Chapter Two   Marriage Covenant  - The Divine Design


The subject matter in this next chapter that is set before us is one concerning the marriage covenant, its design, and it’s Creator. We have already looked at what is a marriage is and now we will look at how it is designed to work. And also how important it is to every child of God, but especially to those who are living here in the Kingdom of God, the Church of Jesus Christ.


And there is no better viewpoint then that of the truth of God’s word as it is written in the scriptures. And we will take out a little time to lay out some of its truths along side of the worldly popular opinions of men.  It is important that we, as the children of the Church Kingdom of God, ought to understand this great aspect to the truth of God.  Why? Because marriage is a picture of that which invisible. Yes, it’s a picture, a picture of the wondrous union that exists between our Lord Jesus Christ and his Bride, which is none other than the Church of the living God. And it is critical that we understand this great mystery, which has a great impact on each and every aspect of all of our relationships while we live here in this present world.


 Reading now from Matthew 19 1-9, “And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; and great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting Him, and saying unto Him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?  And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?  He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.  And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”


Have you ever stopped and thought to yourself that somehow it seems like things were maybe a little better “back in the old days?” I mean doesn’t it seem like things were different way back then? But, when we look at the above passages of scripture aren’t we forced to see that all this kind of sounds familiar to us here today? We see our Lord Jesus as He was in the town of Galilee; way down by the shore of the Jordan River, and the Pharisees also came to him, not in order that they might learn from Him. No, they came “tempting Him,” and then they asked Him this question: “is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” Their only intention was to try to entangle Him in His words, so that they could accuse Him of saying something against God. So, that’s the reason why they asked Him, is it “lawful’ (or legal) “for a man to put away” (or divorce) “his wife for every cause,” or any old reason?


And why do you suppose they asked the question the way they did? I’ll tell you why. The answer was that they were themselves already guilty of doing what they were asking our Lord! They were already divorcing their wives for every reason! The people were already doing it and they were endorsing it.


Beloved we, as parents need to have a more perfect understanding of the covenant of Marriage in order that our lives might be blessed so that we might show forth a proper example before our children. They need to see it pictured in us for their spiritual wellbeing as they grow up in this wicked and sinful world.  They need to live in a home that is established on the good ground of truth of God’s word. And we as husbands and wives especially need to be well grounded in our knowledge of this matter in order for us to undertake to live out our God given roles in the marriage relationship. 


But can’t we see that the concepts and theories of the world will only lead us destruction, misery and ruin? Leaving our marriage and families ship wrecked! What was true way back then, is just as true to us in the here and now. We here today divorce our spouses for every reason. The words “till death do us part” have lost their meaning. We, need to understand the principles of this covenant relationship with our inner most hearts, and communicate it to our children, and to all those around us, and in so doing be as the “salt” and “light of the world” (See Matt. 5:13-14). We need to live in such a way as to show that marriage is not just some legal contract, which can simply be broken for every reason! 


Jesus Christ put it this way, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (See Mark 10:9). Jesus is saying that man cannot separate, and put away what God has joined together! He may reason within his wicked heart that by passing some man made law that he can undo what our God, the Sovereign of the universe, has in covenant joined together.


Jesus went on to say, “let not man put asunder.” So the answer to their question is an un-resounding NO! Man cannot put away their wives for every cause! And Jesus goes on to show that when man, with his depraved hearts, believes that he has somehow circumvented God’s law by granting a divorce “for every cause.”  He only ends up causing everyone who puts “away his wife, and marry another,’ to commit adultery.  And if a woman shall put away her husband (“for every cause,”) and be married to another, she committeth adultery.”  And this hasn’t changed at all to this very day! God has joined together and man comes along and attempts to “put it asunder.”


Beloved, marriage is a covenant, not a contract! Well, and so what’s the difference someone will ask? Most people, even if they don’t know the specific definition will tell you that there is a difference, and they will usually say that a covenant is somehow, and in some way, higher then a contract, but they usually don’t know why. They’ll often enter into a covenant, and because they don’t know any better and really don’t even care what it’s all about end up treating it as if it were a contract!


So let’s take out a little bit of time to stop and consider both of them. First, let’s consider a contract. A contract is a legal document, made by two or more persons or parties to evidence the terms and conditions of agreement. It’s designed to show what each party is allowed to do, or not do, under the specified terms of the agreement, along with the penalties that come with the violation of the agreement. Which will usually end, when either or all the terms of the contract are completed, or there is a violation of those set terms. And sadly that is what most of God’s people think of when they enter into a covenant, especially when they enter into a marriage relationship!


But, let me say here, and now, that marriage is not a contract, it’s a covenant! And a covenant is immensely different from a man-made contract. When we look at the word for covenant, we see that it is used 292 times throughout the scriptures. In the Old Testament Hebrew, we find the word berit, which means to bind, bond and fetter, which has to do with relationships. This word is based upon a relationship of commitment, without any thought of its ever ending. It includes promises and obligations, and is sealed with a rite or oath, requiring sacrifice, bringing with it blessings and curses making it binding. All of which today seem to have lost their meaning.


Contrast this with a contract, which is sealed in ink, which is only in force to the extent that the law will allow! When there is a change in the law, there is also a change in a contract!


But a covenant is designed by God the Creator, to be forever! And sad as it may be in most cases today, God’s people define their marriage covenant as a contract. In fact, one of the worst things to come on the scene lately is the concept of a “marriage nuptial agreement,” which is by its design only a contract with the view that the marriage will not work out. And they have already decided that the marriage will fail!


So, Jesus was asked if it was lawful, in view of the fact that they had given their wives a legal divorcement paper, to divorce or “put away” their wives “for every cause.”  So He said that God did not give them that right, but it was Moses who had given it to them, because he knew that they were hard hearted. And he gave it to them in order that their wives would be protected from them! So that’s why Jesus said, that “from the beginning it was not so.”