divine concessions

“Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?” they asked. Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. [Matthew 19:7-8 NLT]

Have you ever had a conversation like this one?
Often people use Old Testament law saying that God has spoken and has settled a matter.
Such is the place that Jesus finds himself in this passage.

Religious leaders are defending a man's right to divorce his wife.
Interesting to note that a woman did not have this right.
Jesus points them back to the garden and the way that marriage is meant to be.

Does this passage cause you to wonder?
Are there other things were allowed because of the hardness of people's hearts?
Perhaps many things in life are merely divine concessions similar to divorce?

Jesus describes this idea in more detail in the sermon on the mount.
There he speaks of hard hearts that hate, lust and covet.
In that sermon, and here, Jesus appeals to the heart of issues.

God is always in the heart of an issue and not all that interested in the legality of it.
The heart seems to be the real issue when it dealing with difficult life issues.
So why not overcome a concession than merely live into it?

Help me Lord to keep my heart soft and tender.

... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.


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