Is 54:4-8 “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. For your Maker is your Husband; YHVH of Hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole Earth! For YHVH has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused,” says your God. “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you, but with everlasting lovingkindness I will have mercy on you,” says YHVH, your Redeemer.
Covenant vows in marriage:
I am your YHVH your God, and you are My people/My wife.
I am your husband. I am your wife.
You are sanctified to me; You are sanctified to me.
You are my wife. You are my husband.
The marriage covenant is based upon YHVH God’s covenant with Israel. God relates to Israel as a partner in covenant: YHVH is the Husband; Israel His Bride (Jer 31:31-32). Although many in Israel have been unfaithful to the terms of the covenant, HE is not, and will woo back His beloved Bride through the New Covenant, by which He forgives His adulterous wife of all her iniquities.
Mal 2:13-17 And this is the second thing you do:
You cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and crying;
So He does not regard the offering anymore,
Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.
14 Yet you say, “For what reason?”
Because the Lord has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth,
with whom you have dealt treacherously;
Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant.
15 But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit?
And why one?
He seeks godly offspring.
Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.
16 “For the Lord God of Israel says
That He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”
17 You have wearied the LORD with your words; Yet you say, “In what way have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them,” or, “Where is the God of judgment!?”
God says through Malachi that His people cry about having to bring Him acceptable sacrifices, but He will not accept even those because they have been unfaithful in their marriages. They have been unfaithful in their bond of the covenant with Him, and in their own covenant between a husband with his wife. He says that He made them one, in order that they would bring up godly children.
Our Father in Heaven has made us one spirit with the Lord (1Cor 6:15-20), and made a man and woman one in marriage. Do not be unequally yoked, the Holy Spirit warns us through the Apostle Paul, with unbelievers. (2Cor 6:14; Amos 3:1-3) This also speaks to believers who want to marry unbelievers. It is true that some unbelieving husbands, and some unbelieving wives, come to faith during a marriage between a believer and an unbeliever; but, as Paul warns, this is not something to assume or to take for granted when agreeing to marry: it is not guaranteed that you will bring your unbelieving spouse to repentance and faith in the gospel. It is also true that some husbands or wives come to faith after they have both married as unbelievers, and the other spouse does not. In this case the believer is to remain married to the unbeliever, unless the unbeliever chooses to leave the believer because he/she is living according to the truth of the faith in Yeshua, and the unbeliever does not like it. (1Cor 7:12-16)
A covenant is one of trust and of faithfulness to the terms, signifying that we are faithful to the one with whom we are in covenant. A relationship based on love requires faithfulness to one another – not perfection of personality or of character, since that is not possible this side of the resurrection – but love in commitment and faithfulness to each other based upon our being joined together willingly. If we have unequally yoked ourselves with another – or one nation with another – time will show that one side is requiring more than was agreed upon, or else the other side giving less than what was agreed.
God wants godly children from us! How will a believing wife or husband who is married to an unbeliever agree together on what it means to walk together in the truth of who Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ is? How will they agree to train up their children in the way they should go? How will they agree on the objectives for their own lives, and for the lives of each of their children? How will they agree on the proper way to discipline each of their children? How will they agree on what God says is good, and on what He says is bad/evil; on what He says is acceptable, and what He says is not. We live in a world that is more and more openly demonstrating that they do not fear the true God. If we are not equally yoked, who is going to lead whom in a marriage that is unequally yoked?
But we read in Malachi that YHVH, God of Israel (and of the Church) has made a husband and wife one through covenant. (Mal 2:15; Gen 2:21-25) Why? Because He wants godly children; and only when the father and the mother are active believers will there be agreement between them to raise up their children in the Way of the faith in the one true God. (Gen 18:17-19)
Idolatry by God’s people – whether Jews or Christians – is called [spiritual] adultery (Ja 4:3-5), because breaking the covenant with our God is like breaking our marriage [vows] to Him. Loving the world and loving the Lord is like having two lovers. Divorcing our wives (or husbands), or committing adultery, is being unfaithful to the covenant of marriage which the bride and the groom vowed to keep at our wedding. Yeshua/Jesus tells us that if we are married, but lusting in our heart for another woman or man, that is adultery, unfaithfulness. He is not saying that we cannot look at or admire another person, but if we want him or her, then we are committing adultery in our thoughts and imaginations, rather than wanting and knowing only our own wife or husband. Our God and Savior is holy, holy, holy, and He is sanctifying us – and we are to be sanctifying ourselves – to be holy, a Bride equally yoked to our beloved Groom.
Divorce and adultery are “covenant-breaking”; it is unfaithfulness, untrustworthiness. (Rom 1:31; Mt 5:31-32) It is also being unfaithful to the character and Name of our God and Savior, who is faithful always to His covenant promises to His people whom He has chosen to live forever with Him. It is we who need to faithfully abide in Christ/Messiah to enjoy the things He has planned for those who love Him. Unfaithfulness is becoming much more common in these end-times, and there are not only many more divorces and adultery by unbelievers, but also by those who profess to be born-again believers in Jesus/Yeshua.
The marriage covenant of God and of man – at least in Jewish/Christian heritage – includes the promise of the stronger party to protect the weaker (1Pt 3:7). It is a promise, a vow, an oath: God and husbands are to give our wives peace and security in our love, in our marriage. The nation of Israel and the Body of Messiah/Christ — the wife — is to submit to and appreciate that love and faithfulness of her husband as unto the Lord.
Praise God for His New Covenant – a better covenant – by which all unrighteousness and ungodliness, even within marriages, will cease!
Brothers and sisters, I am not here to judge any of you, but there are some here for whom this word about marriage, faithfulness, divorce, adultery, unfaithfulness – whether to God or to your spouse — is what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you. You may not be able to undo a past situation, or you may still be able to. But if this word is for you, past or present, and you have not yet confessed it as sin, then today is the day to do that, and confess it to our Father in Heaven, who is quick and just to forgive you because you believe in the blood of the new covenant shed by our Lord Jesus on the cross for all of our sins. If you did not realize that you had sinned in what you have done, or are doing, then the Spirit is letting you know now, so that you would agree with Him that He is now bringing it to your attention. You can start over in His love and by His grace. Others of you have been victims of covenant-breakers in your marriages, and know how hurtful and despairing that can be, and for the children in trusting God. Yeshua is our healer and our comforter, and the Holy Spirit gives us strength and hope to carry on. HE loves you, and will never leave you or forsake you.