If you ever want to rise heavenward in an eternal progression, friends, do I have a solution for you. Start by vocally forgiving those who have broken your heart, those who’ve hurt you and those who have accidentally disappointed you. Then, instead of letting yourself go back and be angry or upset about the hurt, say “No, I’m sure, I’m letting that go.” If you can do this always, do it for better results. And bless those who have hurt you and rejoice with their successes and blessings so you may be able to cherish your own blessings. I know a friend of mine who did this for us and He is forever reigning over the earth and rejoices over those who belong to Him.
With that said, God is not good at sharing certain things. In fact, He simply refuses to share certain things. He does not share His glory. He does not want to be loved equally to someone else. He desires the preeminent place in the human heart which is why He is so angry with Israel in this portion of Scripture. God wants and believes His people are capable of a selfless love. He opposes our pride, our excess food and prosperous ease and our neglect of the poor and needy. These are the outward symptoms of our lack of love for God and others.
Have you ever noticed, though, how easy it is to be selfish in a relationship? There is something within me and I can feel it, that so desperately wants what must be love, but settles and tries to demand something less. And the way we try to demand it, is in the hope that it would come from the people we suppose can give it to us. It’s easy to want pleasure without patience, prosperity without perseverance, affection without giving up your attention. The nature of love, I often forget, is it loves to give good things, and withhold harmful things. Love requires both self-control and generosity.
Israel gets into situation where it seems near impossible for them to exercise self-control as they withhold giving anything to God. It is juxtaposed with God’s love described in 16:59-63. He says, “I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were young, and it will be everlasting. You will remember your sins and cover your mouth quietly in shame when I forgive you for all you have done.” He silences the ones He loves by His forgiveness.
His willingness to forgive His bride despite her persistent unfaithfulness is the terrifying side of that kind of eternal love. It is a love so enduring it forgives because He does not want to stop displaying His jealous love. This is the kind of love I want to feel overwhelmed by every moment so I might be able to offer forgiveness and sustain wholeness of heart.