Captured By Love
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Verse 5 says that God "hems" us in behind and before. The imagery is that of a deer being surrounded and captured. In ancient times a deer would be hunted by driving it to other hunters who would keep it from eluding capture by surrounding it without a means of escape. However, an unexpected twist resolves the tension created by this image. The deer will not be harmed. The end of verse 5 states that God "lays his hand' upon us at the moment of capture. God has captured us in order to demonstrate his love and affection for us. He tames our fears and opens our hearts through his merciful action toward us.
What thoughts and emotions will God find within me when he "hems me in behind and before"?
Oh God so often I have eluded capture by following my own paths in search of pleasure and comfort. I confess that I fear what would happen if I surrendered completely to your loving capture. Captivate my heart and mind! Let me be so engulfed by your perfect love that all other loves fade from my desire. Amen.