Ten Covenant Words (Commandments)
Isaiah 25:9, NKJV, “And it will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”
God is our ultimate example of faithfulness. Now and forevermore, God is faithful. God will never fail you. God’s covenant promise that He will be faithful to us precedes His word in Exodus when He Sid:
Exodus 20:14, NKJV, “You shall not commit adultery.”
the bottom line is that God is keen on faithfulness. When He makes a promise, it’s a done deal. Every promise located in scripture is something you can ask for and can be assured it will be given. There isn’t any wavering on God’s part when it comes to promises located in scripture.
The covenant God made with his people spoke to the strength of the family a second time. This part of the covenant dealt with what God had to say to husbands and wives and faithfulness.
God wanted his children to understand that he wants families to be strong and faithful. One way God spoke faithfulness to his children was by showing himself to be faithful. Throughout scripture, numerous promises have been offered so God’s children will come to know God is faithful.
God knew that if husbands and wives didn’t understand and practice faithfulness the whole breakdown of the family would suffer. This part of the covenant was not intended to withhold something from the children of Israel, but it was intended to give the gift of faithfulness to them. Since marriage is a sacred to God He wanted his children to experience safety, love, and faithfulness.
In marriage God knew that lack of faithfulness would result in broken hearts. When the sacred promise of faithfulness has been broken, pain follows. Betrayal, particularly sexual betrayal, is difficult to overcome because God has made the two to become one flesh. When one partner is sexually unfaithful, the flesh tears in two parts again. What once was a bond of trust is now a painful memory that your partner shared their most intimate self with another.
More than likely, someone contemplating being unfaithful came to the decision over a period of time. Lust was present and instead of turning from the lust the man or woman (usually man in ancient Israel) turns toward the lust. Soon the lust grows and one or both parties begin to believe that a new life would far surpass their old life. Fantasy and delusion can take over completely until they are able to be together. Often by the time they realize the “other side of the fence” wasn’t as great as they thought it would be, it’s too late.
In addition to adultery being difficult for individual couples, God knew adultery would cause a rift between tribes. While people in other cultures surrounding Israel did not hesitate to engage sexually with another man’s wife, God knew he needed to guard Israel against such practices. If a man from the tribe of Benjamin became sexually involved with a woman from the tribe of Reuben the adultery would not only affect two people or even two families. God knew that it would cause a chain reaction of separation between the two tribes. God knew that adultery not only affected families; adultery affect Could be systemic.
God included adultery in the covenant because he knew it would not only be a painful experience for the individuals, it would bring pain and suffering to the family, the community, and the tribes.
For Israel that meant in order for the family system to remain strong they could not entertain being unfaithful. It also meant that while God was faithful to the covenant, their unfaithfulness to their partner meant they were not faithful to the covenant. Some who were not faithful thought it could remain a secret. However, nothing is a secret to God.
As we remember God’s response and desire to the children of Israel, Jesus shares statements that clarify and give breadth and depth to faithfulness. Jesus clearly said in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Jesus came to accomplish God’s purpose. He knew the key was in the hearts and minds of the children of God. The purpose was for the children to finally understand the meaning of faithfulness. While God promised He would be faithful and He had been, many of His children had not been faithful to spouse, family, and tribe. Jesus knew the reason they hadn’t understood being faithful was because they compartmentalized what faithfulness meant.
Jesus clearly told his followers in Matthew 5:27-30, NKJV, “You have heard that it was said to those of old,‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoeverlooks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin,pluck it out and castitfrom you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and castitfrom you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”
So how many men (and women) you know who lustfully looks at a woman gouges out his eyes? Did Jesus mean literally that men and women were supposed to gouge out their eyes? Or did Jesus figuratively intend to gain the attention of the crowd and help them understand the seriousness of unfaithfulness?
The solution Jesus presented is workable when done through prayer. Since faithfulness comes from God and He is our model for the faithful one, we can rely on God for our faithfulness. Surrendering our unhappiness and greed for more than what we have is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom. As we let go of our desire for a different life we encounter the closeness of God. We begin to realize that God is closer than we think and really is “our ever present help”.
Jesus defined adultery by what we are faithful to in our hearts. It’s important for us to remember that God is faithful to us first and that includes His faithfulness in forgiving and offering grace. Jesus died so that we might have life. God’s faithfulness in fulfilling His promises is lasting, eternal, and reliable. There’s no greater promise than those we are given in scripture because we know they are true throughout all eternity.
God is faithful IN us and through Jesus He made a way for us to understand, communicate, and realize His loving grace. While God knows we are not perfect, He stands ready to forgive and heal us of the pain that exists as a result of our unfaithful acts.
We are thankful for the miracle of grace and forgiveness. We are thankful for God’s eternal love. We are thankful for marriage, family, and a strong support system. We are thankful for God’s faithfulness to us.
Matthew 19:5, NKJV, “and said,‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, andthe two shall become one flesh’?”
Promise of Light
John 8:21 NKJV, “Then Jesus said to them again,“I am going away, andyou will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.”
Philippians 4:19, NKJV, “And my Godshall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
2 Corinthians 12:9, NKJV, “And He said to me,“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore most gladlyI will rather boast in my infirmities,that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Jude 24, NKJV, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultlessly
before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.”
All Things Good
Romans 8:28, NKJV, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Be thankful for God’s faithfulness to us and through us.
Remember that God is faithful to us. Turn to God and ask God to help you understand what it means for God’s faithfulness to resonate through us.
In God, Deb
Deborah Ireland Douglas Jones