Divorce – Matthew 5:31-32

Today is Tuesday, June 2, 2020, and I am Pastor Kim Alexander and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 61

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Today in the News:

(Fox News) More than 50 Secret Service agents were injured, fires set by rioters blazed near the White House and authorities were searching for car bombs late Sunday as protests over the death of George Floyd continued to roil the capital just two days after President Trump had to be taken to a bunker for his safety. 

A senior official in the direct chain of command for defending Washington D.C. told Fox News of the injuries to Secret Service agents, some of whom were hurt by rioters throwing bottles and Molotov cocktails in Lafayette Park, just across from the presidential residence. As observed in New York City and elsewhere, groups in D.C. are planting cars filled with incendiary materials for future use, Fox News is told.  U.S. Marshals and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents were deployed to the streets of D.C. in an extraordinary move to beef up security alongside local police and Homeland Security agents, including the Secret Service, the Justice Department confirmed late Sunday. Fox News has learned U.S. Attorney for D.C. Mike Sherwin is heavily involved in the operation.

Billions More Desert Locusts Devour Crops from India to Africa, Adding to Farmers’ Pandemic Woes

(CBN News) From India and Pakistan to Africa and the Middle East, farmers face a perfect storm. Already struggling with crippling coronavirus lockdowns, they face billions of locusts devouring crops and putting millions at risk.

The scenes out of parts of northern and central India this week were alarming to watch as billions of desert locusts descended on several states.

It’s India’s worst infestation in a quarter century, causing unprecedented devastation as the migratory pests devoured hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland.

“The problem with the locust group is that they eat up the leaves of crops standing in the agricultural fields. It also hurts animals subsequently,” said Bharat Singh, a farmer.

(CBN News) The niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is speaking out against the rioting happening in cities across the country during the protests over George Floyd’s death and his inhumane treatment by a Minneapolis police officer. 

In an op-ed published on Sunday by Fox News, Dr. Alveda King said Floyd’s killing has led to “a cry to heaven going up across America: Lord, please heal our land. It is a cry for unity, for social justice, for safety, and for an end to hatred.”

King, a minister like her uncle, pointed out this was an opportunity for the nation’s leaders to invite people to stop panicking, stop fighting, and breathe.

Bible Quiz Time:

Q: Who was the judge who defeated the Midianites with only 300 men using torches and horns?
A: Gideon

Q: Who was the judge who took a Nazarite vow from birth and fought against the Philistines?
A: Samson

Q: With what did Samson kill 1,000 Philistines?
A: A donkey’s jawbone

Q: What Philistine woman asked Samson what his power came from?
A: Delilah

Q: How did Samson die?
A: Pushing over the temple pillars, killing himself and many Philistines.

Pause for Prayer:

  • Blair Strokes – 13-year-old niece killed by falling tree. Traveling to Utah.
  • Bob Ahsmuhs
  • Tom Spann – Hospice Care
  • Terry Robinson
  • People working through COVID-19
  • Lowana LaBolle
  • Men’s Bible Study start up
  • Yard Sale this weekend
  • Cup of Grace Ministry
  • E.L.P Ministries
  • Heal our nation/guide our president

Today our WORD from the Lord comes from Matthew 5:31-32Divorce – Matthew 5:31-32

 31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

   Today I want to have a Word with you about Divorce.

   What is your take on the topic of divorce?

   Is divorce until you find someone you like better? Is it when you tire of the person you are married too? Is it until you reach an impasse and are unable to resolve conflict?

   Is divorce something God’s people should do?

   My take is simple: Marriage is between a man and a woman for life. It really is until death do you part. Marriage is Covenant, and the only thing that can end a Covenant is death.

  In Malachi 2:14 we read,

   “Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant.”

  And in Malachi 2:16 we read,

   For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts “Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”

   We should never think that divorce is the answer until we have literally run out of all other options. Excluding abuse!

   I. What was taught in the Old Testament – 5:31

31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’

   Where is this teaching found in the Old Testament? It is found in the writings of Moses. Turn to Deuteronomy 24:1-4. We read,

   1 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s wife, if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife, then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.

   According to the Liberty Bible commentary – The normal custom of the ancient Near East was for a man to verbally divorce his wife. The Arab custom was to say “I divorce you” three times and the divorce was consummated without any legal protection of any kind to the wife. In contrast, the ancient law of Israel insisted on a certificate of divorce. This written statement gave legal protection to both the wife and the husband. Jesus explained elsewhere (Matthew 19:8) that Moses’s concession was not intended to be taken as a license. In ancient Rabbinic Judaism Moses’s statement had been variously interpreted from meaning adultery (Shammai) to the trivial matters of personal preference (Hillel). (Liberty Bible Commentary, 25)

   II. What Jesus teaches in the New Testament – 5:32

32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

   I have been telling you that when Jesus teaches about the Laws taken from the Old Testament and He instructs us about them in the New Testament that He takes them up a notch – to a whole other level.

   III. Jesus taught that you can’t divorce for just any reason:

  • ]My wife burns my meals
  • My wife doesn’t work hard enough
  • My wife doesn’t please me sexually
  • My wife has lost her glow
   III. Jesus taught that the only reason for divorce is:
  • Sexual immorality

   The Greek word for sexual immorality is “porneia” from which we get our English word, fornication and pornography. Jesus provides us a picture of the only reason for a man to divorce his wife – if she has committed sexual immorality. No doubt that this is in reference to adultery.

   Dr. Charles Ryrie notes that fornication may mean adultery prior to or after marriage, as well as unfaithfulness during the period of betrothal. I think it’s very clear that what Jesus was talking about was adultery or fornication.

   Jesus also taught that if a man divorces his wife for any reason other than sexual immorality that he is the CAUSE of her committing adultery – the very thing that he apparently accused her of to divorce her in the first place.

   Jesus went on and taught that if a man marries a woman that has been divorced has himself committed adultery. Why? Is it wrong to marry a woman that has been divorced?

   Dr. Tony Evans writes, “Because hers was an illegitimate divorce unsanctioned by God. Marriage vows are to be viewed as sacred and permanent. Notice that it is the person seeking the illegitimate divorce who is blamed for the sin—not the woman who remarries.”

   Note: Nowhere in the Bible does it say that a man or a woman has to divorce an unfaithful marriage partner. They can, and many have extended forgiveness to the unfaithful partner. I can tell you that in all my years a pastor that it takes years for married couples to rebuild trust in their relationship.

Lessons for Learners:

  1. Divorce is not the first answer – exhaust every other option.
  2. Jesus provided us with one reason for divorce – sexual immorality.
  3. God hates divorce.
  4. Marriage is a covenant relationship – not a contract.
  5. Divorce is not an unpardonable sin.
  6. Try marriage before divorce.

Remember, I’m in touch so you be in touch.

And as Dr. Robert Cook from the King’s College used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.