Let His Fragrance Spread
In the Song of Songs, the Beloved says to her Lover: “Awake north wind, and come south wind! Blow upon my garden that its fragrance may spread abroad.” (Song of Songs 4:16)
Throughout Scripture, including the psalms, we learn how the Lord would have us respond when He brings the north wind (the hard things of life) and also, when He brings the south wind (the sweet things of life). The purpose of our lives is to glorify God, to let His fragrance be spread abroad. That can happen when our heart is right, whatever weather He ordains.
Let’s start with the hard things, finding some insight from Psalm 42, and then move to the sweet things, finding insight from a few of the many psalms that model and exhort thankfulness.
Take a question a day, two if you like.
1. In Psalm 42, the north winds are blowing, and the psalmist keeps asking the same question of himself.
A. What is the repeated question?
B. The psalmist, taking his soul in hand, asks, “Why are you so upset when you know that your hope should be in God, who can never be shaken?” The psalmist realizes he has displaced his hope in something that can be shaken. List some of the things or people you have placed your hope in that could be shaken.
2. If the North Wind is blowing in your life right now, would you be willing to take your soul in hand and ask her, “Where have you displaced your hope?” If so, what do you learn? (This is our chance to pray for you to put your hope in God.)
4. Is there someone whom you’ve seen put her hope in God when the North Wind is blowing? What have you seen? How has His fragrance spread abroad?
5. Read Psalm 78:1-16
A. Summarize verses 1-4 in one sentence.
B. You could call this passage “forget not.” Find some verses that re-iterate this theme. What are we to “not forget?” Why?
C. What verse stands out to you from this passage and why?
7. Let’s practice thankfulness right now for everyday life. List a few simple pleasures that you do not want to forget.
8. How does practicing thankfulness as a daily habit, when the South Wind is blowing, better prepare you to respond when the North Wind blows? How might you better incorporate practicing the habit of thankfulness? Think of specific ideas!
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