Sunday, May 22, 2022

Hebrew Word Study: Livabethini, Ravished by God's Love

We’re looking at the song of Solomon chapter 4, particularly verse 9. Our scripture today says this: “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.”

Which brings us to our Hebrew word for this Sunday, “Ravished” in the Hebrew, Livabethini.

The book of the Song of Solomon is a book of love poetry, between a man and his bride. However, when we look deeper we see God’s love for us described within the pages of this book.

This particular word, ravished is very interesting in how it’s put forward in the Hebrew. It appears in it’s double beth form. A single beth represents the heart. A double beth represents the persons heart and god’s heart joining and becoming one. It pictures two hearts opening up to one another, becoming vulnerable, and entering into relationship.

Has your heart ever been broken in a romantic relationship? This is just a picture for us of how it grieves God’s heart to be apart from us. He calls us home to himself, a single beth also means home, in the Hebrew. Home to himself. Home to his heart. Home is where our hearts find rest in His heart, vulnerable, obedient, opened to Him, and He to us. A ravishing relationship.

Livabethini really speaks of passionate love, a hunger and thirst for one another, a need for one another that meets in passion. It also speaks of being captivated, or being taken captive.

In Song of Solom 4:9 Solomon speaks to his bride saying you’ve taken my heart, stolen my heart is how the NIV renders it, despite the fact that hes the king, his heart belongs to this woman, suddenly, in a single glance.

Do you believe in love at first sight? It doesn’t seem very logical. You can’t see someone once and fall in love with them, can you? You’ve never even spoken to them. And yet… I think to myself, maybe something deeper is communicated in the eyes, something about the persons soul, not just outward beauty, but a communication of who they are, with a single look.

I’d like to read for you chapter 4 of Song of Solomon and as you hear the words I want you to think of these words being spoken to you by God, about his love for you.

Song of Songs 4:1-4, 7, 9-10: "How beautiful you are, my darling!
Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
descending from the hills of Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing.
Each has its twin; not one of them is alone.
Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely.
Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate.
Your neck is like the tower of David, built with courses of stone;
on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors.
You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.
You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart, with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.
How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!"

God’s heart is ravished for us. He made us and he loves us deeply. He pursues us, to claim us as His own. And in response our hearts should be ravished by God.

Is there a hell? There certainly is, reserved for those who have rejected God’s love. There can be no other lover for our souls aside from God. He is our creator. There is no other god but him. So if he we reject His love, we are sent to a place away from God, where only sorrow exists. Yet we can still choose to reject God. But we will have to live with the results of that choice.

Instead choose to freely love God. And if we struggle to love God, then begin to act as if you do love God. Act as if, and eventually your emotions will follow. But begin to pray, to read the bible, to seek His presence, and you will learn to love Him over time.

But we must be vulnerable to love. If we lock love away, it will die, a jewel that was a gift from God, to learn to love, will fester while locked away and turn into a monster over time. We’ve seen people like this. They hate. But instead we must learn to love by giving and giving, even when it hurts, and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, to love. Amen.