Editorial – Divorce, Part I

Divorce is generally the end of a relationship that was originally intended to continue. Although Lucifer could have chosen to remain as a covering cherub, the highest of all the angelic host, he left his position. Eventually, “He who was once the covering cherub, whose work it was to hide from the heavenly intelligences the glory of God, perverted his intellect, and divorced himself from God. If a being so exalted could fall so low as to become the author of sin, let not man boast, but learn to wear gracefully the yoke of Christ, revealing His meekness and lowliness, believing on Him, cooperating with Him.” The Upward Look, 286.

Concerning this divorce there was no hope of a reinstatement: “Understanding the character of God, knowing His goodness, Satan chose to follow his own selfish, independent will. This choice was final. There was no more that God could do to save him.” The Desire of Ages, 762.

However not all divorces are final. “It is a wonderful thing that after man had violated the law of God and separated himself from God, was divorced, as it were, from God—that after all this there was a plan made whereby man should not perish, but that he should have everlasting life. . . .” In Heavenly Places, 11.

“The world, divorced from God by sin, has been restored to favor by the sacrifice of his Son. With his own body the Saviour has bridged the gulf that sin has made.” The General Conference Bulletin, April 8, 1901.

“Christ took upon him the nature of man, that he might carry man with him, and place him in the domains of mercy, in the arms of the infinite God. Through disobedience, man had divorced himself from God, and had become an apostate against his government. But it was God’s design that man should be restored, and again have access to the tree of life.” Review and Herald, May 30, 1899.

Following a divorce, the relationship cannot be developed again without a price being paid. In the case of Adam’s sin, the price involved all heaven in sacrifice. For the human being, who wants again to have the benefits of this atonement, a price must be paid—this price is not in terms of money or merit developed from human works. It is repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ as both savior and Lord. (See Acts 2:36; Acts 20:21.) This price includes everything, every asset that a man has. (See Luke 14:33.)

The development of a relationship with God again, after a divorce has occurred, has happened many times in human history. For example, Isaiah writes, “Thus says the Lord, where is the certificate of divorce by which I sent your mother away? . . . Behold you were sold for your iniquities and for your transgressions your mother was sent away. . . . Is my hand so short that it cannot ransom or have I no power to deliver?” Isaiah 50:1, 2. (See also Jeremiah 3:1–20.)

The forbearance of God, in allowing rebels or offenders against His law and government to return and repent, is beyond our comprehension. It happens over and over again, often for a period of many years. However, the forbearance of God does have limits, and there comes a time, just as in the case of Lucifer, when the choice becomes final, and an irrevocable or final divorce is enacted. We want to understand this, because during the closing period of the age of grace, Bible prophecy predicts a final divorce occurring again.

To be continued . . .