Rabbi Schneider - How God Loves You
Last week we left off in chapter number 6, verse 5. This is one of the most mysterious verses. Let me say it again. This is one of the most profound verses and revelations in the entire Word of God; that the Lord has voluntarily placed himself in a position whereas you and I can either wound him or bring to him intense pleasure. Many of us don't relate to God in this way. We only think of God as the all-powerful, Holy God in heaven that can answer our prayers or judge us. We don't understand that God created us to be a partner with him in love. And this is why Revelation, chapter 19, verse 7-9, says that our salvation experience culminates with the marriage supper of the Lamb. Listen what Jesus says prophetically through King Solomon to the bride who's a shadow of you and I in chapter 6, verse number 5. He says to her: Turn your eyes away from me, For they have confused me.
I know this is so difficult for you and I to comprehend how God could say to us, turn your eyes away from me, for they have confused me. Some translations read overwhelm me. But I want you to stop with me for a second. I want you to put this in perspective. I want to try to frame it for you in a way that hopefully you can digest. Once again, the Song of Songs is written in poetry. Poetry is the language of love. Poetry shares with us deep insights into love in a different form of language that is able to move man's heart like no other language. So when the Lord is speaking this way, once again, he's communicating deep truth through a spiritual poetic language. He said: Turn your eyes away from me, For they have confused me, or they have overwhelmed me. You and I sit here and we think that can't be God. How can my eyes ever overwhelm God? How could little puny me overwhelm God? How can my looking deeply into his eyes confuse him, that he would ask me to turn my eyes away from him?
I know how hard it is to receive that. And I know that many of you are thinking no way, and are perhaps even upset with me for sharing this. That's why John the Baptist introduced Jesus as, listen now, the Bridegroom. John the Baptist referred to himself as, get it now, the friend of the Bridegroom. Jesus is the Bridegroom. Paul said that he was presenting us to Jesus as a pure virgin. Jesus told many parables about the Church and in the parables the Church is referred to as his Bride, or as the ten virgins. And once again, Revelation, 19:7-9, says that the end of our salvation experience culminates with what Scripture calls the marriage supper of the Lamb. So if we're in a marriage with Jesus, doesn't it make sense that your heart has the ability to deeply move and affect God? Who would be married to somebody that couldn't move them? Who would be married to somebody whose love didn't affect them? No, God has voluntarily humbled himself and placed himself in such a position of vulnerability. Get it now, he voluntarily has put himself in such a posture of vulnerability with you that your love can deeply move him, even as our heart can grieve him, as the Scripture teaches.
Let me give an example of this to try to illustrate the poetry of this. Have you ever looked into somebody's eyes and their love was so powerful or so strong you literally had to look away from it? Or you saw such beauty in their eyes that you didn't feel right staring into their eyes; that it was almost disrespectful to do it because it's so sacred? That's kind of what the Lord is responding to here. There is such beauty, such love, such a sacredness coming from our love to him that comes from a voluntary, free act of our will, that he responds to it in his extreme posture of sensitivity and humility by sharing his heart with us in this poetic language form. I hope that the Lord has gripped your heart through this because nothing can make you more powerful than realizing that you, beloved one, have the ability to move God. Even as the ancient proverb says, greater is he that rules his own spirit than he that rules a city. In a similar sense, greater is our power when we realize that we literally can move God, the Creator of the universe, than our power is to be able to move a thousand people standing on a stage.
Oh Jesus, this is so far beyond us to comprehend. I can talk about it. I can try to describe it, but Jesus, I pray that by revelation you would break into our hearts to help us to understand how deeply loved we are, and how we've been created in your own image, and that we have become, Father, those that have the ability to move you in love, God, to add to your experience as God by choosing to love you out of our own will.
Oh I know it's a paradox that God's complete in and of himself, and that he needs nothing. And yet somehow God is looking to us to be an equal partner with him in love. You are, as Scripture says, the Bride of Christ. You're the Bride and the wife of the Lamb, according to the Word of God. As I said, this has nothing to do with gender. This is not about male and female. This is language, beloved, that describes intimacy. Well, as Jesus continues on to just tell his bride how much he loves her and how beautiful she is, I love this particular element of this posture that he takes with her. And I want to apply it to you and me. Jesus says to her in verse number 9, he says, you are a pure child of the one that bore you. And then he says, you are unique.
Look at verse number 9. He says: But my dove, my perfect one, is unique: she is her mother's only daughter. What God is saying here in a sense is you're the best. You're unique. You're unlike any other. In a sense you could say that God is saying you're my favorite one. And you know what? God wants you and I to recognize that you're not just one of the many, and I'm not just one of the many, but we are each one of us unique and God's favorite. You are cherished, beloved one, and deeply loved. Oh goodness. And no one can love God like you love him. Your love for him is unique. That's why the Bible says in heaven we're gonna be given a name, a new name, and the only ones that are gonna know this new name that Jesus gives us are he and us.
Each one of us, beloved, is unique, deeply treasured and loved. And each one of us is God's best and his favorite. Jesus continues and he says to her as he's watching her continue to evolve in this divine love and this baptism of love. Jesus says to her in chapter 6, verse 10: Who is this that grows like the dawn. He continues, As beautiful as the full moon, As pure as the sun. In other words, she's growing. Her, her, her love, her light, her strength is continuing to grow like the dawn. The dawn breaks forth and gets brighter and brighter and brighter like the morning dawn. And that's what type of a life you and I are living.
Now if your walk with God, beloved one, if your walk with Jesus is truly genuine, you know what? Even the people around you will be able to see that you're changing; that there's transformation or reality that's happening in your life. I know in my life, my wife sees it. My children see it. My friends see it. The people that know me see it. I'm always changing because I'm being transformed by the love of God. That's what Jesus is saying to her. You're being transformed. Listen again: Who is this that grows, get it now, grows, you're changing and you're growing, like the dawn. So if your love for God is alive, if the Holy Spirit is really in you, if you're really yielding to him, you know what? You're being changed. The Bible says you're going from grace to grace, from strength to strength. And as we continue to look at God through the Word, 'cause the Word is God, the Bible says we're being changed from glory to glory. Oh I love it. Amen and Amen.
Verse number 11 we find the Scripture continuing: I went down to the orchard of nut trees To see the blossoms of the valley, To see whether the vine had budded, Whether the pomegranates had bloomed. Before I was aware, my soul set me Over the chariots of my people. In other words, she went down now to the vineyard where Jesus was building the kingdom. And when she got to the vineyard, beloved, remember I said in last week's broadcast, as we mature in love and partner with Jesus, we find out that he's a servant. Remember Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus said I am among you as one that serves, right. They couldn't receive it in John, 13, when he began to wash their feet. But Jesus said unless you let me wash your feet, unless you let me serve you, you have no place with me.
And so as the Shulamite bride, who's a shadow of you and I, was being changed, as she was fully encountering Jesus and coming into a revelational knowledge of who he was, she saw that he was a servant. And she began to serve with him. And so in this portion of Scripture she goes down into the vineyard where he's serving. She sees God's people there being built up. She realizes that she is strong in comparison to them because Jesus had already brought her so far along the journey as we've been covering here in the last weeks. And as she realized the strength that was in her, and how much they needed her, her soul arose within her and she said they need me, and she pledged herself for the rest of her life to give herself to the kingdom and to building the kingdom. And her old friends didn't know what to do with her. And so they said, where have you gone? Where are you? They felt like they didn't know her any more.
Maybe some of you have experienced that in your own life. You've been so changed by Jesus, you've been so transformed by his fiery love that your old friends are saying well I don't know where they went any, where you are any more. Your family, your mom and dad, they don't know you anymore. What happened to you? This is what happened with the Shulamite bride. She was so yielded to Jesus's will. She said in verse number 9, the last part of it: Your wine, she said, goes down smoothly. It goes down smoothly for my beloved. In other words, whatever his will was, she wasn't choking on it anymore. It wasn't like her will was striving against his will any longer in life. It wasn't like the flesh was striving against the spirit and the spirit was striving against the flesh. There wasn't this constant battle going on.
She was so in union with him now. She said, your will, your word, your wine goes down smoothly. And then she said in verse number 10 one of the climactic verses of the entire Song. She says in verse number 10: I am my beloved's, And his desire is for me. Oh what an awesome thing. I am my beloved's, and his desire is for me. To know, beloved child of God, that Jesus desires you, that he loves you, get this now, and he desires you. He desires your fellowship. He desires you to talk to him. He desires you spirit, soul, mind and body, get this now, even when you're weak, even if you fall. Always at all times Jesus loves you and you're lovely to him. Just like the Shulamite bride said earlier in the Song, I am black but lovely. Jesus loved her and thought she was lovely even in her imperfection, even when she fell, even in those issues in her life where there was still sin. She was still desired and loved and cherished by God. And that's how God feels, praise his name, hallelujah, about you and I.
We are yours Lord, Jesus, and your desire is for us. She was fully committed now, beloved ones, to being a servant with him. We see the same thing continuing in chapter number 7. And then as we come to chapter number 8, we find that she's strong. She had become a strong disciple now of Jesus. She had become one that was comfortable in her own skin and she knew who she was in the Lord. She wasn't doubting herself. Just like the Bible says, before Enoch left the world, God had testified to him that he was approved. In other words, Enoch had come to a place in his life that he knew he was walking with God in a way that pleased God. This Shulamite bride was walking before God in a way, beloved, that she had a consciousness that she was mature, that she was walking in strength. She knew she was approved. And you know what? God wants to bring that same reality in to your life.
As we come to the end of the Song of Songs, beloved ones, in chapter 8, Jesus comes back to her and he says this. This is so moving. He says to her: I found you under the apple tree, in verse number 5, and I awakened you. In other words, Jesus was bringing her back to the very beginning of her journey. Jesus reminds her from where she was brought from. Jesus says, I found you under the apple tree, beneath the apple tree I awakened you. There your mother was in labor with you, There she was in labor and gave you birth. God, it's a beautiful thing to realize, God has been with you and I all these years. He's been with us through everything that we've been through. And he's brought us through everything to this season. And now that he's brought us, beloved ones, to this place, he wants us to receive now, get this now, a baptism of fire by his Spirit and a baptism of love.
And so we come to verse number 6. Jesus says to her: Put me like a seal over your heart. Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; Its flashes are flashes of fire, The very flame of the Lord. Jesus is asking you, will you receive a baptism of fire in love? We speak about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but the baptism of the Holy Spirit, beloved one, is a baptism of love. Jesus said to Peter, do you love me? Peter said, Lord, I love you. Three times Jesus said it. Jesus said, Peter, if you love me, feed my lambs. Jesus said, Peter, do you love me? Peter said, Jesus, you know I love you. Jesus said, feed my sheep. Once again Jesus said, do you love me? Peter said, Lord, you know I love you. Jesus said, feed my sheep, tend my lambs. In other words, Jesus was saying if you love me, serve me, serve my sheep, tend my lambs. And so as we come to the end of this journey, beloved ones, Jesus climaxes this message to us by saying, I am sealing you in my fiery love.
Now I want you to receive this and serve my people, tend my lambs, feed my sheep. And so the Song ends with this prophetic parable in verse number 11: Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon; He entrusted the vineyard to caretakers. Each one was to bring a thousand of shekels of silver for its fruit. In other words, Jesus is saying I've left you on the earth to build the kingdom. You're gonna stand before me, Jesus is saying to you right now, beloved one, and give an account. I'm expecting that when you stand before me on the last day, that you're gonna have a thousand fold fruit to show me because of your love for me. Because you're gonna be coming to face me soon, I'm gonna be coming to you soon, or you're gonna be coming to me through death. Either way, Jesus says, you're gonna stand before me and I'm gonna ask you to give an account with what you did with your life.
And so the Shulamite bride ends by saying, I'm gonna bring you, King Jesus, everything you deserve. I'm gonna bring you the thousand shekels 'cause I love you. And I'm gonna support, she says, those that are laboring in the vineyard. She says in verse 12: My very own vineyard is at my disposal; For the thousand shekels are for you, Solomon, And two hundred are for those who take care of its fruit. She's saying I'm gonna give you, King Jesus, the thousand shekels that are yours, and I'm gonna support the men and women of God that are on the forefront laboring for your kingdom. And then it ends, beloved, with this prophetic exclamation of come, Lord Jesus. In verse number 14 she says: Hurry, my beloved, And be like a gazelle or a young stag On the mountains of spices.
It's awesome to me that this Song ends, beloved, with her calling for Jesus's return. Jesus is coming back for you and for me. Put your hand over your heart and say with me, Jesus is coming back for me. Every eye is gonna see him. He's coming down from the mountain of spices. He's returning from heaven, beloved one, for you. And when he does, he wants you to be able to stand before him, just like the Shulamite bride, with a thousand shekels of silver, to be able to say to him, Jesus, I lived wholeheartedly in love with you. I spent my life pursuing you, loving you, and here's a thousand shekels to show for it. I used my time, my talent, and treasures to build your kingdom. And Jesus, lover of my soul, I am so looking forward to spending now eternity in heaven with you. All hail the power, beloved, of Jesus's name. God bless you and Shalom.