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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Malachi 2:16

For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
For further reading - Malachi 2:10-16

Everywhere we turn in our devotional readings, we run into the "prophetic" (futuristic) and the "practical" characteristics of God's Word. Such is the case as we come to the writings of the last prophetic message of the Old Testament, Malachi.

We must first understand the context of our reading before we can see the prophecy revealed. We also need the historic background of this passage to be able to grasp the practical significance of our reading. Let's look at the historic first.

Malachi 2:11 refers to the Old Testament account of the tearing apart of the 12 tribes of Israel. This incident is recorded in I Kings 11. In that passage, it describes the conclusion of the 40 years of the reign of King Solomon over all of Israel.

With the demise of King Solomon, his kingdom will be divided, with 10 tribes moving to the north, and the 2 southern tribes remaining in Jerusalem, I Kings 11:9-40.

The ten tribes who went to the north kept the name "Israel", and the two southern tribes became known as "Judah". The division of the twelve tribes of Israel took place because of the "multiplicity of marriages" by King Solomon, who had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Malachi 2:11 reveals that Solomon’s many marriages to the "daughters of strange gods" were an abomination committed in Israel.

God had set the pattern for a "biblical marriage" in Genesis 2:24. Man and woman were to "leave" their parents and "cleave" to their spouse so that they would become "one flesh".

In the New Testament, Jesus added to this directive stating that what He had joined together in marriage, let no man tear asunder, Matthew 19:6. Malachi reinforces this philosophy by stating that God hated the "putting away" of the wife, a divorce.

Now, please don't get angry if you've experienced a divorce. Remember that it's not the "unpardonable sin", and, if you have accepted Christ as your Saviour, all sin is under the blood. However, we must lift high God's standard.

The prophetic aspect of today's reading is referring to the dividing once again of the nation of Israel, as foretold in Ezekiel 37:15-23. This prophetic passage predicted a future division of the 12 tribes of Israel into two Jewish states, Israel and Judah, during the coming Tribulation period. They will only come back together when the Messiah washes away all of their sin, Ezekiel 37:23.

It is possible that you have never heard that there will be two Jewish states in the future, (for more information, you can get the audio series "Ezekiel: Retribution or Restoration" from our bookstore). However, this future division is spoken of by Malachi and Ezekiel, as well as the prophet Jeremiah, Jeremiah 3:18.

There are those who live in Judah and Samaria, (the "disputed territories"), today that are already making plans for a second Jewish state called "Judah". The stage is, at this time in history, being set for the "final drama" to be played out. Bible prophecy will be fulfilled.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the "practical" and "prophetic" significance of Bible prophecy. Help me to live by Biblical principles in these prophetic times.