6 During the reign of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, “Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. 7 I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it. 8 I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. 9 Because Israel’s immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood. 10 In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,” declares the Lord.
So God is getting a divorce. Here’s what modern conservative elders and pastors might write to Him if He were a member of their church. (The following is similar to thousands of letters received by abuse victims when they escape their abusers.)
We hope this email finds you well, experiencing all joy in the fullness of the grace of our benevolent Lord and Savior, who lavishly bestows mercy and goodness beyond what we deserve.
We are thankful you accepted our invitation to meet with us last week and have spent the days since in sober prayer, going after the Lord for how we can best serve you in this critical time of battle for your marriage. Marriage is, as you know, the Creator’s design, the foundation for a healthy society, and Satan wants nothing more but to destroy this above all else. If marriage is destroyed, the church is destroyed, and we are confident in your love for the Creator’s design that you don’t want to contribute to humanity’s destruction.
As you shared last week, Yahweh, you are considering divorcing your bride, Israel, due to her unfaithfulness over the years. We are concerned to hear this and must tell you we fear for your heart. As shepherds of your soul and graced by the Creator of Life with a special anointing, we feel strongly we need to express our concern over your judgment and decision making. We only share our trepidations out of fervent love for you as fellow brothers and sisters in the Kingdom, for the wellbeing of your soul and the glory of the Gospel.
While we do acknowledge that Israel has indeed had multiple affairs, we need you to know that we have also called Israel into our offices and have spoken to her to get the full picture of the situation. We showed her a couple of bible verses, and she was quick to show repentance, tears streaming down her face, quick to mimic the words that we prayed over her.
She was very sorry you did not seem to understand how regretful she is to have been caught and is ready to do anything we tell her to do in order to remain in the same type of marriage you have been in. We are delighted to hear and witness this from Israel. Hallelujah to the Creator for redeeming and restoring all things and being faithful to help us in our time of trouble. As is evident, the Creator does indeed answer our prayers. We ask you therefore to not give up hope in praying. It is the Creator’s will that your marriage is saved. He hates divorce and so logically, he hates the one who files for divorce.
Indeed, there will be no grace nor safety for those who willfully disobey the Creator in this way. Therefore, as shepherds of your soul, we must plead with you to reconsider and humble yourself and repent of your lack of faith in the Creator’s law. You made a pledge before the Creator—a covenant. Israel has apologized, and it is your obligation and duty to forgive her. This means you cannot ever bring up the affairs and abuse again. It is as if these actions never happened. You must resume the type of relationship you had prior to knowledge of the affairs.
We would strongly suggest you resume intimacy immediately, to help restore the marital bonds, as well as proof your marriage from continued vulnerability and temptation. Ask her how you can serve her in this way, and let her know how desirable she is. Perhaps reflect on your own actions to determine if there was anything you did or didn’t do to tempt or cause her to go astray. We can help you find something wrong in yourself if you have trouble discerning, and then we will help you shame yourself until you fix her behaviors with your perfected performance.
I know you were very emotional last week when telling us about some of the marriage struggles you have endured over the years. I know you feel as if you have suffered long enough, but your feelings are wrong – the Creator calls us to long suffering, even hundreds of years in some cases. He is pleased when you suffer for the sake of the Gospel, as an intact marriage is how the world will know us as the Creator’s disciples. Israel’s whoring is unfortunate, as are the times when she sacrificed your own children’s lives to her lovers, but these common marital issues are not beyond the grace of the Creator.
Remember, you are actually the worst sinner you know. Again, she has said all the right words we needed to hear and acknowledged how wise and able we are to help the two of you, so we are confident she is ready to move forward, bringing change through the power of the Spirit and the new communication and intimacy skills you will be able to provide her with our guidance.
Again, there really is no need to “set boundaries” with her, as the latest trend in psychology is purporting. They like to tickle the ears and confound the wise, so we implore you to be on guard at this most critical time in your life and marriage. Remember, your very life, as well as your remaining children’s lives, are at great risk while you consider divorce.
We’ve come to realize setting boundaries is just an excuse and evidence of pride and control. The Creator provided Church Discipline as a creative way to control what we don’t like, and so you must trust us, as the shepherds of your soul, to be the only ones capable of exercising an appropriate “boundary.”
We really hope it does not come to that, Yahweh, that we would need to begin a discipline or excommunication hearing should you not heed our expertise and care but instead harden your heart towards reconciliation with Israel. We love you too much to let you make your own decisions or trust your own judgment or hear from the Creator yourself. In this emotional time, in fact, Satan will confuse you more than ever, distorting your ability to even hear or recognize the Creator. You must trust us to be your confidence, voice, judgment, authority, decision maker, discernment, guide & overall lord. For the glory of the gospel as the Creator wills it to be. It is our humble role that we have not asked for, but must steward for the sake of your soul.
Please reconsider your thoughts about divorce. We’ve attached some material we hope will persuade and condemn you as you go about your day, paralyzed in fear that we might be speaking truth and worried about how disappointed and wrathful the Creator might actually feel towards you for even considering to value yourself above the law.
We are praying every day for you and your children, Yahweh.
By the grace of the Creator we serve, whom we offer thanksgivings for enabling us to be not like other people,
Your Biblical Pastors & Counselors
They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.