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Wayne Jackson

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Wayne Jackson on the Marriage Covenant

Our grandson, Ezra, asked us recently if we have Bible time at night even if Papa and I are just all by ourselves. “If there are no kids at your house, do you still have story time…really?” The answer is an emphatic “Yes.” Glenn and I are currently reading passages nightly from a wonderful book called “Notes from the Margin of my Bible” by Wayne Jackson. They are excellent conversation starters if you like to discuss the Word and they call us back to the reality that the Word of God never becomes outdated or out of touch. 

Last night, we read this piece from Malachi and our brother Jackson. In the middle of a marriage/divorce crisis in the body of Christ, I wanted to share it with you. It was pertinent to the fallen nation of Israel five hundred or so years before Jesus lived. It was pertinent to the words and audience of Jesus in Matthew 19:9. It was pertinent to the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 7. It’s pertinent to us today. 

The Marriage Covenant

One of the sins prevalent during the days of Malachi (about midway through the fifth century B.C.) was the dishonoring of marital vows. With their lives so out of harmony with divine law, God was repulsed by his people’s phony tears and meaningless sacrifices (2:13). Why was the Lord so disgusted with his people? Because the Israelite men had had been dealing treacherously with the wives of their youth. This breach of fidelity violated the covenant the man had made with his spouse—a covenant that had the interest of a third party, God himself. He had been a witness to the arrangement. 

This passage contains an important implication. Marriage is a contract witnessed by God, into which a man and woman enter, agreeing to be husband and wife. 

Consider this question: if a man and woman merely live together in fornication, are they married? No, for they did not make a marriage covenant. When Jehovah described the unique relationship that He had with the nation of Israel, he declared: “I sware unto you, and entered into a covenant with you, said the Lord Jehovah, and you became mine” (Eek. 16:8). So, in your margin, write True marriage invokes a contract to be husband and wife.

One should be impressed with the solemn manner with which the Creator views the marriage bond. He hates divorce (2:16) and allows it only on the basis of fornication under the New Testament system (Mt. 5:32; 19:9).

(And if the Christian Courier is not on your go-to list when you re studying your Bible, you should add it! It’s a gold mine for diggers!

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