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God is always faithful… even when we’re not!

You’ve likely heard before that God uses the picture of a marriage relationship as a metaphor of His relationship to His people. That’s one of the many reasons it’s important that Christian marriages stay together. Because when they fall apart, the picture is spoiled.

In the Old Testament, Israel, the bride of God, was unfaithful time and time again. And the surrounding nations would look and say, “See what happened to that marriage!” It tarnished the picture.

Yet wonderfully, God remained ever faithful to His people. We see this illustrated beautifully in the Book of Hosea.

Hosea was told by God to marry a prostitute named Gomer. She became the mother of his children. And this little family became a picture of what God was trying to say to Israel about his covenant love relationship with them.

Gomer was consistently unfaithful to Hosea, but God told him, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” (Hosea 3:1)

And Hosea did – even buying her back with his own money!

In speaking of this parallel to the Israelites a chapter earlier, God said in 2:14–16…

“Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.”

“In that day,” declares the Lord,
“you will call me ‘my husband’;
you will no longer call me ‘my master.’”

Now it is important here to know what God meant when He said He “will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.”

The Valley of Achor represented unfaithfulness. It was where a man named Achan messed up in Joshua chapter 7. Israel overcame a town, and they were told not to touch anything, just to burn the lot. But Achan saw these lovely clothes and some silver, and he took it and buried it in his tent.

At that point, Israel stopped being able to win their battles. So Joshua, knowing there was sin in the camp, ordered everyone to find who had disobeyed God’s commands. They found Achan, he confessed his sin, and he and his family were stoned to death for their disobedience.

But now in Hosea God is saying, “I can open a door for you.”

There’s a door of hope in our relationship with God, even if we’ve been unfaithful, even if we’ve done dreadful things like Achan did.

What is that door of hope? It’s God’s promise that, “I will never break my side of the bargain. We can be reconciled with each other. I can come back into your life, and you and I can begin this marriage that we should have, that would be a testimony to the people around us.”

For our 35th wedding anniversary, Stuart bought me a little broach with the Hebrew word Mizpah on it. That word comes from Genesis 31:49 and carries the idea, “May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.”

Stuart gave me that broach because in our years of traveling in ministry, we were often apart from one another. And this represents our prayer that the Lord watches one another while we are absent. It is also an affirmation that we will be true to our marriage covenant.

God wants to say to you, “Let’s have a Mizpah… let’s put away our differences and reconcile. I will watch over you wherever you go, even when my presence isn’t obvious.”

Have you broken promises? I want you to know that God never, ever breaks His promises! He is a promise-keeping God. And while we are not perfected yet, we have a perfect covenant with God who will never leave us.

We pray this article has encouraged you – and we invite you to help share uplifting truth like this with more people by giving a gift today in support of Telling the Truth.

When you do, we’ll say thanks by sending you Stuart and Jill Briscoe’s 5-message series, Hope for the Disheartened. Request your copy when you give below – and thank you for your generous support!