God hates divorce and its consequences

Published 9:19 am Friday, November 9, 2018

In our society, as it is in most cultures in the world today, receiving a divorce is as easy as counting 1-2-3. The availability of a simple and rapid divorce has only encouraged couples to separate and divorce for nearly any reason imaginable. There is a great anomaly between the laws of man and the laws and desires of God in connection with marriage and divorce. While it is regrettable, we should not see it as strange or something new. For centuries mankind has ignored God’s feelings and instructions on these issues.
For example, we find in Malachi 2:14 KJV, “Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.” The Children of Israel had ignored God’s instruction concerning marriage and divorce. Their unwillingness to obey God brought upon them severe and damaging consequences.
In Malachi 2, Israel is accused of two types of treachery, first they are accused of infidelity to God’s covenant and second, they are accused of infidelity to the marriage covenant that both God and man had witnessed.
As we consider Malachi, we learn that Israel’s priests are condemned for not teaching and warning the people. We read in Malachi 2:1-2, “And now, O priests, this commandment is for you. If you will not hear, and if you will not take it to heart, to give glory to My name,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already, because you do not take it to heart.”
God’s own priests, those who were to warn and teach God’s people, were derelict in their duties. The priests themselves had corrupted the covenant of God’s with the people. Malachi wrote, “For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. (8) But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 2:7-8 KJV) Simply put, those appointed by God to teach the law were causing people to reject the law.
For their actions, God told them He would dishonor them, God said, “Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. (Malachi 2:9 KJV).
The Children of God were accepting infidelity to God. In the context, God portrays His relationship with Israel as a marriage. Consider Malachi 2:11, “Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.”
According to Malachi, “God no longer heeded their prayers and accepted their offerings because they had defiled their marriage vows and covenant with God” (Malachi 2:14).
These unfaithful priests were tolerating marital infidelity and divorce. In the remainder of the chapter, Malachi shows that God’s idea of marriage demanded a oneness of spirit between spouses (Malachi 2:15). Then in verse 16, we learn that God simply hates divorce and the consequences of it.
God still hates divorce because of the damage it does and commands Christians to practice and teach the truth concerning divorce and to do so without impartiality. He is still displeased when that which is evil, is called good. Even though this displeases God, many today seek to call the evil of divorce a good thing. Consider, (Matthew 5:32, 19:1-12 & 1 Cor. 7) for further information.
(Tony Hoss is minister at Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton. He can be contacted at 737-2287 or by email at CenterviewCOC@comcast.net)

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