Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Attention! Love.

"But you, O GOD my Lord, deal on my behalf for your name's sake; because your steadfast love is good, deliver me!  For I am poor and needy, and my heart is stricken within me." - Psalm 109: 21,22

I love the Psalms.  Just when I think the bible is some old dusty book that doesn't apply to my life, I flip it open to the middle and I find stuff like this.

The more I read my bible, the more this whole theme of God's steadfast love, his "hesed" (to use the Hebrew) love, rises.  I think it might just be the core theme of the entire book.

As Sally Loyd Jones puts the bible is about God's "never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love."  I couldn't have said it better myself, so I won't.

The bible is a big book so it's so easy to lose sight of the nature of God's love.  Just last night, as I was laying in bed trying to go to sleep, I was asking for God's will, not my own.  As I lay there, I thought about Jesus in the garden, saying "Not my will, but your's be done."

I've often thought of this scene as a Jesus who is scared resolving himself to do God's will which is hard and difficult - sort of a gentle and meek Jesus meeting a hard and cross God.

But as I realized it last night, I've got to throw away that picture of God and Jesus (I have a whole dumpster full of these pictures by now).  Jesus is God incarnate and he's fully human.  Jesus in the garden is in an absolutely profound struggle, but as the verse "for the joy set before him, he endured the cross" echoes, it's a struggle he wants.

Can you imagine?  The one relationship you've known from eternity back, is now to be ripped ussunder.  To say the void that Jesus was stepping into when he said these words in the Garden was "huge" is an understatement.  The only measurable category for that void is the size of God's steadfast love.

Jesus is God's steadfast love.  As I posted a few posts back, this is love that we should attend to.  And love that we should stand at attention for.  Love that simply arrests thought.