Unconditional; Unbreakable; Never-ending; Always-and-forever.
Disobedience hurts. Injustice cuts deeply. But the Father, the creator of everything, pursues. The innocent who was wronged, the faithful who was betrayed, the lover who was rejected for lovers less wild, pursued. He searched, He sought, He knew... And with a broken heart, He went to Adam and Eve.
You are mine. I want you. All of you.
God would make a new promise with His people; out of His faithfulness, not theirs, God would make good on His promise. God would always continue to provide perfectly for His children.
Though God’s people would run from Him and go through droughts of forgetting Him, their God would never stop loving them and they would never stop needing Him. Though they would wander, He would remind them of His promise and bring them back home. Though their enemies would triumph, He would rescue them. He promised He would be the shepherd they needed most and that He would provide perfectly for them. He would be their father and He would be their home.
This truth was a promise God made to his people. This promise was called a covenant. It’s beyond a contract, more than an exchange of “I cross my heart and hope to die,” more than a mere agreement. A covenant is a commitment; it’s an unconditional, unbreakable, never-ending, always-and-forever kind of commitment. That's who God is. He is faithful.
The invitation to be with God was an invitation to know God, to know Him for who He is again, to know His character and nature—the loving goodness of a father. The psalmist writes, "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34v8). Love seeks to repair and restore that which is broken and needy. Love moves toward the mess. It occupies the space between, refusing to allow the ugly to take root and grow. Love engages, rejecting passivity. Love gets involved. Love tills the hardened soil of our hearts until it's fertile to accept the seed. Then out of the new, good ground blossoms a bountiful garden. New life blooms from the fertile ground of love. This is the kind of love that God has for His people. In the Old Testament, this love was known as hesed love. Often translated "loving-kindness," hesed love is a stubborn love. It is described as a one-way love or a love-without-an-exit-strategy kind of love. It is a covenantal love that binds people together. It's this kind of love, a covenantal love, that makes God’s people a covenantal people. This kind of love carries with it a sense of intimacy, a deep sense of knowing. Love longs to be known, so love pursues.