…to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith.”
Exchanging vows facing your husband or your wife, who ever thinks “This is a waste of time, I can’t wait to cheat on this person!”? Oh, maybe some think evil like that, but those vows said face-to-face and in front of a pastor and witnesses are binding to God. Faithfulness pleases the Lord God because He is faithful.
Faithfulness is so central to our God’s character that He promises to grow it in our lives. By His Spirit God puts this in the fruit in Galatians 5:22. Faithfulness is to be absolutely trustworthy and always true to your word.
How can we grow in faithfulness when so many around us are not trustworthy or true? How can we demonstrate faithfulness when we have so often not kept our word to others?
Thankfully God records His faithfulness in His Word, and it’s precisely because God is faithful that we can grow in faithfulness. Consider the display of God’s faithfulness in Hosea 2:16–20 “And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’  For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more.  And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety.  And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.  I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD. (ESV)
The background to this passage is the sad tale of Hosea’s own marriage. God had commanded Hosea to marry a woman who would be unfaithful to him, turning to other lovers (chapter 1). Hosea marries Gomer, and she is as unfaithful as God promises. In chapter 2 God explains in the context of Hosea’s broken marriage His complaint against His bride Israel. In chapter 2:16 God says a time will come when Israel will no longer call the LORD “my Baal.” Linguists say that in this time period “my husband” and “my Baal” sounded so similar that those in Israel fused the two words together. God said this would end. How? By the allure and intoxicating fragrance of His own faithfulness.
Seven times the LORD says, “I will,” pledging Himself to His people. He promises that He will reverse the damage of the curse, that He will end the threats of war, that He will provide safety for them. But best of all He pledges that He will show them righteousness, justice, steadfast love, mercy and faithfulness. This has been God’s consistent theme throughout history. Do you trust Him?
Exodus 34:6 – The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,
Deuteronomy 32:4 – “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.
Psalm 25:10 – All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
For every remembrance of your unfaithfulness, meditate deeply on the faithfulness of your God.
Soon your heart will begin to exhibit the same faithfulness toward Him and others. You will say like Jacob in Genesis 32:10, “I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps.” You will be doing what the Prophet Samuel urged Israel to do in 1 Samuel 12:24 – “Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.”
You will so experience the Lord’s faithfulness that you will say with Psalm 115:1 – “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!”
God will produce this fruit in you, my believing friend. However unfaithful you have been, He promises to make you into a faithful person, reflecting His great faithfulness.
A song for today (of course!): Great is Thy Faithfulness
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control