Thirteenth Day – My King – by Francis R. Havergal

The Desire of the King

‘So shall the King greatly desire thy beauty.’—Ps. xlv. li,

CAN this be for us? What beauty have we that the King can desire? For the more we have seen of His beauty the more we have seen of our own utter ugliness. What, then, can He see ? ‘My comeliness which I had put upon thee.’  ‘ The beauty of the Lord our God upon us.” For ‘He will beautify the meek with salvation.’ And so the desire of the King is set upon us.

Perhaps we have had the dreary idea,  ‘Nobody wants me ! ‘ We never need grope in that gloom again, when the King Himself desires us! This desire is love active, love in glow, love going forth, love delighting and longing. It is the strongest representation of the love of Jesus,—something far beyond the love of pity or compassion j it is taking pleasure in His people; delighting in them;’ willing (i. e. putting forth the grand force of His will) that they should be with Him where He is, with Him now, with Him always. It is the love that does not and will not endure separation,—the love that cannot do without its object. ‘ So shall the King desire thy beauty.’

1 Isa. vi. 5. 2 Ezek. xvi. 14, 3 Ps. xc. 17, 4 Ps. cxlix. 4.

He gave us a glimpse of this gracious fervour when He said,  ‘With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.’ With Gethsemane and Calvary in fullest view, His heart’s desire was to spend those few last hours in closest intercourse with His disciples. ‘ So ‘ did He desire them.

Now, if we take the King at His word, and really believe that He thus desires us, can we possibly remain cold-hearted and indifferent to Him ? Can we bear the idea of disappointing His love,— suck love,—and meeting it with any such pale, cool response as would wound any human heart, ‘ I do not know whether I love you or not!’

Oh, do let us leave off morbidly looking to see exactly how much we love (which is just like trying to warm ourselves with a thermometer, and perhaps only ends in doubting whether we love at all), and look straight away at His love and his desire! Think of Jesus actually wanting you, really desiring your love, not satisfied with all the love of all the angels and saints unless you love him too,— needing that little drop to fill His cup of joy! Is there no answering throb, no responsive glow?

1 Ps. cxlix. 4. 2 isa. Ixii. 4. 3 John xvii. 24; ib. xii. 26.

4 Luke xxii. 15. 6 Heb. xii, 2.

‘Lord, let the glow of Thy great love Through my whole being shine !’

Perhaps it is upon the emphatic  so, as pointing to the context, that the intensity of the emphatic ‘greatly ‘ hinges. It is when the bride forgets her own people and her father’s house—that is, when her life and love are altogether given to her Royal Bridegroom,—that He  ‘shall greatly desire ‘ her beauty. When His glorious beauty has so filled our eyes, and His incomprehensible love has so filled our hearts,^ that He is first, and most, and dearest of all,—when we can say not merely,  ‘The desire of our souls is to Thy name,’ but ‘ There is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee,’—when thus we are, to the very depth of our being, really and entirely our Beloved’s, then we may add, in solemn, wondering gladness, *And His desire is toward me.’

O love surpassing thought, So bright, so grand, so clear, so true, so glorious;

Love infinite, love tender, love unsought.

Love changeless, love rejoicing, love victorious!

And this great love for us in boundless store;

Christ’s everlasting love ! What wouldst thou more?

1 Ps. xlv. lo. 2 Eph, iii. 19. 3 Jsa. xxvi, 8.

4 Ps. Ixxiii. 25. 5 Cant. vii. 10.

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