Summary: Our marriages are covenants with our spouses.
Making A Masterpiece Marriage Series
Making a Covenant Marriage (1 of 3)
February 2, 2003 * FBC, Chester, IL Mike Fogerson, Speaker
Introduction: (After the PowerPoint presentation has ended)
A In the Bible, a very unique ceremony took place when a man and a women got married.
a The fathers of the couple would take cows, sheep, birds, goats and would cut the animals in half and put them about ten feet apart. (Left a huge bloody path.)
b The couple would then walk barefoot through the bloody path saying with their actions, "May I pay with my life if this covenant is broken."
B In Genesis, Abraham and God enter into a covenant.
a *God had called Abram to leave his land (HOME) and go where He wanted to go....
*God changed Abrams name to Abraham.....
*There was exchange. (God gave land, Abraham was circumcised.)
*The children got the inheritance. (LAND)
b Genesis 15:9-19 (NIV)
GE 15:9 So the LORD said to him, "Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon." 10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half.  Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. 12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.  Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.  But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.  You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age.  In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure." 17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces.  On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates--  the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,  Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,  Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites."
c ETS: God entered into a binding covenant with Abraham.
ESS: Our marriages are covenants with our spouse.
Obj: I hope you’ll see your marriages as a covenant you entered into.
(I’ll give you a chance to renew your wedding vows next Sunday night.)
P.Q.: Who is treating their marriage like a covenant?
*Over half of all marriages end in divorce. Add the number of marriages on the rocks, troubled, you’ve got 3/4 of all marriages sunk or sinking.
*Your kids need to know that marriage can work!!! How? Watch yours.
T.S. Let’s look at four similarities of the church service of holy matrimony and the biblical concept of covenant.
I The first similarity of the church service of holy matrimony and the biblical concept of covenant is...both were conducted before God.
A Historically, the covenant was a religious ceremony that was made before God (or gods) as witnesses.
a It was the one treaty that was enforceable, seen as solemn...because nobody wanted to face the wrath of their god.
b IL. Bush/Hussan would do a covenant treaty. If Bush failed in his part, he feared the wrath of God Almighty for breaking the covenant. If Hussan failed in his part he feared the wrath of Allah for breaking the covenant.
*Both men "swore before God."
B "Dearly beloved we are gathered together her in the sight of God...to join together her in the sight of God...to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony...."
a Of the guests at your wedding who was the most important guest there?
b He heard every promise, vow,...you swore before GOD!
*Deut. 23:21-23 (NIV)
21 If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the LORD your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin.  But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty.  Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the LORD your God with your own mouth.
T.S.: Not only did you make a covenant before God..........
II The second similarity of the church service of holy matrimony and the biblical concept of covenant is...both were conducted before witnesses.