QUESTIONS on Divorce and Re-marriage
I visited your website and I was blessed by it. I do have two questions and I'd appreciate it if you could provide me with scripturally sound answers:
1) Deuteronomy 24:4 prohibited a divorced and remarried woman from returning to her first husband, because such a woman had been "defiled". Is this prohibition still applicable today? Is it scripturally okay today for a divorced and remarried woman to return to her first husband in cases where the divorce was unscriptural?
I ask this question because there are believers today who say that a divorced and remarried woman/man should remain in their current marriage and not attempt to return to their first mates because such return is prohibited by Deuteronomy 24:4.
Others, however, argue that any unscriptural divorce and remarriage constitutes an act of ongoing adultery and, therefore, the divorced and remarried individual must quit the adulterous relationship and either return to his/her first mate or remain single.
I find the use of the word "defiled" in Deut. 24 very significant. The reason given for the prohibition of return of the remarried wife to her first husband is that she has been "defiled" by her marriage to the second husband. This suggests sexual defilement at the hands of the second husband.
What exactly does the Bible teach in such matters? In view of the prohibition of return to the first husband imposed on a divorced and remarried woman in Deuteronomy 24:4, is it biblically correct for a divorced and remarried person to return to their first (former) spouse?
ANSWER***We must understand the whole context of marriage and divorce as under Moses or the Old Covenant. It was relatively easy to get a divorce; God ALLOWED pretty easy divorce under the Old Covenant. Jesus ran into this question with the Pharisees in Matt. 19:7,8. Now because God allowed easy divorce He had to put some kind of "breaks" on the rolling out of it all. If there was not some kind of "breaking system" on easy [for just about anything, as one school of the Pharisees taught; Jesus in Mat.19 seeming to agree] divorce, or you could soon see how crazy it could become; one minute getting a divorce for something simple, then deciding "well it wasn't too bad really" and getting re-married to the same woman. Go one step further, later she is divorced again for a simple matter, the man marries another woman, gets divorced from her, and decides the first woman was better, so marries her again; then she upsets him in some way and he divorces her again, and decides the second woman is better and re-marries her once more. I mean you could go on and on with half a dozen women getting married and divorced and married again..... going on among 4 or 5 or 6 women, back and forth. The whole thing would be a travesty and a complete huge ridiculous game of marriage and divorce, marriage and divorce among the same women. It would if not so serious a matter be a huge laughable joke.
So God allowing easy divorce [which Jesus did away with under the New Covenant] had to, needed to, put a law in it that would not turn it into a three-ring-circus.
Now under the New Covenant, such a law is not needed. First divorce Jesus brought back to NOT being so easy and just for every little thing [the subject is covered in-depth in my study called "Divorce and Re-marriage" on my website]. Second, we are in different times; Israel was a nation [supposed to be anyway] under God - State and Religion was NOT separate but one government under God's laws and rules. So today we have very many different situations to apply divorce and re-marriage. Okay, example: Two people marry, both non-religious; then later one becomes converted and accepts Christ as personal Savior. The other mate does not and wants a divorce. The divorce happens. They both go their separate ways. Keeping it simple [could be more involved in certain ways] they both remain single [for whatever reasons] then 5 years later the non-religious one ALSO becomes converted and accepts Christ as personal Savior. By some chance the two meet again, and a courtship and falling in love with each other starts once more. YES, they can under the New Covenant marry AGAIN.
The various situations could be endless under a New Covenant where God's people are not a nation but individuals.
We have moved from a nation under God, and easy divorce being allowed as Jesus said in Mat. 19 for the hardness of the heart; to a New Covenant that is God's people as individuals and not a nation as Old Israel was. The whole spectrum of divorce and re-marriage has changed from as under the Old Covenant to as under the New Covenant.
2) My second question has to do with people who got divorced when they were unbelievers. If a person gets an unscriptural divorce as an unbeliever and then he or she latter becomes a believer (saved), is he permitted to remarry? I have seen this type of teaching by a Church and I find no biblical evidence to support it.
ANSWER***This is I believe explained in my in-depth study on Divorce and Re-marriage. But whatever is done as an un-believer, when you become a converted Christian, all the past mistakes, errors, sins, is washed away. You have a clean slate; you now have a fresh start. Hence that person who in your story above is divorced, then they are divorced, they are single, they have a clean slate, a new fresh start. If not the silly ideas of having to live single for the rest of your life; or trying to find your once mate and converting them to Christianity...... well the ramifications of all that just would blow your mind. I go into it somewhat with examples in my study on Divorce and Re-marriage.
Please read my in-depth study slowly and carefully, and I believe all answers on divorce and re-marriage you'll find answered; maybe your first question was not, but it is now in my reply.