who do you trust?

Jesus said in John 10:10 that the thief came only to steal kill and destroy. By contrast, his purpose was to bring life and that life “abundantly.”

Jesus goes on in John 10 to assure us that he is a good shepherd. The proof that he is a good shepherd with the sheep’s best interest in mind is that he lays down his own life on behalf of the sheep.

do you believe that? Do I believe that? Do I believe today that Jesus wants me to have life and to have it abundantly? Do I believe that there is a thief and liar out there who wants to steal from me, kill me and destroy everything that I love?

If I believe it, or if you believe it, then why do we ignore what Jesus told us to do and how he told us to live? Doesn’t it follow that if Jesus has our best interests at heart, (which he demonstrated by dying for us even while we were powerless and sinners with nothing to offer back) then perhaps we should listen to him and follow his instructions for life?

Specifically, let’s talk about divorce. Unfortunately, several couples (I can think of five right off the top of my head) that I know are currently in various stages of this destructive act. Who hasn’t seen Mark Sanford’s slow motion public self-immolation?

All of us are at risk of taking steps down that path. So let’s think a minute about what our good shepherd who died for us so that we could have abundant life and his Father say about divorce. Let’s think about the counsel they left for us through Solomon. Then let’s think about the lie that the thief whispers in our ear. I have talked about these before here and here and I will keep doing so, because we tend to forget.

God hates divorce. Its that simple. God hates the promise breaking violent act of divorcing the spouse of our youth and the lackadaisical attitude it demonstrates about all of our promises and specifically the way that it demonstrates our faithlessness to Him.

10 Have we not all r one Father? Has not s one God created us? Why then are wet faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? 11 Judah has beent faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For u Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. 12 May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob any descendant [1] of the man who does this, who v brings an offering to the Lord of hosts!

13 And this second thing you do. w You cover the Lord‘s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 x But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord y was witness between you and the wife of your youth, z to whom t you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 a Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? [2] And what was the one God [3] seeking? [4]b Godly offspring. So guard yourselves [5] in your spirit, and let none of you bet faithless to the wife of your youth. 16 “For c the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, [6] says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers [7] his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and t do not be faithless.”

do you see the connection? Malachi says that in our marriages, God “mixes a portion” of His spirit in the union and that He was a witness (the most important witness) of the promise that we made to each other that glorious day when we swore to love one another through thick and thin, sickness and health, wealth and poverty till parted by death.

Ephesians 5 makes this allusion of Malachi’s specific to us in this age. God demonstrates His relationship with His people to the rest of the world in our marriages. Our marriages are God’s illustration to the world of Christ and the church.

He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because n we are members of his body.31 o “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, andp the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, q let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she r respects her husband.

Jesus talked about divorce in several places two of which are in the Gospel of Matthew. In the sermon on the mount, he briefly touches on it. He did so more extensively in Matthew 19.

3 And Pharisees came up to him and r tested him by asking, s “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, t “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, u ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and v the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. w What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to him, x “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8 He said to them,“Because of your y hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 z And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” [1]

10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, a “Not everyone can receive this saying, but onlyb those to c whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs d for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”

emphasis added

Jesus makes plain that it is our own stubborn selfish hard hearted rebellion that causes divorce. It is not God’s plan. It is not the “abundant life” that he came to bring us. It is a sop to our hard heartedness. You have to get that. Jesus says that the only reason God allowed Moses to put divorce into the law was because humans were hard hearted and that in the beginning it was not so.

now let’s turn to Solomon.

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One Response

  1. […] Comments who do you trust? … on the Liemore on Justificatio… on Piper on Justificationcharissa on two good ones […]

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