Scripture reading for January 27th: Matthew 19
“Some Pharisees came to Him to test Him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” (Matthew 19:3) Divorce was easy in the time of Jesus. If a Jewish man found disfavor with his wife for almost any reason, he could write her a certificate of divorce and send her away. The religious leaders went to test Jesus to see if He agreed with them.
“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.” (Matthew 19:4-6) Jesus pointed these preachers back to God’s original design. They were made ‘male and female’. There was purpose in the physical design to enable them to come together in a unique and pleasurable way. Marriage was to be between a man and a woman made one flesh for life and procreation!
Jesus went on to say that Moses only permitted divorce because of hard hearts. God’s plan was for marriage to be for life. Jesus stated that the only exception to staying married was adultery. If a person divorced for any reason other than adultery and married another person, they were committing adultery. (Matthew 19:9)
Many in our culture and the church today have divorced their mates for many reasons and married others. There is a great need to repent of the sin of adultery and covenant breaking. This sin affects the children in cruel ways that opens the door for offense and separation from God. Covenant marriage is the foundation of the church.