Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 22, 2018

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?”

Today’s devotion comes from Malachi chapter 1.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Malachi+2&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem;  for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD which He loves and has married the daughter of a foreign god.  As for the man who does this, may the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob everyone who awakes and answers, or who presents an offering to the LORD of hosts.

“This is another thing you do:  you cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand.  Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’  Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.  But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit.  And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring?  Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth.  For I hate divorce,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts.  “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”  Malachi 2:11-16.

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Today’s Scripture teaches that one should not marry one outside of the faith:  “Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD which He loves and has married the daughter of a foreign god.”  Verse 11.

And, today’s Scripture teaches that one should not divorce:  “For I hate divorce,” says the LORD, the God of Israel”.  Verse 16.

Regarding the first teaching, we are reminded of Ezra 9:1-2:  “Now when these things had been completed, the princes approached me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, according to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites.  For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has intermingled with the peoples of the lands;  indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness.”

And, we are also reminded of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18:

“14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers;  for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?  15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?  16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For we are the temple of the living God;  just as God said,

“I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
17 “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.
“And do not touch what is unclean;
And I will welcome you.
18 “And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty.”

Regarding the second teaching, we are reminded of Mark 10:9:  “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” and Matthew 19:9:  “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

Finally, consider that these two teachings are related.  It would seem that divorce between spouses of different faiths would be more likely for two reasons.  First, they are pointed in different directions with different interests.  Second, they do not have a common faith to bind them together.  Regarding this second point, even without the different interests and different directions, it is tough enough with the normal pressures of life for even spouses of a common faith to stay together.  A common faith helps spouses to stay together, which common faith binding is not present between those of different faiths.


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