The Bible is riddled with passages and stories which are at their best, confusing, and at their best, disturbing. In Genesis we have had a number of stories which are disturbing and we often do not know what to do with them. Sodom and Gomorrah or the rape of Dinah. The easy thing to do is to write these texts off and say, "well, it's the Old Testament and I don't need to worry much about that."
We have the time now to wrestle with these texts as Jacob wrestled with the deity/angel. We do not prevail by explaining the texts away in every instance, but ask a question such as, "what does this say about God?"
The Rev. Dr. Frank wade was a frequent contributor to the commentary this week and provided some able assistance. Unfortunately, we needed to give him a few dozen pages and a sermon or two to help. He notes that God's concern for those who need God's love, "even in (Scripture's) rough way." He goes on to say, "when God's concerns are ours, we have a fixed navigational point."
We are on a journey and as Scripture continues to speak to us, we learn more about God's call for us. As we read, if you are able, try to consider these three points to start. What do you think it meant to the people back in the day? What does it mean for today's world? What does it say/mean to me?
"Jesus affirms in each instance that he is the fixed point" by which we can navigate such texts and our spiritual journeys. Continue to dig into them. Talk about them. Write about them. Pray about them. Don't let them go until they bless you!
Wrestling with Difficult Texts
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The Rev. William L. Packard
I am excited to read the Bible with you, not only for the knowledge and ability to say, "I've read the whole thing," but for the wonderful things that occur when Scripture is read intentionally each day.
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