Words matter. They mean something. They carry weight. Words can root. Words can uproot. Words can pierce, wound, or heal. I am a word person. I like to ponder the deeper meaning and roots of words, their history, and their origin. I find our language may sometimes lack the nuances of others like the Old Testament Hebrew and Aramaic languages. I sometimes wish I were a linguist. It’s never to late to try, so I begin my faith excavation by diving in to what it means to be the beloved.
For the rest of this month, I want to examine what God says about who I am and what He’s called me to and who we are as people on this earth. Let’s just be real though, 31 days surely is not enough time to do this. And that’s okay. For me these days are about reflecting on truth and letting it become a part of me. I want these truths to seep into the cracks and crevices of my soul. I want to live, move, and have my being from a place of God-truth that cannot be shaken. So here’s to the excavating.
I do not claim to be any kind of theologian. I just want to know more of God and study what His words mean for me in this right-now life. I want to know what He has to say about coming home to faith and being the beloved. I want to know what He has to say about identity and authenticity. I don’t even know if those words were used in the Hebrew or Greek, but when this month is over, I’ll have a better idea. And I hope you will too. Maybe it will even spark a hunger in you to know more about who you’re created to be.
I’ll begin with one of my favorite verses from the Old Testament.
Of Benjamin he said:
“The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him,
Who shelters him all the day long;
And he shall dwell between His shoulders.”
Moses is giving a final blessing to Israel and each of the tribes. I love that even the smallest people groups are not ignored or passed over. It reminds me that we are truly seen even if our voices are not the loudest. I read these words and there is a calm that wells up in my heart. It’s a reminder of the ever-presence of God and His charge over my life.
It is powerful to recall how the beloved “dwell in safety,” are sheltered by Him, and covered intimately “between His shoulders”. Agitation subsides. Grace abounds and an abiding sense of well-being arises. By faith, I take God at His word. He’s the one doing all the heavy work. He is the one ensuring His word remains securely sure and steadfast. He is the covenant keeper who does not break promises. He is Protector, Defender, and Wholeness Maker.
What does He require for this to happen in my life? Only that I believe. Seems so easy, almost too easy, but it is simple. He only asks that I believe Him. So this will be and is enough. Grace. I don’t have to work to achieve this “beloved” shelter and safety. How do I know? Two ways I learned: 1. because the verse says the beloved “dwell;” and 2. it comes from the Hebrew word shakan which means abide, inhabit, remain, rest, reside, or settle down (Strong, 143). You cannot settle down or abide if you’re busy doing. I need this kind of truthful grace, and maybe you do to.
We were made to abide. We were made to love. We were made to “be.” What a beautiful treasure to unearth!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright @1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Use by permission. All rights reserved.
Strong, James. The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995. 141-142.