The King's Gardeners Ministries
Reverend S. L. Gardner
Spokane Valley, Washington US
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You CAN Return to Your Spouse If They "Remarry".
This article prints out @ 4 pages.
This is NOT a dissertation on IF your marriage
is a covenant or not. It IS an attempt to empower EVERYONE who God has told
to Stand and is currently dealing with the "remarriage" of the spouse they
are standing for. It is absolutely impossible to address every persons situation
in one article. In my humble opinion it is better to stand where you are
than not stand at all. In our crazy mixed up world we MUST rely on God and
our personal relationship with Him to be the final authority in our lives.
I will NOT put God in a box. If God has told you to Stand then STAND!
Much of what a Stander has to deal with has been caused by the lack of proper education by religious leadership. Thank God for those like Pastor Craig Hill who was a pioneer in turning his "flock" to a godlier way. I wish we all had those kinds of teachers but we haven't. That leaves many in difficult situations left to eat the grass the leaders have trampled and drink the muddy water they have stirred up. (The word is food and water) Please understand that the mercy of God goes with the victims of those "leadership" fails. The vast majority of Standers fall into that category. Ezekiel 33 and 34 express this well. Let me just quote a bit of it. Eze 34:7 and following, "Therefore you spiritual shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; As I live, says the Lord God, surely because My sheep became a prey, and My sheep became food for every beast of the field because there was no shepherd - neither did My shepherds search for My sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves and fed not My sheep - Therefore, O you spiritual shepherds hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My sheep AT THEIR HAND and cause them to cease feeding the sheep, neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more. I WILL RESCUE MY SHEEP from their mouths, that they may not be food for them. FOR THUS SAYS THE LORD GOD: Behold, I, I Myself, WILL search for My sheep and will seek them out....... I WILL rescue them out of all the places where they have been scattered.... "
Eze 34:18 and following, Is it too little for you (shepherds) that you feed on the best pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? And to have drunk of the waters clarified by subsiding, but you must foul the rest of the water with your feet? And My flock, must they feed on what your feet have trodden and drink what your feet have fouled?" In our day truth in teaching about marriage has become "trodden down" and the clarity of the teaching of the Holy Spirit of God has become "muddy water" the flock has been forced to drink.
So let me say this plainly. Each one must come to God and find what God says. If you go by "statistics" which everyone knows I hate you do find an interesting thing. No not percentages but categories. ALL categories of marriage have restorations. Why? Because MARRIAGE is sacred unto God. God separated Adam and brought him back together as One again. This was LONG before Israel existed. MARRIAGE is of God and not to be tampered with under any circumstances. In reality man tampers with it all the time and the results are never good.
IF leadership operated as prescribed in the entire law of Moses on marriage and divorce in part families would be held responsible for the going after the errant spouse and actual physical penalties would be levied on the family of the sinning spouse for their failure to bring that spouse back into Gods will.
In addition according to Moses law the party of greater guilt NEVER EVER could get into the divorce courts anyway. There is a multitude of failures in leadership and teaching that have left Standers in the messes we face on a daily basis. Now having said all that let me say again. This article on Ezra is dedicated to those Standers who are being torn apart by current divorces and resulting "remarriages". I've written other articles discussing covenant and Standing if that is your concern.
I am so tired of the pick apart attitude used with the Bible. Pick out a verse and ruin someone's life with it! Possibly jeopardizing their eternal soul!!! NO NO NO!!! The Bible MUST be taken in it's historical context AND then --- and please hear this --- lined up against the character and actions of God!!!
Do I know it all? NO! Do I have a brain and can I read? YES Did God give us the ability to reason and make logical conclusions? YES! Now, if the Bible verses you read seem contradictory it's because they are NOT supposed to be taken together. There must be a different category those are supposed to fill is what reason would tell us.
First let me say this. No-fault divorce is biblically wrong and unconstitutional so by the render unto Caesar idioms and the Bible anyone giving it credibility is to be seriously questioned. God never told anyone to agree in victimizing the innocent. I believe Pastors that give credibility to divorces obtained by no-fault or duress should seriously reconsider their positions instead of trying to make the Bible conform to ungodly practices. In fact do you know that no-fault divorce is modeled on Roman law? Our constitutional framers absolutely forbid the laws of the US to be modeled on Roman law. Amazing huh? When nations followed biblical law things were good and getting better. When Roman law came into play the same thing started happening to "us" that happened to Rome. Decay, decadence and ruin and where is the Roman "empire" now?
Now having said that I will tell you the targeted verses I'm going to address. Deuteronomy 24:3, Deuteronomy 24:4 and Jeremiah 3:1, are there more like this? Yes, but I'm not going to take the time to list them. Hopefully you'll be able to see them for what they are when this is done.
First I'm going to give you the scriptures given that "contradict" these conceptualized verses. Then I'm going to tell you why there are two sets of verses that seem (and do NOT) conflict.
Hosea 2:7 says, RETURN to your FIRST husband. Meaning first husband of covenant. (For those of you who don't know what that means please don't stress over it right now.) Now before anyone gets antsy about that remember who Gomer was. A harlot! It was absolutely forbidden to marry one if you were a Levite and certainly never for a priest or prophet! Yet God COMMANDED Hosea to marry her. Why? To show that HE would NOT abandon His covenant with Abraham or marriage vows for starters. Please note I said, for starters and don't forget God is the third party in the marriage you are standing for.
Hosea 3:1 is a command of God - "Then said the Lord to me, Go again, love the same woman Gomer who is beloved of a paramour and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins used in the sacrificial feasts in idol worship." Then instructions for the restoration were given.
Now lets look at Jeremiah 3:8 a biggy in detractors arsenals of destruction. But I'm going to type the scriptures that set the stage for this verse and then what is said afterwards.
Ok setting the scene - This is around the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. The nation we call Israel (which is the name of only one tribe) had turned to horrible sin. The Babylonians were advancing. Jerusalem and its temple were rubble. Jeremiah is constantly telling the people that the temple (the "church"), the law, (redemption), and the covenant (grace for repentant sin) were not going to keep them from judgment. At the same time a remnant of faithful were crying out to God for revival and return to Gods way of living. Lots of comparisons to this day and age.
God was frustrated, angry and couldn't get his rebelling beloved's attention! Consequences and chastisements hadn't worked. Israel kept going their own way and many blamed God for their troubles. They just couldn't see that the laws of God were in play bringing discipline and worse. Sound familiar? I highly suggest you read Jeremiah and read it like an account of a rebelling spouse. God is the Stander. God is the PRIME example of a Stander and Jesus is the physical manifestation of Standing.
Jeremiah 3:2 says, "Lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see, (Refer to Leviticus 26 to see where in the rebellion this places Gods beloved rebel), where have you NOT been adulterously lain with? By the wayside you have sat waiting for lovers, like an Arabian who waits to plunder in the wilderness; and you have polluted the land with your vile harlotry and your wickedness unfaithfulness and disobedience to God." Israel's sister tribe Judah was right in there flaunting the most vile sins against God too, sins God likened to adultery with many others.
Now we come to the big bang verse. Jeremiah 3:8, "And I saw, even through Judah knew that for this very cause of committing adultery I the Lord had put faithless Israel away and given her a bill of divorce. OUCH! Did God divorce Israel? Did God break His word? His covenant? If he did the Word says the sun will no longer shine and neither the moon. Hummm I know it was cloudy today but there is still sunshine! Guess God didn't break His vows did He? Not even with ALL the biblical reasons used in Mosaic law! Laws people like to pick apart to suit their purposes and rarely apply in context to Gods character.
Verse 9 - 11 talks about Gods beloveds' attitude. Words are used to describe her like immorality mattered little to her; she polluted and defiled the land committing adultery, faithless and treacherous not returning to God with her whole heart. Sheer hypocrisy, backsliding and false were also words to describe these rebels.
Now lets look at what God ended up doing ok? Verse 12 uses these terms, "Return faithless Israel, says the Lord, and I will not cause My countenance to fall and look in anger upon you, for I am merciful, says the Lord; I will not keep My anger forever." Again after these words a plea to return in repentance was given in 5 very long verses. Verse 20 says, "Surely, as a wife treacherously and faithlessly departs from her husband, so have you dealt treacherously and faithlessly with Me…" Then another plea for the beloved rebel to return! Verse 22 Return, O faithless sons, says the Lord, and I will heal your faithlessness. And they answer Behold, we come to You, for You are the Lord our God." God goes on pleading and saying He will receive his faithless one home. Oh He expects repentance and for her NOT to keep sinning but Gods pleas for his beloved who is the worst of harlots to return to him. He says He will forgive and cleanse her and restore her to her rightful place. Interesting considering how Standers are continuously given this reason and that reason to quit.
On and on God went pleading with the one our Bible translates as the one He divorced to return! Over and over again Gods beloved has rebelled and sins the worst sins against Him. Over and over again He's taken her back NEVER leaving her no matter how hurt or angry God got. So I guess that word "divorce" didn't exactly mean what our modern society has translated it to be huh? Logic tells us that. If God had divorced Israel they wouldn't exist! Certainly the prophetic promises wouldn't have happened in a "broken" covenant but we know the promises are true. Israel does exist and the prophesies over "her" continue to be fulfilled. Covenant is being played out on a daily basis NOT divorce. Consequences for being rebellious are seen but not divorce and abandonment.
Now some may say, yes but that's a betrothed what about someone whose already married and goes off and marries another. I will again return you to Hosea and now I'll tell you why this is so tremendously important. Levites were screened by their physical and moral perfection. A priest even had to have eyebrows that conformed to a certain criteria! I have books describing what had to be taken into account in both categories. Trust me on this - NO gentile could even marry a Levite! You see, there were different categories of marital law depending on who you were and what your calling was! Ruth married Boaz with Gods blessing didn't she? She was gentile/converted (a specific category) and he was of the chosen. You see Christians get all the "rules" mixed up!
Over all pay attention to Hosea - he was held to the highest order, he had remained chaste all his life according to the strictest moral codes. Hosea not only married someone who would be categorized as polluting the land (and should have been stoned) but God commanded it! God commanded this marriage of someone who was to obey the highest order of rules! After he married this woman, Gomer went off and became a whore in satans temple! She became a whore and a satanist AFTER being joined to God through Hosea! WOW! She actually married demons! You can't get worse than that. But Hosea 3:1 is crystal clear RETURN to her. Hosea even had to pay a purchase price for her. How humbling that must have been for this holy man of God.
Now I've said all that to say this. No matter what ANYONE says, follow the example of Jesus and our Father God who are the ultimate Standers. They wait, and some beloved rebels come to Him quickly, some wait longer and some are near death before coming "home" to the Lord. Unfortunately some never come but God/Jesus stand faithful until death us do part. Our vows are patterned after Gods vows to us, so follow Jesus please!
Rev. Dr. S.L. Gardner
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