God Who Did Not Abandon His Faithful Wife
“Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.”
Malachi 2:14-15 NKJV
God spoke to Israel through the prophet that King David will come and be with them. King David will come. What did we say a king is? A shepherd. A shepherd is one who will rescue the sheep entrusted by his father, even from between the teeth of bears and lions and bring them back to the father. He protects the sheep until the end.
God promised to send this king so that Immanuel – the promise God made to Abraham – can be accomplished. By this, God forespoke how He would send Jesus Christ the King to protect the souls God has entrusted Him until the last day so they can be resurrected. Jesus Christ would come and deliver us from the jaws of the enemy, the devil. God displayed His will to save mankind through the prophets.
For this, the devil first needs to be taken care of in order to rescue the sheep that are in his jaws. Thus, it says the reason Jesus Christ appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. But when destroying the devil, God did not deal with the devil directly. Instead, He demonstrated His love towards mankind so that the devil will fall into his own trap. God did not lash out at the devil for what He did. Imagine being the parents of a child who was beaten at school. They would be infuriated that their child was bullied and probably go to the school to confront the other kid’s parents. I actually had that experience, and yes, I felt like giving the other kid a smack. But how would the other parents react? A war would break out. And if that happens, the parents will probably get arrested, not the kid.
God is not going to deal with the devil in that way. He is not going to play at the same level as the devil. He made the devil fall into his own trap. God only built a relationship with mankind, and in doing so, the devil fell into his own trap. The Son of God came to the earth to accomplish this. But for that, He needed mankind to cooperate with Him. There were no legal grounds for Jesus to be overcome by the devil. The only ones the devil can touch are sinners. So, it is not as if Jesus can purposely become a sinner to be subjected to the devil’s attack. Hence, man became sinners, and then Jesus carried the sins of mankind to suffer.
Thus, the devil was able to kill Jesus. Why? Because He carried man’s sins. The devil’s claim was that Jesus was a sinner. However, God declared that He was not, and therefore raised Him from the dead and glorified His Son. At the same time, the devil was condemned. His unrighteousness was fully exposed. While He was accomplishing all of this, who suffered? The Son of God suffered. But before the Son of God came, mankind had to suffer. Why? It was because man became a sinner that he was trampled by the devil and oppressed. Thus, mankind became the woman that was utterly destroyed.
Ultimately, what God wanted to do was to be married to mankind. However, mankind became oppressed and trampled on by the devil-like rags. If a man wants to marry a woman, but she is in such a wretched state, what joy would he have by marrying and living with her forever? It would not be pleasant. In the same way, when God looked upon mankind, they were unpleasant to Him because they were His enemies. How filthy, sly and unclean is man’s heart? Though we are inside the church, we see a lot of unacceptable things happening while we are working in the church. But not only that, how many times do we do what is unacceptable? The only thing is that we do not openly talk about it to others. But we do not take notice of what we do and think lightly of them, whereas with other people’s wrongdoings, we make a big deal of it as though we are always right and others are not. But how many times do we do the wrong things? And how many times do we try to justify ourselves? These things are all unrighteous.
But when God is to glorify His Son up in heaven, where does the power and glory of the kingdom lie? It is in the number of the people, as is written in the Proverbs. Hence, it is good to have many people of God in heaven. Just as God promised Abraham, He has allowed his descendants, his people that are as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore, to come into heaven. It is not just angels that are in heaven but He has allowed mankind too. It is good for God to have those who have flesh, like the Son of Man in heaven. But does God have no power to do so? Since man became wretched like rags after being used for the destruction of the devil on earth, He could simply get rid of them along with the devil into hell and start all over again. He can start fresh by creating a new spirit, increasing mankind again as a holy people who are not tainted by the devil and taking them into heaven. God is more than able to do that. He can have innumerable people in heaven.
However, though He has a remnant of the spirit, He will remember the woman who suffered with Him and partook in His work. After getting married at a young age, a man and woman go through all the hard times together. Once things settle down and life is good, the man starts having an affair. They say that men have affairs when they are in their 40’s and 50’s, mostly in their 50’s. Why is that? When they were younger, they were busy working and getting on with life. But when they get to their 50s, life gets easier. They attain a certain social status, and they are wiser and influential. But the wife becomes rugged and craggy. And since the man is surrounded by many young women at work and in society generally, his heart tends to drift away from his wife. Plus, what if the husband and wife are not in a good relationship and constantly fighting? The man always has a desire to be comforted and find rest in his heart, but if there are arguments every time he goes home, that is also unbearable for the husband. So, he would lean onto whoever is nice to him. And based on these reasons, he may find another younger woman and start a new family, justifying his actions. Soon after, he asks his wife for a divorce. Then how tormenting would it be for her? He went through all the hard times with her, but when life starts getting easier, he goes after a younger woman to enjoy the good times with her. It will literally drive the wife out of her wits.
In such a situation, the guy who is misconducted deserves to get ill and die. Instead, the woman who was ill-treated suffers internally, even developing cancer and dies. The man might pretend like he is sad, but he can always get married again. This is what happens.
That is what happens on this earth, and how wrong is it? When God sees this, it is outrageous. Why? Because even God Himself did not do that. God used man, having man suffer until Jesus came, but when they became wretched like rags after being used for Him, He did not just throw them away and create a new mankind. He forgave the sins of man so that he is born again. The only way is by man becoming born again. Because no matter how much he is washed, he is still a rag. Have you ever washed rags before? In our home, sometimes it is hard to differentiate between towels and rags. At times, the kids use rags as bath mats, and somehow, they get mixed up in the laundry. Later, when I was drying my face, I noticed it was a rag. I feel it is rough. Then I know. No matter how many times a rag is washed, it is still a rag. So what can you do with it? It has to be born again. It must be made new. That is what God did. He sent His Son so that man can rely on Him, become born again and made new so that he is no longer his old self but a new creation. A new creation.
Although people believe in Jesus, they are still bound within themselves. So they insist on ridding themselves of the curses passed down in the family, or they remember every hurt and pain since childhood, claiming that those matters have to be dealt with one by one. They even talk about pains that were inflicted since they were in the womb. This is what people think they need to do. However, in God’s eyes, they are born again and are already a new creation. But people do not believe this. They are made new.
In this way, God has turned mankind into a new creation. This refers to the spirit. It is not a different spirit but the spirit of man that has been transformed. This is what God’s nature is like. After suffering through hard times together, He cannot just abandon them. God is full of compassion, grace and love. Who can ever blame Him? Even people justify themselves in the name of love. They say, “What can I do about the fact that I don’t like you? I can’t help it. I like the other person more. You are the one who was nasty. You have an ugly personality. I need some love and comfort.” This is how people justify themselves. Even if God were to do that, how can anyone say anything against Him? Yet, He does not do that. Thus, He rebukes us that we should not do such a thing when even God has not done that. We must be like Him, He tells us.
We should be very thankful that God has treated us in this way. The fact that He did not forsake us but cleansed us, giving us a second chance. He remembers those who suffered for Him. Thus, if this is our God when we suffer and live a hard life on account of Jesus Christ on earth, would God turn a blind eye to us? Of course, He will reward us. He will reward us with something far better than what we can ever imagine.
Hence, whoever does not believe God in this matter ultimately does not believe that God is love. Such a person does not believe in the nature and beauty of God. A person who believes in God will never doubt. One will never doubt God. I am not talking about doubting the existence of God but the love of God. If someone doubts God’s existence, what more can we say? Even demons believe that God exists. But demons have nothing to do with God’s love. Saints do not doubt His love. Since God dwells inside them, there is nothing that can separate them. They are completely one with God, and He will love them. In the Book of Zephaniah, it says that God will rejoice over them with gladness. He will rejoice over them with gladness.
Only a man who is newly getting married would feel joyful with gladness on his wedding day. Who would rejoice with gladness to see a ragged and wretched woman on his wedding day? But our God says He would. He would be overcome with joy. When we are filled with such love of God, we have received grace. As a result, we will have peace in our souls, and when we are at peace, we have every power. We will give thanks to God and love God. We have received this love already. But let us pray that we can truly be happy in our spirit because of this love. Pray we will never doubt this but wholly dwell in this love. Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, for those of us who have received such great love like this, please fill our souls with constant peace and joy. Through this, enable us to overcome all difficulties and hardships in the world. May all the challenges and events we face with Jesus Christ truly be remembered by God, and in the end, may the happiness of anticipating a great reward and glory from heaven be fulfilled abundantly. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Sermon by Pastor Ki-Taek Lee
The Director of Sungrak Mission Center
Sermon on November 22, 2012
Translated by Sungrak Mission Center English Team