A Tale of Holy Love, Unfaithfulness, Justice, Mercy, and Grace
Continued from Wednesday’s post…
“And she did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.”
Not only did Israel chase after false gods and lovers that were unable to satisfy, she also pursued the things that she thought they had given: food, jewelry, substances, and protection. But the truth was that God had given her these things. Even in her waywardness and disobedience, He was the Giver of all good things, the Provider of all her needs, and the One who protected her from harm. Nevertheless, Israel refused to acknowledge her God and attributed these blessings instead to her false, evil, and pagan gods.
While we shake our heads at Israel’s foolishness, we must examine ourselves and make sure that we’re not making the same mistakes.
How often do we seek for the blessings of God in the work of man? How many times do we take what the Lord has graciously given us and then sacrifice them on the altars to our false gods? When the long awaited job opportunity opens up, do we thank God for it or do we applaud ourselves, our excellent planning, or our wonderful credentials that landed us the job?
“Then she shall say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now.’”
Finally, as God withdrew His blessings from the people of Israel and caused happiness and satisfaction in Baal worship to become fleeting and unattainable, Israel eventually declared a desire to return to her first Love. But it wasn’t a return of true repentance, remorse, humility, or sorrow over the evil she had done. It was a return of convenience, an attitude of “Well, our lives were happier and more prosperous when we were worshiping the LORD, so let’s go back to that.”
This was Israel’s attitude; what caused God to say “Enough!” But what about our attitude towards God? Are we guilty of some of the same sins as Israel? When promises of the world fail us, do we turn to God out of convenience or do we go with true repentance? Is Christianity merely our fire insurance policy but not our life, our joy, and our eternal hope?
How do we view God? Is He merely the One who makes our life better and gives us a good place to live after we die? Or is He our All in all, the supreme Joy, the Lord of our life, and the desire of our hearts?
May we beware of the foolishness of misplaced love and learn from the mistakes of Israel. And may we always remember that God is the Giver of every perfect gift, our Protector, Provider, and one true Love.
“And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals when she burned offerings to them and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry, and went after her lovers and forgot me, declares the LORD.”