Divorce - the Answer: Part 2

August 4, 2021

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘Made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ ? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6).

I remember taking a class in college on the Pentateuch. It was taught by a highly revered Professor of Old Testament. Dr. Hyatt was a Hebrew scholar. Seldom did he ever bring an English translation to class. He always brought his Hebrew Bible. Seldom did open his Bible to hunt for a passage of Scripture. He could quote chapter and verse from practically every book of the Bible.

One day he was lecturing on a passage and supported his exposition using numerous passages of Scripture. Immediately he stopped and chastised us for being lazy students. He had noticed that few students were taking notes. I remember his words, “You have no idea that what I have said is the gospel truth. You have not bothered to turn in your Bibles to the passages I have cited. You have not recorded the citations in your notes to verify them later. You believe I am telling you God’s truth, when in fact I may be telling you something different.”

In seminary I took a class in advanced Hebrew Old Testament. The class met for 6 weeks, 5 days a week. Dr. Cate began each class by citing what we thought was a biblical text. At the end of the 6 weeks, he asked the class to evaluate the content of what was taught. Everyone gave him the highest marks, stating the content was exceptional. He laughed. We were puzzled. He told us that at the beginning of each class he read a text. Then he asked, “Did any of you ask me where that text was found? Did any of you write the text down and look it up on your own? Yet you gave me high marks for the content of the class not knowing I was citing passages from the Apocrypha and from Jewish rabbinic literature, not from the Old Testament itself.”

The point is this - we can be easily fooled (and far too many people are) by individuals we believe are telling us spiritual truth when in fact they are not. It was true in the Garden of Eden with Eve and Satan. It was true in the days of Jesus with the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees. It’s been true down through Christian history, and it’s true today. How can we know God’s truth if we don’t know God’s Word? “Have you not read” was Jesus’ indictment against the religious leaders of His day. They were wrong on the issue of divorce because they did not know God’s truth regarding marriage.

“Father, the psalmist wrote ‘Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You’. I have learned from experience how true it is to know and to honor Your Word. To not do so leads me and everyone else to sin through personal opinion and mis-interpretation. Keep me in Your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”


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