The Bible often describes the relationship between Christ and the church or between God and His people as a marriage. Romans 7:4 states: “Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another – to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.” In Ephesians 5:23-25 we read, “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”
In the book of Hosea, we find a similar analogy, but in this case, God refers to the Israelites who were supposed to be His people as an unfaithful wife who was committing adultery because they kept on going after other gods. God had provided wonderfully for His “wife” the Israelites, but they ignored everything He had done for them and chased after other lovers, the gods of the nations around them. God describes His hope and desire that His wife would come back to him and be faithful. (Hosea 2:14-23)
God used this analogy of spiritual adultery to try to get the attention of His people whom He had done so much for and yet they still forgot Him and failed to be faithful. Hopefully, we recognize how terrible adultery is and how upsetting it is to the one who has been cheated on, but do we recognize just how much we hurt God when we are spiritually unfaithful to Him?
In Hosea God’s charge against His people was their idolatry. The kept on serving Baal and other idols. We do the exact same thing when we let other things come before God in our lives. Jesus gave His life for us to sanctify and cleanse us. Do we appreciate and remember that sacrifice? Or do we let other things become more important to us than our service to Christ? We probably don’t have trouble going after Baal, but we can just as easily let other things become our idols. Colossians 3:5 tells us that covetousness is idolatry. When we let our physical possessions become the focus of our life, that is just as bad as worshipping Baal. Maybe physical possessions are not our problem. Maybe we let our job, education, friends, or popularity become our god. Anything that we put before God can become our idol.
Are you faithful to God or are you guilty of the same spiritual adultery that the Israelites were?