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Return, Return, Return, Return! Part One

Good Morning Everyone!

I'm so glad you're all here this morning..
Are all of you glad to be here?

"Return, return, O Shulamite; Return, return, that we may look upon you! What would you see in the Shulamite As it were, the dance of the two camps?"  
Song of Solomon 6:13

As it were the company of two armies.

THE SONG OF SOLOMON

This book, the Song of Solomon, is a book that is not preached from very often. In fact, I have been preaching now for while, and I have only preached from this book a few times. 

It is a story, a parable, that tells of the love that Solomon had for what is commonly referred to as the Shulamite.  She is a young woman that Solomon is courting with the intentions of marrying her and bringing her to the palace.

There is some conjecture that this Shulamite is Abishag that is cross-referenced in 1 Kings 1-2. She is married by Solomon after some contention with his brother, Adonijah, which is another sermon in itself.

Her Background:

She came from Shunem which was one of the lower regions of Galilee in the foothills of the mountains of Lebanon. David and Solomon owned large estates that had huge vineyards, spice gardens, and fruit orchards.

In addition to all of this, vast herds of sheep were kept there which belonged to the palace. To take care of the farms and the vastness of the flocks, the palace would lease out the care of this to those who lived in that country and they were paid out of the king’s treasury.

The Shulamite was a daughter of one of the families.  Scripture indicates to us that Abishag was brought to Jerusalem to serve as a concubine to David against her will. With blessing on her side, she ended up being a servant in the courts of the king.

While she was in the courts, she became the aim of Solomon’s affection. After King David died, she was sent back into her country. This would have been a very difficult burden for her to bear because of the stigma that marked her.

She was disdained by her people because she was held in the same view as a harlot. Not only that but all the financial considerations from the palace were no longer available to her.

She was and felt disgraced.  She brings this to light in Song of Solomon 1:5:

I am dark, but lovely,
O daughters of Jerusalem,
Like the tents of Kedar,
Like the curtains of Solomon.
Song of Solomon 1:5

She tries to tell others of her inner beauty but it does not seemingly work.  She feels soiled outwardly, “I am black. . . . as the tents of Kedar.” She compares herself to the tents of Kedar where the shepherds lived which were very coarse and never washed. The tents were weather-beaten and stained by long use.

But she adds, “I am lovely. . . . as the curtains of Solomon.” No doubt she is making reference to the rooms in the palace. They are rich and stately. The world often views the church the same way.  They only see the outside and never even guess the richness and depth of spiritual power that dwells within.

The Shulamite knows her own heart. She also knows that the king has seen her beauty and that it will not be long before he comes and rescues her from the nagging surroundings that now imprison her. This Song of Solomon is nothing more than a type of the relationship that the Lord has with a New Testament church.

So how is the king going to rescue his bride. First, he has to find her. We read in the Song of Solomon, that Solomon disguises himself as a shepherd and began to tend sheep as he carefully sought out this object of his desire. 

Finally, as luck, if you believe in that, or providence would have it, Solomon manages to tend the sheep directly next to Abishag’s vineyard. Initially, she did not realize who it was that was attempting to win her heart.

"Tell me, O you whom I love,
Where you feed your flock,
Where you make it rest at noon.
For why should I be as one who veils herself
By the flocks of your companions?"
Song of Solomon 1:7

She did not recognize this disguised one who was coming to seek her out. Some might ask how it was that she did not recognize Solomon.

Solomon had to admire Abishag from a distance while she served David in the courts.
She considered herself a failure and unworthy of any such attention that would come from a king.

Solomon is a type of Christ and Abishag is a type of the Church or the Bride of Christ. The Lord came to this earth clothed as a man to gain the heart of His bride and to prepare her for His final return. 

At first many did not recognize this Jesus Christ, who was simply of Nazareth, a carpenter, but in the course of time with conviction and the love of God, a church was born out of His devotion.

Abishag ultimately fell in love with this mysterious shepherd who had shown her an unusual amount of attention. Whenever she was around him, she felt loved, protected, and provided for.  This was a great change for her. Though she felt so unworthy of his attention, she loved every minute of it.

The Text: 

But when we come to the text in Song of Solomon 6:13, we find the cry of the daughters of Jerusalem. They cannot get away from her beauty. They are dazzled by her stately appearance. She is so different from them and now they fully understand that they will always be the second choice of the King. 

The Shulamite has left them and they want to look at her beauty again. So the cry comes from them, Return, Return, Return, Return.

THE WORLD IS LOOKING FOR THE REAL THING!

This is the cry of this age also.
This world is longing for, and looking for a church that is going to manifest the Word of God, as well power and the purpose of the early church. 
They are crying out, Return, Return, Return, Return.

The book of Acts gives us some things that we need to return to again to get back on track for 2019, if we are expecting to see some of the things of God that we long for, that we long to see.

Prayer:

Many churches today, are poverty - stricken when it comes to teaching the Word of God.

A pastor who is not teaching the Word of God is just playing; the pastor who is not praying for his congregation is straying!

The pulpit can be merely a platform, a shop window, in which to display one’s achievements and talents; 
But the prayer closet allows no showing off.

And as poverty-stricken as today's Church is in many things, she is most stricken here, in the place of prayer.  
Many of today's churches have many organizers, but few agonizers!

There are many players and payers, but few prayers!

Many man singers, but few clingers!

There are lots of pastors, but few wrestlers!

The church today has many fears, but shed a few tears!

There much fashion, and very little passion!

A great many interferers, but few intercessors!

Many sermon writers, but few fighters!

If we as pastor's, as a congregation, as a Church, are failing here,
We Are Failing Everywhere!

Vision and Passion:

These two prerequisites to successful Christian living!
Both of which are born in and maintained by prayer!   

The ministry of preaching is open to few; the ministry of prayer, which is the highest ministry of all human offices and is open to all!

The spiritual adolescents says, “I’ll not go tonight, it’s only prayer meeting.”
It may be that Satan has little cause to fear most preaching.
Yet past experiences sting him to rally all his infernal army to fight against God’s people praying. 

Modern Christians know little of “binding and loosing,” though the onus is on us!

“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 16:19

How many of you have done any of this lately? 
Let's be honest with one another, shall we?
I see, not many...

In closing....

We as pastor's, as the Church, the Bride of Christ, must understand that we need to pray!
And not just for ourselves and our own families! 

We need to pray DAILY for our churches, neighbors, our nations leaders, of our world.. for other's;
For our enemies AND the LOST of this world!

Everyone here this morning, under the sound of my voice, knows the power of prayer! 

We have heard great and powerful testimonies of what happens when people and churches pray!

We all know what prayer does to us individually when we pray. 
We also know what happens in the lives of others when we pray.

This is the crying need of this day: Prayer! 

I can tell you this,
It is the desperate need of THIS pastor!
It is the desperate need of my family, and of my life. 

Whether you realize it or not, it is the desperate need in your own life. 
And it is the desperate need of this church. 

One last Word:

God is not prodigal with His power; but to be much for God, we must be much with God.
“May the Lord bless you and keep you; and may the Lord make His face to shine upon you, And be gracious to you; May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” Amen and Amen

The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you

The Lord life up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Amen

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Brian Monzon Ministries

The Brian Monzon Ministries

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