Two bound together as one.
Marriage is God’s binding two people together as one in covenant, a holy union with no others.
In the Hebrew betrothal tradition, kiddushin is the third step. Its root word is the same as the word holy but has no English word equivalent. This process consecrates a man and woman to each other and is usually referred to as betrothal.
In this step, the Law legally bound the man and woman together and regarded them as husband and wife.
Jesus once responded to the Judean Pharisees by saying, “A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Matt. 19:5b-6 NIV)
Though considered married, the covenant forbade them to live together physically. Throughout the rest of their relationship, they dedicated themselves entirely to one another, even though, as we will later see, distance separated them.
Two bound together as one in covenant.
United in Greek in the verse above means glued, cemented, or fastened together. As in covenant.
A covenant was never to be broken.
However, if, at some point, the bridegroom found any uncleanness in his bride, according to the Law, he had the option of putting her away, or divorcing her, which required a public performance. Only death or a public document had the power to end betrothal or the marriage itself.
This document, known as a certificate of divorce, granted the woman the right to remarry without civil or religious sanctions. The husband always instigated it; a wife (or wife-to-be) could not divorce her husband.
Just what constituted uncleanness sometimes became a matter of debate between the rabbis. Some even considered bad cooking a good reason.
God did not design marriage to have escape hatches. Understandably though, under certain conditions, divorce does occur, and although God’s forgiveness covers divorce, it is certainly not His ultimate will for it to take place, for He said, “I hate divorce.” (Mal. 2:16a NIV)
Today, it has become all too easy just to toss the marriage certificate of covenant in the garbage, especially for Christians. What a disgraceful witness to the world.
I don’t think we take this seriously enough.
Two bound together as one. A holy union. No others.
The idea of clinging only unto God, above all others, is made very clear to us in Scripture. God’s exclusivity will never accept a rival or polygamy.
There are laws against polygamy, but we ignore polygamy when it comes to God. Scripture states emphatically, “The Lord is God; there is no other.” (1 Kings 8:60 NKJV)
His love requires that His Bride not give Herself away to anything other than Him.
God desires that monogamous relationship, not only in our earthly marriage but in our spiritual one as well. And it means all others are forbidden. Nothing should take the place in our heart reserved for God.
Does some form of physical or spiritual adultery flirt with you, batting its eyelashes, giving you that wink and nod like a shameless temptress? What peeks at you through the window, rattling the shutters, twisting the doorknob, and banging on the door of your heart, desiring to be let in?
God alone is to be the object of our love and worship.
When replacements tempt us, we, as “members of [Christ’s] body, of His flesh and of His bones” (Eph. 5:30 NKJV) cannot associate ourselves with anything unholy, for then, whatever we do in life, we join Jesus to it.
Two bound together. As one in covenant. A holy union. With no others.
“The day of the Lord is surely coming,
as unexpectedly as a thief…
what holy, godly lives we should be living!”
(2 Peter 3:10a, 11 TLB)
May you be bound in an eternal, holy union with your Beloved Bridegroom…Lynn
**If you’ve missed the first three episodes of this series or you would like to follow along, you can find the previous episodes here…