Friday, March 15, 2013

P2 Biblical Foundations for Marriage - Covenant

Genesis 2:23-24 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Yesterday we began a short blog series exploring the Biblical foundations of marriage as conceived by God.  Jesus was debating the Pharisees who tried to trap him in an argument about divorce in Matthew 19.  Instead of playing their game, Jesus went back to God's original design for marriage.  We looked at the first foundation for Biblical Marriage: Companionship.  In today's blog we want to consider the second foundation of Biblical marriage: Covenant.

Second Foundation of Godly Marriage: Covenant – Gen 2:21-24

            In Genesis 2:21 we read: “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.” God was literally cutting into the side of Adam, and forming from his rib the woman, Adam’s wife.  In biblical terms the word for “covenant” literally means “to cut”.  A covenant is a binding agreement between God and people.  In the marriage relationship, we see a picture of God’s binding relationship, or covenant with His people, and their relationship to Him. 

            According to Hebrews 6:16-18, a covenant in scripture contains two elements: an oath and a promise.  Hebrew 6:16-18 reads - "For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. " When God made covenants, He swore an oath indicating that the success of the covenant hinged on His identity as the unchanging God.  When God made promises, he was pledging to do certain things for His people. 
How the marriage covenant pictures the New Covenant relationship between Christ and His church
     In the marriage husbands and wives make both oaths and promises before God.  In making an oath to one another, each partner is placing their reputation and identity into the hands of the other.  By these acts, marriage is made in covenant before God between the husband and wife.  This idea of marriage as covenant is pictured beautifully in the New Testament as the relationship between Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:23-24).  As many writers of the past have pointed out, just as Adam had to be put to sleep to have God form his spouse from his side, Christ had to sleep the sleep of death and have a spear driven into his side (John 19:33-34).  According to 1 John 5:7-8, the water and blood that came out of Jesus side on the cross testifies to the love and formation of the church itself, of whom He died for and purchased on the cross (Acts 20:28).  It is not a contract to be negotiated, but a covenant that binds the husband and wife together, as they in turn bind themselves to Holy God. 
More tommorrow................

No comments:

Post a Comment