Tackling Hard Topics
Day: 22 | Plan: Deuteronomy
Today's Reading: Deuteronomy 22
Deuteronomy 22:22 (NIV)"If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.”
Today’s passage is a hard one to read and to teach. This chapter covers several sensitive subjects that we often shy away from.
But God is so different from us. He doesn’t shy away from truth or wince when talking about a sensitive subject. In Deuteronomy 22, Moses addresses God’s laws regarding various situations from straying livestock to the tassels on the corners of clothing. While unique laws, these probably don’t apply to most of us today. For you and me, the more difficult parts of this passage are the laws dealing with sexual identity and sexual sin.
Are you surprised to see God addressing a topic that is still culturally divisive? Scripture and the truths contained in it speak more to the human heart at work in all cultures. All people want control and autonomy. We naturally resist God, His order and His commands. God is our Creator. He is in control over His creation. To reject His will for gender and identity (or any other area of our lives) is to deny His sovereign rule. When we think we know better than God, we make an idol out of our desires. We worship our desires rather than submitting to God’s will.
This is the underlying cause for sexual sin—violation of purity, infidelity, rape and incest. We reject God’s order and make our wants and desires an idol. Again, the specific applications of these particular laws were unique to Israel’s Ancient Near Eastern culture. But God’s law reflects God’s character and is connected to the other laws He outlines in this chapter.
To violate a person in the most intimate ways is offensive to God. Sex between a married man and woman is a gift from God intended to bless both them and creation. Sex is meant for pleasure but also serves a divine and holy purpose. It is not to be treated casually or selfishly. God’s love for His people is to be mirrored in how spouses treat and honor one another. Further, God protects women in this chapter from rape or assault. No matter their marriage status, women were to be protected from sexual violation.
Our culture deserves a response from Christians on delicate matters—issues that have the potential to inflame and divide. This is a difficult call to answer. But if we will state the truth outright with tenderness and care, Christians can be the truth-bearers God intended. Truth regarding these polarizing issues isn’t based on human preference or opinion. Truth is always based on God’s character. He is good, and His ways can be trusted.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You purposed that I live in this time and culture. I need Your truth to teach me to think biblically. Your Word teaches us not to ignore the need for truth or apologize for Your law. We can trust You to instruct, guide and protect us in love. In Jesus’ name, amen.
In Deuteronomy 22:25-27 we read,
“But if in the field the man finds the girl... Read More
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