OK, here's the plan (if God is willing):

1) Every day will be a new devotional. I have enough devotionals for every day for three years

2) Also as I can, I'll be posting on my new political blog (see bottom of page).

Some other housecleaning:

A) If you'd like to just get new postings sent to your email, just submit your address in the box on the left just below. There's just one possible downside, though. Occasionally I'll add a music video at the end that's relevant to the devotional, and you won't get them in the email sent to you. If I add a video though, I'll make sure to mention in the posting, so you'll know to come to the site to see it if you'd like.

B) I actually finished writing new blog posting for the TAWG at the end of 2016. So what I'm doing now is at the beginning of every month, I'll move the earliest month from 3 years ago ahead so that a "new" posting appears every day. That's why you won't find any postings for January 2014, for example.

C) When I started this Blog, I was using the 1984 edition of the NIV, and that’s what I linked to on the Biblegateway site. However, in 2011 Zondervan updated its edition and thus reworded a lot of the NIV translation. Therefore, all the links which went to the 1984 edition now redirect to the 2011 edition, which often has slightly different wording. Thus, part of my editing process has been to update my Scripture quotes in my postings. But I might have missed some, in which case you might see my quote in the posting as a little different from what comes up when you click on my citation link, since that redirects to the 2011 edition on the Biblegateway site. It's a good thing that we realize that the work of translation never ends, but it can be a kind of a pain on a site like this. If you see any difference in verbiage between my quote and what shows up as a link on the Biblegateway site, or if you hover over a link and it has "NIV1984" at the end of it, please notify me and I'll correct it.

D) I can't believe I have to say this, but here goes. At the end of every posting is a suggested short prayer that has to do with what we discussed. This is actually what I've prayed when I finished writing it. In no way am I asking you to pray the exact verbiage of my suggested prayer. It's just a springboard for your own prayer, nothing more. Quite frankly, I've never been a fan of praying rote prayers written by someone else. As with everything else I do here, to the degree it helps, great; to the degree it doesn't, chunk it.

As always, thank you so much for reading, even if it's to read one post. God bless.

[Mar 18]--Moses, Jesus, and divorce

Deut. 24:1-4

As I mentioned before, this society is becoming more and more plagued with “serial monogamy.” Polygamy is illegal, so instead we marry and divorce multiple times. Marriage too often is seen as just a legal contract, which can be broken whenever both parties (or even just one) decide that it’s no longer convenient to make it work.

God apparently takes marriage a whole more seriously than we do as a society. Why then would I pick today’s passage, which seems to set up rules on how to divorce your spouse and even outlaws remarriage in some circumstances? If you’ve read the gospels, you might be familiar with the story of when Jesus was confronted with the question of divorce. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all chronicle it, but we’ll look at just one, Matthew’s version. The Pharisees asked him about divorce, namely when is it right to seek it? He pointed them all the way back to the first and second chapter of Genesis (amazing how those first three chapters keep coming up) for God’s standard. They responded with a counter-example from the Torah, today’s passage.

Jesus’ answer is very instructive for us, and we should take it to heart. If we believe in the inspiration of Scripture, then the same God inspired the Law of Moses, and thus Jesus is uniquely qualified to interpret it (being its Author, duh). It seems that Jesus’ point is that this passage is a concession to the sinfulness of men, not an expression of the Lord's willingness to see more divorce. What we need to note is that this was a step against divorce, not towards it. Throughout most of history in most cultures, divorce was always the prerogative of the husband, and he could divorce his wife and throw her out on a whim. Even today, in cultures influenced by Islam, all a husband has to do is say “I divorce you” three times to his wife, and their marriage is ended. Of course, this freedom is reserved for only the husband.

God’s law changed this. He recognized that with sinful people, you would get some divorce, but in effect he said, “If you're dead set on getting a divorce, here's the procedure you have to go through.” This put up some roadblocks to a hasty decision, and would hopefully give the couple time to reflect and attempt to reconcile. If they did decide to proceed, then the Lord put up at least one more disincentive: He made it clear that this was not a step to be taken lightly, and he did so by forbidding them from having any on-again-off-again type of relationship (very common today). This was intended, again, to discourage divorce as much as possible.

One of the reasons (I believe) why the Lord is so against divorce and pro-marriage is because he cares about women. Study after study after study shows that women usually suffer more in divorces: financially, emotionally, and in most other aspects. Throughout most of history, being pro-marriage (and thus anti-divorce) was meant as a protection for women against men who might be tempted to get rid of "the wife of [their] youth" in favor of an "upgrade" to a younger model. This doesn’t even take into account how much better off children are when raised in a home in which God’s standard is honored and celebrated. He takes marriage very seriously, so we should too.

Father, behind all of your laws is your heart of love. Help me to be the man of God I need to be.

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