(Note: If you have not read part 1 of this article, please read it first. It will help you to understand the applications I am making in this article. - JMJ)
After completing the article this morning, my mind continued to think about Solomon’s writing. As is common for me, my mind doesn’t seem to “shut off” easily! (ha) After writing about the Shulammite woman and her requesting that her love not be stirred up or awakened “til he please” (Song of Sol. 2:7, 3:4, 8:4), I began thinking about another application. As I stated in an earlier article, I am not convinced that Song of Solomon is a type/antiype of Christ, nor a “Messianic” song. I do think, however, that there are several places where applications can be made to Christ and the church when we consider the fact that God used the husband and wife relationship to describe this spiritual relationship (Eph. 5:22-33). I am always willing to study with anyone on this if you believe Solomon definitely had Christ in mind in this song.
Having said this, please go back and reread what the Shulammite said. I believe this is one of those verses where an application to Christ and the church can be made. The text in Solomon’s Song said she didn’t want her passions stirred until the time was right and proper. It is not that the passion itself was wrong, but it could be expressed in the wrong way if the time (before marriage) was not right. This statement caused me to think more about “timing” and how God has His timetable for things. Is it not fascinating to consider that an eternal being is concerned with time and has a “timetable” of His own?
I know God doesn’t count time as we do (II Pet. 3:8), but I also know things have happened at the “right time” with God! Think about the birth of Christ. Jesus Christ came to this world “in the fulness of time” (Gal. 4:4). He did not get here too early or too late. It is the same with the church, Christ’s bride. The church came into existence in the “last days” (Isa. 2:2-4). In other words, at the right time, when the right king was in power (Dan. 2:44-45), and when things had come to fruition as God wanted (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21)! In the case of God and His plan for Christ and the church, no one was going to “stir up” anything to change God’s plan. When the time was right, it happened perfectly!
We could include the fact that when God works providentially, then He is working things out at the right time. This was true with people like Joseph, Ruth, Naaman’s maid, Daniel, Hannah, Abraham, Esther, and a host of others. It is also true today. God has ways in which His will is going to come about. When this happens, it happens at the right time, regardless of whether or not it was our time!
When we think about the end of the world, remember Christ will return for His bride (the church). When He does, it will be at the right time. No man knows when this will be, but again, this eternal being, our Father, has said Jesus will come “as a thief in the night” (I Thess. 5:2; II Pet. 3:10), and when He does, He will return for His bride, and this world will end (Rev. 19:6-21). It is on God’s timetable and not man’s. No one will “stir up” God’s passions and make Him send Christ too early or too late!
Some try to guess as to when the Lord will return. It seems some have made predictions about His return almost since the time He left (Acts 1:9-11; I Thess. 4:13-5:11; II Pet. 3; Acts 5:36-37; Matt. 24:4-5; etc.)! Does anyone remember the bulletin boards and bumper stickers that were out some years ago that said, “If the Lord doesn’t come soon, He will owe an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah!”?
Let’s stop whittling on God’s end of the stick and realize that God won’t be “stirred up” but will make sure things are done right on time as He has always done. Let us, in the meantime, prepare for the Lord’s return by being saved (Jn. 8:24; Lk. 13:3; Rom. 10:10; Mk. 16:16) and remaining faithful to Him as a faithful bride would (Rev. 2:10; I Cor. 15:58). Let us spend time on earth growing (II Pet. 3:18) and maturing in the Lord that we will be ready for Him when He arrives. Let us prepare to hear those words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”!
- Jarrod M. Jacobs
In Solomon’s writing, we read, “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all” (Ecc. 9:11). In a world where many believe in “fate,” astrology, and predestination, we must remember that there are some things that are completely random and out of our control. “Time and chance” happens to people on this earth. Your decisions are not “written in the stars.” Your future is not fixed. You have choices to make and will suffer the consequences of your and others’ choices in this life.
On this earth, we see that there is such a thing as being at the “right place at the right time.” Folks are fortunate at times, having access to something or someone that others do not. “Timing” is essential in this life. Being one second early or one second late can make all the difference, sometimes! This is what Solomon was saying in that passage.
This is why in addition to being at the “right place at the right time,” one could also be at the “wrong place at the wrong time”! Someone may be at a place they ought not be or associated with people they ought not be (Ps. 1:1-3), and the results can be disastrous. Still, others can be at the “right place at the wrong time.”
Or they can be at the “wrong place at the right time”! Oh, the irony of life on earth! Yes, “time and chance” happens to all of us.
You can’t control your DNA, who your parents are, where you were born, or the circumstances of your childhood. Why were you born in this country, in this state, in this county, in this town, etc.? “Time and chance happeneth” to all of us!
We can look at circumstances and complain about what is fair and not fair, or we can get the proper perspective that Solomon has given us. “Time and chance” happens to us, but there are still some things we control. There are still some decisions we make that are truly ours.
What kind of decisions can we make that are not dependant upon “time and chance”? We can decide for ourselves whether or not we will be saved (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38-41; etc.). We can decide if we will resist or yield to temptation (Jas, 1:14-15, 4:7). We can control our attitude toward self and others. These are things we can control in a world filled with things that are unknown.
We make decisions daily in the hope that we will make the best decisions based upon our wisdom and experience. Yet, we can never account for the unknown. “Time and chance” continues to loom large in our lives. This is why we say, “if the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that” (Jas. 4:15).
- Jarrod M. Jacobs
After Haman’s plans for killing the Jews, including Esther, were revealed (Est. 7:6), things moved very quickly. Mordecai’s enemy ended up hanging from the gallows he had made for him (v. 10). Not only this, but the ring Haman once wore was given to Mordecai (Est. 8:2). The position once held by Haman, Mordecai now held. The entire population of Jews, once oppressed, were allowed weapons and to have a fair fight against the Persians (Est. 8:11-12, 9:2-3). Yes, God in His providence caused a complete reversal in the plans of Haman “the enemy of the Jews.”
This is not the only time we read about this happening. When Jesus spoke about the eternal destiny of the rich man and Lazarus, we find another time when things were reversed (Lk. 16:19-31). Specifically, Abraham reminds the rich man, “Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented” (v. 25). Upon analyzing the context, we see many “reversals” that took place between the rich man and Lazarus. Just like Haman and Mordecai, many things changed between them. I marvel at this because perhaps those five brothers he left behind thought of their brother as a godly man and one bound for eternal bliss. God knew what was going on “behind the scenes,” and this man got what he deserved. In reality, the rich man and Lazarus experienced a true reversal from what they had experienced on earth.
The most significant reversal of all was the reversal Christ performed when He made salvation possible through His death, burial, and resurrection (Matt. 26:28; Col. 1:14, 20; Heb. 9:28; I Jn. 2:2; Rom. 6:2-6, 16-18; I Pet. 3:21). Satan thought that he had won. He had succeeded in tempting the first people to sin (Gen. 3:1-6). They sinned, and we have had to live with the consequences on this earth ever since (Gen. 3:16-24). Satan then tempted Cain (Gen. 4:1-11), Abraham (Gen. 12, 20), Moses (Num. 20), David (II Sam. 11-12), and every other man and woman on earth (Rom. 3:23)! He succeeded in getting humanity to sin and to jeopardize their souls before God.
Satan seemed to be winning until Christ came to earth! At that time, we see a reversal taking place. Christ was tempted like others, but did not yield (Matt. 4:1-11; Lk. 4:1-13; Heb. 4:15). He “did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (I Pet. 2:22). Furthermore, when He died, He did not die in sin but died to be a sacrifice for others’ sins (I Pet. 3:18). Where Adam brought death, we see that Christ brings life (I Cor. 15:22). Yes, a complete reversal is possible in Christ!
Are you ready for a new beginning? Are you ready for “light, and gladness, and joy, and honor” (Est. 8:16)? Spiritually, you can have these things by following the Lord and doing what He says. Become a Christian (Acts 11:26; Mk. 16:16). Live faithfully for the Lord (I Cor. 15:58), and you can look forward to Heaven (another reversal from life on earth) when this life is over (Matt. 25:34)!
- Jarrod M. Jacobs
The book of Esther is often noted as a book where God’s name is not mentioned, but His “fingerprints” are all over the book. I would suggest that this could also be said about Satan. Satan is not specifically mentioned in the book. Yet, there is no denying that he is in this book.
What do I mean by this? Consider the fact that Haman worked hard to kill all of the Jews. Satan tempted Haman through the pride (vainglory) of life to be offended that Mordecai would not bow to him (Est. 2:5; I Jn. 2:15-17). He allowed this to foment and it resulted in envy and anger toward Mordecai and all of the Jews. “Mordecai must be taught a lesson, and all others must understand that this is what happens to those who do not bow down to me!” Mordecai believed that not only will the offender be killed, but his family and nation will fall as a consequence.
This law played into Satan’s hands. It was not merely because of the death and mayhem that would result. It played into Satan’s hands because if one can kill the Jews, then this person has effectively stopped Christ from coming into the world! We must remember that Jesus was promised to come through the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10; Isa. 11:1-5; Jer. 23:5-6; Heb. 7:14; Rev. 5:5). Therefore, if one can kill the tribe of Judah, then Jesus can be prevented from being born! If He is not born, then He cannot die as a sacrifice for man’s sin (Gen. 3:15; Matt. 16:21, 26:26-28; Jn. 18:37). If He doesn’t die, be buried and resurrect, then no man can be saved (I Cor. 15:1-4; I Pet. 3:21)!
Satan had a master plan, and it might have worked if God’s providence was not in place to stop him (Est. 4:14)! Thankfully, he failed, and he continues to fail. Yet, Satan does not sleep! He couldn’t stop Christ from coming into the world, but he will do his best to keep you from going to Heaven! Are you paying attention? Are you asleep (Rom. 13:11-14)? I pray not!
- Jarrod M. Jacobs
In II Samuel 16, we read where David was cursed by Shimei, a family member of Saul. He threw stones at David, calling him a “bloody man” (v. 6-7). Though Abishai wanted Shimei to die, David spared his life. He reasoned that if God wanted Shimei to curse him, then he would not fight it (v. 9-11). David allowed Shimei to live, and he lived into the reign of Solomon (I Kings 2:36-46).
Why are these facts relevant to us? They are relevant because the descendants of Shimei lived to see the rise and fall of the kingdom of Judah. They saw the rise and fall of Babylon and the emergence of the Medo-Persian empire. In these generations, Shimei’s descendants gave birth to Jair, and finally, Mordecai and Esther were brought into the world (Est. 2:5, 7).
Think about this for a moment. Had David not spared Shimei’s life, would there have been a Mordecai to raise Esther? Would there have been Esther to save the Jews? I believe in God’s providence and know He would have made a way to spare the people if they had not been born. However, they were born, and because they were born, we see an exciting thing occurring. By the providence of God, a descendant of Judah (David) spared a descendant of Benjamin (Shimei), so that a descendant of Benjamin (Esther) could spare all of Judah! The actions described in Esther are what finally allow Christ to come into the world!
I doubt David ever thought about the descendants of Shimei when he spared him that day in II Samuel 16, but thanks be to God, it happened! I doubt Shimei thought that someday his descendants would save the lives of David’s descendants, but I am thankful to God that they did! Our Savior’s lineage was hanging in the balance in the days of the Persian Empire. Thanks be to God that Christ was spared, and He became the Savior for those under the Old Covenant and the people living today (Heb. 9:15; I Pet. 1:18-19)! All because David spared Shimei!
- Jarrod M. Jacobs
(A special thanks to #1 Son who said, “Hey Dad, did you notice …”)