Tell me, you whom I love . . . (Song of Songs 1:7)
Notice the absence of any possible doubt in Solomon’s statement that we read in today’s word of encouragement. He did not say something like, “Tell me, you whom I think I love . . . Tell me, you whom I hope I love . . . Tell me, you whom I want to love” No, no, a thousand times no! In spite of his many failures, Solomon knew that He loved His God beyond the slightest shadow of any doubt, and he made it clear for all the world to read.
I find it striking that the early saints of God never wavered between two understandings when it came to their relationship with God. We do not come across a plethora of “ifs” or “buts” or “hope to’s.” Job cried out to God in his confusion and despair over all the calamity that had befallen him and his family; you would think that he might have been the most likely person to express his love for God with an “if,” a “but,” or a “hope to.” Yet Job provides perhaps the finest example in all of sacred Scripture of wholehearted devotion. He wrote:
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. (Job 19:25)
This statement, you might remember, comes from a man who had lost his wealth, his health, and all of his ten children. You and I know from the biblical account what was happening to Job, but Job did not. When his three friends showed up, after mourning with Job for a week, they became miserable comforters by accusing Job of sin in his life as the reason for all his calamity. If anyone had cause to question the goodness of the Almighty, it was Job. But he did not. Job never wavered in his belief that his Redeemer lives and that he could trust God even when he could not trace Him. Even when his wife encouraged Job to “Curse God and die,” he remained steadfast in knowing whom he loved.
We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). Our love for God is the fruit of His love for us, worked in us and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. But once we have been given this supernatural love, it is ours to give back to Him. To be sure, true love loves when the sky is blue, the clouds are fleecy, and the sun is brightly shining; but true love also loves when the storm winds blow and the waves of challenge are washing over us. Is He not altogether lovely and worthy of our love, regardless of the circumstances we are facing in this life? Job knew this truth—he embraced this truth, even in the worst of conditions—and so should you and I.
Remember, child of God, it was not nails that held Jesus on that cruel cross. It was His love for you and me that would not allow Him to save Himself. His love bore the nine-inch nails, the crown of thorns, and that cruel cross of crucifixion. Can you not say with Job, regardless of what you are currently facing, “I know that my Redeemer lives”? And can you not echo Solomon by addressing your God as “You whom I love”? May this be the confession of our lives!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!