GOD: A JILTED LOVER?
When you consider the multitude of planets scattered across this vast universe, it is rather mind-boggling to take to heart the Biblical teaching that God actually cares about individual human beings like you and me. It’s mind-boggling, but it is the consistent message of the Bible!
In fact, in Exodus 6:7 God goes so far as to say that He will “take you as My own people.” The word translated here as “take” is the Hebrew word laqakh which is used repeatedly in the opening books of the Bible for the taking of a wife (e.g. Genesis 4:19, 11:29, 21:21, 24:4, 25:1 & 25:20).
The Bible chooses a word to describe God’s desire for us and His commitment to us that is the same word used to describe how a man and woman who are deeply in love with each other take each other as husband and wife. The Bible portrays wedding-love as the kind of love God desires to enjoy with us!
God is faithful to this love. He promises that He will never leave us or forsake us.
But Ezekiel 23 portrays us as an adulterous partner. Rather than living in faithful love to the One who would take us as His own, we have lived a life of infidelity, turning to other lovers, giving ourselves to false gods.
Ezekiel 23:35 presents God as a ‘jilted lover’!
I feel awkward writing these words about God: ‘jilted lover’! I feel like I am being horribly disrespectful to describe God in such a crass way. But it is not the image I came up with. It’s the image the Bible uses to portray God, and it communicates a vital truth to us: As a husband or wife is deeply hurt by the affair(s) of his or her partner, God is deeply hurt by our unfaithfulness! The difference is that our hurt in such circumstances is often a blow to our ego, stirring up all of our insecurities. God does not share our insecurities. God’s sorrow and anger are out of a deeper and truer love than we will ever understand on earth. His sorrow and anger are for the pain we bring upon ourselves by the poor choice we make in being unfaithful to Him.
Even amidst our unfaithfulness, God—in the enormity of His love—reaches out to us to bring us back to His love.
John 3:16 sums it up well: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Romans 5:8 puts it this way: “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Perhaps as we come to grasp more fully the depth of God’s intimate love for us we will be motivated to live in greater faithfulness and love to Him.