Mailbag Page 37

The healing mouth
Divorce and remarriage

The healing mouth

Katz writes -
1 Watt went right?
The electric company never hears much of anything from their customers when things are going okay. But if the power goes off for even a short time, they get tons of phone calls, many of them (so I'm told) being downright obscene.

In a mellow mood the other day, I called Hawaiian Electric's complaint line and told their representative, "Your service is great! Thanks a lot and may God bless and prosper your company." The person on the other end of the line was so surprised and happy that she asked me to repeat my message to her supervisor. Which I gladly did.
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  2 The giant and his hog
Last week I went to one of those places that wraps packages for shipping. (I was sending some macadamia nuts to my wife's sister.)

Parked on the sidewalk, nearly blocking the entrance to the wrapping place, was a big Harley Davidson motorcycle -- a maroon and chrome beauty; mint condition; fully loaded.

There were only a few people in the store. One of them was a huge Samoan fellow, long hair in a pigtail, big handlebar mustache, wearing jeans and a leather jacket with skull insignias. He looked to weigh at least 900 lbs (I exaggerate only slightly) with 890 lbs of that being solid muscle.
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3 Maybe I was suffering from temporary insanity, but I approached the fellow and said, "Is that your Harley out there?"

The big dude scowled down at me with a look that would frighten a Rottweiler. He said just two words: "Yeah. So....?"

I then told the man that his bike was the most gorgeous hunk of machinery I had laid my eyes on in many a day (which was true.) Boom! It was like night and day. The guy's face broke into a big old grin that instantly transformed his face into that of a kind and gentle man.
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  4 We talked motorcycles and other stuff for more than 30 minutes. He even took me for a spin around the block. I made a new friend that day.

I never cease to be amazed at the power of kind words and a friendly smile. Give it a try!
  Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. Pr 16.24

A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
Pr 15.23

Divorce and remarriage


Maria asks - Can a Christian woman get a divorce and remarry again?

  • My pastor taught me & the rest of the church members that a man can remarry, because the Bible says he can have several women, but a woman cannot remarry (thus there isn't much sense for her to get a divorce !?) because any man would be committing an adultery marrying a divorced woman & she would be committing an adultery, too.
  • Is this a correct teaching according to the Bible? Is this what the Bible says? I would consider this God's injustice towards women.
  • Who is right? Can you prove me your position with some verses from the Bible?

Bible Bell's answer

God ordained marriage very soon after He created Adam and Eve...

  • From the very beginning, God stated clearly that marriage should be monogamous -- a one flesh covenant between ONE man and ONE woman.
  • Ergo, the Bible most emphatically does NOT say that a man "can have several women."
  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Gen 2.24 (see also Eph 5.31)

Let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.
1 Cor 7.2b
During His sojourn on earth, the Lord's teachings on marriage and divorce were specifically based on the one-flesh covenant -- God's ordainment of ONE husband married to ONE wife.   The Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him, and saying to Him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?"

Jesus said, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said,
'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." Mt 19.3-6

The practice of having more than one marriage partner is called "polygamy."

  • As shown above, polygamy is directly CONTRARY to the one-flesh covenant, which is God's will for marriage.
  • Moreover, the Bible clearly shows that having several marriage partners can turn one's heart away from God, and will create tremendous stresses within the family and the home.
  Nor shall he multiply wives to himself, so that his heart does not turn away (from God). Deu 17.17a

And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian (whom she had borne to Abraham) mocking. And Sarah said to Abraham, "Cast out this slave woman and her son. For the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son, with Isaac." And the thing was very evil in Abraham's sight, because of his son.
Gen 21.9-11 (see also examples in Gen 29.30-31, 31.50; Deu 21.15-17)
Several of the Old Testament patriarchs practiced polygamy. Examples are Abraham, Jacob, and David.

Does the fact that God loved and blessed these people mean that polygamy is "okay with God"?
To answer this question, let's examine the case of David.

David was a man after God's own heart...

  • This does NOT mean that David was a sinless person.
  • The Bible clearly records that David was a polygamist, a murderer, and an adulterer. 2 Sam 3.2-5; 1 Chron 3.5; 2 Sam chapter 11
  The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him (David) to be commander over His people 1 Sam 13.14a

As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one." ...For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Rom 3.10, 3.23
Does the fact that God loved and blessed David mean that God showed personal favoritism toward David?

Worse yet, does it mean that God
condoned David's sins of murder, adultery, and polygamy?

Of course not!
God is not a respecter of persons. God FORGIVES sin. He does not condone it.
  For there is no respect of persons with God. Rom 2.11

If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1.9

David wrote...) I confessed my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, I will confess my transgression to the LORD; and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Psalm 32.5
We have shown from the Bible that God's standard for marriage is ONE man married to ONE woman -- the one-flesh covenant.

We now turn to Maria's questions concerning divorce.

From the get-go, let it be known that God HATES divorce.
  The LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce Mal 2.16a

Nevertheless, because of the hardness of our hearts, God ALLOWS divorce under certain circumstances.

These circumstances can be determined from careful and prayerful analysis of ...

  • Mt 19.9 (adultery)
  • 1 Cor 7.10-16 (desertion)
  • Gen 2.24, 1 Cor 7.3-5, and Eph 5.22-29 (irreparable rupture of the "one-flesh covenant" between husband and wife and God)
  They said to Jesus, "Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?"

He said to them, "Moses,
because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so." Mt 19.7-8

Except under the Biblically-allowed circumstances alluded to above, divorce and remarriage WILL ensue in the sin of adultery...

  • The sin of adultery applies equally to both the wife and the husband -- WHOEVER seeks the divorce -- as shown in the verses alongside.
  • In God's eyes, there is NO gender difference as to what does and does not constitute sin. Period!
  Jesus said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery." Mk 10.11-12

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free,
there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal 3.27-28


  • Marriage is God's one-flesh covenant between ONE man and ONE woman.
  • The Biblically-allowed circumstances for divorce are no different for a husband than for a wife.
  • Divorce under those circumstances is allowed, NOT required. So remember -- God HATES divorce!







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