February 16: Wit, Wordplay, and Euphemism
Exodus 37–38; John 6:25–51; Song of Solomon 5:1–4
The Bible is a passionate book. It’s about a God who is impassioned for His people and who ultimately sends His Son to die for them so that they can be saved from themselves. And it also portrays the passion seen in romantic love.
Song of Solomon 5:1–4 is full of wit, wordplay, and euphemism. It’s dramatic, like a play. The man is full of zeal for the woman he loves, and the woman is excited to see her man. And this isn’t a Michael Bolton ballad or Kenny G song. There is haste. There is anxiety—you can almost hear the heart palpitations. This isn’t the stuff for the unmarried, and it is definitely not the stuff for kids or teenagers. This is true romance as God designed it.
The woman says, “I slept, but my heart was awake” (Song 5:2). She may be asleep, but her love for the man is not. That is both the type of love we must have in marriage and the type of love we must have for our God—never sleeping, always wide awake.
Jesus makes a similar contrast between subtle love (or necessary love) and real love: “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and they died. [God provided them the manna shortly after the exodus (Exod 16).] This is the bread that comes down from heaven [being Jesus and His message], so that someone may eat from it and not die” (John 6:49–50).
What fills our minds and keeps our hearts awake at night says who we really are; we will dedicate ourselves to what we care most about. Let us dedicate ourselves to love of family, others, and Christ.
What are you wrongly in love with right now? What can you do to refocus your love?
JOHN D. BARRY
- After this, Bazalel made the Ark of Shittim wood, two cubits and an half long, and a cubit and an half broad, and a cubit and an half high: And overlaid it with fine gold within and without, and made a crown of gold to it round about, And cast for it four rings of gold for the four corners of it: that is, two rings for the one side of it, and two rings for the other side thereof. Also he made bars of Shittim wood, and covered them with gold, And put the bars in the rings by the sides of the Ark, to bear the Ark. And he made the Mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and an half was the length thereof, and one cubit and an half the breadth thereof. And he made two Cherubims of gold, upon the two ends of the Mercy seat: even of work beaten with the hammer made he them. One Cherub on the one end, and another Cherub on the other end: of the Mercy seat made he the Cherbims, at the two ends thereof. And the Cherubims spread out their wings on high, and covered the Mercy seat with their wings and their faces were one towards another: toward the Mercy seat were the faces of the Cherubims. Also he made the Table of Shittim wood: two cubits was the length thereof and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and an half the height of it. And he overlaid it with fine gold, and made thereto a crown of gold round about. Also he made thereto a border of an hand breadth round about, and made upon the border of a crown of gold round about. And he cast for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that were in the four feet thereof. Against the border were the rings, as places for the bars to bear the Table. And he made the bars of Shittim wood, and covered them with gold to bear the Table. Also he made the instruments for the Table of pure gold: of work beaten out with the hammer made he the Candlestick: and his shaft, and his branch, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers were of one piece. And six branches came out of the sides thereof: three branches of the Candlestick out of the one side of it, and three branches of the Candlestick out of the other side of it. In one branch three bowls made like almonds, a knop with a flower: and in another branch three bowls made like almonds, a knop and a flower: and so throughout the six brnaches that proceeded out of the Candlestick. And upn the Candlestick were four bowls after the fashion of almonds, the knops thereof and the flowers thereof. That is, under every two branches a knop made thereof, and a knop under the second branch thereof, and a knop under the third branch thereof, according to the six branches coming out of it. Their knops and their branches were of the same: it was all one beaten work of pure gold. And he made for it seven lamps with the snuffers, and snuffdishes thereof of pure gold. Of a talent of pure gold made he it with all the instruments thereof. Furthermore he made the perfume altar of Shittim wood: the length of it was a cubit, and the breadth of it a cubit (it was square) and two cubits high, and the horns thereof were of the same. And he covered it with pure gold, both the top and the sides thereof round about, and the horns of it, and made unto it a crown of gold round about. And he made two rings of gold forit, under the crown thereof in the two corners of the two sides thereof, to put bars in for to bear it therewith. Also he ade the bars of Shittim wood, and overlaid them with gold. And he made the holy anointing oil, and the sweet pure incense after the apothecary’s art. Also he made the altar of the burn offering of Shittim wood: five cubits was the length thereof, and five cubits the breadth thereof: it was square and three cubits high. And he made unto it horns in the four corners thereof: the horns thereof wer eof the same and he overlaid it with brass. Also he made all the instruments of the altar: the ashpans, and the besoms and the basins, the fleshhooks, and the censers: all the instruments thereof made he of brass. Moreover, he made a brazen grate wrought like a net to the Altar, under the compass of it beneath in the midst of it. And cast four rings of brass for the four ends of the grate to put bars in. And he made the bars of Shitim wood, and covered them with brass. The which bars he put into the rings on the sides of the altar to bear it withal, and it made it hollow within the boards. Also he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass of the glasses of the women that did assemble and came together at the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. Finally, he made the court on teh South side full South: the hangings of the court were of fine twined linen, having an hundred cubits. Their pillars were twnety, and their brazen sockets twenty: the hooks of the pillars and their fillets were of silver. And on the North side the hangings were an hundred cubits: their pillars twenty, and their sockets of brass twenty, the hooks of the pillars, and their fillets of silver. On the west side also were hangings of fifty cubits, their ten pillars with their ten sockets: the hooks of the pillars, and thier fillets of silver. And toward the East side, fulll East were hangings of fifty hooks. The hangings of the one side were fifteen cubits, their three pillars, and their three sockets: And of the other side ofthe court gate on both sides were hangings of fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three sockets. All the hangings of the court round about wereof fine twined linen. But the sockets of the pillars were of brass: the hooks of hte pillars and their fillets of silver, and the covering of their chapiters of silver: and all the pillars of the court were hooped about with silver. He made also the hanging of the gate of the court of needle work, blue silk, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen even twenty cubits long, and five cubits in height and breadth, like the hangings of the court. And their pillars were four with their four sockets of brass: their hooks of siver, and the covering of the chapiters, and their fillets of silver.But all the pins of the Tabernacle and of the court round about were of brass. These are the parts of the Tabernacle, I mean, of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, which was appointed by the comandment of Moses for the office of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar son to Aaron the Priest. So Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur of the tribe of Judah, make all that the Lord commanded Moses. And with him Aholiab son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan, a cunning workman and an embroiderer, and a worker of needle work in blue silk, and in purple, and in scarlet, and in fine linen. All the gold that was occupied in all the work wrought for the holy place (which was the gold of the offering) was nine and twenty talents and seven hundred and thirty shekels, according to the shekels, after the shekel of the Sanctuary. A portion for a man, that is, half a shekel after the shekel of the Sanctuary, for all them that were numbered from twenty years old and above, among six hundred thousand, and three thousand, and five hundred and fifty men. Moreover there were an hundred talents of silver, to cast the sockets of the Sanctuary, and the sockets of the veil: an hundred sockets of an hundred talents, a talent for a socket. But he made the hooks for the pillars of a thosusand seven hundred and seventy and five shekels, and overlaid their chapiters, and made fillets about them. Also the brass of the offeirng was sevent talents, and two thousand, and four hundred shekels. Whereof he made the sockets to the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and the brazen altar, and the brazen grate which was for it, with all the instruments of the Altar. And the sockets of the court round about, and the sockets for the court gate, and all the pins of the Tabernacle, and all the pins of the court round about. Exodus 37–38
- And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when cames thou hither? Jesus answered them, and said, Verily, verily I say unto you, ye seek me not, becasue ye saw the miracles, but because ye ate of the loaves, and were filled. Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat that endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered, and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe in him, whom he hath sent. They said therefore unto him, What sign showest thou then, that we may see it, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat Manna in the desert, as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat, Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you that true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then they said unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am that bread of life: he that cometh to me, shall never thirst. But I said unto you, that ye also have seen me, and belive not. All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me: and him that cometh to me, I cast not away. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but his will which hath sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every man which seeth the Son,and believeth in him, should have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at him because he said, I am that bread, which is come down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus that son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how then saith he, I came down from heaven? Jesus then answered, and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets, And they shall be taught of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily I say unto you, he that believeth in me, hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat Manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is that bread, which cometh down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I give for the life of the world. John 6:25–51
- I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse, I gathered my myrrh with my spice: I ate mine honeycombs with mine honey, I drank my wine with my milk: eat, O friends, drink, and make you merry, O well-beloved. I sleep, but mine heart waketh, it is the voice of my well-beloved that knocketh, saying, Open unto me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for mine head is full of dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. I have put off my coat, how shall I defile [put] it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them? My well-beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and mine heart was affectioned toward him. Song of Solomon 5:1–4