This faithfulness of God is so astonishing that it takes literally years to get it. It’s one of those things about him that increasingly amazes us as we learn more about him. With each life experience and a growing knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures, we see more clearly how shocking his faithfulness is. He goes way overboard with his loyalty for us.
Think of it: God’s loyalty and faithfulness to us is independent of our loyalty and faithfulness to him. He doesn’t base his love and dependability (or our salvation) on our grand performance. He decides out of his total freedom to stand with and for us just because that’s the way he is. This characteristic of God is unique to the Bible and may be seen as an unparalleled contribution to the history of ideas.
Trace through the Old Testament and see how stubborn Yahweh was in standing by his people. See how he continued to uphold, forgive, and restore them time after time, sin after sin, open rebellion against his clear will, too many times to count. We become weary reading about the chronic defiance and absurdity of the Israelites and wonder why God bothered to be faithful when he could have and should have just thrown in the towel and moved on. We’re tempted to ask, “Why in the world did he stay with them?”
But then it dawns on us: in many ways we’re no different. And just as God stayed faithful to them when it would have made perfect sense to walk away, he’s the same God today who chooses to stay with us when we’re too quick to insist on our own way and too slow in learning the same lessons of obedience.
How thankful we become as we continually see God’s faithfulness and mercy towards us. If he were some other way, more like us, we wouldn’t stand a chance of getting to his kingdom or even surviving this life. We’re just not that reliable, not that sure-minded, not that good. Happily, he’s not like we are and he doesn’t want us to think he is. That’s one reason to keep reading the Bible. If we don’t, we inevitably drift into thinking that we can create God in our own image. We need constant, daily reminders to hear over and over again, “This is the way I am.”
As we learn these truths about God, it becomes clearer that we’re safe and secure in him only because of his character, not ours. We’ll get through this life and we’ll end up in his eternal kingdom because (and only because) he stayed faithful to us, not because we stayed faithful to him. And to the extent that we did hang in there on many occasions, it’s only because he gave us the power to do so. Yes, the Bible does say that those who endure to the end will be saved, but it also tells us in so many ways and so many times that we will get through our trials because he will enable and empower us to do so. He is and will always be the great keeper and good shepherd of his flock.
Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
O Lord, you preserve both man and beast.
How priceless is your unfailing love!
Think About It.
1) Do you think that God’s faithfulness is dependent upon our loyalty or spiritual performance?
2) How does the truth of God’s over-the-top loyalty affect your life?