Anglican Morning Devotion for 3 September 2021 Anno Domini
A Anglican Orthodox Worldwide Communion Ministry
“Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD. 2Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; 3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. 4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. 5For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” (Isaiah 54:1-5; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Many men and women take their marriage vows far too lightly. There is an invisible ‘IF’ that is mentally placed behind each vow – not so as others can hear, but there in silent reservation nonetheless in many wedding ceremonies. The ‘IF’ is a conjunction to the understood opinion that ‘IF’ the marriage does not work out, there is always DIVORCE. But the good Lord hates DIVORCE and the putting away of the marriage partner.
The wedding takes place usually before many witnesses, but there is only one witness that really matters – GOD HIMSELF! The vows are repeated before witnesses and before God. That is a pretty iron-clad vow, is it not? The bride and groom swear fidelity to each other as long as they both may live. There is no ‘IF’ mentioned in the solemn vows exchanged.
What makes marriage so important and binding in the eyes of God? There is one major reason that God considers marriage a sacred institution – God instituted marriage between one man and one woman in the Garden at Eden to serve as a shadow and type of the Greater Marriage to be finalized in Heaven between the Lord Jesus Christ and His Bride, the Church. Those are the only two institutions that God instituted.
Whatever happens in Heaven has an example in earthly demonstration. The Great Marriage is no different. “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Gen 2:21-24) The man and woman are one flesh in marriage just as our Lord prayed that we, the Church, would be One with Him. The Church was purchased by the blood which flowed from our Lord’s side on the cross at Calvary.
A man should love his wife more than himself for it: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” (Ephesians 5:25) No mention is made of the wife loving the husband since the husband love abundantly showered upon the wife will assure a reciprocation thereof.
There will be a great Wedding Feast at the close of spectrum of time. “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. 9And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelations 19:6-9) Make your invitation certain by diligent study of the Word and demonstrating your love for the Lord Jesus Christ who loved you first.
Please think on this: There was an early Marriage and Holy Convocation of God with His elect people on the desert of Sinai and before the Mount itself: “And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. 5Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:3-6) It was here that God exchanged His vows with His people and sealed it with the conditions of peace and love. Remember that long ago love.