God freed the Israelites from slavery and then cared for them while they wandered for 40 years. He could have just killed them all for their disobedience, but He tenderly loved them as he raised up a next generation for His promises to be fulfilled.
Have you ever loved someone lavishly and then had them forget that love? How did that make you feel?
The act of true love is selfless and involves sacrifice. When we sacrifice for someone else we expose a deep part of our hearts – a pure, raw love. The deeper we love, the deeper we open ourselves to hurt.
The level of commitment to the relationship affects the intensity of our emotions. Think about it this way, if a stranger on the street makes a sharp comment to you, you may be irritated, but you probably move quickly on without another thought. However, if you spouse, parent or someone close to you is sharp with you, it sting is probably greater and will require resolution for the relationship to be restored.
Sin is not just breaking a rule, sin is breaking God’s heart.
The degree of the sacrifice also affects the level of emotions. If a husband fails to mention his gratitude for a meal his wife prepared, her reaction would be much different than infidelity.
Speaking of marital unfaithfulness, did you know God uses the example of marriage to describe His relationship towards us, His church. Eph. 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” When we choose to love our sin we choose to commit spiritual adultery. “Whoa!” You say. “Stop right there. My little respectable sin isn’t adultery. In comparison to how much I love God and all the good I do, this is just such a little thing.”
That would be like someone going up to their husband and saying, “Of course I love you the most! I just cheated on you a little bit.” In marriage, it’s an all or nothing thing. You can’t be married and make out occasionally with some other guy. The idea is so absurd.I don’t know about you, but my stomach turns even at the though. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about how much it would hurt my husband if I was “just a little bit unfaithful.” And, honestly, I don’t want to. I love my husband and I’m committed to him and him alone.
So, why is it any different with God? Are we willing to get in bed with __________. (Worry, fear, a little white lie, impatience – you fill in the blank.) I know those are strong words, but it really helped put sin in perspective for me. God wants ALL of our hearts. The first commandment says, Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.” When we think about what He has sacrificed for us, how much He loves us – how could we want to give Him any less.
Dee Brestin talks about Exodus 12 when the Israelites placed the blood of lambs on their doorposts being a forshadowing of the blood of the Lamb of God. When we face temptation remembering God’s mercy, love and sacrifice for us may help put things in perspective.
Ephesians 2:4-5 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved.”
John 1:29 29“The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”