Week 9: Lessons from the Prophets Cont’d
Day 1: 1+1=1 (Malachi Cont’d)
Solomon said that there is nothing new under the sun. He, of course, was right. One of today’s most frequently asked questions was also posed to Judah by Malachi: “Have we not all one father? hath not God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?” (2:10)
The things that people do to one another are horrible. Here the Lord addresses something that we might not normally think of as treacherous, but by definition it fits. First, he addresses marrying those who do not follow God. They are the “daughters of a strange god”. This is treachery against our God. God said that in so doing Judah had “profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved.” Those are pretty powerful words. God’s promised response is to cut off those that do this.
Then God takes up another, similar, subject: Divorce. I know that we live in a day when divorce is completely acceptable in many, many circles. But God does not see it that way. The Lord takes the marriage covenant very seriously. It is a covenant made with Him as its witness. Just think, your marriage license has a place for witnesses to sign. One for the groom, one for the bride, but there is another, invisible signature – God’s.
A great deal of responsibility for holding this marriage together is put on the man in this passage, he also gives His reason for designing the marriage system to be that of 1+1=1:
“Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? ye had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.”
God desires a godly seed. That is why His desire is that a man and a woman stay together. You may be thinking, “Get out of our personal lives; this is none of your business. This has nothing to do with the fatherless.” Think again. What are the effects of divorce on the children? The obvious first answer is that they will no longer be living with one of their parents. At very best, they will be shuffled back and forth. We want to contribute the fatherless problem to all kinds of different things: drugs, alcohol, disease, you name it. The truth of the matter is that a huge source of fatherlessness could be avoided if we would emphasize the importance of marrying for life. The Bible only gives two reasons for divorce. God’s reason: Immorality. And the reason behind Moses’ decision to allow it: The hardness of the people’s heart. We seem to be reveling in this second reason, taking every opportunity to show how hard our hearts really have grown through divorces based on such petty things as “incompatibility”. Meanwhile our children suffer.
What can we be doing to emphasize to the next generation the importance of marrying for life and not just staying married, but putting forth a relationship for their children that will produce a godly seed?
Up Next: Day 2: Malachi and the Fatherless
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Also Check out Rachel Miller’s Book: The King’s Daughter: A Story of Redemption