Is It Ever Too Late to Regain Our Love?
This chapter is from the Book of Ezekiel in my book, “Marriage in Every Book of the Bible.” Order your copy today.
Once joined together as one, Matt and Sheri slowly drift apart through the years until they become two entirely separate individuals again. They both believe in God and consider themselves Christian, so how did this happen? It’s a question they asked themselves many times. One thing is certain, it did not transpire overnight. They neglected their relationship with God and their relationship with each other and stopped growing in both. They both find someone else to “love,” and they divorce.
Is it too late for Matt and Sheri?
“But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to…me” (3:7). God’s beloved stopped listening to Him. If we’re not careful, we can also stop listening to God and our spouse; and as a result, our affections can easily become misplaced. “How I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts” (6:9). God knows our pain when our marriage goes wrong, because it’s happened to Him. The children of Israel whom the Lord loves and betrothed to Himself turned their back to God and walked away. “I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine” (16:8). “You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband!” (16:32). If we encounter trouble in our marriage, it is never God’s fault.
“They say, ‘The Lord does not see us’” (8:12). Oh, but He does. “I know what is going through your mind” (11:5). There is absolutely nothing hidden that will not be revealed (Luke 12:2). But is it too late for Matt and Sheri?
“The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes’” (24:15). When his wife died suddenly, Ezekiel knew the depth of God’s pain. Ezekiel loved his wife. She was not only the delight of his eyes, but she was the object of his affection (24:21) and his heart’s desire (24:25). God was about to give Israel a taste of their own medicine. The people of Israel and Judah who were exiled along with Ezekiel would experience that heart-wrenching agony when their beloved sanctuary in Jerusalem would be completely decimated.
In addition, God did not allow Ezekiel to mourn in the customary Jewish way of tearing his clothes, donning a mourning garment of coarse goat’s hair, putting ashes on his head, tearing out his beard, taking off his sandals, or sitting in the dust. He was only allowed to groan quietly. Keeping grief locked inside always makes it worse.
Ezekiel’s behavior was very unusual, and the exiles wanted to know why. “Then the people asked me, ‘Won’t you tell us what these things have to do with us? Why are you acting like this?’” (24:19).
Ezekiel’s wife died the same day the temple was burned, August 14, 586 B.C. It was not only a pivotal moment in Ezekiel’s life but in Israel’s history as well. His prophecies before that time announced judgment. A new ministry of consolation and hope would soon begin. Before, God’s wrath and rejection were evidence of His absence because of sin. God’s presence among his people was an indication of their humbling themselves, repentance, and His favor toward them. The same is true today. God, along with His Word, is the only source of real hope for mankind.
“And they will know that I am the Lord” is repeated about sixty times throughout the Book of Ezekiel. God says it in times of judgment and blessing. Everything God allows and does in our lives is meant to draw us to Himself. It’s a good thing when pain causes us to seek God’s face. “I have done nothing in it without cause” (14:23). God always has a reason for everything that happens. More than anything, God wants us to know Him and be blessed (18:30-32).
So, is it too late for Matt and Sheri? Do we ever exhaust the mercy of God? Never. When all foreseeable hope is gone (37:11), can these bones live (37:3)? Is it possible for life to re-enter a torn marriage? Yes! “Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand” (37:17). “And they will become one in my hand” (37:19).
Now, make it personal. We can truly be a strong “one” again as we come together in God’s hands, and stay in God’s hands. God is a Master at doing what only He can do.
“I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing” (34:26).
Where are you on the “one” scale?
Is your spouse the delight of your eyes? The object of your affection? Your heart’s desire?
What can you do to become more of these to your spouse?
Delight the eyes of your spouse today. Show affection for your spouse today in the way he/she will know you are being affectionate. Express to your spouse those qualities you love most about him/her.
Come together and pray one for the other. This is a great start to becoming one in God’s hands.