Of course I’m too young to be having senior moments. Although I think I might have been having them since I was about 25. One of those is when you seal an envelope and you suddenly realize you left something out; maybe the check or the letter that was supposed to go in it. And you’ve already gone to the trouble of addressing it, putting your return address on it, maybe even stamping the envelope. This is why more and more people are just doing it on the Internet of course. But it’s too bad if you did that with the envelope. You’re going to have to open it up, you know, even though you sealed it. Good luck. You probably won’t be able to use that envelope. Once it’s sealed, it’s meant to stay that way.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Permanently Sealed.”
When something is designed to stay sealed, you’re going to do damage when you try to break that seal, especially if that seal is supposed to be for the rest of your life.
In our word for today from the Word of God in Malachi 2:13, God responds to some of His children who have been wondering where God has gone in their lives. God says, “You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because He no longer pays attention to your offerings…You ask, ‘Why?'” Okay, now wait! These are spiritually frustrated people. They’re at the altar, they’re desperately trying to get through to God, but nothing is happening. The reason for this spiritual breakdown is somewhat surprising.
God says, “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. Has not the Lord made them one?…And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring…’I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel.”
Those are strong words, but they leave no question how deeply God feels about the permanence of the bond of marriage. It is designed by Him to be a permanent seal. And when you try to break that seal, everyone gets a part of them torn up. And God says here that these people will not be able to get their relationship with Him back on track until they have dealt with the problems in their marriage. Then those three sledge hammer words, “I hate divorce.” Let’s make clear, God doesn’t say he hates divorced people, but He really hates divorce.
And if our God hates divorce, we don’t dare take it lightly. In fact, we need to hate what God hates; in this case, divorce. That means fighting for, sacrificing for, and desperately praying for a marriage that we may want to give up on. To make sure we have done everything that could possibly be done to save that what was meant to be permanently sealed. We need to take every possible measure, including counseling and concerted prayer to hold that marriage together. And we can’t be encouraging what God is so against. The moment we even allow for the possibility of divorce, we greatly increase the likelihood that it will happen.
In God’s eyes, a marriage was never meant to end. He heard our vows and He expects us to keep them. He was the unseen witness at our wedding. When we go against the Master Plan, some of us can see how divorce twists and damages so many things. Like the children, for example. It distorts the lives of everyone touched by that broken marriage. Nothing is ever really working the right way again. It eats away at the worth of both partners. It creates a lifetime of awkward and unnatural situations. And apparently, it breaks the heart of God.
I’m so thankful for Ezekiel 36:26 where God says, “I will put a new heart within you. And I will take the old heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh.” Let’s be praying for God to do heart surgery where it looks like the end of a marriage is inevitable. He still does marriage miracles.
Marriage is designed to seal two people together permanently. When you break that seal, it just does so much damage.