Summary: A phrase by phrase exposition on Matthew 19:7-12
A Mormon acquaintance once pushed Mark Twain into an argument on the issue of polygamy. After long and tedious expositions justifying the practice, the Mormon demanded that Twain cite any passage of Scripture expressly forbidding polygamy. “Nothing easier,” Twain said. “No man can serve two masters.”
More and more people seem to forget Henry Ford’s sage advice when asked on his 50th wedding anniversary for his rule for marital bliss and longevity. He replied, “Just the same as in the automobile business, stick to one model.”
Thesis: Let’s go over Matthew 19:7-12 phrase by phrase and learn some things about the bedrock of the home, marriage
1. “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” vs. 7
“If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house,” Deuteronomy 24:1, NIV.
Man would write out a certificate of divorce and send the woman on her way. Women had little say in the matter. The way it was in the OT
“Jesus, this is in the Bible, You cannot dismiss this so easily.”
2. Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard vs. 8
Moses "suffered" some things that were not right on account of "the hardness of your heart," a low state of morals. A people cannot be lifted from moral depravity to high standards at once. Therefore, the law permitted some things that were below the perfect standards.
Moses and God perceived that if divorce were not permitted, in some cases, the women would be exposed to great hardships through the cruelty of their husbands like murder.
Slavery is not condemned in the Bible but when Christian convictions were applied in more modern times, slavery is no more. Same thing can be said of marriage, when Christian morals are applied, things like polygamy and open marriages are no more.
3. But it was not this way from the beginning vs. 8
A. In the beginning there was no divorce, no polygamy and no open marriages. No where does God say that these are good things. Some people make fun of the mixed up marriages and sexual ethics in the OT. Many of the heroes of the OT indulged in polygamy and had concubines. Many problems from this. But notice they were all heterosexual unions not homosexual ones.
Jesus is pointing them back to the original intent of marriage. one man and one woman together for as long as they both shall live. How can we be one with more than one partner? Vs. 5- the two will become one flesh
If the government changes marriage to include same sex marriage, who says that in a few years we have people entering into marriages of more than 2. Jonathan Yarbrough, one of the first to get a same sex marriage in Massachusetts, said, “I think it’s possible to love more than one person and have more than one partner. In our case, it is. We have an open marriage.” Once we rip a ship off its moorings who knows where it will drift next?