The Sanctity of Marriage
The pattern for marriage is laid out in scripture in the first book of the Bible. "And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And 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. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" Genesis 2:22-24. This was a ceremony in which the father of the bride (YEHOVAH God) presented the bride to the groom. YEHOVAH brought the bride and groom together and united them in marriage. Three things should be noted about this marriage: (1) It was between male and female. (2) The two people had the same God. (3) The two people were of the same flesh. YEHOVAH God could have created the female from the earth, but He did not.
The tradition of the wedding ring is mentioned later in the book of Genesis: "And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff" Genesis 38:24,25.
The ring, bracelets, and staff were Judah's, of course, so she was not burnt. Tamar could hold up the ring and declare that she was justified before society and YEHOVAH God because she had the ring of the father of her children. When Judah gave her the ring, YEHOVAH considered it a marriage ceremony. The union between Tamar and Judah was brought about by YEHOVAH because, according to YEHOVAH's laws, it was Tamar's duty to raise up seed to take her dead husband's inheritance (Deuteronomy 25:5,6). The law said she had to seek out the next nearest kinsman for this, which was Judah himself, since Judah would not allow her to marry her dead husband's brother. Today, any pregnant woman that can hold up her wedding ring and say that the man who gave her the ring is the father of the child, is justified before YEHOVAH God.
"Living together" is not marriage. There is no marriage ceremony in which YEHOVAH is present, and YEHOVAH does not recognize it. The woman at the well was told by Yeshua the Messiah, "Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband; in that saidst thou truly" John 4:17, 18. Yeshua did not recognize her "living with" some man as a marriage. There has to be a wedding ceremony, recognized by the church or the state. We live in a "do as you please" society, but YEHOVAH God is not a "do as you please" god. He has lawful patterns for us to follow, which are for our benefit and prosperity.
The early church did not have too many rules, unlike churches of today. The basic rules for the early church were declared by James the apostle, "wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood" Acts 15:19,20. Fornication is a destroyer of marriages. People think they can commit fornication before marriage and then remain faithful within marriage. Statistics show the opposite. The divorce rate is high among people that are sexually active before marriage. However, if the husband and wife are virgins when they get married, they have a very good chance of staying together, but these days even that is not a certainty.
The prophecy is that in the last days men would be blasphemers, incontinent, and disobedient to parents (II Timothy 3:2,3). How filthy is the language we hear in the workplace and on television, and young couples choose to "live together" despite their parents' wishes that they get married. You could call marriage the first commandment given in the Bible. Marriage, ordained by YEHOVAH God between a man and a woman, is the ONLY acceptable sexual union between two people.
-- Robert B. MacDormand
Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.