November 11, 2020

Matthew 5
Divorce vv.31 & 32 – Part 5

Malachi starts the argument by declaring that Israel has one God and a unique covenant. Israel will be his people and he will be their God. But they have become disloyal to their national family (V. 10), their spiritual family (vv. 11,12), and their marriage partners (vv. 13-16). These grim realities are all evidenced by their idolatry, mixed marriages, adultery, and divorce. In God’s view, as Malachi presents it, there is a continuity and spiritual unity implicit in covenant with God and covenant in marriage. Idolatry and adultery destroy covenant. God hates them both, just as he hates the end result.

So, as Jesus sees it, the marriage covenant is inviolable. Because God is present in every wedding, divorcing your partner at a latter stage suggests that the fracture extends to heaven itself.

This does not mean that divorce is the “unpardonable sin”. Today, as in Jesus day, there are/were all kinds of “extenuating circumstances”. God the Father “pitieth his children” in their distresses, and provides for their healing. But, what Jesus is doing here is declaring the ideal. When the “real” destroys the “ideal” he would be the first to say, “mercy trumps judgement”. But a word to the wise: when you marry keep the back door closed.

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