But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. None of the offences they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! Ezekiel 18:21-23, 32 (NIV)
Do you ever find it hard to forgive certain things?
Reading the Old Testament (OT) puts these thoughts into perspective. Why? Because the OT is full of instances where God describes in graphic detail the wickedness and unfaithfulness of his people, yet despite this he persists in offering forgiveness and reconciliation.
Ezekiel 16 uses the analogy of the loving husband, wanting his unfaithful wife to return to the marriage relationship. This relationship is described as a covenant, that the wife has broken. In this analogy God is the husband and his people are the wife. As we all know, men and women are equally capable of unfaithfulness, so the illustration is not saying women are more unfaithful than men.
Do you find yourself in a strained marriage relationship? Are you facing a spouse’s unfaithfulness? Perhaps you have faced this situation in the past, but find it hard to to move on, forgiving your spouse for what they have done.
You must recognise that you are not God, so you will not be able to completely forget what has happened. Remember that forgiveness in marriage is something you choose to do, particularly in light of the enormity of the forgiveness God has given you. God’s marriage to his people is meant to be a model for Christian marriage. So recognise God’s forgiveness to you and offer forgiveness to your spouse.
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