Over the last couple of weeks, I have spent some time in the book of Isaiah and as I have reflected on the scriptures I have read, one thing has become more obvious to me: God pursues us as much as we pursue Him.
The latter chapter of the book Isaiah is filled with imagery of a God pursuing a people who although do not reciprocate the love they are shown, are loved nonetheless. God chases after a people that He has chosen to be His and lavishes his love on them. As I read through those scriptures, I got nostalgic. I was reminded of a time when I was a single lady and the lengths my husband, then suitor, made to woo me- the long walks, the endless conversations, the trips back and forth between cities, and the gifts. Inasmuch as he was trying to catch my eye and impress me, so was I also trying to impress him; and this dance continued until we got married and this wooing continues till date.
Isaiah 59 sets the stage by describing how God wants to do so much more for the people of Israel but then their sins have separated them from God and He is so displeased with their state that He himself puts on righteousness as a breastplate and salvation as a helmet and comes to the rescue of his people:
He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.Isaiah 61:10 NIV
Not only does he save them but also showers blessings on them and promises them an eternal inheritance. In chapter 61, we see Isaiah appreciating this love, just like it looked like for me many years ago when I started to fall in love with my man:
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewelsIsaiah 62: 3-5 NIV
We go on to see how much God figuratively pursues Israel in this courtship until He marries them and changes their name from deserted and desolate to married (sound familiar?):
You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married. As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.Isaiah 62: 3-5 NIV
As I read through these scriptures, I come face-to-face with a very relational and relatable God. I am reminded that inasmuch as my Christian walk is about drawing close to God, and getting to know Him, and giving Him control, and surrendering to Him, it is also about a God who continues to woo me with His great and awesome and mighty deeds. As a bridegroom delights in his bride, so the Lord delights in me and wants to impress me.
As we inch our way into the Holy week, may this thought comfort you and remind you that you are fully known and loved by God.