A large part of this chapter is taken up with dealing with jealous husbands. Once again, remember that this is dealing with real cases – not with men as they should be, but as they are! Once a wife had undergone the ritual, he had no ground for complaint or innuendo. These are people living in tents in a camping ground! He couldn’t abuse her without everyone knowing! It left the outcome to God and a husband HAD to leave it there!
In this passage God points us to the jealous husband.
In Stuart Snr’s notes for today’s passage there are some great insights into what this meant practically at the time.
God’s word tells us that God is a jealous husband. In Ezekiel 16 it is made very clear that God has a jealousy for His people. And there are other passages like Isaiah 54 and Revelation 21 (the Bride, the wife of the Lamb).
God takes His covenant with us very seriously.
So much so that He is, as well as husband, our Redeemer. We who have gone astray, running after false gods like a faithless wife after other men, have been redeemed through Jesus.
It is important to note that the imagery of a faithless wife is not saying that husbands are not faithless or are in a better moral position than wives!
The picture described in God’s word is God/Lamb as husband and us/Jerusalem as wife. The wife is faithless in the picture because she is us! We are broken and blind, deaf and dead in our sin. We follow after this and that other thing, refusing to acknowledge our desperate and utter need for Jesus.
As a child the words “adultery” and “idolatry” sounded very similar. And we know they mean similar things too! Faithlessness. Breaking the singular nature of the covenant, in marriage here on earth, and in our marriage with the Lamb (as His bride).
We are to be encouraged and convicted to be FULL of faith in whatever relationships we have; All of us with the Lord, and flowing outwards from there (remembering His absolute unrelenting faithfulness to us).
* Gracious Lord,
Thank You for Your faithfulness to us, that You never fail or wander or break the covenant You made.
Thank You that even though we broke Your covenant and continue to, dead hearts and stubborn wills, You call us and save us through Jesus.
Thank You that in Him we have a new covenant, both sides of which You keep.
Hallelujah Lord God, thank You, what a Saviour You are!