Deuteronomy 24:1 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house . . .”

December 8th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

This is a familiar verse to New Testament believers. In Matthew 19, the Pharisees referred to this verse as a command; but Jesus corrected them, saying it was something Moses had allowed or permitted because of the hardness of the people’s hearts. Jesus’ point was that sin causes divorce, but divorce is not the unpardonable sin. Unbelief is the only sin God cannot forgive, because where there is unbelief there is no repentance.

The increasing frequency of divorce is a growing problem in our nation as well as the world. When a marriage ends in divorce, everyone is hurt, whether the people involved admit it or not. Some are so hurt they never want to marry again, and instead compromise, choosing to live with someone without getting married again. We can be sure that almost every person reading this devotional has been touched in some way by divorce, them personally, their parents, their children, or their siblings; but most people know someone well, who has suffered through the pain of divorce. A 2009 Gallup Poll indicated that those who experience divorce often draw closer to God by praying and reading the Bible more frequently. However, the same poll also found that those who are separated and divorced feel alienated from their church. The common complaint is that churches focus on the needs of intact families and ignore the broken ones. The Gallup Poll closes with:

From the standpoint of the church, divorced people are an intriguing and challenging group to try to serve. Their lack of church involvement may make them appear to be alienated or hostile to religion in general. But their private religious practices—frequent Bible reading, regular religious television and radio exposure and dedication to prayer—show that they are far from being a lost cause.

That last line should bother us a great deal because the term lost cause is foreign to God’s way of thinking. We serve the God of the second chance . . . the third chance . . . and so on and so on. We serve the God who goes out looking for the lost and tells us to do the same. The parable of the shepherd who left the 99 sheep to find the 1 that was lost, ends with this beautiful statement:

And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!” I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance (Luke 15:6–7).

“LORD, use us to minister to a struggling person this day.”