One of the things I enjoy most about a long drive is the opportunity to spend a little quality time with the Lord. I suppose what makes it so enjoyable is the lack of distraction. Even people who enjoy each other’s company as much as Gayle and I do eventually fall silent on a long drive and lose themselves in their own thoughts.
I was musing about what I have learned recently in studying the research on Hepatitis C, in particular, one of its methods of transmission. Among them is sexual activity, which puts HCV in the category of ‘Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s).
A person who has sex with multiple partners is a walking Petri dish, and the virus is easily passed from one person to another, oftentimes with neither party being aware of the infection for years afterwards. During that time, the virus continues to spread and infect others.
However, the statistics say that among monogamous married couples, the instances of cross-infection are somewhere around five percent, and almost always through some other method of transmission; usually an exchange of blood through using each other’s razor, toothbrush or some other item that can transfer blood-to-blood directly, like sharing the lancet on a blood-sugar home testing device or something similar.
But there is no medical evidence that directly links HCV as an STD between two people living in a monogamous marriage. It was THAT interesting fact that I was musing about with the Lord as the white lines clicked by in front of me.
It brought home to me in a new way the truth of the Scriptures, particularly those involving marriage.
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4)
After the creation of Adam, Genesis 2:18 tells us, God decided,
“It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
To accomplish this, God tells us that,
“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” (Genesis 2:21-22)
There is a legend that women have one more rib than men, but it is only a legend. We each have the same number of ribs, and nowhere does the Bible say that men have one fewer than women — only that God used one of them as the basis for creating woman:
“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2:23)
What is important is the symbolism — man and woman were created out of one flesh.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)
Jesus continued along this same line in His teaching about marriage, saying,
“Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:6)
Marriage is the earthly model used by God to demonstrate our relationship with Him. In a marriage, each partner works together to accomplish the same objective — what happens to one happens to the other. Just as there are no two-headed creatures in nature, a married couple, as one flesh, can have only one head.
Christians are joined to Christ by betrothal; that is, we are engaged to the Bridegroom, who is the Head of the Church, ‘even as the husband is the head of the wife.’ (Ephesians 5:23)
The marriage act is far more than merely a biological function, the Bible says it has grave spiritual implications.
“What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith He, shall be one flesh.” (1st Corinthians 6:16)
As I was contemplating all this, the Lord brought to mind what marriage means, from the perspective of heaven, and why the sundering of a marriage on earth creates such havoc.
The Book of Daniel identifies Michael the archangel as “the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people.” (Daniel 12:1) As an archangel, Michael is a commander of a legion of angels, a ‘great prince’ of angels who ‘stands for the children of Daniel’s people’ — the children of Israel.
Tradition and Scripture indicate another archangel, Gabriel, stands as the commander of the angels given charge of the Church. The word ‘angel’ means ‘messenger’ and we are admonished to,
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2)
The Lord Jesus confirmed that each of us is assigned an angel:
“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven THEIR angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10)
God assigns angels to carry messages to believers, to encourage and exhort, and to keep us from spiritual harm.
It is equally clear that Satan also assigns his angels to each of us, to discourage and demoralize, and to lead us into spiritual error.
Now reconsider marriage, from the perspective of angels. I have an angel assigned to me personally. So does Gayle. One day, Gayle and I married, and we two became one flesh. That is to say, in the flesh, we are inextricably linked. On the day we were married, two individuals walked in, but three walked out.
Before the marriage, there was Gayle. And there was me. Afterwards, there was Gayle. There was me. And there a new, third creature, the one our friends now call ‘Jack and Gayle.’ (Indeed, when I go somewhere alone, I am usually greeted by my nickname. “Where’s Gayle?”)
What happens to Jack, happens to Jack. What happens to Gayle, happens to Gayle. But no matter what it is, it also happens to ‘Jack and Gayle’ — that new, third creature created by God as one flesh.
Now our angels are working in concert together with us both (and each other) in the context of that third creature. Our interests are inextricably linked, and therefore, so are the interests of our angelic guardians. In that sense, our angels are as ‘married’ as we are.
The Bible gives but two exceptions under which a married couple can be divorced. The first exception is that of adultery.
“Whosoever shall put away his wife, EXCEPT IT BE FOR FORNICATION, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” (Matthew 19:9)
The second exception is that of being unequally yoked spiritually.
“But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.” (1st Corinthians 7:15)
When believers divorce, in a sense, so do their angels. Moreover, still from the angelic perspective, consider the havoc created when someone is ‘joined’ spiritually, to multiple partners.
And there are TWO angels, or messengers, involved with each believer, the one sent by God, and the OTHER one, sent by Satan.
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the MESSENGER OF SATAN to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” (2nd Corinthians 12:7)
NOW consider the havoc involved, again, from the perspective of angels.
As I drove and contemplated all this, I looked across at my help-meet, Gayle, and thought about our shared eternity.
In explaining marriage from the heavenly perspective, Jesus tells us that,
“in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (Matthew 22:30)
I like to think that our angels are as happy as Gayle and I are. And that, in the resurrection, there is no need for us to ‘marry and give in marriage’.
Been there, done that.
All we are waiting for now is the keys to our new mansion. One I am confident we will share for eternity.
Thank You, Jesus!