The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 30: 21-28 Under three things the earth quakes, And under four, it cannot bear up: Under a slave when he becomes king, And a fool when he is satisfied with food, Under an unloved woman when she gets a husband, And a maidservant when she supplants her mistress. Four things are small on the earth, But they are exceedingly wise: The ants are not a strong people, But they prepare their food in the summer; The shephanim are not mighty people, Yet they make their houses in the rocks; The locusts have no king, Yet all of them go out in ranks; The lizard you may grasp with the hands, Yet it is in kings’ palaces.
I am going to cut to the chase. We live in a nation filled with father hungry men, and women who are desperate to be loved, by anyone. Why do you suppose the proverb today says that the earth QUAKES under an unloved woman when she gets a husband? Because dear brothers and sisters, marriage is a glorious picture of Christs relationship to the Church, His Bride, and when a man leaves his father's house and joins with his wife and the two become one flesh…..It. Is. GLORIOUS! When we see a once unloved woman, who desires nothing more than to be loved, join with a man in Holy Matrimony, and observe as he lays down his life for her, it shakes the foundations. The powers of darkness see that and tremble. We know Satan and his children hate marriage, because it is a picture of man’s salvation and redemption, two things they will never attain. The world looks at marriage in wonder, unable to comprehend it, because the natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit. Sinners of all stripes try to mimic it yet fall horribly short: think “Sister wives”, “Gay Mirage” and the ever popular practice of “Cohabitation”. You know, when a man and a woman live together, enjoy all the benefits of being a husband and wife, but always have an option to bail out, because, actual marriage takes hard work, sacrifice, and the fruits of the Spirit. We treat Christ, the Groom of the Church, in the same way, do we not? He is to be our only portion in life, yet we often seek other means of joy and peace. Christ is the head of the Church, the way Husbands are head of the wife, but just as the order in marriage is often subverted, we seek to usurp the Throne and rule where only Christ can. Men, loving your wives the way Christ loves His bride and laid down His life for her has real, immediate ramifications in our lives. “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered." (1 Peter 3:7). Is your prayer life stale and stagnant? Do you find yourself asking with David “ How long O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?” (Psalm 13:1,2).
How might we fail to display the glorious truths of marriage in our lives?
When we as men fail to love our wives, choosing instead to pursue the lusts of our flesh, rather than the heart of our wife, and all the world sees it and despises Christ and His Bride because of it.
When wives more readily submit to their boss, their children, and society’s expectations for them, rather than to the husband who loves them and seeks to lay down his life for her.
When we hold marriage in low esteem, engaging in grumbling and gossip about wives and husbands, forgetting that our Lord Jesus Christ would NEVER let a disparaging remark about His Bride go unanswered. Remember, He is a Jealous God, and we should be jealous for our marriages as well. When we are not, it cheapens marriage, and marrs that beautiful picture.
Where we have fallen short, let us repent. If you are able, let us kneel at this time and confess our sins to Almighty God, those that are hidden, unintentional, and presumptuous.
Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we bow before You this morning, thankful for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Groom of the Church. Thankful, yet realizing that we frequently take this marriage for granted. We neglect the means of grace that You provide. We often chase after idols, seeking to join with the world, and submit to the lusts of our flesh, rather than loving Your Son Jesus as a once unloved woman loves her husband. Please forgive us when we bring shame upon You by how we distort the true picture of marriage with our selfishness and pride. Father, please forgive us husbands when we forget that our wives are the weaker vessel, and please forgive the wives when they seek to rule over their husbands. Please be with all of the married couples here today, and help us display this beautiful picture so that our children, and others watching, might glorify Your Son and love Him and the Church because of it. It’s in Jesus Name we pray, Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Joel 2:12-13 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning; And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil.
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
(From the 2/17/2019 liturgy of Sovereign King Church written by Aaron Sabie.)