“And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and crying; so He does not regard the offering anymore, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. 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. For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,” says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” You have wearied the LORD with your words; Yet you say, “In what way have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them,” Or, “Where is the God of justice?” Malachi 2:13-17 NKJV.
One of the things the LORD showed me about this verse is that when men neglect the wife of their youth, and do not see to it the children are cared for by a father, that is SO grievous to Him.
He didn’t seem all that upset with Jacob having four wives… technically two wives, and two concubines.
What is upsetting to the LORD is NOT TAKING CARE OF THEM. And when men’s hearts are clothed with the violence of hating their wives, it will limit the answers they get to prayer.
It is a good thing to forgive the actions of others, as if you don’t, that violence of hatred in your heart will cause you much harm.
Bitterness is a terrible thing in the human soul. And if you want the gift of God’s heart, you cannot remain bitter, hateful, or vengeful if you expect to know His heart.
God is LOVE. And he who hates his brother [or sister] does not know the LOVE of the Father. Many people are locked up from hearing HIS VOICE, or having their prayers answered because of this.
“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “LORD, I believe; help my unbelief!”” Mark 9:24 NKJV.
Here is another important aspect for having prayer and travail be effective. You have to BELIEVE that you will RECEIVE an answer. There is a saying that he who expects nothing will not be disappointed!
A Sinful Woman Forgiven
“Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” Luke 7:36-39 NKJV.
“Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Luke 7:44-49 NKJV.
Even if the tears of the intercessor were her own in a prayer group, it is a very private thing between her and God.
If they ASK for prayer, great, but if not, let them work it out alone with God.
The key is DON’T assume anything. And don’t go up to them and say PEACE, PEACE, when there is NO PEACE.
“And when they had come to him, he said to them: “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, serving the LORD with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews,” Acts 20:18-24 NKJV.
“Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears,” Acts 20:31 NKJV.
Here, Paul is admitting that his own life in prayer consisted of travail and weeping for the souls of others.
And like the verse above these says, it is LOVE that gives us that heart that is able to weep for the souls of others – His love.
“For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you,” 2 Corinthians 2:3-4 NKJV.
“For I wrote you out of great sorrow and deep distress [with mental torture and anxiety] of heart, [yes, and] with many tears, not to cause you pain but in order to make you realize the overflowing love that I continue increasingly to have for you. But if someone [the one among you who committed incest] has caused [all this] grief and pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure, not to put it too severely, [he has distressed] all of you,” 2 Corinthians 2: 4-5 AMP.
Like Jesus, Paul wept at the transgressions of the flock of the LORD.
It pains the heart of God when we go our own way, instead of His way.
It pains His heart when we don’t get the help we need, when we don’t trust HIM enough with our lives to allow for healing.,
“As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when HE had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him,” Hebrews 5:6-9 KJV.
“In the days of His flesh [Jesus] offered up definite, special petitions [for that which He not only wanted but needed] and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was [always] able to save Him [out] from death, and He was heard because of His reverence toward God [His godly fear, His piety, in that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father],” Hebrews 5: 7 AMP.
“And in every province where the king’s command and decree arrived, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes,” Esther 4:3 NKJV.“I will take up a weeping and wailing for the mountains, and for the dwelling places of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that no one can pass through; Nor can men hear the voice of the cattle. Both the birds of the heavens and the beasts have fled; They are gone,” Jeremiah 9:10 NKJV.
The People Mourn in Judgment
“Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for skillful wailing women, that they may come. Let them make haste and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run with tears, And our eyelids gush with water. For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion: ‘How we are plundered! We are greatly ashamed, because we have forsaken the land, because we have been cast out of our dwellings.'” Jeremiah 9:17-19 NKJV.
“Yet hear the word of the LORD, O women, and let your ear receive the word of His mouth; Teach your daughters wailing, and everyone her neighbor a lamentation,” Jeremiah 9:20 NKJV.
“A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and a wailing of the leaders to the flock will be heard. For the LORD has plundered their pasture, and the peaceful dwellings are cut down because of the fierce anger of the LORD. He has left His lair like the lion; for their land is desolate because of the fierceness of the Oppressor, and because of His fierce anger,” Jeremiah 25: 36-38 NKJV.
“Violence has risen up into a rod of wickedness; None of them shall remain, None of their multitude, None of them; Nor shall there be wailing for them,” Ezekiel 7:11 NKJV.
“The Day of the LORD Therefore the LORD God of hosts, the LORD, says this: “There shall be wailing in all streets, and they shall say in all the highways,’ Alas! Alas!’ They shall call the farmer to mourning, and skillful lamenters to wailing. In all vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through you,” Says the LORD. Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! For what good is the day of the LORD to you? It will be darkness, and not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him! Or as though he went into the house, leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him! Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it? “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments. But let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream,” Amos 5:16-24 NKJV.
“And He said, “Amos, what do you see?” So I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the LORD said to me: “The end has come upon My people Israel; I will not pass by them anymore. And the songs of the temple shall be wailing in that day,” says the LORD GOD — “Many dead bodies everywhere, they shall be thrown out in silence.” Hear this, you who swallow up the needy, and make the poor of the land fail, saying: “When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may trade wheat? Making the ephah small and the shekel large, falsifying the scales by deceit, that we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals — Even sell the bad wheat?” The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: “Surely I will never forget any of their works. Shall the land not tremble for this, and everyone mourn who dwells in it? All of it shall swell like the River, Heave and subside Like the River of Egypt,” Amos 8:2-8 NKJV.
“And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the LORD GOD,” That I will make the sun go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in broad daylight; I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on every waist, and baldness on every head; I will make it like mourning for an only son, and its end like a bitter day. “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD GOD, “That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, But shall not find it,” Amos 8:9-12 NKJV.
Mourning for Israel and Judah
“Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked; I will make a wailing like the jackals and a mourning like the ostriches, for her wounds are incurable. For it has come to Judah; It has come to the gate of My people — to Jerusalem,” Micah 1:8-9 NKJV.
“And there shall be on that day,” says the LORD, “The sound of a mournful cry from the Fish Gate, a wailing from the Second Quarter, and a loud crashing from the hills. Wail, you inhabitants of Maktesh! For all the merchant people are cut down; all those who handle money are cut off. And it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men who are settled in complacency, who say in their heart,’ The LORD will not do good, Nor will He do evil.'” Zephaniah 1:10-12 NKJV.
“There is the sound of wailing shepherds! For their glory is in ruins. There is the sound of roaring lions! For the pride of the Jordan is in ruins,” Zechariah 11:3 NKJV.
“The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matthew 13:41-43 NKJV.
“So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, 50 and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth,” Matthew 13: 49-50 NKJV.
~ Priscilla Van Sutphin
PRISCILLA VAN SUTPHIN is the founder of Upstream Ministries, California, online at www.upstreamca.org and blogtalkradio.com/ Upstream. Donate to Upstream: via secure Paypal by sending as gift to upstream.ca @me.com or send to: Upstream, PMB 545, 14311 Newport Blvd, Suite G, Tustin, CA 9278, USA.