“What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
As I read this verse this morning, I understood clearly that Jesus is setting up a challenging standard with regard to marriage. He says, in no uncertain terms, that divorce is wrong and that the only reason that divorce might be permissible is if one spouse had been unfaithful to the other (that proviso is contained in other gospel accounts of this conversation). I know that we automatically want to start asking about other circumstances wherein we think that one spouse should be able to divorce the other without being under the same sort of command not to marry again or be guilty of adultery. Ignoring all that noise for the nonce, I really want to consider whether or not I separate other things that God has joined together.
There is that principle here. If God joined it, then I should not separate it and I do so at my own peril. Some other things that God has joined together that I have noticed we want to separate are mercy and judgment, God’s foreknowledge and my free will, obedience and blessing, to name only a few pairs. The list is rather extensive, so I will not encumber this post with the list in its totality. Nor will I spend too much time on the balance between these pairs. I do not fully understand the balance and better minds than my own have made excellent explanation of them. However, I will note that separation of these things is perilous. Church history contains examples of times when earnest believers have put asunder what God joined to disastrous end.
Let me examine myself this morning and see if I am separating what God has joined in any fashion — word, deed, or thought. If I am, let me repent of it and seek to correct the error.