On Marriage (cont’d)

God’s definition of marriage was not for the Jewish people only, but was intended to apply to all people in all societies for all time.

This establishment of marriage is not like a number of laws in the Old Testament that were intended for the Jewish people and only for a particular time in their history, such as the laws about the sacrifices of animals and clean and unclean foods. All of those laws came after the Exodus of the people from Egypt (see Exodus 1-15). These laws were given in Exodus 20-40, and in Numbers, Deuteronomy.

But the basic material about marriage comes from the beginning of the human race, at a time when Adam and Eve were created. It comes before there was any evil or sin on the world (which came in Genesis 3). This is what Jesus says that these truths about marriage comes “from the beginning” (Matt. 19:4) and they belong to the essence of God’s creating us as “male and female.”

Therefore this understanding of marriage as the lifelong union between one man and one woman is intended by God to be understood as the correct definition of marriage for all people on earth, for all cultures, and societies, and for all periods of history until the beginning of the new heaven and new earth.

Thus God can bring judgment, for example, on the Gentile (non-Jewish) cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of widespread practice of homosexual conduct (Gen. 18, 19:5; Jude 7). He can bring judgment against Pharaoh, king of Egypt if he commits adultery with someone’s wife (Gen. 12:17-20). The Book of Proverbs, which contains much wisdom not merely for the people of Israel in the Old Testament but also for the conduct of life generally, gives frequent warnings against adultery (2:16-19; 5:1-23; 6:20-35; 7:4-27; 23:27-28).

In the New Testament, John the Baptist rebuked Herod Antipas, an Idumean and not part of the people of Israel, for wrongfully committing incest by taking his brother’s wife (Mark 6:16-17). Paul can say that the Gentiles who do not have the Jewish laws, are still guilty of violating God’s moral standards (1 Cor. 5:9-10. 13; 6:9; cf 1 Pet. 4:3-5).

Therefore, from Genesis to Revelations – from the beginning of the Bible to the end – God has established moral standards regarding the nature and conduct of marriage, and he repeatedly indicates that he will hold all people on the earth accountable for disobedience to those standards.

Marriage between a man and a woman is the most fundamental institution to society.

The establishment of marriage in Genesis 1 – 2 comes before the establishment of any other institution in human society. It comes immediately after the creation of man and woman.

It is significant that God establishes marriage before there is any establishment of cities, nations, courts of law, or any human laws. It comes before any national government, state government, or city government. It comes before any establishment of schools and universities, or businesses and corporations, or churches and non-profit organizations. It comes before the establishment of any institution in any human society and is foundational to society.

Human societies have long recognised the need for some kind of normalisation of dependable, ongoing faithful marriage relationship between men and women and most societies have protected the institution of heterosexual and monogamous marriages.

Consequently, if we consider our nation to be a God – fearing one and we hold to the notion that we are a Christian society, then I submit that we must hold fast to the sanctity of marriage with a view of protecting the institution and maintaining our fidelity.

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