Unfaithfulness Is Inward

By Frank Jamerson

The little book of Hosea teaches a great lesson on the nature of sin. Hosea was told to marry Gomer, who became unfaithful to him and finally left him to live with her “lovers.” Later, Hosea was told to buy her back and accept her as his wife, which he did.

Gomer’s leaving her husband was a result of inward unfaithfulness. She ceased to love and have confidence in her husband before she left him for others. Her leaving was simply an expression of the inner infidelity that existed.

In this experience, God taught Hosea a valuable lesson about Israel’s unfaithfulness to Him. Just as Hosea wanted more than a housekeeper, God wanted more than external forms of service. Just as Gomer ceased to love Hosea before she became an adulteress, Isreal had ceased to love God before they turned to idolatry.

There is a valuable lesson in this for us. God desires our love and devotion. If he gets this, He will get our external service. If he does not get this, then our outward forms will be vain. Just as Hosea did not want a “housekeeper,” God does not want half-hearted, ritualistic service. If we are faithful in our hearts, our lives will reveal it. The external unfaithfulness manifested by many who claim to be children of God is simply the expression of an inner infidelity.

“My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways . . . . Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 23:26; 4:23). When people give their hearts to God, faithfulness is the natural result. Paul said that the Macedonians “first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God” (2 Cor. 8:5). When they “first” gave themselves, the service that followed was rendered cheerfully.

It is a sad thing to see a marriage companion forsake his commitment and commit adultery, but no one ever did that who was not first unfaithful in the heart. It is likewise sad to see those who are married to Christ (Rom. 7:4), become unfaithful in their service to God, but the unfaithfulness that we can see was preceded by an inner infidelity that only God

could see.

Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 2, p. 43
January 19, 1984