A Romantic Song For My Beloved
By Miriam Nadler
In the month of February some of us anticipate Valentine’s Day, hoping to have a day filled with romance often signified by lots of chocolate, beautiful roses and a special dinner at a favorite restaurant. These may be our human efforts to communicate love, but let’s be honest, many of our attempts at romantic love fall flat of our anticipations. In contrast, have you ever thought of God, who is the author of true love, as a romantic God?
For Valentine’s Day, if God invited you to His vineyard that He designed with His own hands, would you be excited to spend time with Him there? Let’s take a brief journey to the Song of the Beloved where Isaiah is telling God’s people about a unique vineyard, a romantic place with luscious grapes hanging from the vines.
Isaiah begins in 5:1. “Let me sing now for my well-beloved a song of my beloved concerning His vineyard. My well-beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill.” Who is the beloved that is mentioned three times in the first verse? Isaiah is singing about His God, the God of Israel. Isaiah is not just singing about an impersonal force of nature or a creator who couldn’t care less about His creation. Rather, this Beloved is someone who loves personally and who loves what He has planted. When I think of Isaiah, I think of a man who was a great orator for the Lord. In Scripture, a prophet represents God to people by his spoken words, but in this section, Isaiah is a singing prophet. Perhaps Isaiah was trying to get the attention of Israel in a new creative way since they were not listening to his strong oratory. Perhaps Israel would listen to a poetic love song.
In verse 2 we find a description of the wonderful provisions God has given to His vineyard so that His vineyard would produce good grapes. “And He dug it all around, removed its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine. And He built a tower in the middle of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; Then He expected it to produce good grapes, but it produced worthless ones.”
God was expecting Israel to bring forth excellent fruit. Does He expect the same from us? As we consider why our Beloved has left us here on earth instead of taking us home to be with Him, we need to understand that our lives are to be lived in light of His eternal provisions because He is expecting each of our lives to produce good grapes. One of the purposes of our lives as believers in Messiah is to point those around us to our Beloved. The lives that we touch should be drawn to consider a relationship with God through our fruit – to see His beauty, hear of His wonderful works, smell His sweet aroma emanating from our lives and thereby have the desire to “taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Do you love fruit? I love all kinds of fruit, but my ideal fruit is a perfectly ripe kiwi. Even though the kiwi does not look like much on the outside, it is quite tasty and sweet inside. Even the kiwi’s warm and inviting green color is attractive to me. Whenever I find a bowl of mixed fruit where the kiwis are added, I try to load my plate with all the green circles I can manage. On the other hand, a bad kiwi tastes terrible. If it’s too mushy and overripe, watch out! If it’s too hard, it is impossible to enjoy. A kiwi, just like any other fruit, needs to be the precise ripeness in order to taste the way it was meant to taste and only then can it be fully enjoyed. Our lives are always producing fruit. Considering this, we need to ask ourselves this question, what kind of fruit will delight God’s heart? I believe that what we think and know about God will reflect the fruit our lives produce. Since we are created in God’s image, we possess the potential of reflecting His character, His true love, thus bringing glory to His Name. But for our lives to emanate His sweet fruit of righteousness to the fullness, we must have an intimate relationship with Yeshua, our Beloved. As Paul tells the congregation at Philippi, “having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus the Messiah, to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:11).
I believe that we, as women, desire and long for intimacy. This intimacy and closeness is there for us and can be found in our dependent relationship with our Beloved, the Vine. As a result of this primary relationship with our Beloved we can then be enabled to be open and intimate with our husbands and friends.
MOTIVATED BY LOVE
John 15:9-10 – “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.”
God is the source of all love, all compassion, all kindness and affection.
Messiah is inviting us to continue in His love. In order to do so, we need to abide in His love. How can we know that we are abiding in His love? The evidence will be seen in our obedience to His Word.
The world is looking for authentic, lasting Love that can only be found in the true Love of God. Romantic love will fade away, the steadfast Love of the LORD is forever, and His mercies never cease (Lamentations 3:22-23).
(taken from “Abiding in Messiah” by Miriam)