Covenant Understanding vs Contract Thinking
Looking around today it’s easy to see that few people understand what they are doing when they enter into ‘Marriage’!
Today most marriages are built on contractual thinking which carries a performance guide, if you love me, treat me right and make me happy then I’ll stay married to you; but if you treat me dirty I’ll look for someone who will treat me right! These conditions are unspoken but attached to many of our vows none the less. This kind of thinking gives us a back door escape route for a quick get away when things really get tough!
It’s sad to say but many of our Pastors and leaders in our church building today have lost the understanding that it was God who designed marriage to be a ‘covenant until death’ , and if you were to ask those sitting in their pews they couldn’t even tell you what the word ‘covenant’ really means let alone the power that backs it up!
Ignorance or lack of knowledge have caused us to become covenant breakers!
Our children and the society we live in today are now paying a devastatingly high price for our ignorance. The Church at large no longer fears God or His power. They don’t know Him, His character, or His nature, or why our families are so important to Him.
It’s God’s desire to reconcile and restore all things, especially our broken families because mom’s and dad’s were given a mandate by God to reflect His image to their children for the next generation!
God not only can but is willing and able to raise the dead, especially our dead marriages because He designed marriage for this purpose to represent His image to our children. All He needs is for just one of the spouses in a marriage that has been broken down to humble themselves before Him, and be available and willing to stand in the gap for the other, so He can bring the other who is in rebellion back to their senses. He is able to turn them from their wicked ways and back into right standing with Him and the Father again in answer to a praying spouse crying out to God on their behalf. Someone who is willing to fight the good fight for their sons or daughters, wives or husbands who has been taken captive by the enemy.
God is able and wants to come in and restore our families, our homes, and our land back into His pristine order again. This battle belongs to the Lord, but He is calling His church to come stand in the gap with Him, and the ones standing to pray and proclaim what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to His people today because the enemy has come in like a flood to destroy us.
Nehemiah 4:14 And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethern, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses”
Hosea 4:6-10 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because they rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being a priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God I also will forget your children.
So what does entering into Covenant with God in your marriage mean then?
It means God will never leave you or forsake you no matter what trials or tribulations you go through on your journey through life if you make Him your God! He desires to help His people to be strong so that we can endure to the end and grow in wisdom and understanding in who He is that dwells in us.
Now what is entering into a “Contract thinking” mean?
It means that you are both legally bound to each other until one of you breaks the contract you made in front of witnesses, by what you either did or didn’t do, it all depends on your performance.
People making contracts do it out of fear that the other person might not live up to their expectations so they hope by putting it out there in public they can hold their mate’s feat to the fire. Some come with unrealistic expectations that few would be able to live up to, most of these relationships are doom to fail from the start.
Their selfish expectations is for their mate to please them, comfort them, protect them, and not harm them. They expect them to do right at all times by their high standards so you can stay with them forever, but if you fail to keep up with these standards, you are toast. God’s standards and desires are not necessarily involved in their thinking at all!
Moses law of divorce gave the Jews a loop hole to get out of the betrothal contract promise they had made in front of witnesses to sanctify their union and make it Holy unto God. But this divorce was only given to those who could prove fornication took place with someone else. They believed they were justified in that their bride was no longer a virgin so no blood would be found on the marriage cloth, therefore unfit for a life long union.
Another example of a man made “contract”:
If I sell you my van for $5,000 and you default on the agreement you made with me by paying me only $2,000. I now have a loop hole in our legal contract to make it null and void. I can divorce myself from this broken contract being justified in doing so. I give you back your $2,000. I’m now free to make a new contract with someone else if I so choose, or I can make a brand new contract with you for $2,000.
An example of a God made “Covenant”:
(using the same car for this example )
I make a Promise to you to give you my van because I love you so very much, but later I find out you said or did something that hurt me so deeply that I feared ever recovering from it, but being a person of integrity who loves the Lord I’m now obliged to keep my ‘Word’ to you, and give you my van because of what I said, my promise wasn’t on what you said, or did, but on what I said I would do.
A Covenant says I will keep my word to you even to my own hurt, even though I’m extremely unhappy with how I was treated by you.
As a Christ follower, our ‘Word’ is our bond. God’s ways are higher than ours. To be like Christ I freely make the choice to forgive you from my heart, by choosing not to take on an offense against you out of my love for God. I’ll do what is right because I love God, and you more than myself. I want no conditions attached to my love, but of course I will cry out to God in my hurt and anger seeking desperately for His help to do this because on my own I would never be able to do it. I would need God’s supernatural strength to overcome my fleshly desire to get even with you for hurting me and betraying me!
God’s strength is what we receive when we enter into a covenant with God almighty.
“Covenants” are different they are something we enter into with God, asking Him to help us keep the “Sacred Vows” we make to each other. Vows only God can help us keep. We vowed never to leave the one we love nor forsake them no matter what trials we have to face until death do us part. Without God’s intervention we would fail. But because God honours marriage He will help even those who don’t know Him or seek His help.
These promises we Christians make are not only witnessed by God but also by our friends and family who have come to celebrate what God has done in making you both “One” in Him. Our friends and family are suppose to help us, to encouraging us in the Lord with their prayers and support during our good and bad times so we can all endure to the end. If one fails to keep their promise, and falls into the sin of adultery the others are suppose to come and stand in the gap long side the spouse who is hurting, praying asking God to intervene and restore love, forgiveness and trust back into this relationship again for the Lord’s sake and their children’s sake because our marriages are not about us alone, they are about the image of God to a lost and dying world!
The church is to encourage the one who has been wounded to turn to the Lord for comfort, not to them for comfort. They need God’s help to forgive their mate so they wont become bitter by taking on an offense feeling justified in doing so. The Holy Spirit will come long side the broken and contrite one, to comfort them and do the work in their hearts that will bring healing to this deep, deep wound while He goes after the spouse who has gone astray, to chasten them, and bring their prodigal back to their senses. This sometimes take years. Remember Yeshua forgave the woman caught in adultery, we are to forgive them too, but He also told her to go and sin no more.
God will empower us if we are willing to forgive our mates who have broken our trust. He will help us to move forward and not get stuck in bitterness and stinking thinking. If we are willing to let God direct our path during this horrible time He will lead us out of this dark place into revelation light showing you the secrets of His covenant. This is a really good place to be, but not all are willing.
The body of Christ needs to be there to encourage those who choose to walk it out with the Lord, while wrapping their arms of love around them to comfort them so they know they are not suffering alone, while they wait upon God to heal their ravaged heart and their hope in the Lord to restore their families; but sad to say they are more likely going to hear some one tell them to divorce the bum, and get on with your life, and look for a godly man this time who will be faithful to them.
We as Christ followers are not called to stone the adulterer, nor condemn them but call them to account gently but firmly. Pray for them, asking God to intervene to help them turn back from their wicked ways so they can be restored, never give up on them. The whole body of Christ needs to stand in the gap supporting the one willing and desiring for their family to be restored. Never give up on them. Fight the good fight with them.
God is able to bring a prodigal back to their senses. He promises to chasten those He calls His sons. He can humble them and cause them to want to turn back to Him again and His ways. I have witnessed this time and time again.
It was God who humbled Gomer making her understand that she was better off with her first husband Hosea. He even sent Hosea to buy her back at the slave market where she was being sold as a sex slave. God’s call was for Hosea to stand in the gap with God Amighty because God knew Hosea’s heart was loyal to Him. We don’t know how many years it took for this to take, but Hosea being faithful to his unfaithful wife was representing the Father’s heart to Israel. Hosea was willing and available for God’s use. Hosea became a eunuch for the sake of God’s kingdom glory. Is our love for God strong and courageous enough like Hosea’s to pay the price God might require of us so He will be glorified?
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
2 Chronicles 16:9
Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns and wall her in, so that she can not find her paths. She will chase her loves, but not over take them; Yes, she will seek them but not find them, then she will say, I will go and return to my first husband for then it was better for me than now.
God wants to hold us to the vows we make so don’t say they were made in error, because it was God’s idea to make our union ‘holy & binding’ not ours. Our happiness is a by-product of our covenant, not a guarantee!
God requires us to humble ourselves daily. Acknowledging that He is God, and that we are not, so that He can intervene on our behalf and strengthen us against Satan’s evil schemes to kill and destroy us. God wants to get the glory through our obedience. He wants our children to grow up knowing we serve a powerful Mighty God, and wants us to emulate godly life styles, submitting easily to God’s ways out of love for Him instead of following the ways of this world like most of us are emulating today.
God made us capable of having a deep personal intimate relationship with Him, and with our spouses, all at the same time if we let Him.
In this ‘sacred intimacy’ of one man and one woman, God desire is for us to multiply and fill the earth with godly offspring that will reflect His image of unfailing love to this lost and dying world we live in. He gets great pleasure out of watching our off spring doing the will of God generational. Our marriages were never meant to be about us alone, but about God’s unfailing love, and His intimate involvement with us, and our families eternally.
In light of what is happening in society today, keeping your marriages loving and strong in the Lord has truly become a sacred obligation. If we truly love God with our whole heart we won’t be looking for a way out, even if our relationships are dead in the water. This truly breaks God’s heart for He is able to soften the hardest of hearts. All He needs is for just one spouse to come humbly before Him and ask Him to supernaturally intervene, even if a divorce has taken place. He can reconcile you again. He can restore any breach we make, and knit us back together again so His glory will be known to our children, and our grandchildren. He wants them to be able to take this knowledge with them into their own future that our God is real and able to do the imposible. Our children learn from watching us humble ourselves and asking God for His help. Nothing is lost and everything gained when we put our trust in a God who is faithful and able, remember nothing is too hard for Him!
Even if a wayward spouse has entered into a ‘man authorized’ remarriage with someone else, we have God’s Word on it that this is unacceptable in His eyes. God calls it adultery not a marriage. Even if your pastor or others in the church call it a marriage, it is not! It is what God says it is!
When a covenant spouse dies then and only then will God sanctify your relationship with someone else and call it a marriage, but first you must confess your sin of adultery and repent of it and turn away from any sexual activity. Then ask God to make your relationship ‘one’ in Him and He will then sanctify your relationship and call it a marriage, then you can come together again in a holy sexual union. We are to do things God’s way not ours.
There being no one innocent, no not even one! Yeshua had to come, and Praise God He did. He loved us enough to come and show us The Way back to His Father by giving us a brand new Covenant Promise that if we love God above all else, acknowledge our sin, humble ourselves, and repent, His blood will wash us clean of all our sins and restore us back to wholeness again!!!
This side of the cross even the sin of divorce, or the sin of an adulterous marriage can be forgiven. God will not sanctify adultery even if the so called church today does. We must repent for taking on the world’s view in marriage. The ways of God may look too hard at times, but when you look at the long term effects of what we are doing to our children and society generational we can no longer plead ‘ignorance’.
It was Agape Love that broke Satan’s controlling power over us. We are now free to follow Jesus and love the way He loves.
We actually become enemies to the cross of Christ, when we are not willing to pick up our cross and lay down our lives on it and suffer for His name’s sake, even though we know in our heads He is worth it! I believe that’s because many of us don’t have a personal relationship with Christ so don’t really know Him. To know Him is to truly love Him.
Many are saying “Lord, Lord”, but God says depart from me for I do not know you.
When we recognize our sinful state, and our need for God’s DNA power to come dwell in us, then we will have truly begun our journey along His ancient path of obedient and sacrificial love. No longer dead men walking around in the flesh, but brand new living creatures letting God bring life back into our dry bones.
The same Spirit that dwelt in Christ lives in us, we are no longer separated from the Father, but are one with Him in Christ, His Holy Spirit’s resurrection power lives within us to do the impossible.
The Holy Spirit was assigned the task of bringing us believers into this awareness. It is His job to teach us all things that pertain to life and godliness.
2 Peter 1:3-10
Matthew 5: 17-20 & Matthew 22:37-40
Some History on Covenants made in the past
Making Covenants are common in Eastern cultures even today, in some societies people will kill you if you break your Sacred Word that is how serious they take it over there, for not all will let God deal with their rage! That’s why God specifically said, “Revenge is mine,” says the Lord!
There are two different types of “Covenants” eastern people enter into:
1) One made between two equal parties.
2) The other is made between a stronger party and a weaker party.
An example of the first type: can be made between two families amalgamating their families into a life time agreement through the marriage of their children.
An example of the second type: can be made by a dominant warrior tribe to a weaker tribe, both promising each other something in return. The stronger one promises to protect the weaker tribe from their enemies with their very lives, while the weaker one promises to cook, grow their crops, and make their clothes etc., as they coexist with one another, intermarrying and becoming like one tribe.
It was God who made Marriage to be a Covenant between Him (being the stronger one) and two equal parties, one man with one woman (the weaker). God is a witness to the Sacred Covenant Promises you make to one another unto death. He promises to enter in and make you “one”. He will help you become strong whether you believe in God or not, because God honours marriage.
God will never enter into a sexually immoral types of relationships called “Porneia” in greek or “Zanah” in hebrew, even if we call them a marriage.
Porneia/Zanah types of relationships are sexual active ones that don’t fit with God’s approval or His design for marriage therefore they are “unlawful” in His eyes.
An example of an unlawful type relationship is found in Leviticus 18:6-18 these scriptures refers to a homosexual, common law, incestuous, or adulterous remarriage, these relationships are put together and authorized by man not God. Jesus says we are not to enter into these kinds of relationships because they are sexually immoral, but if we do enter into this type of relationship it is good and lawful to get a divorce from them.
God will not sanctify adultery even if we do, but once a covenant partner dies God will sanctify your adulterous relationship and call it a marriage if you humbly bring it to Him for sanctification.
God Almighty being the stronger party, and we being the weaker party must get in line with the stronger party so that we can keep our lawful promises we made to one another, even if only one of us is willing God is able to influence the other because he is able to soften hardened hearts through chastening. As Christ followers we must humble ourselves before God, acknowledge His ways are higher and Sovereign over ours!
His promises are Yes! and Amen! They are written in scriptures for us to read, and to study.
A husband and wife can decide between themselves as to who will handle the finances, or who will do the grocery shopping etc, however our roles and responsibilities are mandated by God the stronger party, and they are not negotiable. A husband does not have the option of whether he will love his wife as his own body, he is to love her as Christ loves the church, if he wants to please God that is. This means he chooses to willing humble himself and sacrifice his own selfishly desires for the sake of his wife as Christ did for us.
A husband if he loves God will choose to be considerate, and treat his wife gently, because a man has the power physically to do her great harm if he wants to, she is not as strong as he is; a wife can freely choose to submit her love and respect to her husband as unto the Lord, even if she thinks he doesn’t deserves it at the time, but out of her love for God she will inquire of the Lord seeking His wisdom in how to deal with her husband when he misuses his authority, then address this issue with him in a loving and respectful way. These things are mandated by God for His Kingdom purpose. It is not about what we want, but about what God wants!
If a husband is physically abusive she in wisdom will seek help from other Christ followers she can trust who will be there for her. God will intervene on her behalf, and God will deal with her husband. This may take awhile, but she and their children need to be protected and supported during this time by Christ’s body here on earth.
God knows a child looks to his or her parents and views them as a God over them. A child is completely dependent on them for survival, because parents have authority over them.
How we treat our children is very important to God, because His reputation is at stake here! We can make God look good in their eyes, or we can shatter His image to them and fill them with anger towards us, and towards God. This is why God hates divorce so much. It rips the heart right out of a child. A child can no longer trust us or believe God loves them when we neglect, abuses, or abandoned them physically in a divorce, especially through a remarriage to someone else.
Many adult children still suffer from the effects of the betrayal and abandoned done to them as children by their parents when their parents divorced.
Many Jews are still suffering the effects of God divorcing Israel even today due to their hardening their hearts and entering into an unlawful relationships with other god’s. As a nation they are blind to the fact that God still loves them. They don’t understand that He already sent them their long awaited Messiah. Yeshua, His only begotten Son to be the final blood sacrifice they needed for their continual waywardness because He wanted to restore them back to Himself, but they rejected Yeshua in ignorance. They are still bound and struggle with the consequences of the Law of Moses ‘an eye for an eye.’ Which brings death to them as sinners.
The devil knows this, and that is why he is so busy ripping apart families, churches, and nations because he is trying to keep us ignorant of the True character and nature of our God who sent His Son to make a brand new blood covenant not only for Israel but for us all. God didn’t want this divorce in fact He said He hates divorce, that’s why He sent Yeshua to become sin for them. To eat up their sin in death so they could return joyfully. Yeshua’s blood cure came to restore all those who seek forgiveness, and repent, back to wholeness with His Abba Father again.
Yeshua came to die with that sole purpose in mind not to destroy the law but to fulfill His law (innocent blood needed to be spilt, on His marriage cloth but none could be found), so Yeshua made away for the Jews to come freely back to the Father again. But once the fullness of the gentiles comes in, the veil will be removed from their blind eyes and they will look upon the one they pierced and weep realizing their Messiah didn’t come to condemn them for what they did. He came out of His amazing Love it was the only means He had to restore them and He did it willingly.
Did you notice right after Jesus spoke on the subject of divorce, He then talks about the children in
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”
Once we truly understands our mandate as husbands and wives, is to love like Christ, Satan will have lost his hold over our marriages and our children.
When we as Christ followers finally wake up to the understanding of what our one-flesh entity in Christ really looks like, we will move easily as one perfect man in Christ, responding completely to Christ’s headship over us, fully mature, fully developed within and without, fully alive in Christ having His very breath and blood flowing through all our innermost parts then the power of . . .
This one-flesh Covenant relationship will emulate the Father’s unfailing love through us to all.
The Jews will become jealous when they see what we have in Christ’s resurrection power living in us they will want to know what we have and come seeking to join up with us as ONE NEW MAN in Christ recognizing their Messiah has come and then they will be teach many what they need to know as they are the root of this tree of life that God has grafted us into.
This will surly bring Christ’s glory to a lost and dying world!
Ephesians 4: 11-13, & 5:30-33
That’s why covenant breakers are so destructive to the Kingdom of God, and why it makes the work that much harder for those who are trying to bring the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ’s unfailing love to those who are lost.
When the world can’t see Christ’s kind of love emulated and flowing through us born again believers they are not convinced that Jesus lives in us, or them. We must repent of our wicked ways of divorcing and remarrying. We must repent, or continue to let our children, and others in the body of Christ pay the price for our rebellion toward God and His ways.
If God didn’t spare the Jews from going through the holocaust, He wont spare us from the persecution that is coming either, but will use it to cleanse us of all our wickedness, so when our lips say, “Lord, Lord” we will mean it.
We will repent! God will see to that. . for He promised to cleanse His house first. Every knee will bow, and ever tongue will confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord!!!
The Father’s love will not allow His Son’s Blood Sacrifice to be trampled upon much longer, especially by His own people whom He loves very much! We must repent or be chastened like the Jews who are still suffering persecution today!
Fear God! not man for God’s love is an all consuming fire. Who can endure the day of His coming? Who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.
I will come near to you for judgement. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers, and perjures, against those who defraud labours of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, but do not fear Me, says the Lord Almighty.