Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sick hearts

[From Wednesday, 11/3/10]

"How sick is your heart, says the LORD God, that you did all these things..."
(Ezekiel 16:30)

Ezekiel 16 is a very interesting allegory. God is comparing the people of Israel to a young woman.  He chronicles her development from birth (thrown into the fields without pity or compassion, v.5)... to puberty (womanhood, v.7)... to "the age of love" (v.8).  That's when God came, wooed her, cleaned her up and made covenant with her (v.8-14).  Her beauty & fame spread!

"But you trusted in your beauty," says God (v.15) and it all went downhill from there.  Using the metaphor of adultery, God outlines how His people "lusted after" others and gave themselves away to those who were not God, forgetting all that the LORD had done for them.  Eventually God exclaims, "How sick is your heart that you did all these things..."

For some reason, this morning I was struck by that phrase: "How sick is your heart."  When I read it, I didn't hear condemnation, reproach or shame.  Instead, I hear sorrow.  Deep, deep sorrow.  God is lamenting over the sickness that has engulfed his beloved "bride."  It's just not rational for Israel to have behaved that way - knowing all she had going for her because of God's amazing love.  But oftentimes sin is not rational.

So you know where I'm going with this, right?  We're also God's "bride" - God's beloved ones.  We're the people God has sought out, wooed, cleaned up, made a commitment to, adorned with honor, and surrounded with love.  It's an amazing gift to be in a relationship with the Almighty!  But we screw it up (no pun intended) when we put other things, people, & pleasures before God.  We lose our focus.  Our hearts get sick.

Why?  Why do we, as human beings do this over and over and over?  Don't we realize what we have in God's love?  Why aren't we content with God's provisions in our life?

In the end, God's love & grace remains steadfast.  We may have to face the repercussions of our sinful behavior.  But God will not abandon us completely: 
"Yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth... I will (re)establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the LORD... when I forgive you for all that you've done." (v.60, 62-63)
 Amen to that!

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