Monday, March 6, 2017

God's Love For Us

I wonder if some ladies out there needs to hear the message today that they are loved and wanted and protected by their God.  We all approach God sometimes from our own experiences.  We sometimes have a correct or incorrect view of who He is based on what we have learned or seen or heard.  We may even erroneously cast upon God negative attributes which men in our lives have possessed.

We might find it inconceivable that the God who made the heavens and the earth would be mindful of us as stated in Psalm 8:4 (NKJV) which says, "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?"  It is so very easy at times to feel insignificant, unworthy, or even unloved.

However, if we read further on in the passage we will see how God really feels about us.  Verses 5-8 go on to say that we are a little lower than the angels, He has crowned us with glory, and has given all of His creation to us to have dominion over.  That is pretty cool!  Also, who can ever forget the biggest thing Jesus did to show His love for us was to die on the cross for our sins!

There are many images God paints of his feeling for His people, but I especially love the picture he paints in Ezekiel 6.  He is talking about Israel, but I think it is absolutely beautiful imagery.


"And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths.  No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.  And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!'  I said to you in your blood, 'Live!'  I made you flourish like a plant of the field.  And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment.  Your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare.  When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age of love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness;  I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine.  Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil.  I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather.  I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk.  And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck.  And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head.  Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth.  You ate fine flour and honey and oil.  You grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty.  And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord God." Ezekiel 16:4-14, ESV

I know that is a long text to read, but every time I read it I find myself going back and reading it over again.  Why?  It is so breathtakingly beautiful!  He is talking about how He feels about Israel, but we as Gentiles are included in this if we know Christ as Savior (Romans 11, Galatians 3, Acts 10).

What I see in this text is God is there for her when no one else is.  He treats her with love and dignity.  He bathes her and clothes her, but He doesn't just clothe her.  He adorns her lavishly with embroidered cloth, puts shoes on her feet and puts jewelry on her.

As a woman, I imagine walking into something akin to a wedding shop and being pampered from head to toe.  Spa treatments with sweet smelling oils complete with an embroidered gown, earrings, a necklace, matching shoes and a crown upon my head.  I would feel truly treasured, adored and cared for.  The imagery here goes way beyond the necessary and way into the lavish.

I couldn't get this scripture out of my mind today.  I just can't help but be moved today that someone needs to know that God sees them.  That He is not just passing you by and not seeing you lying there in your blood.  You may feel scraped up and bleeding, but He loves you!  He wants you to "Live!" so much that He says it twice in the text.  He wants to protectively put the corner of His garment around you.  He wants to lavish you with blessings.  He wants to not only clothe you but to bless you.  He wants to provide for you.  

The catch is that we need to acknowledge Him when He does do this for us.  The rest of the chapter talks strongly about how Israel turns their back on the Lord.  After all He does for her, she forgets Him.  When the Lord shows Himself faithful to us, we need to give credit where credit is due.  We cannot forget to give Him the glory, because He is the giver of all good things (James 1:17).

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits...who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy." Psalms 103:2, 4 (ESV)

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