"Do NOT labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting LIFE..." - The Gospel of John 6:27 (NKJV)
A systematic and daily reading of the Word of God is important in maintaining a strong Christian life. Establish a daily quiet time with God and His Word. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you understand what you read. By following our daily Bible reading schedule through this blog, you will be able to read the Bible through in a year. Please note that you may utilize the ‘BIBLE READER’ app that is installed at the bottom of this webpage to assist you in reading the specified scripture portion for today.

To get the MOST from God's Word, please do the following intentionally:
1. REQUEST God to connect with you as you read the word of God with FOCUS and OPENNESS to see what God wants to speak with you.
2. READ the selected sections of Scripture slowly as you mark the words and phrases that intrigue you, even reading them the second time to get a better understanding.
3. REFLECT on what God is communicating to you; stopping long enough to let the seed of God's Word take root in your heart.
4. RESPOND to the passage speaking directly to God about what is in your heart, and then look out for ways to live out what you find - individually, and to others within your church and elsewhere.

As you read and meditate, ask yourself the following three questions:
a) What is God speaking to me through this passage?
b) Is there a command, a promise or a warning for me?
c) Is there an example for me to follow?

Please POST your comments below if there is a thought or message that the Lord has spoken to you through the passage that you are reading and meditating today. Please make sure that your post is aligned to the scripture passage mentioned at the header. All comments should pertain to the relevant scripture portions only, and should be aimed to glorify God (the true author of 'The Bible') & edify everyone who visits this blog site daily - both young and old. May God bless you abundantly for encouraging others through your comments!

Let's PRAY...
LORD, give me the desire to take a little time out of my busy schedule today as I read and meditate on Your Word. Give me this day MY DAILY BREAD. Speak to me clearly & lead me today as my Good Shepherd. Help me to be a blessing to others who interact with me as I attempt to be a living witness of Your Word today. In Your Name I pray, AMEN.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 28 Bible Reading: Deuteronomy Chapters 22-24

Is DIVORCE in any MARRIAGE ideally ACCEPTABLE to God TODAY? "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, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man's wife..." (Deut 24:1-4)

The above passage does not provide divine sanction for divorce, but simply recognizes that divorce was practiced among the Israelites during the time of Moses. In fact, no Old Testament law explains or, clarifies the issue of divorce very well. In the texts that mention about divorce, the focus is to place limitations on the practice of divorce itself (22:19, 29). These verses do not institute, encourage, or approve divorce, but treat it as a practice already operating in the Israelite society during those days.

The custom of giving certificates of divorce was probably adopted by the Israelites from the Egyptians because they had a practice of writing out contracts in relationship to every area of life. A man could divorce his wife for uncleanness by writing her a certificate of divorce and giving it to her. This certificate of divorce then became a legal document that provided certain rights to the divorcee (see Lev. 21:7, 14; 22:13; Num. 30:9). One such right was that the divorced woman could remarry someone else, but if her second husband died or divorced her, the first husband was not allowed to marry her again!

The purpose of this law was actually to prevent hasty divorce, discourage adultery, and preserve the institution of marriage. It was aimed at preventing people from moving in and out of marriages in a way that trivialized marriage itself (Jer. 3:1). However, the people of Jesus’ day took this permission to divorce as a promotion of divorce but Jesus reminded them that such was not God’s original plan (Matt. 19:4–6), and that divorce was allowed by Moses only because of the “hardness of your hearts” (Matt. 19:8). Actually, divorce is contrary to the creation purposes of God (Gen. 2:24). The original plan of God is for a man and woman to be committed to one another for life!

That brings us to the question: Is divorce in any marriage acceptable to God today? This is a complex issue, but three biblical principles suggest that settling questions about divorce should start with a proper understanding of marriage itself:
  1. Marriage is a divine covenant and a lifetime commitment (Matt. 19:6).
  2. Marriage is a holy institution conceived and established by God Himself (Gen. 1:27; 2:24).
  3. Marriage is based on mutual trust and faithfulness between the couple (1 Cor. 7:10-11).
Let us be clear that God hates both unfaithfulness and divorce between married partners (Mal. 2:16), and divorce has been permitted by God just as a concession to the fallen nature of humanity (Matt. 19:8). There are only two overt biblical reasons for divorce: adultery (Matt. 5:32; 19:9) and the desertion of a Christian by an unbelieving spouse (1 Cor. 7:12–16). However, there could be other valid circumstances not addressed in Scripture, such as persistent physical or emotional abuse that one married partner inflicts upon another.

Let’s never forget that God wants both happiness and holiness in our homes. We will enjoy those blessings if we love and obey Him, as well as love our spouses deeply and are committed to them for life – just the way God intended. Thus, no divorce in any marriage is ideally acceptable to God today!

"'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband" (Eph. 5:31-33).

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