What is being said here is that any of us (Men AND Women) naturally put the happiness and contentment of their lives FIRST. It is true both of the Secular and the Religious among us.
Emotional distress, sickness and loss of material well being can, and do, cause us to CRY out, and even curse GOD. There ARE exceptions.
SATAN knows how to make each individual one of us CRY out, and with this cry there is always blame - seldom for ourselves. We must blame someone or something however, since otherwise we must see ourselves as having in some way 'been in error'. Adam and Eve were both in error - they both ignored their Conscience, AND the Word they had from God. The Man blamed his wife - and, through his wife, God Himself. 'The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat.' The woman blamed the serpent. 'The serpent beguiled me, (and Satan who used him), and I did eat.' Genesis 3v12-13 Ultimately we ALL know what we OUGHT to do, but please ourselves instead, casting blame on God, The Devil and whatever and whoever else may come to mind. AND thus the Scripture, existing only for the edification and education of Mankind, says to us in the Letter of James 4v17
'Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good,
and doeth it not,
to him it is sin.
Adam and Eve created the Blame Game in Marriage. They continued on together ( in their case, of course, there were no alternative partners to run to) and bore one another, and perhaps hopefully also came to forgive each other, and, by the Grace of God, reach old age together.
IN THE CASE OF JOB, God let Satan deprive Job of just about EVERYTHING; his sons and daughters, his property, and every animal that profited him, plus his good health and strength, and because of it his social standing and importance in the Society he lived in. Yes, Satan deprived him of all - except his wife.
Of course we must accept that this unhappy woman also suffered, and thereafter, living faithfully on with Job had to watch the immediate and progressive disintegration of her husband's joy and well being. She was hurting with him, and SHE cried out; she was pained, and pained with her husband's pain, and SHE blamed it all on GOD. She said to her husband, co-loser of all they had together rejoiced in - 'Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die.'
This wife blamed it ALL on God, and could see nothing to hope for, or to LIVE for. 'Curse God and Die!
BUT JOB, in all this, in all of his agony of mind and body, in all of his loss and pain, did not sin with his lips. He did NOT blame God. And he said to his wife 'Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speakest, What? Shall we not receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?
Job accepted his situation as God's will and purpose for him. He was not enjoying it, but he would not avoid it, nor run away from it Job 1-3. He trusted in God. He put GOD FIRST.
And at the END of his story in Job 42 God reversed all that Satan had done, and restored Job's losses so that he had twice as much as had been taken away from. His WIFE is not mentioned as having been taken away from him at any time - was she still with him? She may well have been so, and I believe that if they were together they had grown in understanding together, and would have been closer, and more perfectly, joined in the knowledge of God.
OF COURSE I AM WRITING as a Man who Believes in the God of the Bible, and I write to those who especially know the Christian Bible. But I am aware that some might read what I write who are NOT Christian, and have not read the Bible. Nevertheless, the views I express are accepted by me as in line, spiritually, with the Mind of the Creator, as revealed in the Bible, His Word to us all.
This is the 2nd Blog of the year, and as the first was a Comment on Divorce from a rather different
source, I want now to carry on from a very fundamental view tied to the Bible. I believe my view, but it is only made valid by the Scripture it is based upon. I will personally stand by it.
DIVORCE - The 2nd Part -A MAN MADE SEPARATION
It has been said, whosoever shall put away his wife,
let him giver her a writing of divorcement, but a say unto you,
That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause fornication,
causeth her to commit Adultery, and whosoever shall marry her that is Divorced,
committeth Adultery. MATTHEW 5v31-32
Divorce is the legal ending of a Marriage (in particular) so that husband and wife are free to marry again, or to live alone, having agreed to separate. I think in the Roman Church it is also referred to as an Annulment.
Throughout the world, increasingly since the 1950s, the divorce rate has been rising among those who have in facts been legally married either in Church or by Civil Registration. Additionally those who come together illegally in an unrecognised liaison (known as 'Come We Stay' here in Kanya), are also changing partners or running out on each other more and more frequently. This is making serious inroads on the traditional picture of home and family, and affecting the general stability and health of our world society as a whole.
IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE it was about the same. JUVENAL, who died about 458AD wrote that the Roman ladies counted more divorces than married years! In a sense this seems to have been legalised polygamy. JESUS said that it had at one time been agreed that whoever wanted to put away (divorce) his wife, he should give her a 'Writing of Divorcement'. What WAS this? What does it mean? In Deuteronomy 24v 1 we read:-
'When a man hath taken a wife, and married her,
and it came to pass that she find no favour in his eyes,
because he hath found some uncleanness in her,
then let him write her a Bill of Divorcement,
and give it into her hand, and send her away out of his house.
The Hebrew word used for 'uncleanness' has a wider meaning - NAKEDNESS. Clearly this was taken to mean that if a husband discovered some matter against his wife concerning her sexual relationships with any man not her husband, either before or after MARRIAGE - i..e. instances of fornication, adultery or both, THEN he was free to divorce her. But eventually this would not be all.
If the husband found ANY moral wrong in his wife, he could divorce her!
In this present age the REASON for Divorce has proliferated and expanded alarmingly. Uncleanness is now taken to mean almost ANY fault that might be discovered in a woman (and NOW also, in a man) can be brought as a reason for Divorce. The most common word used is INCOMPATIBILITY which simply put means an inability to agree or put up with the other; opposite in character, nature to each other; discordant, out of harmony with the other. They cannot rhyme together.
One wonders if Long Engagements, now often considered out of fashion, and replaced by often very short if not hasty Engagements, are part of the cause. Men and Women are marrying without understanding each other, or actually being aware of the likes, dislikes, and general opinions and interests that matter one to the other. Too much hurry, or it purely lust?
JESUS said that the only reason for Divorce can be Fornication. The Greek work given is PORNEIA is the one used in the Scripture, and also includes the idea or Adultery and Prostitution. Thus we get a narrowed definition of uncleanness. Why could a Divorce be agreed to in such a case? Because the ONENESS of the Marriage had been broken, and denied by the unfaithfulness of one of the two partners in the Marriage.
BUT JESUS ALSO SAID, - 'It used to be said that you can divorce your wife for ANY reason ( a loose interpretation of Deuteronomy 24) BUT in fact you can only divorce your wife IF you find her sexually unfaithful with another man - either before or after you marry her.' This seems to be the broad understanding of the Words of Jesus here. He goes on to say that if we divorce for any other reason apart from fornication we cause the wife to commit adultery, and whoever thereafter marries her will also commit adultery - unfaithfulness.
But WHY should this be so?
WELL THIS IS WHERE WE SHALL LEAVE IT FOR NOW. I am no longer sending regular Blogs; they may appear any time in a week, and there may be more than one sending.
TESTIMONY FAITH HOMES IS BATHED IN WARM SUNSHINE TODAY! All Schools are open again, and yet STILL parents are filling the streets and stores, buying last minute necessities for their children to be in School with. It has been quite a crowded, busy, and rather hectic week for all school and related suppliers, US included But things seem to have settled a bit now, and we pray and trust that the year will begin to pick up and peacefully continue. However NASA our Government Opposition is still making noises of protest, and threatening to disturb the peace one way or another. They show little sign of quietening down but we are believing the Lord our God will find a way of bringing some form of agreement between the two parties.
DARYL has continued all week in Nairobi with DAN NDUNGU, our 16 year old heart case. Dan has been undergoing further extensive tests every day. Daryl has had to be there a one responsible to give Permission, test by test, and just as a Responsible Person. During the week the hospital thought they had found Dan to also be suffering from a condition known as Sickle Cell, - a type of Anaemia. That proved a false alarm in the end. Daryl and Dan are on the way returning to Eldoret as I am writing. We have not heard the final result of all the new batch of tests, but we hope the NEXT appointment will be for the Operation! It is almost a year since we first discovered Dan had a hole in his heart. This is the third time he has been up to the Heart Hospital in Nairobi for relays of tests. It has been very wearing for Dan, and but for his faith in Jesus, I think he would not have made it thus far. Please continue to pray for him.
MANU returned from Tenwick Hospital where he attends the Eye Clinic. The Consultant was happy to notice IMPROVEMENT in his bad right eye, BUT unaccountably his left eye is now showing signs of infection, and he has had to suffer a whole two days of eye injections and so on. He has to go back on the 7th February for a further appraisal and more injections A very arduous and expensive series of treatments. He has stood up to them strongly in himself, but this time I think he felt very cast down, as he had hoped for better news. We also!!
This is supposed to be THE HOTTEST time of year. Currently, since Christmas it has been as cloudy and cheerless with RAIN and COLD - more like July that January. Our weather totally unpredictable. BUT for me it is just FINE since I have never done very well in HEAT, and so I am very comfortable.
God Bless you all, and keep you on the 'straight and narrow' with the hearts lifted up and full of Joy.
Not so much that noisy, fleeting, joy of the party spirit, but that JOY that even in the midst of trial and soberness, establishes you in the knowledge of His Love for you, and of his nearness to you.
Love from us all
John, Esther and Daryl Green