Monday

“Don’t Make Me Tell You Twice!”

 
“Don’t make me tell you twice!” my grandmother would say, frowning and shaking her finger for emphasis. We knew when Granny said those words, she meant them. They were her “no-nonsense” words, and we children knew we’d better listen up and follow with the appropriate action if we knew what was good for us.
I am glad that God never says “Don’t make me tell you twice.” He often repeats Himself in scripture, and He doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, unlike my grandmother, I think He actually LIKES to repeat Himself. Eleven times in the Bible He tells us to “Fear not.” Four times in the gospels Jesus encourages us to “Have faith.” Over thirty times in the psalms, God instructs us to “Praise the Lord.”
While I am not a fan of repetition, I LOVE the promise God repeats to His people Israel in Hosea 2:19-20. I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in loving kindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord.” Betroth is not a word that we hear too often anymore. It has connections to a bygone era. To most it is an outdated concept. Its synonyms are “To engage, to promise, to pledge.”
I love how God repeats his promises to betroth Himself to Israel, and ultimately, to us. As He makes His pledge of commitment to us, the church, His bride, He never once mentions what we must bring to the bargaining table. God makes all the promises and provides the dowry. “I will betroth you to me forever.” His love will never wane, and His commitment will never end. “I will betroth you to me in righteousness and justice, in loving kindness and mercy.” God’s qualities are those of a perfect husband: above reproach, fair, loving, kind, gentle, and forgiving. Best of all, “I will betroth you to me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord.” He pledges to love us no matter what and is committed to bring us into relationship with Him.
The next time you are tempted to doubt God’s love for you, I hope you will hear both the words of the Lord, “I will betroth you to Me forever,” and my grandmother’s words, “Don’t make me tell you twice!”

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