What the Bible Says about
Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

John Coblentz

What does God think of divorce?
Pages 20 - 21

"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? Yet 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" (Malachi 2:14-16).

In Malachi, God is rebuking the Israelites for their unfaithfulness to Him. As a people, they had joined themselves to strange gods. This was spiritual adultery. Their unfaithful spirit showed in their marriages also. As they put away God, so they were putting away their wives. Isn't that a logical consequence? Covenant breakers on one level of relationship will break covenant on other levels of relationship. Therefore, GOD HATES PUTTING AWAY. Divorce spells unfaithfulness, treachery, betrayal, and love grown cold. God wants people who are faithful, true, and constant in their love. In many ways the spiritual stature of people can be measured by the way they act in their marriage.

God's attitude toward divorce is demonstrated also in that, although He permitted divorce under Moses, He forbade it for the priests. "They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God" (Leviticus 21:7). Divorce is clearly recognized here as unholy -- that which would make a priest ineligible for service in the house of God. Again, God hates divorce.

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