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By: Larry Shaffer
For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted (humble & meek) ones with salvation.
There is an unparalleled love story in this verse!
This verse captured my attention about a year ago while studying and writing on the book of Ruth. I returned to it this morning and spent some considerable time studying and cross referencing it’s words and themes.
I have always believed that being concise is an admirable quality in writing and speaking. Being concise forces one to filter the content down to its most meaningful and impactful principle(s).
In this context, I’m struggling with the feelings I am having right now in that I feel I could write a million words about the vivid word pictures and amazing theme of this brief but awesome verse. I’ll fight the urge to pontificate and attempt to be concise.
Have you ever read The Song of Solomon? Personally, I haven’t spent much time there. Mostly likely, you haven’t either. Today I was convicted that I’m missing out on something. My conviction wasn’t so much about the fact that I should be more romantic in my marriage. Although, I could and should apply that reality to my marriage in great abundance. I am lacking in the area of romance significantly, for sure. That’s a post for another day.
As it pertains to the Psalm of our study today, the Song of Solomon gives insight into the phrase, For the Lord takes pleasure in His people. The Song of Songs provides detailed, almost monotonous, redundant recounting of love, passion and pleasure symbolism of the extreme feelings of both the husband and the bride.
Yes, God is love. And, for God so loved the world…Yes, the nature of God is to love and there is a love that God has for His creation. But His love for HIS PEOPLE is described in words like “takes pleasure” and the Lord “delights in you”. Song of Solomon describes his love, feelings and pleasures, not for the masses within the world, but specifically for his bride. His one and only. I love and care for many people but the love and devotion I have for my bride is completely unique. I love and care about all children, but the love I have for my children and grandchildren is completely and utterly unique.
Psalms 149:4 (read it up above again one more time) is directed toward the nation of Israel and by extension of the New Covenant and with Jesus as our bride-groom, these words are directed toward us. We are individuals whom the Lord loves and beautifies with the devotion and passion of a faithful, romantic and love-struck groom.
You are a ‘one and only’ to Him. It’s as if you are the only person in the world to Him. His gaze is locked on you. He doesn’t have ADD when He is with you. He doesn’t shoulder surf when talking to you in a crowded room or while sitting at dinner together in a crowded restaurant. He is enamored, engaged and over the moon about you.
I’m not exaggerating or being overly sentimental. I’m not just writing these words to make you glow and feel good. I’m being biblical. I spent an extended time this morning studying this verse and cross referencing a dozen supporting passages throughout the Bible. GOD TAKES PLEASURE in His people. GOD TAKES PLEASURE in you individually; if you are His own.
His love for you is romantic, passionate, oozing, gushing love and pleasure. His pleasure is not based on His feelings toward us because of what we do. It’s not generated as a result of our actions. His pleasure toward us is because…simply because we are the object of His affections. Period. He makes us beautiful. He beautifies us through salvation. It’s not our actions, it’s His grace. He chooses to love us in this way because we are the objects and recipients of His love. We are to accept it.
For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.
Who can comprehend such things? Unfathomable! All we can do is thank Him; praise Him; accept Him; love Him in return to the best of our feeble ability. Father, we love you because You first loved us. Amen!