Friday, March 2, 2012

Desire Dominates


tə·šū·qā·ṯōw: desire

 It’s the same word in Hebrew, the same domination-or-desire that every daughter of Eve and son of Adam will struggle with.  This desire seemingly born of curses into a lifetime of grappling and straining for the most honored places.  These are the only times this dominion-desire word is used.  In the entirety of scripture. In Genesis, it is judged [not cursed, judged] that Eve’s desire will be for her husband.  Later in the beginning, Cain is told sin desires to overtake him.  And in the Song of Songs, the woman, after twice saying her lover is hers, says, “his desire is for me.” [1]

The first is a consequence.  The second, speaks of potentiality.  The third, a reversal. 

Because of Love.

Love turns domination to sacrifice, a willing offering.  One body given up for another.  Wife to husband, man to woman.  Christ for all. 

Jesus for each. 

Love enables one to surrender their entire self on behalf of another.  To be spent for the other’s sake.  To be poured out for the good of someone outside of self.  Love, sacrificial and all-encompassing, ignites desire for more of its object.     

Love for God [in the Song of Songs] transcends covenantal fidelity alone and achieves an arousal and joy that is never consummated fully in this life…for [the saints of Christianity] there was no discontinuity between the Song and their passion for God.  These two expressions of desire welled up from the same center of their being.[2]

While Lent points to death, Christ dying for sins so that we may die to them, it is also a preparation of love.  An anticipation of joy.  This sacrifice of His body for mine, making me His, makes my desire Him.  His willingness to give up his life in exchange for mine is love reversing judgment.  Love’s surrender, love’s sacrifice, takes away my just rewards; and showers me with grace.  Ransoming my past, and bestowing upon me a future which anticipates delights as yet unknown to my shackled and battered soul.      

And so, dominion becomes desire.  Desire gives way to surrender.  Surrender embodies love; and love frees.  Completely.

This is the way of Lent: a desire, not completely achieved on this earth, for God; only possible through the willing surrender of his Son’s body out of love for us.  Death to make a way for Love.  And love to fulfill the righteous judgment, so that relationship is possible. 


[1] Eve – Gen 3:16; Cain – Gen 4:7; Woman – Songs 2:16, 6:4. 7:10
[2] Richard Hess, Song of Songs.  Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005. page 34

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