Friday, November 04, 2005

Question 2

I’d like to answer my questions from my last blog...
This time I’ll try to cover: Why do you think it was necessary for the Israelites to divorce or separate from their wives, and why did God condone it?

To start, I’d like to point out that the Israelites were already involved in a covenant before they “married” or united themselves to the evil nations surrounding them. There was already in place a holy covenant between their nation and the Lord God almighty. As such they were no longer their own, they belonged to God. In fact the very act of marriage outside of their own people, on the side of the priests and Levites, was a breach of that and against God’s law. They were disobeying the Lord at a time when they had just received forgiveness and the ability to return to the land of promise. They were in truth committing adultery against God. The importance of them remaining a holy nation set apart by God was being jeopardized. To remain God’s priests, and chosen people they had to turn away from all of their wickedness and immorality. If this movement had gone unchecked they would have become unfit to be God’s holy nation and ultimately destroyed. Therefore, in this situation it was necessary to separate themselves from the nations around them, and to become once again sanctified unto God.

I am by no means condoning divorce, God hates divorce. After all, one of the reasons God instituted marriage on this earth, was as a representation of the mystery that is found in the union of Christ Jesus to the church. Divorce is a separation from that truth.

Malachi 2:10-16 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another by profaning the covenant of the fathers? Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, for Judah has profaned the LORD’s holy institution which He loves:
he has married the daughter of a foreign god. May the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob the man who does this, being awake and aware, yet who brings an offering to the LORD of hosts!
And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion
and your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. “ For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts.

Now if you notice that in the prior text there are two troubles:
1. They were joining themselves in marriage to peoples of other faiths and gods.
2. They were divorcing their own wives, and renouncing the commitment they had made to them before God.

Jesus said of divorce:
"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, '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. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery. Matt. 19:4-8"

I’m also by no means trying to judge any one either;
“Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? James 4:11-12"

I’m just trying to share what I’ve learned of the truth, with whatever ability the Lord supplies me with.
“Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.1 Peter 4:9-11"


my 5 cents said...

hey john, good thoughts in the last couple of blogs... unfortunately this week has barely left me with enough time to quickly read let alone comment thoughtfully.

i agree with your thoughts and that this text is in some ways still very puzzling. I haven't the ime to lok up references at the moment, but Paul's advice to the Corinthians (i think) who became Christians was that could choose whether or not to stay in their marriage. this seems odd as well for in our culture a new christian divorcing his/her spouce is unheard of...

also, i think we see your thoughts echoed in ecclesiastes where solomon's downfall had much to do with his foreign wives and their influence over him in respect to their gods.

anyway, thats just a couple of brief thoughts... back to the task at hand... ;)

Anonymous said...

hey, good points. Just a quick question that is kind of related (along with the whole marriage thing anyways) What about *common law status*? Legally you are considered to be "married" according to federal law, so if one day you decided it wasn't for you and moved out, would that be considered a divorce? I am curious to hear what you think

Joy said...

I think anonymous that it would be. If you think about it common law is marriage! I hate how people go around saying that they're free with no tie downs that way. As common law people are have kids together, buying houses,sharing money cost's, and sharing a bed. The only thing that's not making the government say it's a marriage is a little piece of paper. I think in other words that God sees it for what it is, not for what man( government) says it is.
Also I think it's a lazy way out, we as women don't need a big wedding and I think that alone can scare a guy. I end with 'why buy the the Ice cream truck when the ice cream's going for free'

gospeloflove said...

I don’t know what you mean Chris, the verses I read in 1 Corinthians didn’t seem to condone divorce. “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11"

gospeloflove said...

Anonymous, Interesting question. Now, as I’m not one to judge, my answer will be based partially on my opinion and not something to take to the courts, so to speak.
As with most difficult questions I think it is a matter of view point. *common law status* is something instituted by the government of the land and not by God. So it’s up to the government to decide whether or not the legal ramifications for a divorce apply. As to the spiritual result, here are some questions I had when reading your comment:
When is it that marriage actually takes place?
What if two people live together for the allotted time for common law to take place and never have sex, are they considered to be married?
Why did the government create common law marriage?
Is marriage simply a vow between a man and woman before God?
In the beginning, at the time of Adam&Eve, was there even a marriage ceremony in which two people exchanged vows before God?
When DO the two become one flesh?
What if a man has more than one wife, as with King David, or Solomon?
Do those who live together and have sex with each other for so many years become husband and wife before God?

I think that to answer these Q’s, we have to separate the laws instituted by man and those instituted by God.
In nations where many people groups and religions are present, I can see why it is necessary for rules to be written down and created into laws. We who are believer’s in Christ should abide by the rules of the land as much as we are able, while remaining in the way of Jesus.
As to marriage, God’s word says,
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24"
It seems pretty strait forward to me. I know that in society, sex before marriage is becoming a popular way to “test the waters” of a relationship. But according to His word that is fornication or adultery, something we as followers of Christ should be separate from. I haven’t read anywhere in the gospel where Jesus said to be promiscuous, have you?. After all, it is putting our own interests(lusts) above those of others, and the will of God. So I do believe that if a man joined with a women and the two become one flesh, they are married in God’s eyes. Just because there has not been a formal ceremony, commitment or verbal vow, they HAVE both made a decision when they consummated their relationship, and it was a decision they made before God whether they knew He was there or not. Marriage isn't something the Church or society made up. It is something God instituted from the beginning of human existence, and therefore He is the judge.

I hope that answered your question. Or made you think about it a bit more anyway.

gospeloflove said...

Thanks Extra Value, good points... though I don't understand why you ended with the comment "'why buy the the Ice cream truck when the ice cream's going for free' "

Joy said...

Because, I was meaning that so many men are staying common law for the fact they are getting the whole marriage without the wedding cost and that women today are giving of themselves already, so why go through with the wedding.
They are getting their wants met, without the cost.