Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, August 29, 2020

Shabbat Shalom *|FNAME|*,

God Loves Us by David Harwood

God not only loves us, He loves our love for Him. His delight is in our love.

This blog post is about something we’ve shared before: God loves our love. This is clear in the Scripture and we need to embrace this truth to be spiritually whole. 

From my perspective there are three primary metaphors which insightfully illustrate God’s relationship with His people: Children, Wife, and House.

The revelation that God delights in our love for Him is most clearly seen in the metaphor of marriage. 

Ephesians 5 reveals that the Lord loves His people. 

Husbands, love your wives just as Messiah also loved His community and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25) 

This is not the first time in the Apostolic writings that this metaphor is mentioned. In fact, John the Immerser spoke of this relational dynamic.

“The one who has the bride is the bridegroom, but the best man rejoices when he stands and hears the bridegroom’s voice. So now my joy is complete!” (John 3:29) 

John portrayed Yeshua the Messiah as the bridegroom. In John 3 faithful Israel is revealed as His bride. There are all sorts of emotional and relational realities packed into this metaphor. I find the unpacking of these mysteries to be amazing. 

Of course, this way of viewing reality has its roots in the revelation of Israel’s prophets. In the prophets one can find that God wistfully recalled Israel’s loving devotion. Here’s an example:

Go, and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, thus says Adonai: I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, and the way you followed Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. (Jeremiah 2:2)

The point of this oracle was to reveal God’s broken heart. Hidden therein is the report of the satisfaction God experienced in the light of His people’s response to His romancing them. What an example of a betrothed people’s activity. Look at their description: devotion, love, following in abandoned trust into the unknown. To this day He is delighted when His people respond. Please remember that the New Covenant transnational people of God are betrothed to Him, today.

For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy. For I betrothed you to one husband, to present you to Messiah as a pure virgin. (2 Corinthians 11:2) 

In the Song of Songs we have a series of ancient, inspired, holy love songs that reveal truths about God’s relationship to His romantic partner. Look at this:

“My dove, in the clefts of the rock, in a secret place along the steep path, let me see your form, let me hear your voice. For your voice is sweet and your form is lovely.” (Song of Solomon 2:14) 

Here, allegorically, we find that the LORD longs for His beloved to show up and speak with Him. He wants to see her. He wants to hear from her.

In addition, the lover finds his beloved’s love to be intoxicating.

How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine (Song of Solomon 4:10a) 

This is a mystery, but this speaks of the Messiah and His consecrated covenanted community.

Concerning human husbands… To make her his own, to be with her, to build a home, he is willing to leave the familiar security of his family of origin and launch out into an unknown destiny.

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is great—but I am talking about Messiah and His community. (Ephesians 5:31–32) 

In a good marriage the husband is delighted by his wife’s love and appreciation. Nobody loves him like she does. She knows him best and admires him the most. She is the one he most looks forward to seeing at the end of a day’s labor. He loves her love.

God would have us view Him as that type of husband.

For your Maker is your husband —Adonai-Tzva’ot is His Name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer. He will be called God of all the earth. (Isaiah 54:5) 

Consider these things. Step into these relational realities. Remember, the Lord loves our love. His delight is in our love.