Listen to this sermon: 03182012WhyGodHatesDivorce

Download the Notes: 03182012WhyGodHatesDivorceMal2.10-16

Why God Hates Divorce

Divorce defeats the purpose for which God made husbands and wives

Malachi 2.10–16

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • March 18, ad 2012


  1. I have never been divorced, but 
    1. I come from two divorces,
    2. first, my biological parents,
      1. then my mother and stepfather.
      2. My dad remarried, but they remained married until her passing last year.
  2. This vantage point helps me to see why God hates divorce 
    1. as revealed in Malachi 2.10–16.
    2. Granted the Lord makes an exception in Matthew, but
      1. I think even those people who have been part of that exception
      2. would still say that divorce exacts a heavy toll.
        1. For some people, it is the worst period of their lives.
        2. Have you thought about what it does to the children?
  3. God has and He addresses that in Malachi. 
  4. I will not address: 
    1. divorce and remarriage,
    2. one who does everything possible to stop a divorce, but spouse gets it anyway.
  5. Now, let us see why God hates divorce. 


  1. Malachi 2.10 – God Is the Creator and Father of Us All

    10 Have we not all one Father?
    Has not one God created us?
    Why do we deal treacherously with one another
    By profaning the covenant of the fathers?
    (Mal 2.10)

    1. Common Fatherhood.
    2. We are brothers and sisters,
      1. if not in Christ, then
      2. in Adam and Noah.
    3. Therefore, show kindness – 2.10 third line.
  2. Malachi 2.11 – God’s Holiness Profaned

    11 Judah has dealt treacherously,
    And an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem,
    For Judah has profaned
    The LORD’s holy institution which He loves:
    He has married the daughter of a foreign god.
    (Mal 2.11)

    1. God’s holiness reigns supreme.
    2. God’s people profaned it by:
      1. Acting treacherously against one another.
      2. Idolatry.
        1. Treachery is not learned from the Holy God or the Holy Spirit.
        2. Treachery imitates a false god or philosophy.
  3. Malachi 2.12, 13 – God Abhors Hypocrisy

    12 May the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob
    The man who does this, being awake and aware,
    Yet who brings an offering to the LORD of hosts!
    13 And this is the second thing you do:
    You cover the altar of the LORD with tears,
    With weeping and crying;
    So He does not regard the offering anymore,
    Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.
    (Mal 2.12, 13)

    1. God punishes the treacherous.
    2. We cannot fool Him by:
      1. Offerings
      2. Outward signs of sorrow
  4. Malachi 2.14 – Family Life Affects Our Life with God

    14 Yet you say, “For what reason?”
    Because the LORD has been witness
    Between you and the wife of your youth,
    With whom you have dealt treacherously;
    Yet she is your companion
    And your wife by covenant.
    (Mal 2.14)

    1. The Jews did not understand God’s rejection of their offerings and weeping.
      1. Had He not commanded both?
      2. How could He now reject it?
    2. What God wants: (Jesus said twice that we need to know what this means – Matt 9.13; 12.7)

      6 For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
      And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
      (Hos 6.6)
    3. They seemed to worship accurately, but
      1. their family life was rotten.
      2. God witnesses home life just as much as worship.
  5. Malachi 2.15 – Why God Wants Love in Marriage

    15 But did He not make them one,
    Having a remnant of the Spirit?
    And why one?
    He seeks godly offspring.
    Therefore take heed to your spirit,
    And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.
    (Mal 2.15)

    1. He wants them to be one.
      1. Oneness comes through love.
      2. Oneness comes through the Spirit.
    2. Why the emphasis on one?
      1. [Paraphrase of Gen 2.18–24]
        1. Companionship, best friends, respect, unity, cleaving, and unashamed.
      2. More than animalistic existence, but:
        1. Fellowship
        2. Structure of society
        3. A heritage of God (Psa 127).
        4. Creation of home life for nurturing children.
    3. God sought godly offspring or children.
      1. Oneness in the parents helps create godly children.
        1. Children learn love.
        2. Children learn how to develop relationships.
        3. Children grow up accepting the way of their parents: unity.
        4. Children love both parents.
        5. Joy becomes part of their nature.
      2. Divorce disrupts that oneness, disrupting the child’s life.
        1. They witness what is natural, breaking up and are confused.
        2. Divorced parents will often:
          1. Get children to be against other parent.
          2. Will put down other parent before children.
        3. They will imitate what they have seen their parents do.
          1. Hate, violating Matt 22.39, 40 with all its ramifications.
          2. Inability to develop companionships
          3. Physical abuse
          4. Verbal abuse
          5. Selfishness
          6. Disrespect for authority
        4. They will miss:
          1. Training from father, because usually he does not have custody.
          2. Training from mother, who may be working or dating.
        5. Causing children to become sinful.
          1. Foster home of 545 children, 540 from broken homes.
          2. Foster home of 150 children, all from broken homes.
    4. Therefore:
      1. Take heed to your spirit.
      2. Do not be treacherous against your spouse.

        28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church (Eph 5.28, 29).
  6. Malachi 2.16 – God Hates Divorce

    16 “For the LORD God of Israel says
    That He hates divorce,
    For it covers one’s garment with violence,”
    Says the LORD of hosts.
    “Therefore take heed to your spirit,
    That you do not deal treacherously.”
    (Mal 2.16)

    1. God hates divorce: God does not take lightly the undoing of his work,

      5 “‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt 19.5, 6).
    2. God hates divorce, because it is against His holiness.
    3. God hates divorce, because it is against everything for which He stands.
    4. God hates the violenceassociated with it.
      1. Between spouses
      2. When children become violent
    5. A second reference to what God says.
    6. Therefore again:
      1. Take heed
        1. Keep yourself under control.
        2. Focus upon your own spirit and how you may make peace.
      2. Deal not treacherously.
        1. Remember 2.10–16
        2. Shall reap as you sow
      3. Relationship with God is determined by marital relationship.

        7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered(1Pe 3.7).
        20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (1Jo 4.20).


  1. Let us also hate divorce. 
    1. He who knows God
      1. will love what God loves and
      2. hate what God hates.
    2. If we hate divorce as God hates divorce:
      1. We will not consider it as an option.
      2. We will be determined to work out problems.
    3. God does not want a marriage that is cold either, (opposites of Mal 2.14).
      1. Recognize God is a witness to your marriage
      2. Treat one another kindly
      3. Build companionship
      4. Keep your vows
  2. Turn your heart to God. 
  3. When we stray from Jesus, 
    1. it is as though we are divorcing Him, and
    2. it hurts Him like a divorce.
  4. Yet, before the Judgment arrives, 
    1. He gives us time to return.
    2. Are you ready to return to Him?