Today I read Deuteronomy in its entirety as part of “Read the Bible in 40 Days”.
In the past I have loved Deuteronomy. I love the promises that God makes. I love the retelling of the story of the Exodus and the Wilderness Journey. This is still true. I do still love those parts.
But I don’t like some of the other parts…and I’m learning that it is not only ok..but good…to admit that there is scripture that I just don’t understand or like. I don’t like the stuff that basically says that when a virgin is raped she has to marry her rapist. listen…don’t start. I know all the “God was taking care of her” and “she’d have had no other options” stuff as well as anyone. It doesn’t mean that I like it. It also doesn’t mean that it feels incongruous with God’s nature. I can’t help it. It is troubling. And I will no longer pretend that it isn’t.
How is cutting off the hand of a woman who grabs a man by the balls the same as using two different units of measure in a business deal? CUT OFF HER HAND??? Uh…how about cut off the penis of the guy who rapes the virgin?
Look…I know that my expressing this is troubling for some but I’m just telling it like it is for me at the moment.
I can say one thing for sure.
I love God. That hasn’t changed. But unlike many of my lovely religious friends, I find that as time goes on I understand less and less and that there is a lot more to it than I can wrap a nice neat little bow around.
This is the same way I feel about poverty, abortion, homosexuality, etc. There are REAL PEOPLE attached to these things. For me this is not about simple theology and some nice orthodoxy that you can explain away to make yourself feel comfortable with what the status quo is for evangelicals. Loving people is messy. PEOPLE ARE MESSY. Being in the mud with the So-Loved is hard and I won’t pretend that I can answer all the questions that they have since I can’t even get answers to the ones I have…and I’m a lover of the Word.
Reading the entire Bible in 40 days is a chance to read fast and almost like a novel. With the speed come ups and downs in my relating to the character of God. Today… Deuteronomy…provided both. Ups and Downs.
Bring it on Joshua…let’s see what you got! 😉