God promised Israel a New Covenant – one that would never be broken. For He will never be satisfied with a ‘one-night stand’ or ‘open relationship’. He wants all our love – and He wants it for ever. What He offers is more than a makeover, or a patching-up after a quarrel; it is a completely fresh start. “I will betroth you to me for ever…”
And so all the damage done by Israel’s sin will be reversed:
she will no longer be scattered, but will return home;
she will no longer be rejected, but loved;
she will no longer be disowned, but accepted.
The proper rhythms of nature will be re-established, making the land fertile and the people prosperous.
And if God will do this for His estranged people, He will also do it for those who never were His people (Romans 9:23,24; I Peter 2:10). As with Israel, so with the Church: the relationship between God and His people will be that of Bridegroom and bride (Ephesians 6:25-27). He will make us worthy of Him, bestowing on us all the qualities that we have hitherto conspicuously failed to demonstrate. His righteousness, justice, love, compassion and faithfulness are the ‘bride-price’ that He pays for us, and they will also become our ‘dowry’. And His initiative will evoke a response of love in us: we will acknowledge Him as our God. For this ‘marriage’ must not be one-sided; it will be a reciprocal relationship of love. And so we will have a genuinely deep and personal relationship with God.