As I've tried to explain in The Treasures series, I have strong opinions on the matter of God's emotions. I think that it is impossible to overstate how intensely God expresses His love for His people.
As I complete this series, I want to draw your attention to the ESV translation of Zephaniah 3:17: "The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." (I added the italics.) Part of the note in the ESV Study Bible on Zephaniah 3:17 contains these thoughts: "This verse remarkably adds that God himself will rejoice over you with gladness, indicating that when God's people seek him and follow him, and rejoice in him and trust him, then God personally delights in them. This is not an aloof, emotionless contentment, but it bursts forth in joyful divine celebration: he will exult over you with loud singing."
I can hardly imagine it. God wants to sing His love song over me. Just the thought of it leaves me breathless with amazement.
No wonder we have an empty hole in our hearts before we find Jesus as our Lord and Savior. He created us to experience His pure, intense love expressed as His delight in our actions as we seek and follow Him and as love songs from His ravished heart as we rejoice in Him and trust in Him – and Him alone – to lead us. We can know nothing of that until we have repented of our sins and accepted His sacrifice on our behalf.
If you are like me, the first question that pops up in your mind is, "Why don't Christians experience these all the time?"
In order to give some of the answer to this question, I want to look at Song of Solomon 4:9 again. It says, "You have ravished my heart, My sister, My spouse; you have ravished My heart with one look of your eyes, with one link of your necklace." (NKJV) (I added the italics.)
The Bible is full of symbols. For me, this necklace symbolizes my obedience to God. Let me show you how I got there.
The neck can represent a person's will. The term "stiff necked" speaks of a resistant will, someone who will not submit. Isaiah 48:4 speaks of this: "…I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew…" (ESV) When someone bows in submission to a king, the most vulnerable part of the body is exposed – the back of the neck.
So, for me, this necklace represents the activity of my will. When I willingly, eagerly, and lovingly obey God's guidance, I add a link to this spiritual necklace. Sometimes the link is fashioned in the heat of heartache, other times in the sparkle of joy, but always in the absolute trust that my Master knows best. In order to experience the reality of God's love and delight, we must know God's ways and obey His will.
In my jewelry box, I have a necklace made of small oval links. In the center of each link is a tiny precious or semi-precious stone: sapphire, ruby, topaz, emerald, citrine and others. When I waver in my willingness to obey God in all things, I look at that necklace and remind myself that God and I are creating a spiritual necklace much more beautiful than the one I have now. Each link of that necklace is a remembrance of a time when I ravished the heart of God with my loving obedience. I hope to wear that priceless necklace on my wedding day, at the wedding feast of The Lamb of God. I want it to be a sparkling witness to the glory of my Lord.
Now you know the treasures of my heart and the way I experience them: God's powerfully passionate love for me, His delight in me as I turn away from sinful ways, my desire to ravish God's heart as I keep my life focused on Him, the protection I have from the Holy Spirit, and the necklace I'm designing with my joyful, loving obedience. My prayer is that you will find these treasures as valuable as I have. I pray that God would always fill your heart with the joy and peace that comes from loving Him, the source of all treasure.