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?
The Genesis record continues to be credible in our day. The record provided by Genesis is verifiable on many counts. The New Testament contains over 200 references or allusions to Genesis, indicating that the Apostles and Disciples, as well as the Pharisees, Saducees, Jewish leaders, and Jesus Himself accepted the validity of the text.
Science lends credence to the creation account. Evolutionists contend that things of greater complexity derived from things of less complexity. This is purported in the development of intelligent Homo Sapiens from higher primates of the animal kingdom, which in turn developed from lower primates, reptiles, fish, down to a single-celled organism. This single cell developed from a “soupy Sargasso Sea” that formed from gases that appeared from nothing. This line of reasoning is in direct contradiction to the laws of Science. Science shows that intelligent life comes from intelligent life. All creatures reproduce “after their own kind,” as in the Genesis account.
Furthermore, the Big Bang theory supposes that a colossal explosion hurled the planets into their orbits. Of course, it wasn't supposed to be a fast explosion, just some unknown force moving things apart, as the Universe is thought to be ever expanding. Opponents of the theory first called it the "Big Bang" and the name just stuck. We know now that not all the planets or their moons orbit in the same direction, which would defeat the idea of the planets spinning as a result of an explosion. The idea of chance producing a complex universe is as absurd as the idea of a Mercedes Benz being created in the aftermath of a tornado going through a junkyard. Theoretically it could happen. But, would there be gas in the tank to make it go? I think not. In the same way, wildflowers can grow in a field, as fragile objects of beauty deriving apparently from nothing. But, in a hundred years the field of wildflowers will not remain, unless tended by human hands and caused to continue their growth. Living things decay. The earth changes continually, seemingly at the whims of nature. A garden continues to grow because it was planted. The universe continues to spin because it was constructed and hung in space by the Creator.
The universality of the Deluge in Genesis is a fact, based on Non-Biblical evidence (i.e. dating of oldest living things at post-Flood time, marine fossils found on crests of mountains, sudden extinction of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.)
Further, 87 important Biblical words were first mentioned in Genesis, providing strong internal evidence of the validity of this collection of ancient books. The words life, atonement, command, glory, just, impute, mercy, love, light, salvation, and righteousness all appear first in Genesis. This supports the idea that Genesis was the foundation work of the other 65 books of the Bible.
I think the most compelling reason to believe the Genesis record is the stark plainness and simple honesty of the recorded events. The polished omissions of a story weaver are not there. We read succinctly about Jacob’s lies, Sarah’s laughter, Eve’s deception, Noah’s drunkenness, Lot’s incest, Tamar’s adultery, Dinah’s seduction, Miriam’s outrage that her brother married a black woman, and Leah’s lewd accusation to Rachel concerning the mandrakes. These character deficits are not the usual list of accomplishments of a nation’s heroes or the founding fathers of a religion. You never read in the history books about what a drunk U. S. Grant was, but only about his military prowess. The detailed record of such foibles in Genesis, (as well as the accurate list of birth records) gives undeniable credence to the Genesis account.
Furthermore, if we expect to believe that God is capable and willing to redeem us, then we must first believe that He created us. If we cannot accept the accuracy of Genesis miracles, such as creation, then we have no basis for belief in later miracles, such as Jonah and the whale, water into wine, Elijah in the chariot, etc. This is one of the primary reasons Atheists try to deny the credibility of Genesis. They seek to tear out the foundation for the cross.
The Genesis record is important as the foundation of our salvation plan. Genesis 3:15 is called the protoevangelium, which means “the first good news.” Now that man has sinned, God’s grace is evident in that He promised a Messiah who would come later and bruise Satan, destroying his power. There are many types of Christ in Genesis; including Isaac and Joseph. There is no purpose for the cross work of Jesus if Genesis is discredited. This would destroy all our Christology and Soteriology Doctrine. Without a Fall, we would not need a Savior-Hero.
There is evidence that God could have created a universe with “age-dating factors” already in place to support life? After all, it is stated that Adam and Eve were created as adults, not babies. It is reasonable the earth would have appeared aged at Creation. There are fossil records dating back billions of years, as well as human attempts at “carbon-dating” that indicate an aged terra, well beyond the age indicated by creation and the Genesis account. This, as well as the existence and extinction of the dinosaurs indicate an apparent conflict in dating. However, one theory is that God created the earth fully mature, as he did Adam and Eve and the animals. Therefore the mature earth was created with fossils intact, sufficient to support plant life. Another theory conflicts with this idea. This theory contends that the earth was perfect after creation, according to God, and could not have contained death within the earth. The fossils only appear to be so aged because of the devastating effects of the worldwide flood. Both are viable options. Why should they be less viable than current evolutionary thought?
When Enoch was 65 years old, his wife had a son. Enoch named this first son Methuselah, meaning literally, “man of the dart.” That can be interpreted as meaning “God’s Judgement comes next” or “When he dies, Judgement” for two reasons. First, Enoch was a prophet, according to Jude 14, 15. He prophesied of the Second Coming of Christ. Second, the Flood began the year Methuselah died; indicating God seemed to have a promise with Enoch concerning the life of his son. So, it seems Enoch was prophesying of the Flood when he named his son. We know that God relates longevity to adherence to his laws because of Exodus 20:12 and the fact that Enoch (and Elijah) was translated not to even see death because of his walk of faith. Methuselah lived 969 years, the oldest recorded. He must have had a good relationship with God. Its interesting to note that God stayed his hand of judgement for 969 years in loving compassion, just as He now tarries so long before the final judgement. As Peter said, God is “longsuffering,” not willing “that any should perish.”(II Peter 3:9) This lays a foundation of our escatological doctrine. Escatology, the study of things to come, is meaningless if there is no resurrection from the dead.
The Patriarchs were a part of the Genesis Record: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Abraham was born in Ur of the Chaldees, 19 generations after Adam. Terah, his father moved the family to Haran, possibly to separate his family from the prevailing idol worship. Abraham moved the whole family to the Promised Land, after Terah’s death. The word patriarch means “rule by the father,” so these men were the ruling fathers who formed the roots of the nation of Israel. Pulling Genesis out from under the Biblical Canon would quickly unravel the whole Gospel.
A dispensation is a period of time in which God deals with humans in a very distinct and unique way. It refers to the geographical concept of time and place. It includes the different groups of people who were treated in a different way from other people, or people of a different time. The seven dispensations can be broken down the following way:
1st Innocence Gen.1:28 One rule, close (perfect) communion with God
2nd Conscience Gen.3:10,23 Do your best, communion through sacrifice
3rd Human Government Gen.8:20 Man governs for God, communion through government
4th Promise Gen. 12:1 Blessings tied to the land, communion through bloodline
5th Law Exo. 19:4-8 10 Commands and many laws, communion through strict adherence
6th Grace John 1:17 Love brother as self, communion through blood of Jesus
7th Kingdom Ephesians. 1:10 Rule by Jesus Christ, perfect or Messianic communion restored
We live in the dispensation of Grace. Genesis establishes reason and evidence of God's plan through the ages for a redemption of mankind from the curse of death. Paradise was lost in Genesis. Paradise will be restored in Revelation. Unless, of course, Paradise never existed. Where would we be without Genesis? There is so much more to look at when considering the Genesis record, and I have not scratched the surface. But, there is more than enough evidence to convince a thinking person that the record of Creation has been retained through the generations intact. I believe in Creation by an omnipotent Creator God. I believe Genesis was inspired by Him, and outlines not only His work of the ages past, but His plans for the ages to come.
I've added two more poems to the bottom of "The Child Within Me" Page of my Poetry Collection on this website. I haven't written any new poetry in a few years, though I wrote a huge notebook full over a period of 20 years. The two I just added are Peace and Security. I wrote them the summer after I turned 15, just two summers after I met Jesus. Both of them have Scripture allusions.
Psalms 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:
for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to
kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body
I've also filled up about 20 journals, not counting the very first one I wrote. I finished my first diary (one of those tiny 5 year locking kinds) when I was about 16, and then built a fire in the backyard just to burn it, out of concern that anyone might ever read my words. :) I was really shy. But, I've got past that, and now I just keep them all locked away.
When Jesus came into my life, it drove a lot of fear out of my heart. I don't know how. I had been afraid of the dark even, and was tormented with nightmares almost every night for much of my preteen and early teen years. I would sleep walk often, and many times I woke the whole house up screaming from bad dreams. It was so bad that I became apprehensive about going to sleep at night, because I knew the dreams would return. But, with salvation came safety that could not be provided by people. And, the night terrors left. But, I was never afraid of storms. Storms, after I met Jesus, became a peaceful time when I was reminded that God was more powerful than man; my Father looking over all His children.
I've felt such a sense of peace and safety since, that I even worked security at night for a couple of years, when my boys were young, and I "moonlighted" literally. :) I can remember the glow of my flashlight beam casting across the parking lots, between the parked transfer truck trailers, when I would come out of the vacant plant to make my night rounds. The moonlight was beautiful, and there was this seperate peace in the darkness, because I could see. I had already backslid and divorced by that time, but the fear was gone, because God had removed all the sources of fear from around me, setting me in a safety that reached farther than I had run.
God did that for me. And, I knew that He was my safety. There have been many times I've been aware of angels surrounding me, God's bodyguards. In Genesis 22, we read a strange story of Abraham laying his son on an altar of wood, and raising a knife, when an angel, or perhaps the Spirit of God Himself, cryed out for Abraham to not harm the boy. Imagine the effect this had to have had on his son, Isaac... hearing the angels speak on his behalf from heaven! We don't read much about Isaac, beyond his birth, this scene, his marriage, and the wells he re-dug, and then the focus shifts to his children. But, you know he had to be a changed man; had to always remember that God was watching over him and keeping him safe from harm.
Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh, which means God provided, or the Lord is my Provider. There was an old country song I remember hearing as a child that always reminds me of Jesus.
"You're my bread when I'm hungry.
You're my shelter from troubled winds.
You're my friend when I'm lonely.
And, in the cold, You keep me warm."
I have no idea who sang that song. But, it fits Jehovah-jireh. And, when the nights are dark, He is the beam of light piercing the night... my Security Guard.