there would be no peace.

Behold, the valiant ones cry without; the envoys of peace weep bitterly. Is. 33:7 

When anguish comes, they will seek peace, but there shall be none. Ezek. 7:25

Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who cry “Peace” when they have something to eat, but declare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths. Mic. 3:5

And this shall be peace, when the Assyrian comes into our land and treads upon our soil, that we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princes of men; Mic. 5:5 

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah seasons of joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love truth and peace. Zech. 8:19 

(See Also: Zech 8 The Nations Shall Seek the Lord)

The Lord of the Harem is Love (part 2)

omnipotenceGod’s Love is Directional

By its very nature love must be directed toward someone or something. God’s love is not for everything or everyone. At creation He pronounced things “good” He did not day He loved them. His love is directed to His Son, The Believers, and The Sinners.

His Son

Because God is infinite His love for His Son is all transcending and passes all the love of any father for an earthly child.

. . . and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matt. 3:17 

He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Matt. 17:5

Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world. John 17:24 

The Believers

The love God’s has for believers is everlasting, and is for the believer who believes that Messiah came from the Father. It is familial, for we are family.

. . . the LORD appeared to him from afar. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Jer. 31:3

. . . for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father. John 16:27 

I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me. John 17:23 

The Sinners

Even though God hates sin He loves sinners, and wants to have a relationship with them, other than their final judge.

While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man — though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. 8 But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Rom. 5:6-8

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), Eph. 2:4 -5

The Lord of the Harem is Love (part 1)

omnipotenceThis is all most pagans know about the God of the Bible, and it is all they want to know. They take great solace in what they think it means. They believe that with this great a love “God won’t condemn anyone”.  However that is not exactly what His love is like. He is a jealous God, and will not tolerate unfaithfulness.

His love comes with a price. A price so high none of us could pay it. So He paid it Himself. We are bought brides. We come with no dowry, no wealth, and no nobility. He laid down His life so we could be free to love Him back.

7   Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God.  8 He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.  9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.  10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.  11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  12 No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 

13   By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit.  14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.  15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.  16 So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  17 In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world.  18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love.  19 We love, because he first loved us.  20 If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.  21 And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also. 1 John 4:7-21

There is no other faith on earth that has a loving God. The Greek word here is agape, and is the love for someone or something based on sincere appreciation or high regard, loving affection, and loving concern. Even though we are the dust of the earth God has this agape love for us. The pagans may have a god or idol of lovers, or fertility, but they are not that all forgiving love of the creator God.  There is nothing in nature or ones own knowledge that tells us that God is love. This information only comes from the revelation of the Scriptures, written by those who came before us, those who had direct access to God. They have left us this great legacy of information.

It is the Bible and the Bible only where we are told that God is love.

 

See Also: Three Kinds of Wives

Shalom as Friendship

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