Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
I've always loved trees, the crowning glory of nature. But, just when I think I've seen the most beautiful tree in the world, I see more trees. This happens every year around this time... early falling Autumn. Every year I look around and realize, "Gosh! those are the most beautiful trees I've ever seen!" Yesterday it was Sweetgum trees next to a doctor's office. And, that's when I realized... doctor's offices have the most beautiful trees I have ever seen.
I suspect that it is intended to be advertising an appreciation for life...with living things. I've seen water companies in cities with large fountains outside, spilling water splendidly in arrays...advertising water in abundant waste. That never appealed to me. Wasting water is not good advertisment. The trees however, are beautiful.
Revelation 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side
of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits,
and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the
healing of the nations.
Apparantly the image has a lot of carry over as it begins in the garden of Eden and finishes in the New Jerusalem. Then, there are the images of the Healer, Jesus, who died in the middle of the two testaments to restore paradise lost in Genesis, and restored in Revelation.
It appears then, that doctors are reaching for an image of restoring what God created perfect, but has become spoiled, to its original condition...paradise restored. It's no wonder we often perceive doctors of having a "god complex." Sadly, it doesn't seem to have the same result, despite the beautiful trees, and all the money.
Romans 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more
they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall
reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
And, there is the sum total of the matter. Jesus equals life. It all adds up.
Los contadores de estrellas
Yo estoy cansado.
Miro esta ciudad
—una ciudad cualquiera--
donde ha veinte años vivo.
Todo está igual.
inútilmente cuenta las estrellas
en el balcón vecino.
Pero él va más deprisa:
no consigo alcanzarle:
Una, dos, tres, cuatro,
No consigo alcanzarle.
Una, dos ...
In this simple poem two people are each counting stars: a 20 something man, and his neighbor boy on a nearby balcony. The boy is counting rapidly, excitedly: one, two three, four, five...
He is listening silently and he hears the boy counting and he tries to
count them too, but can't keep up with the eager child. He counts them slower:
one, two three, four, five...
Why is it that he is counting the stars
slower than the child? The opening line says that he is tired, so he counts the
stars. It is to be inferred that his mind is full: full of other stars from
other years, full of the years that have elapsed and the memories that have
developed under those same stars, and perhaps full of even more marvel at the
splendor that is before him than the mind of the inexperienced child can yet
conceive. (After all, the more you understand about the stars, the more you find
them unbelievable. The more you discover, the less you find we really know.)
He is in no hurry. He gets lost in the splendor. All of this splendor
pushes everything else out of his mind, emptying him of all but the splendor of
God’s handiwork. None of this is stated, yet all of this is evident, even in the
stars. Sometimes the silence speaks so loud.
James 1:17-19 Can you imagine why God wants to give us His gifts? It is unimaginable. But, it is of His own free will. Some will argue about why God does not rid the world of all evil. But, here James takes for granted that God is all good and everything good comes from God. Go ahead and count the gifts of God, if you can. He gives without number.
Here I've translated the poem into a simple English version:
The Star Counters
I look at this city
A city where (probably Madrid, Spain)
I've lived for 20 something years
Everything is the same.
with no reason count the stars
on a neighboring balcony.
I'm also ...
But he goes faster
I can't keep up
One, two, three, four, five...
I'm much slower.
One, two ...
Job 17:11 My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart.
And so, another night descends, and here I am with incomplete thoughts. What is a work in progress, but nothing? I have nothing to give... again... except incomplete thoughts. This is where I lay down the thinking, shut down the laptop, and call it a night.
But, what is the incomplete thought? Good question. If I gave it to you it would be a complete thought. This incompletness is all...
Psalm 8:3-9 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the
moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful
of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a
little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou
madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all
things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the
field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever
passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy
name in all the earth!
Such an arresting passage. Psalm 8:3 is read often and strikes images of nature and the world around us that God has bestowed, of providence in general. Obviously the the whole passage is a set, a paragraph if you will. But, Psalm 8:5 can give rise to questions. First in my mind, is the ranking system, lower than angels, yet above the animals as Genesis even concurs, rulers over the animal and plant kingdom, to subdue or rule over them. This part I question because of the "why?" Why does God choose to rank us so, which must be what David is thinking here. The second question is the crowned with glory and honour part. But, this leaves me with a "how" question. How so Lord? How are we crowned with glory and honour? We seem mightily plain and ordinary to me. But, that is the lesson in the passage of course. David sees what we can often fail to see. He sees how God has hand crafted us and how we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" by God. Psalm 139:14 He sees the care in the workmanship of the Potter and the position in the ranking over creation. Oh, to have eyes like David.
Saturdays can be so relaxing. The guys have been busy mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges in between football games. Travis had taken the cushions off the glider and chair outside and stored them on the screened in back porch, just after the first rainshower this week. So, they were a little wet already by the time he got them in. When they went out to do the lawn this afternoon, they found a harmless snake laying in the shade of our backpoarch on the damp glider cushion. He didn't really seem alarmed when Travis got in close to take his picture. But, after the fun, Travis scooped him up with a stick and threw him in the grass.
Reminds me of not only the Garden of Eden, but the old fable of Pandora's Box. The tale goes that there was this mysterious box and some kid named Pandora opened it at the dawn of time, because she couldn't resist. All the evil in the world came out because of her. She knew better, but her curiousity got the best of her. Sounds familiar. I can't count the times curiousity got the best of me.
But, more than anything, you have to wonder why snakes lie still when found, while some animals, such as deer, run. Small critters and birds are not as skittish as deer, though deer definitely have a speed advantage. I guess that's one of those questions that have no answer. But, this snake was pretty fast at disappearing when Travis threw him in the grass. He laid there for a moment then vanished into thin air.
And, summer will vanish with him before you know it. I think Autumn is upon us. Those two red leaves I saw yesterday have multiplied to more than I can count today.
I slept soundly last night, and dreamed happy dreams. Sleep is precious
when you hit your forties. We get tired. But, I can remember, in the past, times
I have felt restless. Sometimes a sense of restlessness can be so great and
troublesome that we can’t focus our minds on the tasks at hand. Sometimes it can
prevent our sleep as well.
In Hebrews 4:9-11 the writer of Hebrews is preaching a sermon (in the
last half of chapter three and chapter four) using Psalm 95 as his text. David
had mentioned the fact that many of the children of Israel were not allowed to
enter into the “rest” of Canaan Land due to their lack of faith, but died in the
wilderness over their 40 year wanderings. Instead their children entered into
that glorious rest provided by God. He goes on to tie in the fact that god wants
us to receive the rest from our own “good works” where we tried to pay for sins,
and instead allow His blood to cover our sins. Afterall, the Sabbath means
resting from our work.
In Hebrews, it is explained that the Sabbath Day rest of the Jews (work
six days, rest on the seventh) was a shadow or type of God’s rest that is to be
provided to His children. Hebrews is pointing out that because David said
“Today, if you will hear His voice,” then there must be another rest remaining
for the people of God, more than a Sunday nap between services, more than Canaan
Land for the Jews.
This is also shown in the prophetic passage in Isaiah 11:10. We know
that our rest comes from the lord. Psalm 37:7 and Matthew 11:28 points us in the
direction of our most bountiful source of rest and peace here on Earth. Prayer
is the source of peace and strength, our rest in God’s arms.
“At that heavenly sound
My soul, that is sunk in forgetfulness,
Recovers its judgment
And the lost memory
Of its first, exalted origin.
It transverses the ether
Until it reaches the highest sphere,
And there it hears another mode
Of imperishable music,
The first, the source of all.
Here the soul steers
Through a sea of sweetness, and at last
Sinks so deep within,
That it hears or feels
No strange or rare event.
O blessed trance!
O death that gives life! O sweet oblivion!
Could I but remain in your repose
Without being restored
Ever to these low and abject senses!
To this bliss I call you,
Glory of Apollo’s sacred choir,
Friends whom I love
Beyond all treasure,
Since all visible things are sorrowful tears.
Oh, may your music, Salinas,
Sound everlasting in my ears;
Hearing it my senses awaken to God’s goodness,
And all else remain oblivious.”
by Luis de Leon - Ode to Salinas*
* Fragment of a larger poem, which was translated from the Spanish
Salinas was a blind organist who played for the Cathedral of Salamanca,
Spain in the 1500’s. Leon apparently loved to hear Salinas play, and as other
portions of the poem explain, hearing the blind man play about the raptures of
heaven reminded him of how truly “blind” men are who seek only gold to satisfy
themselves here on Earth. The poem is speaking of organ music, a delightful
sound in which it is easy to lose yourself. But, there are parallels here drawn,
in my mind, to prayer.
Where we can turn music on loud enough when we just want to relax at
home, to stop our mind from working, providing a sense of rest sometimes from
troubled thoughts, prayer can give a rest to the restless that unburdens the
mind, body, and soul. The difference is like anesthetic and antiseptic.
Anesthetic numbs pain by dulling the senses, masking the symptoms. Antiseptic
cleanses a wound, allowing healing to take place.
When I can’t take time aside to pray, like while working, music
functions well to turn our thoughts to God. But, when I lay everything aside,
and turn my thoughts to God, focusing on who He is, my mind not only forgets the
details of the day, but wounds actually begin to shrink and heal. Heart pain is
erased in prayer.
In prayer, I can “cross that heavenly sphere,” and sink so deep within
His “sea of sweetness” that I feel nothing. When I hear His voice “sounding
everlastingly in my ears,” my senses die to everything else, external and
internal distractions, and “awaken to God’s goodness” where all else fades in
oblivion. This rest is the greatest peace to be found on Earth.
Hebrews warns us that the disobedience of an unbelieving heart can
prevent us from receiving the rest of God, like in the wilderness of wanderings.
Afterall, if you don’t have faith that God can keep your restless spirit in His
hands, then you won’t bother to pray for peace.
More is included in God’s rest than prayer. Worship also provides that
glorious rest of God, again illustrated by the poem, and experienced in church
services. The Holy Ghost experience is a glorious rest for all who will partake.
The Heavenly City will be our eternal rest. Paul said that eyes have never seen
what God has in store for those who love God. 1 Corinthians 2:9 The peace of God
can surround our restless spirits and give us rest beyond our own understanding.
Philippians 4:7 You know, I can only imagine heaven, but prayer is a bit of
heaven here on Earth, for those who will enter into that rest.
The time has flown so fast today. I have been quite comfortable since early yesterday, which has not been the case for a couple weeks. I've felt more like myself today for the first time in awhile. Pain does crazy things to your head and your emotions. Some times I feel like a guinea pig or lab rat when a new doctor tries different things just to experiment. I know there is a purpose and they have to identify what is happening. But, its no fun suffering while they are experimenting with my pain.
But, the experimenting is done for now, and I feel no pain and my head is clear. I've sat comfortably in my recliner and enjoyed the rainy day with no discomfort. What I'm doing today is working.
So, as I sat here thinking about some of my past bike riding experiences, I remembered the first time I went on a local club ride in Rome. It was a lot of fun to ride with other people instead of by myself on local trails. I had ridden in some rides around the state already with massive groups of people I barely new, and I usually met a couple people to ride with while there. But, this was different. This was a small close knit group.
It was a lot of fun, I say, but only for the first half. Then we reached the hills, and I got dropped. My skill had not reached the level at that time to be able to maintain my pace on hills. So, I looked ahead when I finally made it to the top of the first hill, and they were no where in sight. Even when there were no hills, the policy is normally that the first half is considered "no-drop" meaning they promise to keep a pace to hold onto the newbys. Then its every man for himself.
I can not begin to describe for you the thoughts that go through your head when you are dropped. Your self-esteem takes a nose-dive. You feel like a loser. You realize that you are dead weight. In short, as I said about pain before, it messes with your head and with your emotions. But, I wasn't a quitter. And, that's what kept me going. Through the embarrassment. Through the lonely miles by myself on that first club ride I swore to myself that I would do what I had to do to keep up in the future. And, I did. Improvement happens if you don't quit.
Sitting here now, I'm not riding bikes anymore. But, my challenges are much greater than keeping pace on a group ride or finishing a spin class in good form. I have to challenge myself to keep my mind focused on being a champion in this situation. Philippians 4:13 says that I can do everything that makes me stronger through Jesus. So, there is where we find our peace of mind, whether we are in pain or comfort. Peace of mind is a commodity. It is so nice to sit here listening to the rain outside my window in comfort.
Men and women in the Bible were simply human...interacting with a God. We have many accounts of great exploits and heroic faith recorded, but most Bible believers had some major faults or problems recorded as well. I can't think of any who were perfect, except maybe Daniel. (And, surely his problems were merely unrecorded.) Even John the Baptist had poor social skills; eating grasshoppers, living in the desert, and calling people names. I don't imagine many bedouins have excellent table manners.
It seems the greater men, the ones held in higher regard, had more faults listed. Like Moses, we see that God was able to do a great work through him, despite his many weaknesses and flaws.
The twelve apostles were a ragged lot, not highly esteemed among their peers. Judas was greedy and disloyal. Peter was rash and often foolish. Doubting Thomas must have been slow-minded, if not mildly mentally handicapped, from some of the statements he made and the way he misunderstood simple figures of speech used in the common language that Jesus used.
Noah got drunk on unmixed "strong wine" not long after the flood and passed out naked. I'm sure he knew better. Lot got drunk twice after being delivered from the burning Sodom and Gomorrah, with incestous results. Genesis 19:33-36
Even the great Apostle Paul was frequently recorded as being stubborn, rash, and thick-headedly inflexible. To begin with, we see him supervising the stoning of Steven in the book of Acts, in the name of Heaven. He continued to violently harass the early church, stoned and arrested Christians, and vented his human rage on those whose doctrine differed with his. I wonder what made him such an angry man? I wonder what he encountered in his early years that made him express his passion for God so violently? Maybe his Father was abusive and violent. Or, perhaps there was an ex-wife in the picture. He mistakenly took this human rage to be the zeal of God. But, he quickly found himself up against Jesus Christ Himself.
He spoke harshly and brassly about having got in Peter's face about Peter's prejudices and inconsistencies against the gentiles. He argued with Barnabas about allowing John Mark to resume his junior missionary field work, after John Mark's desertion. This seems quite selfish and petty when you consider how kind Barnabas had been to Paul immediately after Paul's conversion; taking the murderous Saul/Paul under his wings, and urging the other disciples to accept him in the church. I like the kind Mr. Joseph Barnabas! His name means Son of Encouragement. Acts 4:36 He was often seen encouraging others.
We could argue that Paul's goal was not to "Win Friends and Influence People," but to spread the gospel message. Yet, when you compare Jesus' methods to Paul's, you see quite a bit more discord sown in Paul's path. As a side note, Ministers often have different preaching styles. Before you think that a man who is spitting and shouting has more anointing than the Preacher who speaks calmly and quietly, with his hands in his pockets, remember of which sort Jesus often was when preaching. Kerygma, the Greek noun for the Preaching (Kerusso is the act of Preaching/Verb form,) is worship, and like worship preaching comes in many forms, and is a unique expression of the individual giving the gift.
One event in Paul's ministry particularly stands out as totally irrational and bizarre. He was on his first missionary journey, covering Acts 13, 14. He and Barnabas had gone through Cyprus Island with some success, but had more trouble when they reached the mainland. The men of Antioch weren't all agreeable. (Incidentally, for those who like to point out the way women were even prone to arguing in the Bible like Euodias and Syntyche in Philippians 4:2, :) notice that men were prone to throwing big rocks at people.) By the time Paul got a few sermons in at Iconium, they were mad enough to plot together to stone him. Acts 14:5
Paul and Barnabas decided to skip town quickly, as they hadn't yet been beaten or stoned, and didn't seem to desire that outcome. Then they began preaching in Derbe and Lystria, where they healed a man born crippled, through the power of Jesus' name. The people were in awe of the disciples after witnessing that miracle, and decided that Barnabas was the Greek god Jupiter, and Paul was Mercury, since he was the main speaker of the preaching pair. Then the local priest of Jupiter brought in garlands and cows to sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas.
This was just too much for Paul's and Barnabas's Jewish sentiments and their fierce devotion to the one true God. The Bible records that the two men tore their own clothes and ran among the people, putting a stop to the worship. Acts 14:15.
Tearing and shredding of clothes was not uncommon in those barbaric days, but was a way to show intense sorrow or anguish. The Jewish are often intensely outwardly emotional people, culturally. But, even then people could be shocked and put off at excesses of zeal. This fact can be illustrated by looking at the time the prophet Samuel chopped the hostage King Agag to bits with his sword, because God had commanded the Israelites to take no hostages in that particular battle. We know Samuel's passionate zeal was a shock to the people because we see that his own people shortly after that trembled at his presence when Samuel came to town to anoint David king. 1 Samuel 16:4
Back to the case of Paul shredding his clothes, we see intense expressions of anger. It can be inferred that Paul was not merely saddened, but deeply angered because of the use of the word "vanities." Paul was calling their deeds foolish. Coupled with the way they ran in among them, you quickly see that Paul found it easier to let his emotions show, than to control his temperament.
Now, Paul had already made the men in Iconium mad, and they followed him here and stirred up the people who Paul had just offended to stone Paul. The Bible doesn't say that Barnabas was stoned with him. Only Paul. This seems reasonable since we know that Paul did most of the talking. Also, as we see later when Paul and Barnabas argue over John Mark, Barnabas is a tender, sensitive man. He appeared to be gifted at making friends. Paul, conversely, appeared to be gifted at making enemies.
There is no way to explain away the fact that they participated in the act of shredding their own clothes in anger. This was not a reasonable response or reaction to the ignorance of those who don't know God. Even if you consider it as a cultural norm for that day and age, you know that Paul had to know better than shredding his own clothes in a fit of rage. Surely, he felt some shame and remorse for that afterwards, (or at least by the time they were finished stoning him.)
Here you had Paul, who considered worship of false gods a heathenistic practice, yet he was ripping his own clothes like the heathen. This behavior was inconsistent, to say the least.
But, we all have our inconsistencies, don't we? Many good Christian people struggle with feelings of anger and rage that can be uncontrollable. Many pastors like to use the term "goals" to describe the behavior we know we should be displaying as Christians. In other words, it is our goal as Christians to grow in the fruit of the Spirit and learn to control our anger, if that is what we struggle with. Sometimes you may fail in weak areas, but you have to allow God to pick you back up and you have to keep striving towards mastery of your weaknesses. If you haven't overcome any of your weaknesses, then you are still drowning or wallowing in sin. Otherwise, what has God saved you from?
I saw and used my first computers in college, in the early eighties. I learned to program in BASIC, which operated on the DOS machines of that age before Windows. It consisted mostly of GOTO and IF/THEN type commands on a black screen. Computers didn't have windows (or doors) and had to be "booted." Lol. BASIC code was like basic logic, amounting to the Fun With Dick And Jane primers I read in first grade.
Web, Cyberspace, and Upload/Download were nonexistant in our world. Disks were
floppy instead of compact. They started out at 8" like the pic below and kept
getting smaller. They were square, not round. I firmly believe the statement I
have seen, "Friends Don't Let Friends Do DOS." You just don't need that to mess
your head up. Lol.
Now, I find myself tinkering around with snippets of CSS & HTML code, and struggling to learn Java. Just goes to show, you may teach an old dog new tricks, but by the time you do, the new pups will no longer be doing those tricks.
In my college Economics class, we played this game where we simulated being President of the United States. It was a course-end group project that was to synthesize all that we had learned of micro and macro economics into "the big picture." But, it really had none of the graphics today's games have. It was DOS. And, it was working with figures and statistics, but it was fun because we had never been allowed to use computers before in school. This was our first simulation after all. It was new to us, though kids nowadays live like that daily.
Our task was to manipulate the economy figures using what we had learned to reach as near as possible to a target number for Unemployment, GNP, etc. If we did well enough we were re-elected to a second term in office (in the simulation.) The game really appealed to me. I liked working with computers and I liked the logical interface. I found that there was a big gap between my figures and the target, even though mine were definitely better than anyone else's. But, I was concerned that someone else might figure it out and beat me that last night. So, I took a risk and changed one of my fiscal policies. I did just the opposite of what we all had been doing with one of my policies.
Sure enough, I found my numbers showed a significant improvement, meeting the target. What had motivated me to make the change was the fact that what I had been doing was not working well enough. They say, if you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always got. It was a very satisfying feeling. But, risk gets more difficult as you age.
Recently, online gamers have deciphered the structure of an enzyme of an AIDS-like virus that had thwarted scientists for a decade. Figuring out the structure of proteins is vital for understanding the causes of many diseases and developing drugs to block them. But a microscope gives only a flat image. Pharmacologists needed a 3-D picture that "unfolds" the molecule and rotates it in order to reveal potential targets for drugs. A learning game program called Foldit was developed by the University of Washington, in which groups of competing gamers scrambled to unfold chains of amino acids in an online simulation environment. To the astonishment of the scientists, the gamers produced an accurate model of the enzyme in just three weeks.
This is an amazing breakthrough step in finding a cure for immunological diseases such as HIV. Technology will take us to amazing places. But, not to heaven. Ironically, it seems that technology has made it easier for kids to have faith in God. They chat with friends they can't see everyday by the air in cyberspace. Why wouldn't they believe in praying to a God they can't see? They know that there is much around us that we can not see. They see that a computer reads a set of zeros and ones to form an intricate language. They see clones and stem-cell research. Why would angels be a surprise in this techno-savy climate?
Job 41:12 I will not conceal his limbs, nor his power, nor his graceful
In this chapter of Job, God is talking about a Leviathan, which appears to be some prehistoric sea monster. We see many strange creatures in the sea. Just because we don't see sea monster type serpents now doesn't mean they never existed. But, in the middle of describing this fearsome beast which Job was acquainted all to well with, God speaks this sentence of disclaimer...sort of like the small print on merchandise. God clearly explains the limits of animals and man. God says he will allow the beast his power, and not take it away.
We know from Job 38:10-11 that God says He establishes the power of the sea, and the limits of its dominion. I see it to be the same with man and beast. God creates us with an amount of power, certain potential. He gives us both a free will and creative knowledge. He will not stop man from moving forward with technology, science, or mathematical discoveries. On the contrary, man's only limits are in his inability to see the big picture of how his use of this technology will affect every other area of his life. And, in the end, his knowledge of good and evil may very well be what kills him, as God warned Adam and Eve.
Sad times we are living in. So many voices and we are often unsure which one to follow. The Bible speaks clearly on this issue, though the issue goes beyond religion to morality and integrity. Jesus and others in the Bible had quite a bit to say about divorce.
Then there is the fact that Abraham and Sarah were separated, living in different cities when she died. Genesis 23:2 Abraham was still married to her at this point and came to mourn for his wife, and buried her. He bargained for her buriel site and laid her to rest, sent his servant to arrange a marriage for his son Isaac to help him move on with life, then he took another wife and moved on with his life, giving birth to six more children. When he died, he was buried with his wife Sarah. No reasons were ever given for a separation. It could have been that she became too feeble to move from city to city with him. It could have had something to do with the plural word "concubines" in Genesis 25:6. Whatever the reasons were, he still saw himself as her husband.
I have myself been divorced and remarried. Every single marriage vow was broken long before I filed for divorce. I don't see the act of signing a paper as any more wrong than anything else that took place before the papers were signed. But, my dear Mother-in-law from that marriage cared for her husband until his death, though he was stricken with Alzhiemers for more than a decade, and he forgot everybody. He was violent at times, and yet she kept him in her home. She was, you could easily say, a better woman than I am.
There are many reasons people choose to get a divorce, and people often speak of the "Biblical Divorce." That is an odd construct, considering that the only time divorce was permitted in the Bible was for the case of a man marrying a woman who he found to not be a virgin, and she had lied to him. Even then divorce was not commanded. The problem seems to be the fact that people are looking in the Bible for the word DIVORCE. That's like looking in a medical journal for advice on assisted suicide.
The reality of the matter is that God joins couples in marriage, but He is not in the divorce business. So, not only is it a bad idea to look for a Biblically justified divorce, but it is just as bad of an idea to look for the Biblically unjustified divorce. It is even worse to assume that divorce is the "unpardonable sin." Sin is anything that goes against God. Clearly, when a marriage is severed, something has been done against God. The sins, usually many, took place well before anybody hired a lawyer. Chances are that what happened before the divorce papers was a much greater sin than the divorce.
God, though he is not in the divorce business, is still in the Grace business. He not only forgives all sins and washes us clean, but He leads us by the Holy Spirit to the place where our walk will match His Word. All that can be done with divorce is all that can be done with any "ugly situation" in our lives. And, yes, Christians have some ugly situations in their lives. But, they know the route to the foot of the cross. I firmly believe that anyone who tells a person they can not remarry, because they are still married to a divorced spouse, is speaking from their own bitter heart, and not from God. First off, Jesus acknowledged civil divorces in His time on Earth. He acknowledged them as broken, and as causes for grief in our lives. And, second, it was listed as sin in the Law to go back to a spouse who had already remarried someone else. Deuteronomy 24:1-4. If Calvary washes away sin, the divorce, and the bad marriage, is in the sea of forgetfullness. Matthew 19:11 Jesus acknowledged Himslef that not everybody would be able to live up to this commandment. He knew many would need forgiveness. Grace has no limits today.
Marriage is usually entered into with stipulations, as in vows. The words "in sickness and in health...till death do we part" are easily recalled to mind. That makes Pat Robertson's words bad in the eyes of many Christians and non-Christians alike. How can we as Christians choose to justify sin? Are we in the place of God here on Earth? No, only God can justify. So, the best answer Mr. Robertson could have given would have contained directions to the Cross of Jesus, and the greatest commandment.
Naturally, I don't have either a justification nor a condemnation for anyone who divorces for any reason. I do, however have a question to leave you tonight. Which husband from this video would you choose for your Golden years: Pat Robertson or Saul Rogers?