IN HIS EMBRACE
Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs, and carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.
The Hebrew word for bosom is khaykh, and in Greek it is kolpos. It is a masculine noun that indicates the upper part of a person's body where objects and persons of love are embraced. The person, item or animal that is carried or embraced here is dearly cherished. However, Scripture tells us that an adulteress is not allowed here (Prov. 5:20). God warns us from taking fire into this part of our body, Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? (Prov. 6:27) We are exhorted to "not be eager in your heart to be angry, for anger resides in the bosoms of fools." (Eccles. 7:9)
John's gospel tells us that "no man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him." (John 1:18) We see an intimate expression of love by John as He reclined on Yeshua Jesus' bosom in John 13:23, "there was reclining on Yeshua Jesus' breast one of His disciples, whom Yeshua loved." Luke also describes this intimate place in Luke 13:22-23,
Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away
by the angels to Abraham's bosom, and the rich man died and was buried.
And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away,
and Lazarus in his bosom."
Perhaps this is where we get the term 'bosom buddies.'
Luke's gospel also states "Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap (bosom - same word in Greek)." (Luke 6:38)
Yet one of the most beautiful illustrations of God's bosom in found in Acts 27:39:
and when day came, they could not recognize the land;
but they did observe a certain bay (kolpos) with a beach, and they resolved to drive
the ship onto it if they could.
In the midst of a very frightening experience, we learn that Paul and two-hundred seventy five (Acts 27:37) persons were quickly realizing that all hope of beating the storm was lost. They were going to have to abandon ship, and swim for shore. It was into this bay, this kolpos, into this safe embrace that God led them. I have never been shipwrecked, but I have had to endure some mighty waves, and it is not a pleasant experience. Then to add the fact that the area was unrecognizable, and the boat passengers were going to have to abandon the sailing vessel to hopefully live and not die.
"And thus it happened that they all were brought safely to land."
Sometimes we experience shipwrecks in our lives. It could be divorce, illness, dashed hopes, being overlooked for a promotion, business setbacks, wayward children or spouses. And if we don't experience shipwrecks, sometimes the storms we must endure resemble shipwrecks. When it sometimes looks as if all hope is lost, God will lead you into His embrace, into His kolpos. It is His place of intimacy, of safe keeping. For us who belong to the Great Shepherd,
He will tend His flock, and in His arm,
He will gather the lambs
and carry them in His bosom. Isaiah 40:11
Let Him carry you.