Driven by despair and a desperate need to break from the silence, a young woman summons the courage and stills her nerve to ask a question. She has been attending this small group meeting for some time, though she speaks little beyond the superficial. Today, however, she is determined to open the door that has been kept closed for so long. Today she’s determined to get help. “Is divorce okay when you’ve married the wrong man?” After a few minutes of light discussion comes the loud, strong voice of authority. “The Lord Hates Divorce.” And she steps back into the silence and the door closes for good.
The young man is familiar but keeps to himself. It’s a miracle that he’s here and that he survived the trauma of his childhood. He has overcome much but it’s all catching up to him lately. The discouragement is sweeping over him this morning in waves. He has to ask for help, but he’s afraid of how it will be received. He feels he can’t take any more rejection. He’s not eavesdropping but he hears a lively political discussion about pan handling. Again the voice of authority drops the definitive word of God which silences the discussion. “If a man doesn’t work, he doesn’t eat.”
Those are the moments. The Word of God comes down like a hammer, swung by the people of God in defense of the truth. They’re not swinging at the proud or the strong, but at the vulnerable and the weak. In defense of the truth defenders, they don’t recognized the vulnerable. Every one looks the same. All they see is the truth—the cold and impersonal truth.
I think I understand better now. Jesus was such an enigma for those of His day because He knows the truth, understands the truth, He is the truth and the life. He doesn’t simply use the truth. He does not tinker with truth.
Unlike the tinkerers, Jesus understands the heart of the Father, because He also is true. He knows that each command, each law is an expression of the heart of God. A heart to be trusted. So when the tinkerers of His day try to use the law to test Him, they fail. They fail because He knows the Father and they know the truth. They indeed know the truth, but they have not embraced it. They have not taken it into their bosom and allowed themselves to be shaped by it. They stand aloof from it, attempting to abide by it, but only to use it.
The truth tinkerers are always protecting us from the proverbial slippery slope. The same slope Jesus risked when he allowed His disciples to pick grain on the sabbath, when they ate with unwashed hands, when He spoke with a Samaritan woman, and when he did not condemn a woman caught in adultery. All unlawful things, yet they are somehow inline with the heart of God.
If you’re looking for the heart of God it’s not hard to find in the word. It’s there pleading with a routinely adulterous nation as the men deal treacherously with their wives. Divorcing them for any reason. So the Lord stands in judgement against their treachery and says, “I hate divorce says the Lord of Host.” He says it to a people He has demonstrated His love for.
If you do not love, you are disqualified from speaking the truth. You are denying the very essence of it and wounding souls. Souls that are dear to the heart of God. And if you have ever been crushed by the Word of God, swung by a defender of truth, a truth tinkerer, please know it doesn’t come from the Heart of God.