Marriage is often disdained in our day. Commitment compromised. Obligation minimized. Divorce is a viable option. For many, the vows of a wedding are little more than lines recited in a school play. If the scenery changes, find another leading lady. Vows, unthinkingly uttered, are mouthed in meager deference to some nebulous deity.
But marriage is a special covenant. Mutual fidelity to specific terms is promised. An oath is sworn before witnesses. God honoring marriages are built upon God’s terms, promising to obey God in the relationship. A promised oath is vowed. The marriage covenant entered into. One man and one woman become one flesh for one lifetime (Gen. 2:24).
God is concerned that we esteem the making of covenants, because He makes covenants. His people believe His promises and live according to the terms of His covenant. Abraham believed God’s promises and circumcised his children in covenant fidelity. Israel, through Moses, received God’s Old Covenant promises and were obligated to God’s laws. Now “Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant” (Heb 7:22). In conjunction with Jesus’ atoning death, resurrection and ascension, the Father has ratified a New Covenant with His Son and with all for whom He died. The resurrected King Jesus is our eternal High Priest enthroned upon the throne of God. He has poured forth His Spirit as the guarantee of the promise of salvation for all who come by faith and repentance to Christ. The Father has made promises to His Son and, by implication, to all who trust in the Son. “For as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes” (II Cor 1:20a).
When we disregard covenants, like marriage, we misrepresent God. God makes promises we can believe and live by. He wants us to do the same in our dealings with one another. He says “I hate divorce” (Mal 2:16). Why? Because it is the breaking of covenant – something He would never do!
Perhaps you are like the woman Jesus spoke with in Jn 4. She was divorced five times and was then living with a man out of wedlock. He brought this covenant breaker into covenant fellowship with God by bringing her to faith in Himself as the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Have you had enough of broken promises? Trust in Jesus Christ.
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