Because divorce is so much a part of today's society, I feel it is necessary to comment extensively on chapter 19. In verses 1-15 Jesus was questioned about marriage and divorce. The Pharisees had interpreted Deuteronomy 24:1 to mean that a man could divorce his wife for any cause; while others held to a strict interpretation that marriage could be broken only by adultery. Jesus went beyond both these meanings and reminded the people of the original law of marriage. God instituted marriage in Eden, long before the Mosaic Law. The Bible gives at least four reasons, or purposes, for marriage: (1) To continue the race (Genesis 1:25). (2) For companionship and enjoyment (Genesis 2:18). (3) To avoid fornication (I Corinthians 7:1-6). (4) To illustrate the relationship between Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:22-33). God's original purpose was that one man should wed one woman and only death would break that union (Romans 7:1-3). In marriage, two shall become one flesh. The union of marriage is even stronger than family ties, for a man is to leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife. It is a sacred union, for Jesus said that God joins a man and woman together.

Jesus is questioned about Moses' written law of divorcement in Deuteronomy 24:1. Jesus said, in Matthew 19:8, that Moses' law was given "because of the hardness of your hearts...but from the beginning it was not so." In verse 9 He says, "...Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.".

It is my firm belief that only two things can break the marriage union--death and fornication. There is a slight difference of opinion between fundamentalists concerning divorce. Many pastors have taken the stand mentioned above, while others take an even firmer stand that they feel is taught in Romans 7:1-3. They feel that nothing separates husband and wife except death. Therefore, as long as a husband and wife are living, it is adultery if either remarries, under any circumstances. Among this faction of fundamentalists there are those who believe that, even in the case of adultery, it is the responsibility of the Christian husband or wife to forgive and be reconciled to each other.

Our laws today make divorce easy. One-third to one- half of all marriages have deteriorated into divorce, mainly because marriage has become only a physical union, and has not been entered into wisely. The only lasting marriage is one that is founded in Christ; and a lasting home is grounded in Him.

MEMORY VERSE FOR TODAY: Man now can be: Reconciled.

Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself, by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.


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