Wow, I really disliked these chapters. There was a lot of underlining and a lot of scrawled question marks in the margins and some heated words to the Lord.
The verses about rape bothered me a lot. Best case scenario for a sexual assault survivor was to marry her rapist? Or, be stoned to death because she didn’t put up enough of a fight?
The deuteronomist puts more emphasis on the protection of a female bird in a nest than the life and safety of women in chapter 22. It goes on and on. Widowed, kidnapped women being treated like plunder, with the afterthought of “eh, give her a little time to mourn the life you’ve ripped out from underneath her”.
I’m deeply thankful for this glimpse of the gospel we get in 21:22-23:
“If someone has committed a crime worthy of death and is executed and hung on a tree, the body must not remain hanging from the tree overnight. You must bury the body that same day, for anyone who is hung is cursed in the sight of God.”
Jesus, innocent and holy, was punished and executed for a crime he didn’t commit. He stepped into injustice to make us just. He was defiled and cursed so that we could be washed cleaned, and blessed.
This doesn’t totally smooth everything over for me from today’s chapters. I’m still squirmy about these verses and will continue to unpack them. Studying the Bible is a bumpy road, and sometimes requires more time and resources than I give it. I’m not going to find answers to every question about sexual purity, at least not within the a 30 minutes study session.
When you are frustrated by the Bible, take it up with the author. He’s not intimated by our questions, our pointed fingers and our anger. I’m only angry about the alleged mistreatment about women because God’s spirit lives within me. It’s a symptom of being made in his image. For now, I will cling to this and trust in him. But will also stay in it and look for more answers.
How do you move forward when the Bible upsets you?
What does it look like to bring it to God?