Monday, July 6, 2009

Horses and Goats in a Love Story?

Well, honestly I cannot imagine the significance of goats and horses to the Hebrew culture back in Solomon's day.

Jesus spoke of goats. But it wasn't in a positive light. He said He would separate the sheep from the goats. The difference between them was their level of expressing God's love to others. The goats didn't do it. They didn't follow the lead of the Shepherd. They didn't know His voice and mimic His actions of care for others.

The Beloved is said to have goats in SOS 1:8. And that may mean absolutely nothing. Or it may mean something. We'll get back to it after we look at a more puzzling verse.

SOS 1:9 To me, my darling, you are like My mare among the chariots of Pharaoh.

vs 10 Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, Your neck with strings of beads.

What in the world?
Is the Lover comparing the Beloved to a horse?
I don't know about the Hebrew culture, but in the one I live in, a woman being called a horse is fighting words...
And not the least bit romantic.

Well, setting aside the fact that I'm clueless as to the cultural meaning of verse 9, I do want to share another scripture that I have stumbled upon that might shed some light on this verse.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

Vs 9 Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, Otherwise they will not come near you.


Remember we are only in chapter one of SOS here and only about half way through at that. The Beloved is only new at this relationship. She's been burnt, may still have shame, may still feel very shy. This a comparison to a mare, lovingly expressed, does it imply that the Beloved still holds herself afar? Has she not yet phased out of the goat stage of her relationship to the Lover the Good Shepherd and into the trusting sheep phase? The kind of sheep that knows His voice?

Remember, what I present on this blog is strictly on a take it or leave it basis. If what I share does nothing for you, it does nothing. God is huge and the Bible is pretty big too. Each of us will be inspired by different parts.

But before I wrap this post up, let me share one more scripture. I have actually shared it before in my series on the Fear of God.

Psalm 3:21 When my heart was embittered, And I was pierced within,

Vs 22 Then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast (an animal) before Thee.

Vs 23 Nevertheless I am continually with Thee; Thou hast taken hold of my right hand.

Vs 24 With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide me, And afterward receive me to glory (with honor).

Is the Beloved still bitter over her treatment at the hands of her brothers? Is she a bit skittish around the Lover, around men in general? Does she need healing, the kind we looked at in SOS 1:13? My heart tells me yes. It tells me that God is speaking to me and other women through these verses with understanding towards our hurts in this "man's world" that cares little for the hurts of women.

The name of this blog is From Bitter Waters to Sweet. It is my attempt to reveal to others the path I have followed and am still following that leads me out of bitterness and into His sweetness.

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