My objections are purely social and egalatarian in nature, the product of being an American woman, "liberated," in the sense that while I recognize the difference between the sexes (viva la difference!), I don't feel held back or rated as a second class citizen because of my gender.
I did something I very rarely to: I read the commentaries, and it did give me some new things to think about. So here are my thoughts on this unusual chapter.
- Faithfulness in marriage is central to God's will.
- The Jewish commentaries say the husband must have some reason for suspicion; not proof, however, or else his wife would be stoned.
- The Jewish commentaries also say that if the husband is guilty of the same sin, his belly will swell at the same time his wife's does.
- -----So my concerns about fairness were apparently felt by minds who studied the law before the birth of Christ.
- The woman stands "in the presence of God" during the trial. All of our sins are uncovered in God's presence; His light reveals them all.
- The test provides a way to prove her innocence. The wife doesn't have to bear her husband's unjust suspicions.
- God called Israel His lover who had gone whoring after other gods. Marriage infidelity is a "type", or a picture, of God's relationship with His people; He is our husband, and believers today are the Bride of Christ. God is never unfaithful; but we often are. Perhaps this test is restricted to the wife because of the role of marriage in describing our relationship to God.