Archive for August 31st, 2017

Whether you’ve been in a relationship or not it’s not difficult to relate the sentiments that are conveyed in this passage. Any intimate relationship requires total commitment from both parties if it’s going to succeed. There must be good communication (in itself a two way operation), sensitivity to the feelings and needs of the other, understanding of the needs and desires of the other and complete commitment to ensure that the bond of love is not broken. When one partner breaks that bond by engaging in a relationship with another person the result will be cataclysmic. It’s been said that the most precious thing you can give someone is your love and the most intimate thing you can give is your body. To make a commitment to one person and then betray it with another is to cause fundamental damage to the person who trusted enough to give those things to the betrayer in the first place. It’s without doubt the most painful kind of betrayal imaginable.

It might seem strange for God, who we cannot see and with whom we don’t have sexual relations, to use this kind of language to describe His feelings as His people turned away from Him. But He does it to make the very important point that the pain He felt when Israel turned away was just like that. The pain felt by a lover whose partner has given their love and their body to another.

In the case of Israel, and then Judah, it was not just a spiritual love affair that drew the people away from God but it was also a sexual affair too. The god the people turned to was a fertility goddess and the practices they engaged in included public rites including sexual intercourse. In Hebrew culture such a situation would result in divorce papers being issued and the unfaithful spouse being sent away. Once divorced there would be no return to the previous relationship. But, as we read through chapters 3 and 4, we constantly hear the echo of God’s voice saying “Come back Israel, I still love you!” God’s heart of mercy and compassion for His people is so much more powerful than anything we can muster for ourselves. Isaiah 55:8 declares, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” That depth of love, forgiveness and mercy is too extraordinary for words. Even more so when we see them embodied in Jesus who died on the cross to win us all back for God.















Father God, forgive me for my lack of commitment and help me to remain committed to you 100%. Amen.

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