Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Between His Shoulders

Deuteronomy 33:12 And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the LORD shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.

In this chapter Moses blesses the tribes of Israel before his death. This blessing to the tribe of Benjamin is so intimate:

First they are called the beloved of the Lord....beloved...how sweet to be beloved. AND the beloved "of the Lord" there is belonging there. Relationship. Union. I am...you are...the beloved of the Lord.

Shall dwell in safety by him...Benjamin inherited the land right next to the temple. . OK, so I don't live next door to my church, or any church for that matter...but thankfully....God came near to me! He came near to all. He is God With Us! There is safety in that place of nearness.

The Lord shall cover him all the day long...John Wesley said "Shall protect that tribe continually while they cleave to him" I think about a nice cozy quilt. I grew up sleeping in the basement bedroom of our home in North Dakota and it gets REALLY cold there. So, I love the feeling of being covered by layers of blankets. Fluffy comforters. Thick, heavy quilts. It feels so good to be covered! It feels secure...ha....a security blanket of covering....now that is something to cling to!

But, this is my favorite phrase in the passage -and he shall dwell between his shoulders. That's close! The NIV Bible puts it this way: "the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders". Picture that...resting between the shoulders of the Lord. Leaning against his breast. Now, to be totally honest, I'm not quite sure about the pronouns here, which "he" is Benjamin and which "he" is the Lord. Looking at different translations it seems to read both ways. The truth is, either way you look at it: The beloved resting between the shoulders of the Lord OR the Lord dwelling between the shoulders of the beloved...it's beautiful. Christ in me AND me in Christ. Close enough to hear, even feel a heartbeat. Loved. Safe. Warm. Mmmmmm

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