Over the next few Sunday evenings, I want to bring a series of messages on 'Restoring the Foundations'. The family is under attack from the enemy in every area. From this study I hope we will develop a biblical view of family pressure and problems. We must understand that the root of our problems lie in disobedience to God's principles. We must understand God's plan for the family and only consider biblical solutions to our problems.
Psalms 11:3, "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
The two-fold purpose of this series is presented for us in Is. 58:12. " And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in."
1. Repairer - to wall up.
2. Restorer - to turn back (the idea of returning to the starting point).
I. Reason For The Rebuke (Verse 14)
A. Covering sin (treacherously).
1. Treacherously means to act covertly, deceitfully, unfaithful.
2. There was not honesty and faithfulness in the marriage relationship.
B. Companion - God's will.
1. Once two people say, "I do" if it wasn't God's will before, it becomes God's will after the marriage.
2. Some people say, "I was out of God's will when I married, so..."
3. That may or may not be true, but God would not have us to do wrong in order to try to do right.
C. Covenant - vows of free will.
1. God holds us to our vows because we make them of our free will.
2. He warns us to be careful in making vows.
"When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay." cf Eccl. 5:4-5 3. We need to take responsibility for our decision and humble ourselves before God to seek His grace in helping us fulfill our vows.
II. Rejection Of The Plan (Verse 15)
A. Spiritual - Unity/oneness between a husband and wife.
1. Unity can only be produced by God's spirit.
2. That is true in a local church, and it is true in a family as well.
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." cf Ep 4:1-3
B. Seed - Godly generation to serve and glorify.
1. One of God's purposes in marriage is to develop a foundation of Godly generations that will serve and glorify Him.
2. Often today we are left with fragments of families instead of a foundation.
C. Spiritual sensitivity - guarding our hearts.
III. Running From The Problem (Verse 16)
A. Putting away - effects on Godly generations.
1. 'Putting Away' = divorce
2. Divorce greatly affects the children and those effects may be passed on for generations.
3. Divorce is not the answer to problems in a marriage!
4. The answer lies in the forgiveness of Christ.
B. Pretending - covereth violence with his garment.
1. When a man covers a woman with is garment it was a symbol of his willingness to protect and provide for her.
2. This was illustrated by Boaz in the book of Ruth. cf Ruth 3:9
3. The reality was that these men who promised to protect their wives were bringing harm to them.
IV. Repentance Required (Verse 17)
A. The problems of no repentance.
1. When there has been no true repentance over sin it creates a lack of balance in our life.
2. This produces one of two problems for people, especially those in a position of leadership.
a. justify - we become so loose in our sense of righteousness that we call evil good in order to justify ourselves.
b. judgmental - In another attempt to justify ourselves we become judgmental in our spirit: By focusing on, and exposing others, we do not need to face our own sin.
B. Proper response - repentance.
1. A change of mind that results in a change of action.
2. We will continue to have problems in our nation, churches, and homes until we are open to repairing and restoring the foundations.
What about the foundations of our families. Are there some things that we must do to repair or rebuild? Will we be honest with God and with ourselves in this matter?