Summary: A message that challenges the church to make a commitment to honorably stand up with courage, and defend traditional marriage as God first ordained.
What is sixty years worth? The last sixty years have paid tribute to the election of ten U.S. Presidents. Yuri Gagarin, sixty years ago, rocketed into history as the first human to travel beyond the clouds, and to orbit around the earth for nearly two hours. Sixty years is the span of my life, plus eighteen more. Sixty is equivalent to three times the number of years my wife and I’ve been married, with still three more to go.
On this note, sixty years celebrates the first, diamond anniversary: a tribute to those who’ve made an enduring commitment to honor the covenant of time-honored marriage. Ray and June, we thank you for honoring the covenant of marriage for sixty years. We thank you for showing future generations how to honor with courage, your commitment to the one who has no beginning and no end.
This morning, we’re going to look at what the Bible has to say about honoring the covenant of marriage. So, with that, please bookmark Genesis 2:24-25. However, before we dig into God’s Word, lets understand why it’s important to first honor the one who has no beginning and no end.
WE HONOR THAT WHICH HAS NO BEGINNING AND NO END
Two books in the Bible “bookend” and speak directly to the One who has no beginning and no end. Those books are Genesis and Revelation: Consider the intentionality of the Biblical writers, and the Spirit of God who inspired them.
The Bible’s opening sentence declares, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Now, from that point, there’s a whole lot of text that speaks to the eternal nature of God, and his invitation for us to join with him in an endless covenant of love. Then, right near the end — eight verses to be precise, in Revelation 22: 13 —God repeats his claim, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. God is the one and only who has no beginning and no end. He is the lord of beginnings and the lord of that which will never end.
I noticed something awesome the other day when putting this message together. The verb “honoring” — that which we’re speaking about today —ends with R-I-N-G. These rings, these ancient symbols, we place onto our fingers on our wedding days, pays tribute and honors the One and Only Eternal God who has no beginning and no end.
I got to thinking about how rings are made. Consider the gold and silver that’s poured into the molds forming the endless circle-like rings we adorn upon our hands. That metal has to come from the earth —like from the very mines surrounding our lives. Once mined, the ore needs to be smelted and refined. And after it’s processed, it is again melted so it can be formed into something new, which symbolically has no starting point and no end.
I thought a little bit more about all of this. Like the gold and silver in our rings, God creates us; he forms us from stuff of this earth. He mines us from the dirt and debris from this sinful and fallen world, and then once extracted from the world, he refines us until we are pure and undefiled in his sight (Psalm 66:10). Purifying us, God willfully molds us into the design he desires for the benefit of his kingdom, and our lives. (Romans 9:20) When we allow our spouse to place the ring onto our finger, we’re intentionally honoring the One who created us, and who’s molding us to live in everlasting marriage with him (Revelation 22:17)
Still, our adoration should not begin, nor should it end, by only honoring God’s Holy name. In honoring him, it is fitting we remain steadfastly courageous to our commitment to that which he first ordained —the covenant of marriage. Let’s take a look at that. Let’s READ GENESIS 2:22-25 again.
WE HONOR THAT WHICH GOD ORDAINED
Verse twenty-four is explicit; and it’s worth our time to look at the language Moses used — through the inspiration of Holy Spirit — that defines the covenant of marriage for which our rings honor. Verse 24 says, “For this reason, man... will be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Four important words in this sentence define the mode and reasons God established the covenant of marriage. Marriage is (#1) a man being (#2) united or joined to (#3) a woman —Moses used the word wife —for (#4) to become one flesh —or to put it more practically —for the procreation of our species.
Now, be comforted and know that I’m not going to make you blush or embarrassed by talking about sexual intimacy this morning. Still, the underlying basis for the long-standing covenant of marriage is for the establishment and continuation of the human race in godly love and relationship, with the express intent of giving birth and raising godly children.