2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, he remains faithful-- for he cannot deny himself. |
The study of the Torah is the study of God's character. Each commandment reveals to us His gracious and compassionate nature. Take for example the case of the commandments concerning the captured women.
Pillage, loot, and rape have been the facts of war from the beginnings of time, but the soldier in God's army is to adhere to higher standards of ethics. He cannot use rape as a weapon. If he desires a woman from the loot, he is to first give her the comfort of mourning her parents, the dignity of marriage, and most of all: freedom. She is not a slave in his household and she cannot be sold once he is tired of her (Deuteronomy 21:10-14).
In a sense, we are like that slave woman. God set out to 'capture' a people for Himself from the earth, a people through whom He will capture all of humanity for Himself. He first reveals His plan to Abraham using his life as a foreshadow of universal messianic redemption. Later, as the time matured, El-Shaddai actually goes to war. He bares His Mighty Arm and shows Himself strong to liberate her who would be His bride. He impresses her with valiant mighty acts and brings down her captors' power. Then He takes her to lonely place in the desert, reveals to her that He is a King with a great kingdom that will one day cover the earth as the waters cover the seas, and that He wants her to be His wife. He just saved her; He could take her just for the asking, but no: He asks her. She accepts. El-Shaddai then goes on to write a long 'Ketubah', called: the Torah (Exodus).
Very soon El-Shaddai discovers that His beloved has a rebellious streak. She is stiff-necked and at times unfaithful. She is disobedient and constantly gets herself in trouble. He does not want to put her away so He punishes her but with measure always leaving behind a remnant for her as a ray of hope. We can see these principles at work in the story of Hagar. Hagar was a price from Pharaoh to Sarah, the wife of Abraham. When Hagar was found displeasing, she was sent away but not without a redemptive promise (Genesis 16 and 21).
Even though we have broken our marriage contract many times, even though we are faithless and unbelieving at times, He remains faithful and through Mashiach He renewed for us the contract made, broken, and remade in Horeb.
No He is has not rejected His people. He punished us but in measure always leaving for us a remnant so that our nation forever remains before Him as a chosen nation (Romans 11:1-5). Through our nation therefore He blessed the world with Messiah, a living representation of His compassion, the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature (Hebrews 1:3), therefore we cling to His mercy and compassion. May we then learn to be a faithful bride worthy of Him who shows such great strength, love, and compassion in our favor.
Patrick Gabriel Lumbroso
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