Beloved of God.
Esteemed, dear, favorite, worthy of love.
Raindrops — glistening tears from heaven’s throne — began to fall. Slow, but steady. The last of the animals entered the massive vessel. I imagine Noah prodding them with a staff, steering them to their stalls. As tufts of lamb’s wool brushed against his robe, did he gently caress the fleece and ponder the ways of God? Perhaps Noah looked about at the safe gathering of two kinds of every living creature on the earth and thought, “It is well.”
In my mind’s eye I watch as Noah walked in a steady gait to the ark’s boarding ramp. His calloused right hand grasped the edge of gopherwood. Leaning on his staff with the other hand, Noah curled his neck and looked toward the heavens and spoke, “Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. I trust You and I honor You with my obedience.”
A stiff gust, like a mighty rushing wind blew from the east.
“Then the Lord closed the door behind them” (Genesis 7: 16a)
What manner of love is this? In the face of mass destruction God made a way to save His righteous ones. He did not remain afar off watching the destruction of a rebellious people with satisfaction, but instead, as only a Father can, He made sure His child was safe in the storm — God personally closed the door behind Noah and his family.
The barrier between good and evil.
Between death and life.
Between destruction and redemption.
Is this what it means to be called His Beloved? To be loved so tenderly as to close the door safely behind His children, securing them in His refuge when the world is bent on destruction?
He is holy, after all. And a holy God cannot dwell with a sinful people. He pursues. He provides. He speaks. And yet, some are bent on following their own gods, their own satisfactions.
So He lets them.
But those who hear His voice, who witness and respond to His love streaming through the broken places bringing His glorious light into the darkest dark — those He carries like a lamb upon His breast.
And when destruction comes, He makes a way of safety and refuge. He ushers His children in and scans the darkening skies, then closes the door behind them promising peace, comfort, and security.
We are beloved of God.
The God of the universe, the same God who paints a sunset, shapes a mountain and plans the waves at the beach, has chosen to love us, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Our role in this is to BE-LOVED. ~ Ron Edmondson