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[Ok the picture is job not Job but it fits]

“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there,
 and backward, but I do not perceive him;
on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;
 he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.
But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
My foot has held fast to his steps;
I have kept his way and have not turned aside.
I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
 I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.
But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back?
What he desires, that he does.
For he will complete what he appoints for me,
 and many such things are in his mind.
Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
 when I consider, I am in dread of him.
God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me;
yet I am not silenced because of the darkness,
nor because thick darkness covers my face."

Job is the greatest book in the Bible concerning practical life. It deals with something every single human has or will face - suffering. In fact it would be accurate to say that for most people suffering and hardship is something we face for a huge percentage of our lives.

For Christians there are times we go through periods when we seem blind to God. For my own experience it was a lengthy period of not seeing Him. The Bible dried up and became ink on a page. Prayers were whispers in the wind, and I felt much like Job describes in the passage above.

I reached a point where I stopped reading the Scriptures.

Then, a friend (Simon Wade) began asking what i'd read that day, he asked out of genuine interest and no other motive. He persisted to ask this 5 days a week, every week of the month until I started reading my Bible just to have an answer for him. After a few days of forced reading, a passage resonated. It was Job 23:8-17. I was blown away that Job put into words what i'd been experiencing and the next day my reading wasn't forced.

When we struggle in our devotions and fellowship with Christ we can cling to the words of Job;

"when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold."

This is a season of testing to see whether our foot will slip into unfaithfulness. And like the season of winter, spring will come. There may be many dark nights of the soul, many storms that batter us with gales and rain. We may cry tears that could fill an ocean, but the season will end.

When the passage says
 "For he will complete what he appoints for me"
I can't help but think of Philippians 1:6

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

While we live this side of Christ's Kingdom we will suffer, and face soul battering storms. We will act like blind beggars calling out for the Son of David to have mercy on us. We may shout and shout and shout until our breath fails. But He will hear, and He will heal us.

Keep going forward, backward, to the right and left because He knows your way and will lead you out as gold...

"Awake, oh North wind,
and come, oh South wind!
Blow upon my garden,
and let its spices flow."
SOS 4:16

We have been reading and following this couple share their love story, and in ch 3:6 they begin to reminisce about their wedding day.
Solomon arrives in style and they begin to compliment each other in the weirdest ways - at least culturally to us this goes into a series of strange compliments. But understanding the historic background, the traditions etc can help bring richness out of these things. But that is not what we will focus on!

In chapter 4 verse 12 he compliments her virginity and integrity:
"A garden locked is my sister, my bride,
a spring locked, a fountain sealed."

She kept herself for marriage and this couple can look back over their dating and courting with purity. But with marriage the garden is unlocked and the fountain unsealed. In verse 17 (ch4) we don't read the usual call that we do not stir up or awaken love until its time, oh no. Rather we read:

"Awake, oh North wind,
and come, oh South wind!
Blow upon my garden,
and let its spices flow."

It is very clear that Scripture's teaching here is that once the vows have been made and a couple are married it IS TIME to stir up and awaken physical love, and as the old Hebrew word hints at, intertwine our souls one with another through love making.

Many scholars believe that ch5vs1b is God speaking into marriage "eat friends, drink, and be drunk with love."

"Until the day breathes
and the shadows flee,
turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle
or a young stag on the twin mountains."

 The esv calls the mountains in question the cleft mountains but the meaning is the same. In Israel there are no cleft mountains and there are no twin mountains.

This wife is calling her husband to be like a stag in the full enjoyment of Proverbs 5:18&19 "Let your fountain be blessed and rejoice in the wife of your youth, let her breasts" (the twin mountains) "fill you at all times with delight, be intoxicated always in her love."

 When you are intoxicated do you know what you are? Out of control, you are consumed by something.
Other than the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) i can think of no other place in the Bible we are told to be filled, driven or intoxicated by something and yet here in proverbs and rooted in sos we find God declaring that a husbands sexual intoxication by his wife is good.