Two people meet; there is an attraction; that attraction moves them to want to get to know that person better. As they get to know one another, their feelings and desires grow to the point that they can’t imagine their life without this other person. A proposal is made an accepted. A date is set and the planning begins. The day finally comes, friends and family gather, vows and promises are made and witnessed and they live happily ever after. Well, at least we’d like to think so, but the truth is that their relationship will most likely be filled with ups and downs and some of those vows and promises that they made will be broken. For some love will overcome but for others it may mean the end of the relationship.
When I have counseled couples who are about to get married, I try to impress on them that the vows and promises they will be making are the most important part of the ceremony. They are the foundation for a long and lasting relationship. Unfortunately, they are so focused on getting everything else “just right” that when they get to the point of saying “I do” it is just something that they say as a part of the ceremony. We focus on the place, the time, who to invite, where they will sit, the cake, the dress, the size of the diamond, the party afterward and the list goes on and on and on. But when the relationship dies, no one is going to care about dresses, or rings or cakes or any of those other things that seemed so important at the time. Instead they’ll sit in bewilderment wondering what went wrong.
God’s relationship with the nation of Israel was the same way. He had “come down to rescue them” (Exodus 3:8), delivering them from a life of slavery, promising to care for them, showing them through the Ten Commandments what it will take to be in a successful relationship. He promised to be faithful to those who would pledge their faithfulness to Him and when asked if they would they said, “Everything that the Lord has said we will do.” The problem is that they didn’t. Almost from the beginning they failed to keep their side of the agreement. Maybe they were caught up in the ceremony and it seemed like the right thing to say or their intentions were good but lacked the commitment to follow through.
Too often religion is more about the ceremony and getting everything “just right” when what it should be about is the relationship that God has desired to have with us since creation. God is looking for those who will love Him with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their strength. The same way that He loves you.
God loves you and so do I, Dana