A few days ago, I was reminded of something that still blows me away- God’s faithfulness despite our own unfaithfulness.
Take the book of Hosea for example. Back story: Hosea is a prophet who is told by God to marry a prostitute and have children with her, “for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord” (1:2).
First of all, if I was Hosea, I’d be a little confused as to why I needed to marry a prostitute to prove a point about God’s faithfulness. Would a simple message not do?
Then what happens next is the part that truly grabs my attention.
Hosea’s wife leaves him to continue being promiscuous.
And yet God commands Hosea, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods…” (3:1).
And there is something wedged between these two events- God pursues His unfaithful wife.
“… I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.’ (2:6-7)
“… she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot,” declares the Lord. ‘Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her”… “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ ” (2:13-14,16)
Is this not a beautiful picture of God’s love for us?
I was particularly struck by this as I thought of all the ways I have abandoned Him due to distraction in this world. I was deeply convicted of being unfaithful by my actions and focus.
Through James 4, I was reminded:
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the Spirit he caused to dwell in us longs jealously? But he gives us more grace. (4:4-6)
Yes, I make mistakes. Yes, I allow myself to take my focus off of Jesus Christ, my true Husband and Love. Yet He never stops loving me. In fact, Scripture says He longs for me jealously, and despite all I’ve done, He gives me more grace.
And the same is true for you.
His faithfulness is so deep, your unfaithfulness cannot even taint it.
This brings me back to the story of Abraham and God making a covenant in Genesis 15. The story goes that God gives Abraham promises for himself and his descendants. To make this promise official, God makes a covenant with Abraham much like people in those days would normally make covenants together. Animal sacrifices are split into halves and arranged opposite each other. After this is done, both people making the covenant pass through these pieces, which is called “cutting the covenant.” After the covenant is made, any breaking of the covenant by either person results in them being subject to death.
But this is where God declares His faithfulness.
When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram… (Genesis 15:17)
Did you notice that it didn’t say Abraham passed through? God alone participated in cutting the covenant, symbolizing that Abraham doesn’t have to keep his part of the covenant. Even if Abraham breaks it, God will still keep His promise and come through. He remains faithful.
No matter what you are facing and how far you have strayed from God, remember that He is still just as faithful as ever.
He is consistently pursuing you, even if you are brought into a wilderness where all is unknown and seemingly dark. Let Him speak tenderly to you and welcome you back into His embrace.
Although our unfaithfulness is nothing to boast of, it allows us to see God’s amazing faithfulness put into action. Where sin runs deep, His grace is more.