Jehovah hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).
He abhors it for several powerful reasons:
- Divorce is the antithesis of the gracious purposes He had for His creation called marriage (Matthew 19:4-6)
- Divorce is a horrific and devastating act of treason against one’s mate (Malachi 2:15).
- Divorce is the profaning of something holy and honorable (Hebrews 13:4).
- Divorce is caused by the wickedness called lust (Matthew 5:27-32).
In Matthew 5:31-32, Jesus contrasts God’s authoritative legislation on divorce in the Old Testament with the authoritative legislation He has for it in the New Testament. He says, “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except fornication causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.”
Unlike the Old Testament’s provision for divorce (see yesterday’s blog), Jesus says that all putting asunder of a marriage is sinful, except in one circumstance—fornication, the ultimate act of marital infidelity. If a husband’s lust for another woman has been fed to the point of sexual relations with her, his wife has God’s permission to divorce him and marry again (Matthew 19:9).
The heinousness of lust is clearly unmasked by our Lord when He declares: 1) Divorce for any reason other than fornication slanderously stigmatizes one’s faithful mate as an adulterer; and 2) Any marriage by the man or the woman after an unlawful divorce results in adultery.
Jehovah hates divorce.
Therefore, flee fornication (1 Corinthians 6:18).
And, flee the lust which fuels fornication (Matthew 5:28-30).