Digging in Deeper: Mark 10:10-12

“When they were in the house again, the disciples questioned him about this matter. He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. Also, if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery against him.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Sometimes truth is hard. That’s something our culture today doesn’t much like to acknowledge. We want truth to be whatever we make of it. That’s certainly a more convenient approach. If we run up against a particular wall of reality that doesn’t fit with the narrative we are currently crafting for our lives, we simply turn in another direction, declaring that “our truth” means we can ignore that wall and keep doing what we want. Yet truth simply is. When Jesus was asked about marriage by some Pharisees looking for a bit of wiggle room to keep living how they pleased, He responded with truth. When the disciples later asked Him about it again, He stuck to His guns. What He had to say wasn’t comfortable; in fact, it was hard. Let’s talk about it just a bit more this morning.

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Morning Musing: Mark 10:5-9

“But Jesus told them, ‘He wrote this command for you because of the hardness of your hearts. But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

In many of the weddings I’ve done and attended over the years, a common feature of the ceremony was some sort of a symbolic unity ritual. Most often it has been a candle. Two candles are lit at the beginning of the service and during the affair, the bride and groom take up their candle and use them to simultaneously light a third. Sometimes it has been a sand ceremony. Here, two different colors of sand are poured from their respective vessels into a third resulting in a mixing of colors. One time the couple weaved a braid together into a cord of three strands. The point of these exercises is to signify the permanence of the relationship being formed. Why is this kind of thing included in so many wedding ceremonies, and how should we think about this in a day when divorce is common and marriage rates are falling? Let’s turn today and tomorrow to some words from Jesus that speak right to the heart of this issue and see what kind of clarity He brings to the matter for us.

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Digging in Deeper: Malachi 2:16

“‘If he hates and divorces his wife,’ says the Lord God of Israel, ‘he covers his garment with injustice,’ says the Lord of Armies. Therefore, watch yourselves carefully, and do not act treacherously.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

There aren’t many subjects more uncomfortable to deal with in the Scriptures than the various teachings on divorce contained within them. And yet, given just how important marriage is to our own lives, to our culture as a whole, and to God Himself, whether or not to end it and when and what comes next is something we have to deal with. We have to be able to find that place where theological truth and pastoral reality come together to bring God the glory He deserves and us the joy He intends for us to have. This verse does not by any means solve all the difficulties here, but it does offer an important contribution to our understanding of God’s thoughts on the matter. Let’s talk about it together.

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Digging in Deeper: Malachi 2:13-14

“This is another thing you do. You are covering the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning, because he no longer respects your offerings or receives them gladly from your hands. And you ask, ‘Why?’ Because even though the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, you have acted treacherously against her. She was your marriage partner and your wife by covenant.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

There is great comfort in the fact that Jesus followers are no longer liable to the Law of Moses. If you don’t believe me, take some time over the next few days and read through Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, and reflect on everything you don’t have to do in order to be right with God because Jesus came and did all that He did. That being said, Jesus didn’t simply do away with the Law. He fulfilled it. And in so doing, some parts of it were picked up for application in the lives of His followers. Where the various authors of the New Testament repeat commands from the Old Testament, we know there really isn’t any wiggle room on them for us. This is one of those commands, and it isn’t comfortable.

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Digging in Deeper: Malachi 2:10-12

“Don’t all of us have one Father? Didn’t one God create us? Why then do we act treacherously against one another, profaning the covenant of our ancestors? Judah has acted treacherously, and a detestable act has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the Lord’s sanctuary, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob the man who does this, whoever he may be, even if he presents an offering to the Lord of Armies.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been in one of those moments when you’re messing around with someone and all of a sudden things turn from silly to serious? It’s not always clear where this line is, and because of that, when you cross it, not everyone is immediately aware of the change. Sometimes we get surprised by the discovery of just how important to someone else is something that we had considered trivial. As Malachi introduces this next topic, the language used suggests we’ll be talking about a really serious issue. Well, we are…but not everyone agrees today.

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