It’s not easy to make sense of scripture. Parts of it are downright weird or even horrific. The story of Judah and Tamar, God’s interaction with Hosea and Gomer, and any story using the phrase “devoted to destruction” come to mind. They are the stories you don’t see in children’s Bible story books, or if they are included it is with some serious sanitation and airbrushing (a Thomas Kinkade version of reality, so to speak).
Those passages get ignored because they gross us out or break our fragile understanding of God. But there are other portions of scripture we ignore in an entirely different way – commands that are uncomfortable or nigh impossible to follow. It is so easy to willfully overlook them, much easier than learning how to reconcile them to my life and God’s reality.
Love your enemies.
Forgive 70 x 7 times (that means ALL of the times).
Bless those who curse you and pray for those who persecute you.
Honor you father and mother.
Children, obey your parents.
Give to any who asks of you.
Lay down your life and follow me.
If it causes you to sin, cut it off.
Husbands, love your wife as Christ loves the Church.
Do not covet.
Serve God, not money.
Do not commit adultery (which includes willfully lusting).
Consider others before yourself.
Pray without ceasing.
Judge not lest you be judged.
Take up your cross and follow me.
And so on.
We have so many rationalizations and excuses for overlooking and ignoring such commands.
. . .