Saturday, August 1, 2020

Morning Clouds and Early Dew

By Joe Slater

    Commitments are easy to keep – for awhile. Long-term faithfulness is another matter entirely. We see the difference in marriages. Few would even think of cheating on a spouse shortly after the wedding; but years later, infidelity damages or destroys a shocking percentage of marriages. In time, about one in five husbands will cheat, and about one in six wives will too.
    Aside from adultery, somewhere between ¼ and ½ of marriages end in divorce for whatever reason (depending on how you skew the statistics). “Until death parts us” holds less and less meaning among people who reason that “God wants me to be happy, and I’m not happy any more married to this person!” Long-term commitment gives way to live-for-the-moment pleasureseeking.
    Marriage is not the only area where we need to revive long-term faithfulness. What about our commitment to God? (That would include marriage, for it is God who joins spouses together; but it also encompasses other factors.) To ancient Israel God said, “Your faithfulness is like a morning cloud, and like the early dew it goes away” (Hosea 6:4). As soon as the sun rises, the thin morning clouds disappear and the dew dries up. Then they’re back the next morning. Israel’s faithfulness to God was that way – nice while it lasted, but generally it didn’t last very long.
    What about you and me? We commit ourselves to attend services regularly – all of them – even Bible classes. We’re going to read our Bibles every day. We’re going to pray frequently. And so we do – for a few days, or maybe a few weeks. Then the old habits creep back in. Something comes up. Before long, we’re back to the way we used to be. Then we re-commit ourselves, and the cycle continues.
    Brethren, let’s break the cycle! Let our commitment to God be permanent! We are to put the old man of sin to death, not just put him to sleep temporarily (see Romans 6:6). When we come forth from baptism as Jesus came forth from the tomb, we are to “walk in newness of life” (6:4).
    Long-term commitment is not easy, but it certainly is possible; and it is what the Lord requires of us.

 - Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website.

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