The Lord Hates Divorce
The prophet writes, “Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. 15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. 16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously” (Mal. 2:14-16).
In this passage we find the idea that God hates divorce, or the putting away. While this is true, is this the sum of the point being made? Some use this passage to stay in a marriage that they have every right to get out of, but because of this passage they stay in it.
What is the greater point that the Lord is making? Is it solely marriage? Indeed marriage is the topic here, but what else has the Lord spoke of? He spoke of “dealing treacherously” with their wife. Now, what does that mean? It is the idea to deal with their spouse deceitfully or faithlessly. He also spoke of the covenant, but what does that mean? It means an alliance or agreement. So when we consider the key words “treacherously” and “covenant” the Lord is speaking of keeping our word. So what the Lord hates is when we do not keep our word!
Paul spoke the same, “Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:” (Rom. 1:31). This word carries the same meaning in the NT as in Malachi, faithless. When we make a covenant, in marriage and out of marriage, whatever that covenant is God expects us to keep our word, and when we don’t He hates that.
Solomon wrote, “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?” (Eccl. 5:4-6)
Peter said, “Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:4). As he spoke to Ananias Peter calls him out on his vow. He lied when he did not keep the vow, he lied to God and God took his life in the next verse.
The Lord hates that men do not keep their word. The Lord hates that men are faithless in agreements that they make. To be faithless in things we say we will do makes us a liar. As the wise man wrote, “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight” (Pr. 12:22). The Lord hates faithless covenant breakers but loves those that keeps their word.
Covenant breaking is a grave sin and it will indeed cost one their soul!