Haftarah Reading: Nitzavim/Vayelech (Isaiah 61:10-63:9)
Gospel Reading: Hebrews 10:23
Commentary by: Brittany Day

I remember how I felt on my wedding day. All adorned with the most beautiful white dress I had ever seen and a gift of white pearls from dear friends along with a beautiful tiara, I felt fresh, sparkling, and new. But more than that, for the first time in my life, I felt secure. Growing up in the Foster Care System lead me to identify with the terms spoken of in our reading today. Forsaken. Desolate. These were things I knew well. But on my wedding day, something happened that was new for me. Commitment. Faithfulness. I had a new name, was sought after, and called a delight. My husband and I had written up our marriage contract in the months leading up to this day. Beautiful vows we spoke to one another as a reminder to remain faithful now hang in our home as a daily reminder to fulfill those vows daily by continually committing ourselves one to the other.  

One of the defining features of the marriage relationship is a forever commitment to another. The traditional Ketubah is there as a reminder for both parties to remain faithful. In much the same way, our reading today reveals that we are seen as a bride in God’s sight with such verses as “ the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” Is. 62:5b. Later verses in the B’rit Hadashah reveal how very faithful God is to us, and how we are still viewed as a bride.

God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with His son, Yeshua Messiah our Lord. (1 Cor. 1:9)

Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Eph. 5:25)

God always has and always will remain faithful to us. This is something that we all know and are well assured of, because we have each seen His faithfulness in our lives. We know that He will never leave us or forsake us, just as a committed spouse in a healthy marital relationship is there to stay, even through tough times. He’s faithful. We know this. But how many of us are just as committed and faithful to Him?

Times DO get tough. Our faith wavers. We question, and we doubt. This is likely true of any relationship. However, when those doubts and questions come, we should view ourselves as under a marriage contract with the King. The day we made our vows and committed our lives into His holy hand was the day we entered a forever covenant. That does not only mean that God is responsible to us. That means we are responsible to Him. Whether we lose a loved one, have to endure tough financial times, simply grow weary of the day-to-day work, or are faced with difficult health issues, we must remain faithful to Him. He has given us so much, sacrificing His very life that we may have a life more abundant. In those times, we must cling to Him harder rather than drawing away and running in fear of His mighty power. He is powerful, yes, but He is gracious. We must continually pursue relationship with Him. Sometimes this means laying aside our own desires. Sometimes we aren’t as comfortable as we want to be. It is not always easy and beautiful, or meant to be. Sometimes it’s frustrating, messy, and hard. But it is also important. There is so much growth in the hard. Remaining faithful to Him allows us to see the beauty and growth He was working out when we come out of those tough times. We need to seek to learn what He is desiring of us in those times of growth. Just as in a marriage, one spouse continually seeks the heart of the other, so it is in our relationship with God. Seeking Him lets us see the beauty through the pain and allows us to draw ever closer to Him.

You are not forsaken. Not desolate. Even though at times it may feel like He is far away, you are His, under contract with the King. He is faithful to you and always will be. So I charge you, be faithful to Him. Allow Hebrews 10:23 to become a guiding principle in your life:

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.