“The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord , the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. – Mal. 2:16 NIV
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Today’s Devotional continues to explore the message of Prophet Malachi to the Israelites and their Priests, who were most likely experiencing some form of hardship at that time. Instead of looking into their lives and seeing all they have done to wrong Jehovah, they rather chose to accuse Him of not loving them (Mal. 1:2-5), and Malachi under the unction of the Spirit of God, brought their attention to the quality of sacrifice that they were bringing to the Lord, informing them in the process that all those attempts at seeking the face of the Lord was only going to earn, not only them, but also their Priests, curses – Mal. 1:6-14. Their Priests, because they were partial in their implementation of the laws of God and had chosen to deviate from the standard set by Levi, whose conduct was what earned them the Grace to be called Priests of God in the first place. Rather than their so called offerings bringing them reprieve, it was only going to bring humiliation since they had equally chosen to dis-honour Him with their blemished offerings – Mal. 2:1-9.
Aside from them bringing blemished offerings which worsened their relationship with Jehovah, the Prophet Malachi revealed another reason why their request for reprieve was not receiving the attention of Jehovah. This, he identified as their breaking of faith, this time not with Jehovah, but with the wife of their youth. Wow! So Jehovah is even interested in all those solemn promises made by human beings in their social relationships. Like He simply put it, “I hate Divorce”.
The people as revealed by Prophet Malachi and using his words, had flooded the Lord’s Altar with tears, weeping and wailing, in reaction to the decision of the Lord not to pay attention or accept their offerings, even when it is not blemished, with regards to its quality – Mal. 2:13-14. The fact is that it is still blemished because it is coming from someone who had dis-honoured a pledge that was voluntarily made to another. Even when it was done in the absence of human beings, Jehovah revealed that He remains a permanent witness to all such pledges and He will always reject one who “breaks faith” with promises made in such circumstances and/or engages in the act of “Divorce”. To “break faith” will mean to stop giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person whilst Divorce simply means the termination of a union, more specifically in this case, that between a man and a woman. It can thus be concluded that a decision to do any of the above is sufficient to incur the anger of the Lord and render sacrifices offered by such unacceptable to the Lord. To Him, and as revealed in the scripture that is the foundation of today’s Devotional, such act is like one inflicting violence on the one that should be protected – Mal. 2:16.
No wonder several people today are investing massively in activities related to honouring Jehovah but yet, are not receiving the commensurate reward for their efforts. It may just have to do with that solemn vow that was made, even when no human being was around to witness it. Jehovah says He was always present and He served as a witness.
One may claim that he/she has never been married and so cannot be guilty of any of the acts, or may be married but was never disloyal or better still has never considered the option of divorce, but the Almighty God, in His statement, as revealed by Prophet Malachi, did not limit His reaction to only promises made before the congregants in that place of worship or that, made before that government official, or even before family and friends in a traditional ceremony, but all promises that were made between two people, who are involved in acts associated with marital acts. Whether made in the presence or absence of human witnesses, the vows become binding as Jehovah declares that He remains a witness on all such occasions and it is only his presence that matters – Mal. 2:14.
Rather than seek to explain or excuse all those broken vows or acts of divorce due to lack of official ceremony associated with them, you will be better positioned before Him, if you acknowledge your errors, probably done out of ignorance, with the hope that He will forgive, as those errors may just be the root cause of all those challenges that have been haunting you at every point of breakthrough into success – Prov. 28:13; 1Jn. 1:8. Resorting to fulfilling those vows where still possible, rather than making attempts to sweep them under the carpet, may solve all those lingering problems militating against your success, just as seeking the face of the Lord for the appropriate solution in such circumstances remain your best option. That will not come if you have not acknowledged your wrong doing, because of the thinking that it can be wished away. They will only anger Him more, and stop Him from acknowledging and accepting all those offerings that you bring to Him.
May God bestow on us all the bravery to accept our errors and do the needful, that will provide divine solution to our situations in Jesus name. Amen.