Tearing off the Bark

     For you reach into my heart. (“You have ravished my heart) With one flash of your eyes I am undone by your love, my beloved, my equal, my bride. You leave me breathless—I am overcome by merely a glance from your worshiping eyes, for you have stolen my heart. I am held hostage by your love and by the graces of righteousness shining upon you.”                         -Song of Solomon 4:9 The Passion Translation

     Regarding the “ravishing of His heart” in this passage, the commentary says: “This is the Hebrew word libabthini, which is taken from a Semitic root word that means “to tear bark off of a tree.” He is saying that your loving eyes of worship have uncovered his heart and laid it bare, making him vulnerable to you. What a description of what happens to Jesus when he looks into your eyes. Your worship brings to him such an ecstasy and delight that it becomes hard to even imagine. Yet God has placed inside of you the ability to ravish the heart of your King—not someday in heaven, but now, even when you feel incomplete and weak.”  

     Have you ever thought of Jesus being vulnerable to you because of His love for you? When you tear the bark off of a tree you expose it and leave it susceptible to the elements. It is at your mercy to be careful with it. The bark is its protection and its covering. What this passage is saying is that when you glance at Jesus in love and worship, He is undone and He abandons Himself to you. I don’t know about anyone else but when I consider this I wonder if my worship is worthy of Him.

     One of the titles of Jesus in the Bible is Bridegroom to His Bride, the Church. Song of Solomon gives a beautiful glimpse of the wooing and engagement of the Bridegroom and the Bride. It is almost too uncomfortable to read for its intimacy, but when you understand that it is about the love Jesus has for His Bride, it is mind-boggling. He loves His Bride so much that He abandons Himself for her.

     How many of us have abandoned ourselves to our spouse and allowed them to tear the bark off of us? To have our heart stolen and be held hostage by another person is a terrifying thing. I wonder what our marriages would look like if we became to each other the way Jesus is to His Bride. If we let go of ourselves and lost our protective covering to the potential hazards of another’s care.

     My desire is to honor the love that my Bridegroom in Heaven has for me by being a picture of that love to my Bridegroom in this world. Even saying it makes me nervous but here goes, “Husband, you may tear off my bark!”

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