Because the religious Pharisees knew that the law of Jehovah allowed divorce, they tempted Jesus with the following question: “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?” Jesus answered by saying how God created one man for one woman, and that in marriage they formed one single flesh. Then the Pharisees ironically replied, “Why then did Moses command to give her acertificate and divorce her?” Jesus answered again, with a divine authority, “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another commits adultery” (Matt. 19:3-9).
At this point, we will make three considerations that we find appropriate:
- Jesus takes a stand against divorce (save in the case of prostitution) and against the law,
- Divorce, considered legal by Jehovah, was illegal to Jesus (Deut. 24:1-4).
- Once legally separated by the law, both husband and wife remained united in the eyes of God, so they committed adultery.
The morality of the New Testament concerning matrimony differs greatly from the morality of the Old Testament concerning this same issue. One of the conditions for a man being a pastor or a bishop in the church was that he ought to have been the husband of one only wife, besides being a highly virtuous man and of an irreproachable character (1 Tim. 3:1-5). The demands were the same for the deacons (1 Tim. 3:12-13). Prostitution of the body was not tolerated in the Church. Paul declared that the man who joined himself to a harlot became a prostitute with her (1 Cor. 6:15-16).
Our bodies were bought in the cross and are a temple for the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:18-20). The widows used to be consecrated to Jesus and to the works of charity of the Church, serving first their family, and after, the Church. The widows that did not follow this doctrine were considered worldly and carnal. Paul says, “But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge” (1 Tim. 5:4-12). Concerning discretion in getting dressed (1 Tim. 2:9; 1 Peter 3:3-5).
There were grave sins in the Church, such as adultery, prostitution, incest, etc. In the Corinth church, a man who committed incest was handed over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, and why was that? The Church and the Holy Spirit did not have jurisdiction over such base sins, which should be left for the Devil to judge, considering that this person must belong to him (1 John 3:8). The Church judges higher causes (1 Cor. 6:2-3).
Jehovah used to act toward things of which the Church stays away. Jehovah had forbidden Israelites to marry the Canaanites (Deut. 7:1-4; Ex. 34:10-16). But Samson married the daughter of an uncircumcised Philistine against his father’s orders. However, his father did not know that Jehovah was guiding Samson, and that this guidance was by the Spirit of Jehovah (Judg.14:1-4; 13:25). The true story is that, compelled by the Spirit of Jehovah, Samson was united himself to a prostitute. Some time later, he became the lover of Delilah, who destroyed him. This was all in accordance to the plans of Jehovah (Judg.16:1; 16:4).
Jehovah became discontented with Saul, and so completely abandoned him, that a medium woman at En-dor prophesized his death and the death of his sons, in the same day (1 Sam. 28:19; 30:1-4). The woman spoke from the part of Jehovah. Then David started to reign and Jehovah handed Saul’s women over to David (2 Sam. 12:7,8). This is very strange. It seems that Jehovah completed his vengeance through Saul’s poor wives.
What is appalling, Jehovah, later on, did a worse thing towards David, for he gave David’s women over to another man, being David still alive to see it. Was not David his beloved and chosen? This happened as follows: David committed adultery. Jehovah, in retaliation, declared that he would give David’s wives to another man (2 Sam. 12:10,11).
In whose hands did Jehovah deliver David’s ten wives? In the hands of his son Absalom, for a tent was pitched on the roof of the royal palace, and Absalom went in to his father’s women in the sight of all the people (2 Sam. 16:22,23). This is fantastic! Has Jehovah effected that which in the New Testament is so serious—the sin of incest—a thing so infamous as to drive the Church in Corinth to give the persons into the hands of Satan for punishment? There was another incest caused by Jehovah: The one between Amnon and Tamar, brother and sister, children of David (2 Sam. 13:1-19). Someone may object by saying that Jehovah was not the author of it. I will answer by mentioning the words of Jehovah to David: “Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your companion, and he shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun’” (2 Sam. 12:11,12).
This is not punishment, but vengeance, for David was forgiven and, even then, Jehovah perverted his wives and children. The innocent were suffering for a sinner that had already been forgiven. Who has heard of one act of adultery being punished with eleven acts of incest? Jehovah also engendered the murder of Amnon by Absalom (2 Sam. 13:28).
Now, if Jehovah handed Saul’s women to David, he (David) also thought it normal to take Urias’ wife. Jehovah’s works followed a very low moral standard. By the law, when a woman was divorced of her husband and became another man’s wife, she got defiled (Deut. 24:1-4). When Jehovah handed Saul’s women to David they got defiled. Later on Jehovah takes these defiled women and hands them to Absalom for intercourse in public! Definitely, there is no moral standard in the Old Testament, or in the works of Jehovah.
The Church of Jesus Christ was established upon new laws, new moral standard, and so, a New Testament, and new creatures (Cor. 5:17). All is new, and Jesus said, “But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do men put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out, and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved” (Matt. 9:16,17).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira