Text: Jeremiah 31:31-34
P [To the bridegroom] Will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony as God ordained it? Will you nourish and cherish her as Christ loved His body, the Church, giving Himself up for her? Will you love, honor, and keep her in sickness and in health and, forsaking all others, remain united to her alone, so long as you both shall live? Then say: I will.
P [To the bride] Will you have this man to be your wedded husband, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony as God ordained it? Will you submit to him as the Church submits to Christ? Will you love, honor, and keep him in sickness and in health and, forsaking all others, remain united to him alone, so long as you both shall live? Then say: I will.
When we hear the words of these solemn promise, it can bring tears to our eyes. Tears of joy in the promise of years to come. Tears of regret for our failures and those promises made to us which were not kept.
It’s a humbling reminder to us that our promises always have a contingency. They’re always subject to failure.
31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like 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.
When we hear the story of God, it resounds with His faithfulness. He is the faithful Bridegroom, the faithful God who never speaks an idle promise, or says what He is unable or unwilling to do.
He created everything that is, intimately acquainted with each piece of His world, and especially of man and woman in it. He redeemed even when our parents and us had fallen into sin and rebellion. He rescued from slavery as He had promised, despite the power and stubborn refusal of a wicked ruler. Under a different tyrant, when the fires of hell threatened, He faithfully took the place of His people so that they would come out without even the smell of smoke.
This is the very faithfulness we need in order to be saved. All of us have turned aside, all of us have failed. But He has forever remained the faithful Bridegroom, the faithful Savior:
33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
This is the solemn promise He has made to you in His Son. He will never forsake you or fail you. Thanks be to God!
In the Name of + Jesus. Amen.