If you hear God in your blood, right there in the field, life happens.
“I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful. Your breasts were formed, your hair grew, but you were naked and bare…”
And you grew. In the field, remember. You grew. You matured. You became very beautiful. In the field.
And do you see what can happen when you let God speak to you in your blood? All the things that have been held inside and manacled back can bloom and open up like a fragrant Hawaiian flower. There’s growth. Maturity. Beauty. Righteous, God-given potential being realized. It’s like a breath of fresh air to even think about, isn’t it?
You need to know that your desire for these things, for growth, maturity, and beauty as a dignified creature—these were planted there by God. They resonate even deeper than the blood. They move you more profoundly than the lies, than the trauma. They are written into your spiritual makeup, your divinely inspired, spiritual DNA. They just haven’t been able to burst out of you yet.
What would happen if those desires started to become reality? Can God take you farther than this?
You bet he can. And he wants it more than you could ever imagine.
So far, you have (I hope) accepted his promise that no matter what you’ve been through, no matter how dirty and disgusting you feel, he wants to speak to you in your deepest darkness, in your blood. He wants to impart a blessing, a command, an invitation to live, to thrive.
If you hear him, you will do just that.
But look where he’s left you. “You’re all grown up,” true,
“But you were still naked and bare.”
Naked means, well, naked. Unclothed. Nothing on, just like Adam and Eve before the fall. Naked before God. But get this… at this point in the story, God hasn’t cleaned you up yet.
It’s true. All he’s done so far is call you to life and watched you begin to thrive. You’ve still got the blood smeared all over you. You’re still a mess. You still smell of the old life. No offense, but you look disgusting.
Not to him, mind you. Blood and mess and all, God thinks you are beautiful just the way you are. Say that to yourself:
God thinks I’m beautiful just the way I am. Just like this.
Some of the church fathers have dared to write of this, exploring a side of God’s nature many people feel uncomfortable even speculating about. But it’s there nonetheless.
His romantic side.
Remember, you are naked in the presence of a holy Someone who thinks you are very beautiful.
“When I passed by you again and looked upon you…”
You are naked in the presence of a holy Someone who thinks you are very beautiful, and now he’s looking upon you. Not at you. Not like you’re an object. Never. He’s looking upon you. In loving adoration. Your creator is relishing his handiwork.
Now how do you feel?
Do you want to run, to hide, to wash up, to make yourself presentable? Too late. He’s already seen you, already wants you. Just as you are, remember?
Just so we’re clear, this is a metaphor and there is nothing remotely lustful or inappropriate here. This is God we’re talking about. He is explaining something we don’t understand by using imagery that we do understand. But these desires of his are very real, and they’re intense.
“When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love…” The NIV says, “(I) saw that you were old enough for love.”
“What?! Is God interested in me? Is he making moves toward me? Does he… does he want me? Could he be…attracted to me?”
Of course he is! How could he not be?
“I’ve been watching you,” says God. “I’ve watched you grow and thrive. I’ve watched you develop. And I can’t wait any longer. You are absolutely beautiful. I want you to be mine.”
“(NIV): I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness.”
Unbelievable. God has approached you. He’s smitten by you. He’s put his arm around you. Not taking advantage of you. No way. He’s covering you with his own garment. Are you feeling butterflies yet?
Boaz did that for Ruth, you’ll remember. When a young Israelite woman was left with no one to marry, it was the responsibility of her nearest male relative to spread the corner of his garment over her, covering her shame. He was called to enter into a marriage covenant with the woman, to become her salvation from an aborted family line. These men were given a title of dignity, of respect.
They were called Kinsmen redeemers.
Well, God is your kinsmen redeemer. He has spread his garment over you. His faithful and valiant heart wants to enter into a love covenant with you. To give you his acceptance. To give you a future. Together, with him.
“(NIV): I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you,’ declares the Sovereign Lord, ‘and you became mine.”
It’s right there, in black and white. The Knight in shining armor has just swept you off your feet to be with him in his white castle forever and ever.
You see, God doesn’t just want you to live, to thrive. He wants to be intimate with you, so intimate that he had to use this kind of imagery to communicate what powerful love pounds in his giant chest as he thinks of you. Of us, his bride.
He doesn’t just want you to be saved; he wants you to be his. His, and his alone. He’s jealously in love with you, and he thinks you’re worth fighting for.
“(NIV): Then I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you.”
What an intimate picture: God has just wrapped his arms around you, his beloved; and from this place of intimacy, he tenderly bathes you. Not scrubs you gruffly. He bathes you, washes the blood from you. Cleans up your life. Anoints you with oil and ointments to deal with what’s become infected. Dotes on you, tenderly, lovingly. Gives you what you should have received before the flies descended. He’s resetting your path.
Can your heart embrace a romantic God? A passionate, valiant, jealous Creator? Can you accept his covenant of devotion and love for you?
Could you really turn him down?