In my Christian travels I spent a few years in a Word of Faith church back in the mid 80s. Yeah, you know, the name it and claim it bunch. Those blab it and grab it type people like Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin. You get the idea.
Well, with all that was wrong with that movement I can honestly tell you that I was glad for the time I spent in that church because of one very important thing. Their love for the word. This is not to say that other groups don't love the word, they do. But it was the right church for me at the right time.
Before I attended that Word of Faith church reading the Bible was something like reading the phone book. It was hard going and I didn't have a daily reading habit.
But in that Word of Faith church had a prayer line. They prayed for whoever came up front that they would have a hunger for the Word. I went up for prayer and it was wonderful after that. The Bible opened up to me and it was never like reading the phone book again.....
.....Except for one time after that.....
There was a time when I felt the Lord tell me specifically to start reading the Song of Solomon.
I didn't want to. And at first I didn't. My excuse?
"God, I don't want to read that book. It's too racy for this small town Midwestern girl. It's all about sex and it embarrasses me. It has verses like 'We have a little sister and she has no breasts'. What the heck am I supposed to do with that? Songs may have passed for poetry back in the Bible days but nowadays it's just weird to my Western Civilization ears."
(The reason I thought is was all about sex is because that is what all the sermons and books I'd ever seen and heard on it said it was about. BTW, I could probably count on one hand how many sermons and books I ever saw or read on Songs)
So I wouldn't read it. I refused.
But guess what happened.
The rest of the Bible was shut up to me so that it became like reading a phone book again. I could no longer draw spiritual life from all my old favorite verses. No matter where I read, it was flat. It made intellectual sense but did nothing for my spirit except one little ol' verse in the Psalms.
Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest He become angry with you, and you perish in the way.
For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blesses are all who take refuge in Him!
This verse jumped off the page at me. It was like firecrackers whereas the rest of the Bible was like wet wood or stone.
Some translations start off as -- Do homage to the Son, rather than Kiss the Son. And I heard at least one preacher say that the original Hebrew there for Kiss and Do homage have to do with worship, somehow.
So anyway, since reading this little ol' Psalm 2 verse made my spirit happy for reasons I couldn't explain, I decided it might be better if I go ahead and study Song of Solomon. What would it hurt?
Who, but God, knew how much the Songs would eventually mean to me.
If I ever write a non-fiction book about studying the Bible, I'll call it "Scriptures I Used to Avoid and How God Blessed Me With Them Anyway."
Just for those of you who don't know. Songs 1:2 goes like this:
"May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine."
And I found that the words contained in that book really were better than wine.