Mark 10:1-12

MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE

 

 Sunday May 17, 1998

Bible Passage:        Mark 10:1-12

Key Verse:              Mark 10:9 "Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

Mark 10:1-12 1Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.2Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" 3"What did Moses command you?" he replied. 4They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away." 5"It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied. 6"But at the beginning of creation God `made them male and female.' [1] 7`For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[2] 8and the two will become one flesh.' [3] So they are no longer two, but one. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." 10When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11He answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."

First of all, This lesson is not an easy one for me due to having experienced the heart wrenching experience of divorce. You truly begin to understand why God hates divorce as He states in Malachi 2:16 "I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, "and I hate a man's covering himself [1] with violence as well as with his garment," says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.

I hope that we can see through to the heart of what our Lord is saying about Marriage and Divorce. First of all what is it about divorce that God hates? It's the breaking of a covenant. God is a covenant keeping God. He hates the breaking of them. Now, the above scripture about marriage and divorce is only a very small part of God's heart on this subject. By looking at it, it appears that there never is any grounds for divorce and yet God's Word states clearly that there are when Jesus Himself states "Matthew 5: 31& 32 31 "It has been said, `Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.' [6] 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery." And, as we also know, God's Word and His ways of living, were written for His own, not for those who don't even claim Him & don't follow His Word. And so, we who claim to Love Christ must truly listen and apply our hearts to His Word. At the same time, we need to understand that our Loving Heavenly Father is a Merciful, Loving Heavenly Father who stands ready to accept us into His arms of Love and Grace if we but desire Him. So, if any of us find ourselves having been or done any of those things that dishonor our Lord, let's not allow satan to beat us over the head with the past, but let us commit our hearts to desiring to keep His Word as He speaks it to our hearts.

 What is "marital unfaithfulness"? Is it not being unfaithful to our vows or covenant we've made? Is marital unfaithfulness only when your spouse has slept with another? Proverbs 2:17 "12Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, 13 who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, 14 who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, 15 whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways. 16 It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words, 17 who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. [1] And again in Matt 5:27 it says "You have heard that it was said, `Do not commit adultery.'[5] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

We get so hung up on the letter of what our Lord is saying, we miss the heart of it. Our God LOVES keeping covenants and hates the breaking of the same. And yet we cannot keep them without making Him our delight. There is no way that our lives can reflect His covenant keeping ways if we're not delighting in Him. Satan's target in this world is those who confess Christ as Lord! We as God's people need to recognize this and not be ignorant of this fact. How can we prepare ourselves for battle if we know not from where or how the enemy attacks or with what weapons he uses? We can't! In the same way, our nation is seeing many families that proclaim Christ as Lord and yet with their lives are proclaiming themselves lord. This fulfills God's Word that states in  Matthew 24:12"Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.Ē Do we see from this verse what is the first thing that happens to us before the rest of our lives turn into disarray? This verse tells us that the trials WILL increase which we then allow them to rob us of Love of God. The fact of losing our love for God is the beginning of the end. Unfortunately we cannot live the lives of our spouses for them no more than God would live satanís life for him to keep him from going astray of Judasís life. We need to be very, very loving and compassionate upon those whose lives are in ruin from divorce. We tend to place ourselves in Godís judgment seat when it comes to dealing with those whose lives are in shambles. People who are hurting need bandages and a tourniquet to stop the bleeding before you begin to administer the antibiotics which are suppose to help kill the germs and infections. God meant it when He said speak the truth in Love, for that is the only way He desires for us to speak it. Not using it to cut others up with. I honestly feel thereís no greater pain next not knowing Christ than divorce. Iíve experienced divorce and can speak first hand. It is horrendously painful.

No one knows the lives of others and yet when it comes to other people's troubles, we suddenly have all of the answers. We tend to have the attitude of the prodigal son's brother who just couldn't see his wayward brother come home through eyes of love and compassion. Yes, marriage was ordained of God and is precious in His sight that we need to honor very, very highly and yet more than that, we need to love the souls of those whose lives have been torn apart due to divorce. There will be no marriage in Heaven but there will be souls born again of His Precious, Holy Blood.

Some great scripture which depicts our Lord's love for keeping covenants;

I Kings 8:23 "O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below--you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way."

II Chron 6:14 He said: "O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth--you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way."

Neh 9:32 "Now therefore, O our God, the great, mighty and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love, do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes--the hardship that has come upon us, upon our kings and leaders, upon our priests and prophets, upon our fathers and all your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until today."

God even divorced Israel but only after her marital unfaithfulness;

Isaiah 50:1 This is what the LORD says: "Where is your mother's certificate of divorce with which I sent her away? Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? Because of your sins you were sold; because of your transgressions your mother was sent away."

Jeremiah 3:8 "I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery."

And God's Word proclaimed Joseph as a righteous man even though he was considering on divorcing Mary because it appeared she had been unfaithful to him. Matthew 1:19 "Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly."

God's standard for marriage; I Cor 7:10  "To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife."

While our Lord tells us of the importance of honoring our covenant of marriage, He is well aware of the bad and good marriages that we may encounter. And yet, we need to learn that just as Christ perseveres with us when we are unloving, so we need to be the same way. Proverbs 21:9 "Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife."

Proverbs 31:28 "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:"

And although God's standards are no divorce, unfortunately because of sin and our allowing ourselves or our companions allowing themselves not to put Christ first in our lives it happens. God also desires the whole world to be saved and for us to pray to that end and yet it just won't happen and yet, we are to pray fervently and obediently unto Him for that end.

I Tim 2:1-4 "1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."

Matthew7:13ĒEnter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.Ē

May we ever draw near to Him so that we may truly honor Him within our married lives that our adversary would love to destroy.

 

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