Covenant Marriage - Session 2: The Original Vision of God - David and Lisa Mitts
This chapter we will look at the original intent or vision of the Lord in the creation of covenant marriage or of covenant oneness. We know that this is an issue that reveals the condition of our heart because of a conversation Yeshua had with the Pharisees.
“Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND HIS MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no person is to separate.” They *said to Him, “Why, then, did Moses’ command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND HER AWAY?” He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”” (Matthew 19:3-9)
The Pharisees are questioning regarding the breaking of a covenant. They are seeking a legal interpretation, what is called a “midrash”. A midrash is a rabbinic interpretation of the Torah, what Yeshua called out as a tradition of men.
“Then some Pharisees and scribes *came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders( midrash)? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves also break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? “For God said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,’ and, ‘THE ONE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH.’ “But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,” he is not to honor his father or mother.’ And by this you have invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy about you, by saying: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. ‘AND IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.’”” (Matthew 15:1-9)
The attempt by the Pharisees to get Yeshua to respond to a midrash was a blatant attempt to tie Him, or bind Him, to the Rabbinic system. In the case of divorce, if He gave any answer to the query that took a side in the issue, He would have stepped into the trap of midrash. In the fractured world of religion, entire schools of orthodoxy were determined by responses to midrash.
Yeshua rather than align Himself with any orthodoxy, returned to the crucial issue, God’s original intent and the issue in the hearts of men that drove the controversy, hardness of heart.
We know we have hardness of heart when we are using our mind to try to solve a heart issue. Our mind will always operate in the condition of right and wrong and positional thinking. Our heart will be prompted by the Holy Spirit if we learn to yield our heart to Him. Part of this process is repentance or t’shuvah in Hebrew which means to return to the original state of peace. To best do that, we need a revelation of God’s original intent.
Returning to Genesis, Chapter 2, we pick up the narrative in verse 18:
“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”” (Genesis 2:18)
This is the first “not good” of the Bible. Up to this point all that God has created and declared has been good. In this case it isn’t that God has created something bad, but He recognizes that Adam is incomplete as he exists singularly. Isolation is not good for man; it leaves us open to deception. How? By self-worship. We become defensive when we are not in relationship with a source of loving truth.
The Hebrew word translated as “suitable” is the word “neged”, which means opposite to or in front of. The picture is of two-sides of a coin facing one another. This face-to-face perspective is one designed to be one of mutual support.
As we shared last chapter this interdependent relationship is the foundation stone of true faith. We are designed incomplete. This is not a flaw per se, but an original intention of God. God knew that our fundamental orientation is and must always be to become complete. We need a completer.
The Bible is replete with examples of weakness being completed by God. He doesn’t fulfill our design despite our weakness but through them. Abraham was designed to be the father of nations. His weakness, the barren womb of Sarah wasn’t an obstacle to be overcome but a place of fulfillment. The weakness demands the grace, the anointing. Moses’ deficiencies in self-expression made him the vessel to bring God’s self-expression. No one could ever accuse Moses of eloquence. His eloquence only could come from God. Peter’s faith allowed him to walk on water but also caused him to deny Yeshua three times. He would be the example of the rock of revelation of who Yeshua is, the Messiah and Son of the living God and yet in natural he was a denier of who Yeshua was.
Can you see it? It is weakness that is built into us that requires completion. God created this “not good” vacancy in us. Like the vessel that is only fulfilled when the drink is poured in, we only become complete when we are connected, one in heart. Let’s read on in Genesis 2:19-20
“And out of the ground the LORD God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the livestock, and to the birds of the sky, and to every animal of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:19-20)
I always wondered why this was inserted at this point. Adam is co-laboring with God in naming the creatures of the creation. Because in English our naming is abstract, we can miss the importance of what is happening here. Hebrew is a picture language. The naming of a creature is a perception given by God to Adam that is his exclusively. Look with me at Psalm 8:1-9
“LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, You who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! From the mouths of infants and nursing babies You have established strength Because of Your enemies, to do away with the enemy and the revengeful. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have set in place; What is man that You think of him, and a son of man that You are concerned about him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You have him rule over the works of Your hands; You have put everything under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and the animals of the field, The birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes through the paths of the seas. LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!” (Psalms 8:1-9)
David starts this psalm and ends it with a declaration of the name of the Lord and how majestic is His name in all of the earth. Then comes the relationship to Adam. He asks what is “man” that you think of Him? The word translated “man” in this inquiry is the word “enosh”, which means weakness? What is this weakness in man that attracts Your thoughts? This represents the place where God’s completion is be made manifest. Where we are weak, His grace is made perfect.
Next David says completing the question, “and a son of man that you are concerned about Him”? The word translated “concerned” is the Hebrew “paqad” which means to empower. Son of man is a reference to Messiah, that through Him the weakness of man become empowered by the Son of man. I know this might be a little technical for many of us, but the psalm only makes sense from the eyes of the Gospel. It is through our salvation that our weakness is crowned with glory and majesty! This then derives our authority which is expressed in the next sentence, “ruling over the works of God’s hands”. Which works? He tells us. The sheep, oxen, animals, birds, fish etc. How do we have that authority? By naming them. Not calling them things, but perceiving their essential nature. As we press in, like naming dogs, “ca-lev” the one with heart it reveals that we need a tenderness in our heart which cannot be achieved alone. So God then declares for Adam there was no helper available.
The takeaway is that God never intended us to be alone, even with Him. We were made to be completed by one another through covenant. Reading on:
“So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “At last this is bone of my bones, andflesh of my flesh; She shall be called ‘woman,’ Because she was taken out of man.” For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, but they were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:21-25)
Woman, ishah was taken out man ish. It is interesting that man alone up to that point. God could have created woman out of the earth, the dirt, like all the other pairs. Yet, God didn’t want Adam to look at someone created external to him. No. God wanted Adam to be connected to Eve as himself, one flesh. In that act of creation, he-she was named, the essential nature was revealed, male-female, one flesh. Because they were one, there was no separation, no comparison, no place for shame.
Activation: Uncovering shame. Shame only exists in the world of separation, judgments, lack of unity. Ask the Lord to reveal what you have judged about yourself or others as weakness. Remember man was created weak on purpose. What have you been hiding, prtending wasn’t good enough?