BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 20, Day 3: Matthew 19:1-9

Summary of passage:  Jesus now has gone to Judea from Galilee to the other side of the Jordan.  Large crowds followed him and he healed them.  The Pharisees once again are trying to trick Jesus by asking when is divorce legal.  Jesus said that when a man and woman marries they become one and no man should separate them.  So why did Moses allows divorce the Pharisees ask Jesus.

Jesus said only because man’s hearts are hard and that is why divorce is allowed only in the case of marital unfaithfulness but God never meant for there to be divorce.

Questions:

6a)  “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard.  But it was not this way from the beginning.  I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Man is the one who separates what God has joined.  If you re-marry, you are committing adultery against your first spouse.  And if you marry someone who has been divorced before, you are committing adultery.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  You should not separate from one another if you are married.  If you do separate, you cannot remarry again.  You can only reconcile with your spouse.  If you marry an unbeliever, you are called to stay with them because you sanctify your spouse and children.  But if the unbeliever leaves, let him or her.  Because God’s law only applies to believers, not unbelievers, and the believer is not bound by the unbeliever’s decision.

7a)  God hates divorce.

b)  Because Moses had made divorce legal in Israel and man had begun to twist the reasons for divorce.  God makes it clear that a man and woman are to remain together faithfully.  That is his original intent and his desire.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Wives and husbands are meant to work in unity together, to love another, to submit to one another, to be the one flesh with common goals and purposes God designed us to be.  Marriage is supposed to be all about love, not hate or discord, which is what divorce is.  God hates divorce because it was never meant to be just as sin wasn’t.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That God gave us such a blessing when he gave us a spouse to walk this troubled world through together that we should not take that for granted nor take it lightly.  We should love our spouse as much as Christ loved us: enough to die for.

e)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’d use 1 Corinthians 7:17:  “Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him.”  Because of Jesus, we are cleansed of all of our sins.  There is no need to go and divorce your second spouse because of God’s commandments.  That would be committing even more sin.  First, repent.  Second, ask forgiveness.  Third, accept Jesus’ forgiveness.  Fourth, move on with your life.  You were called to be married again for whatever reason.  Stay there and follow God in your life.  Do not dwell on your sin.  But move forward in the place God has put you.

Conclusions:  I love the message of “There’s always hope” because with God and Jesus there always is.  Even if you are divorced and re-married, you are forgiven.  God forgets the past where we sometimes do not.  Move on with your life and do not dwell on past transgressions.  For God has a life planned for you and you may miss it if you aren’t looking for it.

These were tough passages to digest because divorce is so rampant and so accepted in our society today and for any reason whatsoever.  We either were a product of divorce (that’s me:  my parents were divorced).  We either have been divorced ourselves.  Or we know someone in our family or friends who have been divorced.  Odds are we have experienced at least one of these scenarios:  probably more than one.

It’s important as Christians to know and understand where God stands in this respect and that it’s not okay to just divorce someone because of “irreconcilable differences.”

Divorce has got to be one of the devil’s favorite tools.  It divides families.  It causes strife.  It causes heartache beyond belief.  We, as Christians and as a society, must come together to fight against this sin.  Especially since it affects our most precious commodity so deeply:  our children.

Children have enough to overcome to walk with God in today’s world.  Let’s not as adults make their lives any harder.  And divorce at a young age is a HUGE hurdle to overcome.  And many parents selfishly don’t see that so caught up are they in their pain and agony.  The children are the casualties, which should not be accepted as it is in society today.

Great lesson and something we should all be praying for God to strengthen his presence in marriages.

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