Living a purpose driven, joy filled, and eternally focused life as Christ’s Chosen Bride
“I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride,
how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.”
Israel’s covenant relationship with God was often likened to that of a bride and her groom. It was a relationship to be based on commitment, faithfulness, and love. And in the beginning, it was surely all these things. However, by the time of the Prophet Jeremiah, Israel had wandered away and forsaken their first love.
They became attracted to false gods and false worship. So instead of honoring their covenant relationship with the Creator of the universe, they decided to commit spiritual adultery with images made by their own hands.
Idolatry. This was the rampant issue within Israel and Judah in the days leading up to their exile in Babylon. While we often define idolatry as false worship or submitting to false gods, the fundamental nature of idolatry is exchange. Exchange of the true and living God for images made by man. Exchange of a personal relationship with the Lord for the fleeting pleasures of this world. Exchange of God’s unfathomable and boundless love for the deceitful allure of other gods.
This is the core essence of idolatry, the real meaning, and the crux of Israel and Judah’s sin. Throughout the Old Testament, the Lord equates idolatry with adultery—an unfaithfulness of the heart.
And this grieves God’s heart.
Within the Old Testament’s books of prophecy, we see the mighty wrath and anger of the Lord displayed in mighty works, strong words, and powerful allegories. However, underneath all that righteous anger is a broken heart.
The Lord viewed Israel and Judah as His bride, His heritage, and His love. He entered into a covenant relationship with them, and made them His special people, name, and renown. And as their eyes and hearts wandered to other suitors, He tried to remind them of their former love and loyalty. But to no avail. So through the prophet Jeremiah, God declared:
“How well you direct your course to seek love!”
The Hebrew word seek literally means “to search out (by any method, specifically in worship or prayer).” So the Israelites were guilty of worshipping love. They decided to forsake the God of their fathers and the love He had shown them for temporary, fleeting, and momentary pleasures in the hopes of quenching their thirst for love.
So now the question for us is…are we worshipping and seeking after love? What level of priority does romantic love have in our lives over God’s divine love? How often do we look for love in places other than God?
Are we guilty of following in the footsteps of Israel? Have we wandered away from the One who’s redeemed, saved, and poured His love upon us? Is He first and foremost in our hearts?
We are the Bride of Christ, and He should be our first love, the One who satisfies the longing of our hearts, and the Lover of our soul. We should not be looking around at what the world or man has to offer, but be wholly satisfied in the love of God.
So may we learn from ancient Israel and make sure that our hearts remain loyal to our Lord. And may we always be pure in motives, faithful to the end, and wholly devoted to our first Love!
“But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.”