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Malachi 4

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God speaks to Israel about DIVORCE

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The Treachery of DIVORCE

Malachi, in this section, is not speaking to the priests but rather to the people of JUDAH and ISRAEL.[i] This was a sin in which the nation was heavily involved.[ii] [as is true in America today][iii] Note .
Who is God speaking to in this section - the Priests or the People?
Malachi 2:10–11 NKJV
Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another By profaning the covenant of the fathers? Judah has dealt treacherously, And an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, For Judah has profaned The Lord’s holy institution which He loves: He has married the daughter of a foreign god.
Mal 2:10-11
This latter statement suggests that the Israeli’s were MARRYING PAGEN, IDOLATROUS WOMEN[i] – but later Malachi speaks of DIVORCE. .
In addition to divorce, what had God’s people been doing in their marital lives?
Malachi 2:13–16 NKJV
And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the Lord with tears, With weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the Lord has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. “For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the Lord of hosts. Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.”
[i] As Moses had commanded the people (). That this was prevalent in Malachi’s day seems evident from . Notice God calls this an ABOMINATION. In the New Testament, the same principle is true: I am not to marry an unbeliever [Cf. ].
[i] .
[ii] Cf and .
[iii] The divorce rate in America appears to be about 40-50% [according to Wikipedia].

Think About Its Implications for Us

There are several reasons given why GOD HATES DIVORCE.
Why does God HATE Divorce?
· It is a ACT OF TREACHERY against one’s wife.[1]
· It breaks the COVENANT made between a man and his wife[2].
· It breaks the UNITY God intends in marriage.[3]
· It DESTROYS God’s method of producing GODLY CHILDREN.[4]
· It inevitably leads to VIOLENCE.[5]
Twice in this section, God commands Israel: “Take heed to your spirit” In other words, it is my responsibility to uphold the covenant and unity of marriage and not to DIVORCE my wife[6]. Thus - in every way - DIVORCE IS A TRAGEDY. In “Divorce-Ridden America” one hardly needs to say any more.
[1] , , . 5 times in this section Malachi uses the verb בגד bagad = to deal treacherously.
[2] Note above.
[3] Note , and where Jesus Christ says the same thing.
[4] .
[5] .
[6] It is equally wrong for a woman to divorce her husband [Cf ].
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