Friday, 17 January 2014

TFTD - 17 January 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

17 January 2014

Genesis 30
Psalms 34
Matthew 19

"HE ANSWERED ..."

It very interesting to read the encounters between Jesus and the religious leaders, but the one in our Matthew [Matthew 19] reading today is of particular interest because it does not seem they came to him to test him out over an issue they had with what he said or did, such as Jesus breaking the Sabbath, according to their interpretation of Sabbath keeping; it is more likely it was because they had a dispute between themselves over what situations made it alright for divorce and remarriage to take place. A whole 'party'of Pharisees had arisen (Hillel) who interpreted the Law so as to allow divorce for all kinds of trivial reasons.

They came up to him asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?" [Matthew 19:3]. They expected some answer based upon the laws Moses had laid down about divorce. But first Jesus said, "Have you not read … " But of course they had read, they had read and endlessly debated all the inspired writings that had come down to them. It is a lesson to us to prayerfully read what the record actually says ­ and not to go to it with some preconceived way of thinking and try to read into the texts that which we want then to say. The men who had wanted to be able to divorce their wives easily were doing just that.

Jesus surprised them by going back to an event long before what Moses wrote about divorce. They had not expected that. Matthew 19:4-6 says, "He answered, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife … What therefore God has joined together let not man separate"

They did not want to be reminded of the foundation principle.

It is significant that among the first century believers, the principle of one man, one wife is clearly practiced and divorce strongly discouraged, 1 Corinthians 7 being a very significant chapter. The Creation principles had been re-established.

As marital merry-go-rounds are practiced more than ever in Australia and most other countries; we need to make sure we "have read" what is plainly written and accepted what it plainly means. How many will be asked at the Judgement Seat, "Did you not read …?"
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- DC


Thought for the Day

17 January 2014

The Bible ... is not a joint product in which there is a fallible element, but a God-breathed word, given through specially chosen men; as such it remains the Word of God, about the origin and contents of which man was not consulted.

- F.T. Pearce
The Inspiration of the Bible (1965)