“They said to him, ‘Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?’ He said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so’ ” (Matthew 19:7-8).
This reminds me how easy it is to twist what is written to get what I want to out of it. Notice the Pharisees asked, “Why did Moses command…” and Jesus responded, “…Moses allowed…” Do you see the difference? Moses did not command Jewish husbands to give their wives certificates of divorce and send them away. Rather, Moses commanded that if they were going to put their wives away they needed to give a certificate of divorce. He also gave some other restrictions about this divorce. That is not God commanding divorce. Rather, it is allowing it and governing it when it did happen.
How easy it is to shore up our own positions and ideas by using various colors and shades of words to subtly shift meanings. How easily we can make ourselves look good by shading our words with various meanings. How easily we can justify what we want to do by twisting the intent and meaning of God’s Word.
This just reminds me that today I need to be careful to understand God’s Word and use it accurately. I must not twist it to produce a command that isn’t there or find permission that isn’t granted or condemn something that is authorized. I need to be completely, utterly, and 100% honest with the text and just let that govern my teaching.
Keep the faith and keep reading,
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