Goodness, so many topics covered today. I feel like this is a color commentary on the 10 Commandments. This was for the people who said, “Yeah, but what about when (any conceivable situation) happens? God covers how he wants them to deal with the poverty mentality (holding on to something incase you don’t get more) and institutes a welfare system that will actually allow people to keep their dignity while being provided for. The main point in what He is addressing is that if they adhered to His commands they will be a unique (holy) nation with God at the center of their worship. He is very clear about “spiritual prostitution, and seeking mediums to communicate with the dead. And remember He is having to tell them not to do all these things because these practices are running rampant around them. If no one was giving their daughters as prostitutes He would not have to tell them NOT to do that.
I’m going to be honest here and tell you that I stopped short when I read that section about the man having sex with a slave. I circled “not a free woman” and started panicking that God was condoning having sex with slave girls because they “belong” to someone else. I got scared that He was condoning rape of a slave girl because she belonged to someone else and had not been set free. And friends, this is the perfect example of the fact that we have to read things in context and allow the bible to define itself.
I am programed to see the word “slave” and be repulsed, as I should be, because I am an American whose history includes a demonic slave trade and subsequent racial tension. “Slave” in the bible is not talking about that kind of slavery. How could it? This book was written thousands of years before that horrid slave trade started. Paul calls himself a slave of Jesus Christ in the NT. A slave in the bible is someone who, because of his or her needs, put himself under a master. That master was to treat him or her in a way that lined up with the commandments of the Lord. In this passage this girl has been betrothed to another, and not yet freed from her economic obligation to her master. So the man who has had sex with her must pay to set her free. How did they escape death? Because she was not actually married yet. If one of them had been married they would both have been put to death.(20:10)
So did this girl get raped and the guy get away with it? Is God saying that these slave girls are laying around available for any guy to do with what he wants? I asked God all these things this morning. He brought to my mind the rape of Dinah. She was the daughter of Jacob. She went to hang out with the Canaanite women and the kings son raped her. Her family was so repulsed by what happened to her, the fallout was epic. (remember a whole town was circumcisized then murdered while they were recovering from their minor surgery) And then I had to look ahead, I couldn’t help myself. I searched Deuteronomy for “instructions on rape.” Whew! I found Deuteronomy 22:25-27. GOD DOES NOT CONDON RAPE. I read back over this passage from today and I noticed that there was no language like “forced” or “captured.” These instruction are for two consenting people who had sex outside of the context God puts around sex. The man is responsible for atoning for the sin. See? When you read things in the bible that make you panic, you can’t redefine it so it’s palatable to you. You have to let God teach you the context and let God define and color in what He means. HE ALWAYS WILL.
Do you remember when we were reading through Proverbs and if felt like God was hung up on wisdom. We decided that when God teaches something in His word over and over we have to be alerted that this is something we will be prone to do in our natural sinful state. Well, key in here because God is teaching the Israelites over and over about sex. God is totally not holding back on having “the sex talk” with them. Sex, and how it is used, is very important to God.
Welp, I am already at 750 words so this post has officially gone from “recap” to “blog post.” Thank you for reading if you still with me! Yesterday we read how Jesus made the deaf hear. Today we get too read about Him making the blind see. This is the only two part miracle recorded. I can’t help but think that is to teach the Disciples. They are still not getting it. In fact it is not until the end of this passage that good ol’ Peter finally calls Jesus the Messiah. Of course just three verses later he is being rebuked for reprimanding Jesus, but whatever. Jesus has to get them to see that His way is different from what they are expecting. Peter is just saying what they all are thinking. “Jesus, don’t talk about dying, we all know you are going to stomp in there and perform a hostile take over of the Roman government.” Jesus says my way is so much different than what you are expecting! You have to start looking at this from your human point of view!
Psalm 42: 1-11
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God! This should be our battle cry when we feel under stress. Think about it! When you ask God, “Why are you doing this to me?” His answer is, “So you will put your hope in Me!”
My favorite! Discipline! NOT! Seriously though, it is so healthy for us to have people around who will bump us back into play when we go out of bounds. You have to put yourself under people in order for them to do this for you. You have to be humble and listen. If not you are rogue—ask me how I know.