Don’t overlook the disturbing parts of Scripture. Dig deeper.
Issues like these frequently come up when discussing the Christian faith with unbelievers. They wonder how we can overlook such things.
We should wrestle with these sections of Scripture. We must not change them. We must not discard them. We must study and question and pray and wring our hands. For often, when we do, we will find answers rendered more precious because of the journey it took to find them.
Dig deeper when there is injustice.
After Tamar’s rape, we see the unraveling of David’s dynasty as another son, Absolom, seethes in fury over his father’s inaction. Absolom takes matters into his own hands. He murders his brother, Amnon. Then he is exiled and unforgiven for a crime that David himself had committed (without any justice in mind, I might add). Then Absolom tries to overthrow the kingdom and is himself killed.
But if David had been a godly father, if he had discipled, punished, and forgiven, his sons would not have died. His daughter might not have been raped and ruined.
I still don’t like this story, but there are valuable lessons to be learned. It is a cautionary tale on the perils of poor parenting.
Dig deeper when there is a crime.
And the story of the Levite concubine reveals that in the ensuing war, which is a direct result of this heinous crime, 25,000 Benjamite soldiers perish and over 40,000 soldiers die from Israel. God takes the lives of 65,000 men to account for the murder of this one discarded, seemingly insignificant slave woman.
And more men die from Israel than the tribe of Benjamin. That is no coincidence. The implications are clear. God holds the concubine’s “husband” more responsible than the men who actually murdered her because he was charged with protecting her, and he allowed it to happen.
I still don’t like this story, but there is tremendous value given to this life by God. And justice. It is a cautionary tale for men on their mistreatment of women.
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