Awesome Hands – Part 153: “Marriage and divorce”

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Awesome Hands – part 153

Marriage and divorce

April 26, 2019


Marriage is a very important topic with the Lord. This study will only touch on the concepts found within the context of Deuteronomy 24, but there have been other writings on this topic placed on IWWB which I encourage anyone who is so inclined to search out. Namely, the marriage series by Mike and also the law of Moses versus the law of the Spirit article.

The Lord takes marriage seriously. It is the institution of marriage that allows us to come into the household, and therefore the family, of God.

The price that had to be paid for this marriage was paid for in blood, the blood of the Lamb.

Therefore, it is important for us to examine the reasons why marriage is important to the Lord when we happen upon scripture discussing this topic.

For this examination today, we are going to cover Deuteronomy 24:1 and the context of this verse.

Deu 24:1  When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
Deu 24:2  And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.
Deu 24:3  And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;
Deu 24:4  Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

At first glance, it seems like a cruel act for a husband to look upon his wife and decide he is unhappy with her because “she finds no favor in his eyes”. However, we all know that this happens from time to time, but the Lord institutes a way for the woman to find another husband.

This is important because we need to be able to know how to handle these types of situations, but we also know that the Lord is fair and just in giving an order to the process of things, especially to the woman who hasn’t found favor in her husband’s eyes.

Additionally, we are told with these sets of verses that a husband, even with a bill of divorcement freeing the woman, could not take her back as a wife, because the Lord sees this has an abomination.

One of the main reasons this is the case is that when a man and woman leave their father and mother, they will become one flesh with their wives. Once this union happens, it is considered to be permanent.

Therefore, if I “cut off” my hand, how can it be reattached? If I divorce my wife, how then can I take her back as a wife after she has been divorced again from her second husband?

Jesus speaks to this when He is asked about it by the pharisees.

Mat 19:1  And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;
Mat 19:2  And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.
Mat 19:3  The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
Mat 19:4  And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
Mat 19:5  And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Mat 19:6  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Mat 19:7  They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
Mat 19:8  He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
Mat 19:9  And I say unto you, 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.
Mat 19:10  His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
Mat 19:11  But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
Mat 19:12  For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

I know that is a lot to take in at once but let us break this down a bit.

First, notice when we come together as man and woman we become one flesh. When we understand the full sovereignty of God, and these Jews did not whom Jesus was speaking to, then we understand that it is the Lord who has brought them together.

This is not something that man can separate, even in a court of law. For God, your union as husband and wife was considered permanent. However, knowing the hardness of our hearts, we were given a way for a man to divorce his wife and for the woman to marry again.

These mandates were a way to make it known how to act in this situation, but it wasn’t a get out of marriage free card.

In fact, in order to get a bill of divorcement you had to have witnesses and it was made public. Therefore, it was something that was not taken lightly. You couldn’t just rashly get rid of your wife.

Rather than have a man beat his wife, murder her or otherwise harm her in some way, there was a method given to divorce his wife, but the union was made by God. Therefore, it was always intact.

The answers of the disciples proves the very thing Jesus mentions as the reason why a bill of divorcement was given to them as a method to use, “His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.”

The reason for a bill of divorcement is due to hardened hearts which don’t understand the real meaning of marriage “from the beginning”.

In fact, the very first act of polygamy in the bible was done by man, and specifically from a very familiar line of mankind.

Gen 4:16 (ESV)  Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
Gen 4:17  Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.
Gen 4:18  To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech.
Gen 4:19  And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

The first sign of not being “one man and one wife”, came from the line of Cain which is instructive to us or should be anyways. The Lord is Faithful to one bride, and He expects His bride to be faithful to Him.

Jesus’ answer to, “If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry”, is to tell His disciples what types of eunuchs there are. Most might find this strange to mention in regards to marriage, but what was Jesus getting at?

The first types of eunuchs did not do so of their own volition. They were made eunuchs either by God in from birth or from men.

The last group is a group which has chosen to become eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. This group has chosen to fight the natural tendencies of the flesh and is a form of the spirit conquering the flesh by bringing it into subjection.

This was a way to not be distracted by the things marriage distracts us by, and to serve the Lord wholly.

Also, of great note are those who have a wife but act as if they have none.

You haven’t heard of such a thing? Well, it is scriptural, and it has meaning.

1Co 7:25  Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
1Co 7:26  I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.
1Co 7:27  Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

Whatever set of circumstances that Lord has dragged you unto Himself in, married or unmarried, does not disannul you of that life in order to serve Him in a capacity you think you should serve Him.

Serve Him in the same position of life that He has called you in because that is where He has placed you to serve Him.

1Co 7:28  But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
1Co 7:29  But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;

When serving the Lord, we need to be doing all that we do to His glory. So, even when I am married, my service to the Lord is first and within the context of my marriage. My marriage compliments and reflects my service to the Lord but it does not diminish it.

1Co 7:30  And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
1Co 7:31  And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
1Co 7:32  But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
1Co 7:33  But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
1Co 7:34  There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
1Co 7:35  And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
1Co 7:36  But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.
1Co 7:37  Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.
1Co 7:38  So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.
1Co 7:39  The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
1Co 7:40  But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.

When bringing this all back into focus for what marriage is to the Lord, and why a bill of divorcement was needed, we need to also balance that with situations where divorce was not permitted.

Deu 22:13  If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,
Deu 22:14  And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid:
Deu 22:15  Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate:
Deu 22:16  And the damsel’s father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her;
Deu 22:17  And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city.
Deu 22:18  And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him;
Deu 22:19  And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days.


Deu 22:28  If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
Deu 22:29  Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

Simply put, the Lord has given us actions we can take to deal with divorcement, but if we are honest as Christians then we realize that the Lord sees marriage as very important.

To continue this thought of the importance of marriage to the Lord, we must be reminded that Jesus changed things when He told the Pharisees what the rules for divorcement were.

Comparing the laws and liberties of Christ with the law of Moses will show how Jesus changed these things.

The law was for Israel “according to the flesh,” not the Israel who are “the children of promise,” also known as the Israel of God.

Jesus Christ is pointing out to His disciples that God is all powerful and in complete control. If God has joined us in marriage, then no man can put asunder that work, and we should see things this way.

This is what brings us to the ultimate meaning of what it is to be a child of God or the bride of Christ depending on how we are being described by the Lord at that time.

Rom 2:2  But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
Rom 2:3  And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
Rom 2:4  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Rom 2:5  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
Rom 2:6  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

1Ti 1:9  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

The law of Moses was and is opposed to the inward spiritual new man:

Rom 7:21  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

What this all means in the context of this study is that our commitment to our physical spouses is a reflection to our commitment to the Lord, but that is not all.

Everything we are and do is a reflection of what the Lord has done, and we need to always strive to see the importance to the actions of the Lord.

Mike wrote a series on marriage which I encourage everyone to listen to or read if you haven’t done so already. He also wrote the law of Moses versus the law of the Spirit which goes over a lot of the concepts behind divorcing according to the law of Moses.

For this study, we briefly covered some of the key points in Deuteronomy 20 concerning divorce and also how that applies (or doesn’t) to us today as Christians.

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