Sunday, May 3, 2009

Passionate Commitment

I was reading through the 18th and 19th chapters of the Second Book of the Kings some days ago. King Hezekiah was ruling over Judah in Jerusalem, and Sennacherib, King of Assyria had sent a massive army against Jerusalem. He had sent an extensively worded threat against Jerusalem's populace through his chief of staff (2 Kings 18:19-37 and 2 Kings 19:10-13). In response, God delivers an even more impressive verdict against the Assyrian King through the prophet Isaiah (2 Kings 19:20-34). As I was reading through God's response, I was struck by one sentence in the passage:

"The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven's Armies will make this happen!" (2 Kings 19:31, New Living Translation)

I read that sentence over and over. Nearing the end of his speech, there was a potent fury that could be felt in the words of the prophet, as he voiced the words of his Lord and Master. My mind was brough to a standstill by the words 'passionate commitment', expressed as 'zeal' by older translations. While a strong phrase in itself, it was made even more so by the Person it was being ascribed to - The Lord of Heaven's Armies. I thought about that for some time. While many statements are made about the nature of God throughout the Bible, this was not something I had thought about before - God is "passionately committed". I was seeing an aspect of His character anew, just as the jeweler's light shining on a diamond from the right angle shows off a different facet to perfection.

"Passionately committed. My Father is passionately committed". My mind began to explode as those two sentences took hold and began a chain reaction of thought. God's passionate commitment speaks of a depth of action that flows from a depth of being, a determined, tremendous and unstoppable power that makes Him the omnipotent being that He is. I thought of His passionate commitment to His Word, promises, creation, righteousness, justice, judgement, peace, mercy, forgiveness, deliverance, healing, restoration...the list is endless. And I realized and knew that as His child, it applied to me as well. This great God who calls Himself my beloved Father was, is and always will be passionately committed to his son, who loves Him. As I thought of the implications, I wanted to write them down.

My Father is passionately committed in His relationship to me. When He says 'I love you', He means it with all His heart; He will never retract and utter the words 'I don't love you anymore'. He is passionately committed to the sacred romance between us. From my first moment to last, there is no limit to which He will not go in His pursuit of my heart; Psalm 139 is an awesome testament to this. He was so passionate in His commitment to love me, that He demonstrated it in the ultimate act - sending His Son to die on the Cross for my sin.

He is passionately committed in His protection of me; there is not one promise of guardianship from Genesis to Revelation that He will not fulfil. In the heat of battle, in the depths of sorrow, in the burning hot days and bitter cold nights of the soul, He is there, watching over me. When my heart is broken, He is unfailing in His passionate commitment to grieve with me and for me, to pick up the pieces and heal. When I have been wronged, He is there as defense, prosecution, judge, jury and executioner.

He is passionately committed to my present and my future; He will see me through to the end of my Master's degree and beyond. "The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven's Armies will make this happen!" He is passionately committed to His blessing in my life, in every way imaginable.

He is passionate in His commitment to my growth and pursuit of wisdom. There is no question that I can ask that He will not tire of answering. There is no explanation that He will not patiently give. There is no subject, course or topic that He cannot teach me, for they are all expressions of His infinite wisdom.

If I have been able to show any commitment to anything in life, it is only because I have learned that commitment from Him. My Lord. My King. My Rock. My Redeemer. My Saviour. My Teacher. My Guide. My Guardian. In all this and more, You are passionately committed to me. May I be as passionate in my commitment to You.

- The Wisdom Seeker