31 “Now it was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away is to give her a certificate of divorce’; 32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Jesus _________________ the destructive nature of sin, and what failure to cut it off can mean in terms of damage to our ___________________ by talking about divorce. It helps us to understand first what the Law _______________ said, then to understand what the Pharisees were _____________ so we can put Jesus’ words in context.
Deuteronomy 24:1-5–The first thing that we have to notice is that God looks at _______________ as between one husband and one wife. It’s purpose is for them to go and build a life ________________ and raise a _____________; _______________ together in relationship & honoring God and each other.
Malachi 2:13-14-God looks at the breaking of the covenant with a wife by dealing falsely with her as a break in the _______________ with Him, summarizing His feelings in v.16 saying I hate divorce.
God’s Law in Deuteronomy were directed at a people who already had about 550 years of cultural development as a tribally-based society. They were already _______________, and the way that they’d set it up was that men could divorce their wives, but not visa versa. They looked at marriage largely as a _______________ arrangement. God could have included the commandment “thou shall not divorce”, but He didn’t. Why? Probably because the Hebrews wouldn’t have ________________ it, and in a fallen world there are some _________________ when God would permit divorce. But, look at God’s attitude throughout the Bible. It is always to _____________ divorce and to urge people to ___________ in their marriage. in Deuteronomy 24:1 there is no commandment from God to divorce, and no condoning, there is only the ________________ to a very special set of circumstances.
The problem was that men were _______________ after other women and coveting all the stuff that a new marriage to a richer or more beautiful or more socially upwardly mobile woman could bring them. So they were finding _________________ and trumped up charges against them so that they could divorce their wives and do what they wanted. It was extremely unfair to the wives, and was causing much _________________ for them and their children, as indeed divorce still causes today.
Notice the two conditions that God has put on divorce in Deuteronomy. First, the wife must have done something _______________. It’s clear from Jesus’ words later that God was saying “sexual immorality” here. Marriage was a ___________ relationship. That means that in order to prove indecency in the wife, it had to be witnessed by at least _________people. Without an admission of guilt, in front of two witnesses, or a pregnancy that could not have been by the husband, it was going to be nearly __________________ for a husband to prove. And the husband has to be willing to put her at risk of ____________by bringing in witnesses and establishing it legally, since the legal penalty for adultery was death. Second, the woman not only had to be guilty of indecency, but it had to be such that “she no longer found favor in his sight”. He has to make the _____________ of whether he’s able to forgive, or whether it is worth murder of the marriage, and potentially _________________ his wife’s life. It’s no wonder that Jesus ties these two __________________ of anger leading to murder and lust leading to divorce together. It’s as if God is saying, if the person is able to forgive, let them forgive, but if the person is ________________ to kill the other person over it, it’s better that they divorce. Divorce was ____________________ to be difficult, to encourage couples to stay together. And, of course, in Christian households, it should never come to something like this in the first place. If we’re supposed to be seeking God ________________ within our marriage. 1 Peter 3 gives us a picture of what this looks like 8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, loving, compassionate, and humble; 9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you would inherit a blessing.
Both Jesus and Moses mention a certificate of divorce, or a bill of divorcement. The common term for divorce was shilluach ‘ishah “the sending away of a wife”. And the less scrupulous among the Hebrews were using this to treat women _____________, and ignore their obligation to their children.
Mathew 19:3-9- 3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” Of course, the more _____________ view was that divorce could be granted for the flimsiest of reasons. But Jesus does what He always does, and brings this back to God’s _________________ intent. He says in Mathew 19:4 4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, Eve was made for Adam as a companion like him, fit for him, and this is the marriage _______________ ordained by God; marriage between one man and one woman, in a _____________ and ________________ relationship for life. Notice, here also the key aspects of marriage. _____________their family, ______________ to their relationship with each other and to God only, and the two becoming one flesh.
God tells us as believers only to marry another _______________. 2 Cor 6:14 says Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? In other words, this is the __________________ criterion for who you should marry, as a believer. And the second problem with the Pharisees doctrine is that they were teaching that God ____________________ divorce in the circumstances in which they said He allowed it. But nowhere do we read this. Mathew 19:7 7 They *said to Him, “Why, then, did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” They were looking at this as a commandment, when Moses had allowed it as a ____________________ to the fact that they wouldn’t follow the command “thou shalt not divorce”. And so, Jesus clarifies this for them saying in verse 8: 8 He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.
And then, in verse 9, He clarifies God’s point of view in terms of even what He allows 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” and in Mathew 5:32 32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. So, putting these verses together we find that a marriage may be legally dissolved by the courts, but the biblical relationship is still regarded as more ____________________. And so, divorce is a bad situation all-around. Much of the time one, or both of the divorced couple are going to end up committing adultery, from a biblical perspective. And the _____________________ of divorce are born by the man, woman and children. God requires that we ________________, and turn from our ways and obey Him. He requires that we __________________, and make things as right as they can be. And He requires that we ____________ from our mistakes, and not _____________ them. If you’re married, _____________ your mate that God has given you.
Regard, uphold and defend marriage as the basic God-ordained institution of our society, and the basis of our __________________ in families. Marriage and family relationships are fundamental to our ______________________ of our relationship with God, and our relationships with each other. Marriage matters to God. The marriage relationship that was initiated in Genesis 1, is concluded with the marriage supper of the lamb in Revelation 19:7. 7 Let’s rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His bride has prepared herself.” 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. We are the church, the Bride of Christ, and He has loved us enough to give Himself for us. So we have to honor the marriage relationship, and point to _______________ to biblical marriage as a picture of fidelity to God. Making sure that we honor, uphold and defend the biblical concept of marriage, until the type is fulfilled, and He gathers His ______________together for the Marriage supper of the lamb, and we can rejoice and be glad with Him together will all of the saints over the last 2,000 years.