When Moses informed Israel that God wanted to enter a covenant relationship with them, their response was immediate, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do!” (Ex. 19:8 NASB). Later they repeated their promise two more times (Ex. 24:3, 7). There is nothing wrong with what they said. What if they had said, “No, we will NOT obey!”?
But not long after their profession of loyalty they were worshiping the golden calf (Ex. 32). In the years that followed, Israel was more often disobedient than obedient. When they made their verbal commitment to God, they may have meant well, but they didn’t end up doing well.
Peter is another example of this all -too -human tendency to profess loyalty but then fall short. He denied that he would deny Christ, then he denied Him anyway (Matt. 26:31 -35).
It would be easy to be critical of these lapses, but have we ever done much the same thing? How humbling it is to recall those times we have talked a good religion but haven’t followed through. God knew how easily this happens, and so He cited Israel’s unfaithfulness to warn us how not to be (1 Cor. 10:1 -13).
God also provided us with inspiring examples of those who were faithful year in and year out, such as Joseph in the Old Testament and Paul in the New.
In case we might have difficulty identifying with such consistently faithful examples as Joseph or Paul, let’s take heart from David in the Old Testament and Peter in the New. They both stumbled badly, but repented thoroughly and got back on track and finished the race.
If we have confessed Christ and been united with Him in baptism, then let’s hold true to our confession! If we have fallen short like David or Peter, let’s be like David and Peter and turn back before our hearts grow cold.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9 NASB).
He is faithful. Let’s reflect His faithfulness!