Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Today is another test of my commitment to write about what I read, no matter how hard: the test for an unfaithful wife.

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.

So, as I said, a test where a husband can prove his wife's guilt or innocence in cases of adultery, without a similar provision for a jealous wife, offends my sensibilities.

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.

As a footnote--in my fiction writing this week, I had to decide whether a male mentor would counsel a female. The answer is no; the temptation is real, innuendo and sin do exist; and the best strategy is to avoid the appearance of evil.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah and vice versa, a woman counseling a male, it is too tough to keep ourselves pure and intimacy like that would just be asking for trouble. Thanks Darlene, boy we bristle at doing that man-woman thing God's way! I know *I* do anyway...