LOVE FOR WHICH WE ARE UNWORTHY
God has chosen marriage, the most intimate of all human relationships, to best express His relationship with His people. God is love in all its fullness, and that love is expressed at many different levels.
God has defined Himself as one who loves all of humanity. A fact proven by the cross of Christ. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself by His own substitutionary death for our sin, removing the just penalty for our sin. Paul wrote,
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:17-21). "This He did while we were yet His enemies" (Rom. 5:8).
God's love finds even greater expression when it comes to those who have embraced the reconciling love of the cross. The eternal infinite God, Creator of all things, has made all who have come to Him through the cross of Christ His own (Eph. 5:25, Rev. 19:7-9). This honor given to us is unknown to the rest of creation. The greatest of angels were never offered such intimacy. In fact, they have been chosen serve us on God's behalf (Heb. 1:14). Such a deep revelation of God's love toward us is not found in any other religion.
Yet just as Israel had done, the bride of Christ has all too often joined in the prideful disdain for what God and His love offer us. Like Israel we often turn our backs to God's love as if it's an undesirable nuisance. Like Israel, we have all too often "played the harlot with many lovers" (3:10).
It is this irrational disregard for all that God is and all that God has done that more than anything else proves how deep the poison of self-idolatry runs within us. Like Israel, we create our own gods to validate our backslidden hearts.
Yet, in spite of this, God's love reaches beyond our cold and backslidden hearts. Listen to God's own description of His love for His people. Though it would be a great shame in ancient Israel for a man to take back his wife if she gave herself to another man, God willingly asks us return to Him though we have "made love" to so many other lovers (3:1). Though He has watched us worship manmade gods that have polluted what God has given us, He will not remain angry at us. In His mercy He will still implore us to return to Him. Not only does he desire our return, but He promises to bless us with even more of His love than what we have yet known.
He will bring us back to a place of intimacy at Zion, where the Temple of God was built. He will give us spiritual shepherds who will nurture us by feeding us truth. He even promises to make our renewed lives something the "nations" would be attracted to as they see the healing grace of God's love (3:14-4:2).
This is the revelation of God that He has made known to us. He is love—a love that exceeds anything we can ever fathom. Experiencing this love is the greatest transforming power. It cures us of our self-absorbed and prideful hearts—hearts that so easily turn from His love. His love alone restores us.
-Calvary Church Boise
Created about 1 year ago