For the week of October 24, 1998
4 Heshvan 5759
Torah: Bereshit 6:9-11:32
Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1-10

God, Our Husband

For your Maker is your husband-- the LORD Almighty is his name-- the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth (Isaiah 54:5).

In our portion this week, God refers to himself as Israel's husband: "For your Maker is your husband." God, our creator, is not just some distant manufacturer who set a machine in motion, watching from afar. On the contrary, he desires close personal relationship with his people.

I don't know what you think of when you think of God, but for a lot of people the concept of God conjures up images of religious rituals, obligations, and human organizations. But this is not how God is depicted in the Scriptures. God desires relationship with his people. One of the ways that relationship is described is that of a husband to his people.

God being the husband is a far cry from the cold religious understanding of God we often have. In order to really get to know God we need to turn away from these false notions, prevalent they may be, and try to grasp how he himself has chosen to reveal himself.

God wants us to know that he loves us and desires that we love him in return. Love is both a deep emotion and an extraordinary act. When we love someone, we are not cold or indifferent towards them. On the contrary, our very being is tied up in who they are and everything that happens to them.

Also when you love someone, you want to be near them. You want to see them face to face. You want touch them and be touched by them.

While our relationship with God is a spiritual thing, God desires a deep intimate relationship with his people. He wants to be involved with us in our daily affairs. He wants us to share with him our deepest secrets.

God also wants to communicate with us. He didn't leave us the Scriptures so that we would simply mull over impersonal pieces of paper. Just like he communicated with people back then, he wishes to do the same today.

One of the unique aspects of the spousal relationship is that it is the closest relationship we can have that is a matter of choice. While God has also revealed himself as Father, reminding us that he brought us into being and continually cares for us among other things, when he says he is our husband he is saying that he has chosen to love us.

In fact God is so motivated in his love for us that he was willing to go to great extremes to be in loving relationship with us:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Far from some religious ritual, Yeshua gave himself in death so that we could live - live in a loving relationship with our Maker forever.

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