Jesus’ delight in us.

In our manufacturing age we have ordered life around what is productive and assume Jesus holds the same view. We may acknowledge that Jesus is passionate about us but we easily revert to a utilitarian view considering ourselves workers, valued for what we do.

In Song of Songs 4 the lover (Christ) passionately describes to the beloved (His people) how he sees her beauty.

1 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves …

The first things the lover describes when recounting the beloved’s beauty are her eyes, and how they express peace. This delight in character is in stark contrast to our presumption that Jesus’ favour is gained through our acts of worship or output.

8 Come with me from Lebanon … from the lions’ dens

The lover appeals to her to leave her home in the dangerous wilds of the north to be with him. She is not in a place conducive to depth of relationship, yet needs encouragement and coaxing.

9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride.

If we accept we are deeply loved maybe we will be ready to leave our ‘fun’ culture for the intimacies Jesus delights in.

16 Awake north wind … blow on my garden that its fragrance may spread abroad.

The woman, aroused by the expressions of love, desires for her influence to be spread around. She does not loudly proclaim it, but asks the Spirit to blow, spreading the unseen fragrance of Christ.

Do I hear?

God speaks out, but many who hear protect themselves from His voice.  They dismiss what they hear as thunder, and then complain that He never speaks to them. The response of people when they heard the Father speak to Jesus was – “The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered, others said an angel had spoken to Him.” John 12:29 In order to get through to hardened hearts God has to thunder louder and louder. He moves from words to circumstances, which are harder to cope with or understand by far.

God speaks through people, but do we listen?  When God spoke through Stephen the response was: “At this they covered their ears and yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him.” Acts 7: 37.  When we don’t want to hear God, we cover our ears or turn up the music to drown out the noise.

I can say, “I am different; I listen!” But do I?  I hear from God on many themes, yet there are subjects where I cover my ears; areas that are too sensitive or where I don’t want to listen. When God asks me to say something hard to someone I don’t think will be responsive, I don’t want to hear Him. If I don’t hear then I don’t speak. By not speaking I become an unwitting participant in the hardships of those to whom God is trying to get through. I am denying them the opportunity of a still small voice and leaving only the message that can be dismissed as thunder.