Don’t judge a book….

On Sunday I took time out to study in the garden.

This wasn’t my normal morning devotional, but rather an in depth exploration looking intoThe Song of Songs.

My exploration was aided by Marcus Rainsford’s book, which has “blown me away”.

I rarely pick up commentaries, and generally prefer to “figure things out for myself”.

Previously an in depth study would have involved an old concordance, and immense effort to try and link texts, many of them buried deep within my memory.

I’ve always been aware that my understanding of this book has been woefully lacking, but it has been a favourite for years as it always reminds me of my long deceased Grandad.

The voice of my beloved!

Behold, he comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.

My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.

Behold, he stands behind our wall; He is looking through the windows, gazing through the lattice.

Song of Solomon 2: 8-9

These few verses remind me of Joe looking in through the side window, and peering over the net curtains announcing his return from a morning’s hard labour in one of his many gardens where he lovingly tended his crops.

He was a hard working quiet man, but with a great sense of humour, but someone who was happiest with a hoe, spade or sieve in his hands.

Together we often walked the streets of the village selling his produce from a wheelbarrow, and I’d occasionally pick up a 3d tip from a kindly customer.

Those were precious times.

So far I’ve spent around 6 hours going through the riches of Song of Songs chapter 1, with Rainsford’s help I’ve mined the depths of Solomon’s writings and discovered so much more than I could ever have imagined.

Each chapter speaks of a “special relationship”. The Bride and the Groom – Jesus who died for his church. In Ch.1:5 she is dark (reminded of her sin), but by Ch1:10 she is His darling “my fairest”.

The book peels back the layers of love, and shows how richly we are loved.

I would never have guessed it from the cover – but with these pages to guide me and a few of my own reference points to JESUS came alive, and my contentment on our garden bench was off the scale.

Do you have a favourite book in the bible, and a guide that unpacks the truth?

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