13 Another thing you do: You flood the LORD’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.
15 Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.
16 “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the LORD Almighty.
So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.
The first thing we should note about this passage is God’s attitude toward divorce. He hates it. It’s hard to state it any more clearly or bluntly. However God does not say that He hates divorced people. God looks upon divorce just as He looks upon other sins.
The Israelites’ relationship with God has been affected because of their divorces. This is the same as any other sin. Sin separates us from God. It is the reason we need to have our sins washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ. Without it, we have no hope of heaven because sin cannot enter into God’s presence.
Our daily sins affect our relationship with God though too. Even after we are Christians we must daily ask for the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus taught us this in the Lord’s prayer. We don’t have to become “re-saved” we must seek the repair the relationship that we damaged. It is no different than repairing a relationship with a friend that we wronged. We must say we’re sorry to begin the healing process.
The Israelites’ sin that God points out is their divorce. What God points out as the problem is that a divorce is the breaking of a covenant. When two people are married, regardless of the vows made and whether it is in a church or not, they make a commitment to one another that is intended to last a lifetime.
Breaking a vow is the same as lying. It is like looking God in the face and lying to Him. God takes marriage vows seriously and so should we. The breaking of marriage vows should not be taken lightly. Like all sins, it will affect our relationship with God.
Other passages on divorce