DIVORCE, MARRIAGE, AND THE DAY OF THE LORD…

MALACHI 2:13-16: “Here is another thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, weeping and groaning because he pays no attention to your offerings and doesn’t accept them with pleasure. You cry out, “Why doesn’t the Lord accept my worship?” I’ll tell you why! Because the Lord witnessed the vows you and your wife made when you were young. But you have been unfaithful to her, though she remained your faithful partner, the wife of your marriage vows. Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. “For I hate divorce!” says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.” NLT
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OBSERVATIONS: What do divorce and marriage have to do with the Day of the Lord? Can these two things tell us how close we are to the coming of the Lord and the final judgment? These are interesting questions to ponder.

I grew up in a different day. While the world was in turmoil during the 1960s, there was peace and tranquility on Meadow Falls Drive. Our neighborhood was one of the old-fashioned ones where the entire street knew each other. Divorce was almost unheard of. Families were secure. And, a child was safe to play outside, even after the street lights were off!

Something took place during the 1960s that began to change everything. It was called the sexual revolution. It was the first floodgate that the enemy opened up to begin to destroy the family unit that was still strong. Suddenly, divorce began to increase and was regarded as a necessary evil to allow individuals to pursue their desires rather than to fulfill their covenant. The greatest victims in this tidal wave were the children and our society!

(Note: In the 1950s 20% of marriages ended up in divorce. There has been a steady increase in the divorce rate over the decades. The current rate is almost 50% of all couples who get married will end up in divorce.)

Why did the enemy target the marriage covenant in such a vicious way? By breaking up families he was killing two birds with one stone. First, he was destroying the very foundation of our society and culture. Second, he was thwarting God’s purpose for marriage – to raise up a godly generation.

  • “Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.” Malachi‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭NLT‬

As marriages began to break up all around us we witnessed an increase in disrespect and rebellion among our youth. With the family unit broken children no longer had the security of a loving mother and a faithful father to guide them. Left to themselves they were open prey to the enemy’s attacks. As families broke apart, as children and teenagers rebelled, the very fabric of our society began to weaken and crumble. As the family goes, so goes the nation!

The final attack of the enemy was against marriage itself. God created marriage to be a covenant between one man and one woman – for life. This was not just an Old Testament concept. This was God’s intent from creation!

  • “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’” And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” Matthew‬ ‭19:4-6‬ ‭NLT‬

The Biblical definition of marriage stood for thousands of years. I never thought I would see the day when it would be attacked and overcome. Yet, today, our culture has redefined marriage, sexuality, and the family. They have bought into the lies and deception of the enemy and applauded and celebrate those who reject God’s plan for marriage. Divorce continues to be rampant and now, with regards to marriage, anything goes!

Why is this such a big deal and what does this have to do with the Day of the Lord? Marriage is not just a covenant between one man and one woman, it is also a picture of the relationship between Jesus Christ and His church.

  • “As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians‬ ‭5:31-33‬ ‭NLT‬

The outright attack against the very definition of marriage goes far beyond the onslaught of divorce that was aimed at the family. The redefinition of marriage, orchestrated by the enemy, was a direct frontal attack on the Lord Jesus Christ and His church. It was like an eighth-grader defacing the yearbook picture of someone they hated. It is the final attack on the very foundation of society that God ordained.

The book of Malachi speaks to the nation of Israel, the coming of the Messiah, and the ultimate Day of the Lord (day of judgment). It reaches the immediate future and the end of the age. It was a strong warning to those who received it 400 years before the coming of Christ and a sobering wake-up call for us today. Malachi speaks of Messiah’s purification of Israel’s worship and then of the coming judgment.

  • “At that time I will put you on trial. I am eager to witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Malachi‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

These words immediately follow the Lord’s admonishment for their disregard of the marriage covenant. It was just not divorce but their utter contempt of the importance of this covenant.

  • “You have wearied the Lord with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. You have wearied him by saying that all who do evil are good in the Lord’s sight, and he is pleased with them. You have wearied him by asking, “Where is the God of justice?” Malachi‬ ‭2:17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

As we see a great falling away from the church today, one of the center focal points of this is the definition of marriage and personal sexuality. The sanctity of marriage was the last bastion against the flood of evil. The family stood as a solid bulwark against the enemy’s designs. Now, churches and denominations are embracing the enemy’s lies and deceptions. They rejoice in their wokeness and ask – “Where is the God of justice?”

The Day of the Lord is fast approaching. Yet, for the believer, who clings to Jesus Christ, who honors the truth, and upholds the sanctity of marriage, there is a tremendous promise!

  • “They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” Malachi‬ ‭3:17-18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

As we see the Day of the Lord approaching, we can be assured that our Heavenly Father will spare us as a father spares an obedient child. The true church, comprised of all who place their faith in Jesus Christ, will hear the trumpet call when we are gathered together with Him in the rapture. I believe with the redefinition of marriage, the last domino has fallen. It is time to look up for our redemption is closer than it has ever been!

Lord, as You tarry, and as I look for the day of redemption for the redeemed, may I honor both the covenant of marriage and family. May I boldly stand up for the truth of Your Word and in love call those who have wandered away back to Jesus Christ and the truth that can set us free! Guard, protect, and bless all the marriages and families who are committed to serving You!

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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