God Honors Righteousness in the Land
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Pr.14:34)
When we uphold marriage, we uphold His image and the boundaries that protect that image. As we have seen, marriage represents Him in the duality of male and female. Boundaries that protect marriage guard the integrity of that whole image, as well as the children produced by it.
We are a people in a particular place and land. To protect marriage where we live is to guard righteousness in the land. When we uphold marriage on behalf of the state or nation we live in, we honor His righteousness. God in turn honors His righteousness by blessing the land. God and His righteousness exalt that state or nation.
Loving what God loves about marriage, honoring His image in the land—this is something that results from reverencing God, from possessing something akin to a holy fear of honoring what He honors.
I spoke with a bright man yesterday about why he supported gay marriage. He spoke eloquently about the rights of gay people and why after all they should not have the same rights as straights, etc. I realized that for all his justice rap, he had absolutely no fear of God. God did not figure in at all. As far as he was concerned, God and His desire for people were wholly immaterial to the debate.
Christians do not have that option. We have a holy awareness of God’s image—how He has chosen to represent Himself–and an equally holy fear of God when that image is tampered with by mere humans. I am grateful for that fear; I take seriously the biblical witness that God hates the violation of His image through homosexual behavior.
On many occasions it was not mercy that prevented me from violating His image—it was holy fear. I respect God’s design and the way that design protects all living. I respect Him; I respect His righteousness and in turn His hatred for the effects of my sin upon others more than I delight in sin’s pleasures.
For me or for any mere created being to cross sacred lines undercuts righteousness in the land. Similarly, to honor those lines that guard His image honors God and His righteousness in the land. I can say joyfully with the Psalmist: “You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your Name”! (Ps 62:5)
God has given that fear and righteousness to His people, that we might honor Him in the land. He in turn blesses the land. Many in the land may not know Him yet. But they benefit (even though they may protest against it) from the decisions of God’s people to preserve what is godly in the land. All citizens benefit from God blessing the land.
“I will listen to what God the Lord will say: He promises peace to His people, but let them not return to folly. Surely His salvation is near those who fear Him, that His glory may dwell in the land…The Lord will indeed give what is good, and the land will yield its harvest.” (Ps 85: 8, 9, 12)
I represent God and His righteousness where I live. I will thus seek to stand for righteousness there. In the land. I shall seek to preserve what is just and true, e.g. marriage, while initiating new advances of His justice and compassion in that land.
It is God’s land. The land is not the church, nor the new earth as it will be under Jesus’ ultimate rule. But the earth must still give an answer to God and His righteousness. Those who know Him must give that answer loud and clear on behalf of marriage.
Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Proposition 8.
“Whenever life becomes oppressive, we just leap into the air with a bold kick and soar relieved into the ‘eternal fields’. We leap over the present. We disdain the earth; we are better than it…We cannot stand it, because the earth is stronger than we and we want to be better than the evil earth. So we extricate ourselves from it…However Christ does not lead us in a religious flight from the world to other worlds beyond; rather, He gives us back to the earth as its loyal children.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Testament to Freedom.
‘Father, renew our vision of Your righteousness and how marriage is one expression of that righteousness. Grant us holy fear for what You love and for what You don’t. Empower us to stand on behalf of You image and the boundaries that protect it.
May You be exalted by Your people as we arise in this hour to honor marriage.
As a result, may You and Your righteousness be exalted in the land.’