THE ISSUE OF DIVORCE - PART I
Jesus again was confronted by the Pharisees when He went to the region of Judea on the other side of the Jordan River. The Pharisees tried to trap Jesus by asking Him about divorce. Divorce was controversial at that time because religious leaders were divided on this issue. There were two schools of thought, one allowing divorce for any reason and the other allowing divorce only on the ground of adultery or infidelity. The Pharisees wanted Jesus to take a side on the issue so that the other group could discredit His teachings. However, Jesus did not fall for their trap question; instead, He asked them what the Scripture said, "What did Moses command you?" Then they answered, "Moses permitted a man to write a divorce certificate and send her away." But Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart, he wrote this commandment. But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." (Mark 10:1-9).
Jesus brought the Pharisees back to what the Word of God said and did not confront their interpretation of the Word of God. It was the Pharisees' interpretation of the Word of God that they allowed divorce for any reason. If they wanted to divorce their wives, they would issue a divorce certificate explaining the reason for the divorce, which could be anything. Jesus told them that divorce was not part of God's plan when He instituted marriage in the beginning, but because of the hardness of their hearts or sins, Moses allowed it. The hypocritical action of the Pharisees was that they used divorce to get rid of their wives for marrying someone else. As a result, many women and families became destitute because of divorce. Any religious man could walk away from marriage and family by using their interpretation of the Word of God.
Divorce is one of the devastating effects of sin. As believers of Christ, let us not harden our hearts from God's Word because it will only destroy what is good in us. Marriage is a gift of God to humankind and is good and wonderful, but because of sin, divorce is destroying marriage. Let us always remember that there is nothing good in sin. It only destroys what is good in us, like divorce in marriage. We will continue this topic tomorrow.
Ask yourself these questions: Did God intend divorce when He instituted marriage in the beginning? Why did Moses permit divorce? What does sin do to what is good in me when I sin?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, please help me not to harden my heart with any sin. Please help me to repent from any sin that I am hiding in my life because it will only destroy what is good in my life. Thank you for your Word showing me how I should live my life. Please empower me with your Holy Spirit to live a life that is pleasing to you. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.