Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. May the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob any descendant of the man who does this, who brings an offering to the LORD of hosts!
And this second thing you do. You cover the LORD’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So, guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So, guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.” – Malachi 2:10–16 (ESV)
Allen P. Ross writes:
Marriage is an institution of God. It accords with the divine plan and the dictates of nature. And as it was intended to be an integral ingredient in the bliss of Eden (Gen 2:23), so should it be in a healthy society. But even more importantly, marriage was designed as a social blessing to continue the race, to develop people spiritually and emotionally and intellectually, to soothe and sustain them amidst the depressing and difficult circumstances of life, and to enable people to function as the image of God, especially now in a sinful world (Gen. 1:27-28).
Unfortunately, people have introduced conflict and pain into their relationships and attempted to change God’s institution of marriage to suit their desires. The divine plan was simple and clear: one man and one woman becoming one united life (one flesh) throughout their earthly lives, to fulfill God’s plan for His creation, significantly, to produce a godly seed. But the human race embraced every form of profane and vile activity; and so formally or informally, marriages were ruined and dissolved because of sin (Matt. 19:8).
So Malachi addressed the problem directly. Nowhere in the Bible do we find a more powerful presentation of the effects of the violation of marriage – what it does to the plan of God, what pain it causes, and what the divine response to it is. And we find no better description in the Bible of the value of marriage either.
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 36
Q. 36. What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption and sanctification?
A. The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption and sanctification, are, assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.