As we finish our quick read through the Song of Solomon, let it prove to be a refreshing and encouraging glimpse into God’s concern for the whole of our lives. In our New Testament reading we begin our survey through Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia. While the initial context of compromise regarding participation and trust in the ceremonial laws of Judaism may seem a distant theme, I trust we will gain many insights in our reading through this important book. Praise God for his once-for-all gospel that has accomplished the realities of all that the Mosaic ceremonies only pointed to.
— Pastor Mike
Song of Solomon 6-8
6:1 Where has your beloved gone,
O most beautiful among women?
Where has your beloved turned,
that we may seek him with you?
Together in the Garden of Love
2 My beloved has gone down to his garden
to the beds of spices,
to graze  in the gardens
and to gather lilies.
3 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;
he grazes among the lilies.
Solomon and His Bride Delight in Each Other
4 You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love,
lovely as Jerusalem,
awesome as an army with banners.
5 Turn away your eyes from me,
for they overwhelm me—
Your hair is like a flock of goats
leaping down the slopes of Gilead.
6 Your teeth are like a flock of ewes
that have come up from the washing;
all of them bear twins;
not one among them has lost its young.
7 Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
behind your veil.
8 There are sixty queens and eighty concubines,
and virgins without number.
9 My dove, my perfect one, is the only one,
the only one of her mother,
pure to her who bore her.
The young women saw her and called her blessed;
the queens and concubines also, and they praised her.
10 “Who is this who looks down like the dawn,
beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun,
awesome as an army with banners?”
11 I went down to the nut orchard
to look at the blossoms of the valley,
to see whether the vines had budded,
whether the pomegranates were in bloom.
12 Before I was aware, my desire set me
among the chariots of my kinsman, a prince. 
13  Return, return, O Shulammite,
return, return, that we may look upon you.
Why should you look upon the Shulammite,
as upon a dance before two armies? 
7:1 How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
O noble daughter!
Your rounded thighs are like jewels,
the work of a master hand.
2 Your navel is a rounded bowl
that never lacks mixed wine.
Your belly is a heap of wheat,
encircled with lilies.
3 Your two breasts are like two fawns,
twins of a gazelle.
4 Your neck is like an ivory tower.
Your eyes are pools in Heshbon,
by the gate of Bath-rabbim.
Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon,
which looks toward Damascus.
5 Your head crowns you like Carmel,
and your flowing locks are like purple;
a king is held captive in the tresses.
6 How beautiful and pleasant you are,
O loved one, with all your delights! 
7 Your stature is like a palm tree,
and your breasts are like its clusters.
8 I say I will climb the palm tree
and lay hold of its fruit.
Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
and the scent of your breath like apples,
9 and your mouth  like the best wine.
It goes down smoothly for my beloved,
gliding over lips and teeth. 
10 I am my beloved’s,
and his desire is for me.
The Bride Gives Her Love
11 Come, my beloved,
let us go out into the fields
and lodge in the villages; 
12 let us go out early to the vineyards
and see whether the vines have budded,
whether the grape blossoms have opened
and the pomegranates are in bloom.
There I will give you my love.
13 The mandrakes give forth fragrance,
and beside our doors are all choice fruits,
new as well as old,
which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.
Longing for Her Beloved
8:1 Oh that you were like a brother to me
who nursed at my mother’s breasts!
If I found you outside, I would kiss you,
and none would despise me.
2 I would lead you and bring you
into the house of my mother—
she who used to teach me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
the juice of my pomegranate.
3 His left hand is under my head,
and his right hand embraces me!
4 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
that you not stir up or awaken love
until it pleases.
5 Who is that coming up from the wilderness,
leaning on her beloved?
Under the apple tree I awakened you.
There your mother was in labor with you;
there she who bore you was in labor.
6 Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy  is fierce as the grave. 
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the Lord.
7 Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
he  would be utterly despised.
8 We have a little sister,
and she has no breasts.
What shall we do for our sister
on the day when she is spoken for?
9 If she is a wall,
we will build on her a battlement of silver,
but if she is a door,
we will enclose her with boards of cedar.
10 I was a wall,
and my breasts were like towers;
then I was in his eyes
as one who finds  peace.
11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
he let out the vineyard to keepers;
each one was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver.
12 My vineyard, my very own, is before me;
you, O Solomon, may have the thousand,
and the keepers of the fruit two hundred.
13 O you who dwell in the gardens,
with companions listening for your voice;
let me hear it.
14 Make haste, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle
or a young stag
on the mountains of spices.
1:1 Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers  who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
No Other Gospel
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant  of Christ.
Paul Called by God
11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel.  12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born,  and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to  me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;  17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. 20 (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.
 6:2 Or to pasture his flock; also verse 3
 6:12 Or chariots of Ammi-Nadib
 6:13 Ch 7:1 in Hebrew
 6:13 Or dance of Mahanaim
 7:6 Or among delights
 7:9 Hebrew palate
 7:9 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew causing the lips of sleepers to speak
 7:11 Or among the henna plants
 8:6 Or ardor
 8:6 Hebrew as Sheol
 8:7 Or it
 8:10 Or brings out
 1:2 Or brothers and sisters. The plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) refers to siblings in a family. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, adelphoi may refer either to men or to both men and women who are siblings (brothers and sisters) in God’s family, the church; also verse 11
 1:10 Or slave; Greek bondservant
 1:11 Greek not according to man
 1:15 Greek set me apart from my mother’s womb
 1:16 Greek in
 1:16 Greek with flesh and blood