Christ and Moses on Divorce
Christ’s teaching in Mark 10:2-9 and Matthew 19:2-10 makes it clear that the provisions of Moses’ law with respect to divorce were given because the Jews were hard hearted but Christ taught that Christian’s were to be different. “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9).
According to Christ’s statement, the Old Testament law that made provision for divorce was merely a concession designed to meet situations that were not perfect (Deuteronomy 24:4). The Israelites were babes in the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:2). They came right of slavery and had no knowledge of God’s ways.
The truth is that Christ’s law was not new at all, because the law of Genesis 1:27; 2:24 “preceded the law of Moses in Deuteronomy 24:1–4 and is superior to it, for in the Eden period of Genesis, God’s ideal for His human children is set forth. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). God has never changed the law of marriage He gave in the beginning. It was not His plan that divorce should ever be necessary.
And Christ declared that God’s law can’t change, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17,18).
Therefore, Christians today who desire and purpose in their hearts to follow God’s plan will not, without scriptural grounds, resort to divorce as an answer to marital difficulties (Matthew 19:9). Morality itself is constant but our gradual understanding of it may vary. The Israelites where like infants in the knowledge of truth and therefore were given only milk. But as the truth unfolded up to the coming of Christ, Christians are now served spiritual meat and more is expected of them (1 Corinthians 2:2).
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In His service,