When you think of the Old Testament, the old covenant, the law… what words do you think of?
Bondage, struggle, sin, failure, idolatry… All of those would be valid answers.
Would you ever think of, love? I don’t mean like God loves us and so He gave us the law to show us what’s right from wrong, preserve us until Christ’s coming, or even expose us for how sinful we really are. I mean love like marriage, love.
Jeremiah 31:32 says
“…the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.”
The covenant God made with Israel in Exodus 20 was a marriage covenant. This union and bond was one full of romantic intent. In the holiest and purest sense, God is Husband and His chosen people are His bride. This may not be our concept… but this is at least God’s point of view.
Let’s consider the first five of the Ten Commandments (the Decalogue) that Moses was given as they are presented in Exodus. But, make sure you have your divine romance glasses on. :)
- “You shall have no other gods before me” –Exo. 20:3 Too have any person before your spouse, in heart, mind, or outwardly manifested, is all together wrong. We should have no god, person, or thing before Him not only because He is transcendent, but primarily because He is Husband.
- “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” –Exo. 20:4 If I kept pictures of other women (that weren’t my mother, grandmother, or some other relative) in my wallet or around the house, much more than a stern talking-to, I think my wife would shoot me. Keeping images of others would only be outward evidence for what had already happened in my heart. The same is true with God.
- “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain” –Exo. 20:7 I love to hear my wife’s last name… It’s mine! Hearing her introduce herself, seeing her new name on emails, letters, her new social security card… It still makes my heart leap. As a man, the most meaningful thing I can give is my last name. It indicates belonging, union, trust, oneness, and so much more. For her to treat that as a small thing, a light matter, would insult and hurt me so deeply. Christian, do not think it is any different with our God. To be given His name, marked out as His, is the highest privilege. It is too full of meaning to expound with words! May it not be in vain.
- “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” –Exo. 20:8 Date night is important. Especially if you want to stay married. Not just every week, but every day we need to set apart some time to be with our Beloved.
Don’t think I’m making light of the Bible or not taking it seriously. I know that the commandments of God are weighty and should be handled with sobriety. However, in light of the Divine Romance, these verses shine with an altogether fresh meaning and application. They point to an intimacy with God I dare say the Church as a whole has yet to fully enter into.
Have you ever seen the law in this light?
The divine romance is expounded upon in the New Testament but it is throughout the whole Bible. Wow! God’s has loved us since eternity past!
That’s right Paige :)
We’ll be journeying through the Bible this year with romance-tinted glasses on. That is, this post is the second in continuing series. Stay tuned.
Lord Jesus, we love You. Thank You for opening Your heart through Your word to show us that You want to have the first place in everything. Have mercy to expose us whenever we value anything above You. Have the first place today.
Good prayer Carrie :)
Our Husband should have the “first place in all things” (Col. 1:18), especially our heart.
Wow! The Bible is a romance! The covenant that God made with His people is a marriage covenant; God is our Husband and we are His Bride. What a contrast to the faraway God that I feared in my youth- I am so grateful to hear this word and I look forward to seeing the whole Bible with my “romance-tinted glasses”.