During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the LORD. The LORD said, “It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death. – 2 Samuel 21:1
Not long after the death of Absalom and his rebellion there followed another rebellion by Sheba of the Benjamin tribe. His rebellion was put down rather quickly. Soon there followed a three-year drought in Israel. When David inquired of God about this disaster, God replied that is was on account of Saul’s attempted annihilation of the Gibeonites, whom Joshua had promised to protect after having made an alliance with them despite God’s command to destroy all the peoples of Canaan. David would go on to meet certain conditions set by the Gibeonites as recompense for their loss. It involved the death of seven of Saul’s descendants. They were hanged, and God lifted the drought over Israel.
God takes people at their word. When we unwittingly make a vow to God or swear by His name, He will hold us responsible for our actions regarding fulfillment of the vows we make. Because of this reason and the fact that everything in the universe belongs to God, Jesus told us we should not make vows. Why? Because it is impossible within the human element to keep one’s vows. The Holy Spirit can empower us to keep our vows. There is one vow that is allowed without exception because God instituted it – the marriage vow, and God expects us to honor that vow which is made in His sight and the sight of man.
Although Joshua made a vow to ally himself with the Gibeonites and not eradicate them, Saul was to continue honoring that vow and not destroy this helpless people with whom Israel had made an ally of in the presence of God. Saul in an attempt to make a name for himself with the Israelites put to death many of the Gibeonites, who were faithful servants of Israel. Because Saul killed them, God punished all of Israel during David’s reign with a three-year drought. Sin does have its consequences with which we must live even if God spares us and forgives us of the sin we committed.
Do you see why God hates divorce? Marriage is a vow made not just between the married couple to remain faithful to each other, but they enter into a vow with the LORD! Every marriage is triangular in scope. There is the relationship between spouses but also between each spouse and God (or there should be). When one person breaks that wedding vow through infidelity or some other way that leads to divorce, all parties involved are affected: God, the husband, and the wife. We, as married folk, make an agreement to ally ourselves with our spouses and to cherish them and protect them and honor them through the good and bad times. Divorcing a spouse in essence is no different than what Saul did to the Gibeonites. One person in the marriage is being annihilated by the other one seeking some personal gain, albeit wrong.
God looks at His bride with the same eyes of love. He betrothed to Himself the church as His bride. Israel started the bad habit of prostituting herself before other gods by worshiping them rather than Jehovah. God gave Israel a marriage contract called the 10 Commandments. At the top of the list was the notion of having no other gods before God. He alone is God and worthy to be praised. There is none like Him. He doesn’t share His glory with anyone. When we as His people and bride turn our backs on Him and serve Satan, we have broken our spiritual wedding vows to the Bridegroom, Jesus, who awaits the day He presents Himself with a bride washed pure and holy in white garments. Are you remaining pure and holy to God? Are you honoring your spiritual wedding vows to Him or rather living the way you want?
Father, I have been married and divorced. I know the pain and trouble caused by a failed relationship/marriage. I can see why You hate that awful thing that breaks up families and couples and separates them forever mainly because of personal wants and evil gain. You cherish Your bride and chasten her daily that she might present herself pure and holy before You on that blessed wedding day in the future. It broke Your heart all through the history of Israel as she spurned You and turned her affections toward Satan. Your people still continue that tradition (albeit a sad one) to this day. Many so -called, self-professing Christians don’t serve You but serve Satan. They say they love You with their mouths, but their hearts belong to Satan. When I declare that I love YOU, it is said with a heart of gratitude and appreciation for the God of the universe who gave up eternity and majesty to become one of us and die for us. Without You, I am nothing! Thank You for loving me despite all that I’ve done in the past. Help me to never leave my first love – Jesus! In His glorious name, Amen.