March 25 I Monday
“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.” —Deuteronomy 7:9
The covenant relationship that God had with Israel and that Christ has with His church is a lot like marriage: a lifelong commitment of faithfulness to one another. We are blessed to experience the joy of intimacy with God, but because of sin and our hard-heartedness, we sometimes put strain on that intimacy.
Thankfully, the Old Testament repeatedly shows that Israel’s unfaithfulness to God was not reciprocated. When the Israelites made it to the edge of the Promised Land but refused to enter, God did not abandon them in the wilderness. He stayed and dwelt among His people because He is a covenant-keeping God. When Israel rejected God as king, He did not reject them as His people. He gave them the desires of their heart, but He warned them of the consequences of it. When those kings led Israel into idolatry, God sent prophet after prophet to warn them. In their disobedience, Israel was eventually taken into exile, but God still did not forsake them. He came and spoke words of comfort to Israel, having compassion and renewing His covenant with them.
In the New Testament, the church is now the bride of Christ, but like Israel, we often stray from God’s intended purpose for us. We may turn our backs on Him, prioritize work or relationships over Him and let sin draw our attention from Him. Even so, the Lord Jesus is the faithful God. Paul compares His relationship with us to that of a husband and wife, writing, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27).
Christ is the perfect husband to us, His church, who desperately fall short of perfection. We might think of the cross as the moment when Jesus said His wedding vows. He looked out over church history in all our waywardness and agreed to love, comfort and cherish us; to forgive, cleanse and live within us; and to never leave us nor forsake us. In response, we who are Christians have vowed to take Him as Lord and Saviour of our lives, abiding in daily relationship with Him and forsaking all others as long as we both shall live. As in marriage, making these vows does not mean we always keep them perfectly, but though we so often fail, God never will. As God was faithful to Israel, He will be faithful to us.
Prayer: Precious Lord, I want to strengthen my love for You and my commitment to You. But thank You that my moments of unfaithfulness will not stop Your faithfulness to me.