In Jeremiah 29:11(NLT), our wonderful Heavenly Father declares, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” This verse is one that every Christian should know, because it builds a foundation in our hearts for understanding that God has a plan for every individual, and He has ordered our steps. This understanding about God’s plan also aides our prayer lives, because so often we go to God not realizing that we are trying to persuade Him to do what we want. Really what we should be doing is praying to understand His plan, so that we can do what He wants. As God’s children, we have the privilege of being in covenant with Him through the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is this covenant of doing what He desires of us that gives us greater access to His promises.
A covenant is a formal and binding agreement between two or more parties that is based on the performance of an action. Covenants have conditions, and they require a commitment from all those involved to hold up their ends. We should also understand that since there are conditions to a covenant, there are also consequences involved for breaking the covenant. In Old Testament Law or Mosaic Law, the conditions that people suffered for breaking covenant with God were so extreme that He calls them curses.
In Deuteronomy 28:15(NLT), Moses warned, “But if you refuse to listen to the LORD your God and do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you.” He then went on to lay out exactly what those curses were, including disease, infertility, darkness, confusion, frustration, and extreme lack. God’s plan was to help and instruct His people how to stay in the territory of His goodness, safety, and provision; and to keep them out of the devil’s territory of curses, chaos, and terror. Many of them did not heed God’s instruction.
He tells us in Jeremiah 31:31-34(NLT), “31”The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 32 This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the Lord. 33 “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel after those days,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
The New Covenant that God speaks of in Jeremiah 31:31-34 is one He has made with us through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is one of grace. He made a covenant with those He delivered out of Egypt, and they broke it, even though He loved them like a husband. This gives us our strongest message regarding how God feels about the marriage covenant, and how it should be bound in the unity of love. He’s made a covenant with us and has written it deep in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. He gave the world His only begotten Son to be sacrificed for our sins. He did this to secure His relationship with us, so that we are assured that He is our Father—our Source, Sufficiency, and Everything; and we are His people.
With God, covenants are very serious business. Psalm 105:8(NKJV) says, “He remembers His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations.” This verse helps us to understand how important covenants are to God. He honors them forever. It demonstrates His incredible commitment to His promises. We must also recognize that not only is marriage God’s institution, it is also a covenant that we make first to Him through the Lord Jesus Christ, and then to our spouses. Once two people are joined together in marriage, Heavenly Father sees them as one person.
We are a covenant people. Covenants are a way for Heavenly Father to bless us. They back His allegiance to do what He says, and He always planned to establish them with His children. This is why marriage is so important to Him. It is an extension of His promise to take care of us in every way. As we go to Him in prayer for our quests to cross paths with our future spouses, we must also recognize that in His plan this is already provided. Our responsibility is to pray for a level of faithfulness, strength, and spiritual maturity that causes us to be as committed to the covenant of marriage as He requires. ■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
“The Covenant of Marriage” written by FACM, Finding A Christian Man.Com ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!