The Vow: Covenant Breaking

Posted: February 10, 2012 by Josh Kwasny in Drama, Romance
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday we considered one possible theme in The Vow starring Channing Tatum and Rachel Mc Adams.  We asked the question, “What is the basis of our marriage vows?”  (you can check out that post here).

The very title of this film strikes me as odd in a culture that seems to care very little for marriage vows.  We live in a culture where commitment is frowned upon and back-up plans are encouraged.  Prenuptial agreements may not be standard fare yet, but many choose to live together first before promising to stick out the relationship  (“try before you buy”).  It is really quite remarkable that stories like The Vow are still playing on the silver screen.

It is important to remember that covenant-breaking is not a recent phenomenon.  We need not be too hard on our culture.  God’s people were continually unfaithful in the Old Testament.  The prophet Ezekiel delivered God’s message to his people, the Israelites, “For thus says the Lord GOD: I will deal with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant…” (Ezekiel 16:59 ESV – emphasis mine).  Lest you think that this was one moment of covenant weakness, I must tell you that this is par for the course with Israel.  God’s people are known for their unfaithfulness.

If we are honest, covenant-breaking should not be relegated to Israel.  The truth of the matter is that since the Garden of Eden humanity has been unfaithful to their Creator.  The human heart, which is intended to be in relationship with God, is inclined to worship and serve other things.  John Calvin said it this way, ““From this we may gather that man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols” (from Institutes of the Christian Religion).  The human heart is a divided heart.

Is there any hope for covenant-breakers?  Yes!

Praise God that there was one member of humanity who never broke covenant relationship with God.  Jesus Christ – the perfect, covenant-keeper – gladly paid the death penalty due covenant-breaking humanity.  In his death and resurrection, Jesus purchased our way back to God.  Consider the second part of the Ezekiel passage mentioned above, “I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord God” (Ezekiel 16:62-62 ESV).

It is only the gospel of Jesus Christ that can turn covenant-breakers into covenant-keepers!  As we watch stories like The Vow, let us remember what gives human love stories their true meaning – the ultimate love story of the covenant-keeping God.


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