Summary: Divorce is a violation of God's ideal
Divorce and the Bible Part 2
The Book of Mark
A. Last week we began our study on this issue of divorce by looking at the marriage relationship from God’s perspective.
1. We found that marriage, the way God intended it, is to be a life long commitment between one man and one woman.
2. It was never to be violated by thought or deed.
B. This is the ideal
1. God intended it to be permanent because,
a) He instituted it at the very beginning of creation.
b) The marriage relationship is an illustration of His relationship to Israel and the church.
(1) Hosea 3
2. As a result of this the Bible says that God hates divorce.
a) It is a destructive element.
b) Never constructive.
c) Divorce is never encouraged or commanded in the Bible as a normal course of action.
d) I must say by way of full disclosure that the bible does record some instances of divorce which are prescribed by the Godly leadership.
(1) These incidents are rare and they are accompanied by special circumstances.
(2) In every case they are the result of a failure to comply with the ideal set forth by God.
C. Now that we have defined marriage biblically lets take a look at what the bible has to say about divorce.
II. Divorce – the violation of the Ideal.
A. Why divorce in the first place?
B. For the answer to that we have to go back to Gen.3:16-19
1. The basic problem in marriage is two sinners trying to get along.
2. God’s original design was for a life long monogamous relationship between a man and a woman – the ideal.
3. Sin entered and the conflict that resulted shattered that ideal.
4. Divorce became the inevitable result.
1. Prior to the fall Adam and Eve were co-regents of God’s creation.
2. After the fall man became ruler over his wife.
a) Adam was elevated over Eve.
b) Before he exercised headship but now it is different.
c) Now he rules with authority.
3. This is a part of the curse applied to Eve; because of her sin she and her daughters were to be dominated by men.
4. This has become in some cases very abusive.
5. Her desire will be to him.
a) This doesn’t mean she will want to please and serve her husband.
b) Just the opposite.
(1) The word desire is only used 3 times in the OT
(a) Here and 4:7, and Solomon’s Song.
(b) The context determines the meaning.
(c) In 4:7 it refers to sin desiring to dominate Cain.
(d) He had to rule over it – put it down so that it would not have mastery over him.
6. The curse of Gen. 3 then set in motion what we see today and in fact have seen down through the centuries.
a) Men oppressing women for their own selfish desires.
b) Women striving to usurp the role of the man
D. So at the Fall the age old battle for dominance began in the relationship between men and women.
1. As a result marriage became a sort of king of the mountain contest.
2. Eventually this caused separation and divorce and as a result the Ideal is destroyed. Mk.10:4-5.
E. That brings us to our next question. Are there Biblical grounds for divorce?
F. Let me repeat something I said earlier – The bible never commands nor encourages divorce.
1. It is never God’s will for some one to get a divorce.
2. God doesn’t condone divorce he merely regulates it so that sin doesn’t get out of hand.
III. Biblical grounds for divorce.
A. In order to get the true picture of the whole issue we need to look at it from 3 perspectives.
1. The teaching of the Pharisees
2. The teaching of the OT
3. The teaching of the NT.
B. The teachings of the Pharisees vs.4
1. Divorce for any reason.
a) That was the prevailing attitude toward divorce in that day.
b) There was a minority of those who were opposed to this but most people thought along these lines Matt.19:10.
2. No specific reason.
a) It could be for anything from burning supper to immorality.
b) Not wearing a veil in public or the man finding a woman who pleased him more.
c) The same pattern exists today.
(1) I’ll stay married until something better comes along.
(2) I’ll stay married until I decide I don’t love you any longer.
(3) I’ll stay married until… fill in the blank.
3. The most important thing to the Pharisees was the paperwork.
a) They were more interested in the legal requirements than they were the reasons.
b) They kept the letter of the law.