I think that is a common question for people if they have never read through the entire Bible. One of the interesting things about reading the Bible from cover to cover is that you come across stories and events that you may have never read before. And that sometimes raises a lot of questions. Often we just jump into the Bible and flip to the passage that most quickly answers the question we were looking for, or most easily gives us the proper defense against an argument we want to wage or defend against.
I remember in college spending hours of time just looking at those passages that could give me a position of free will and predestination, or what was the Biblical “rule” on alcohol, or what does it say about women in ministry. But sometimes those can be the only places we spend in the Bible and we miss out on a lot.
And often when we read through the Bible we come across the passages that don’t often get preached, or never get preached.
Today I was reading in Genesis, and I was reading 19:30-38.
New International Version (NIV)
Lot and His Daughters
30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father.”
33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I lay with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab [a];he is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi [b];he is the father of the Ammonites of today.
What do you do with that? Now I know we can exegete it, and look at the commentaries, and we can wax and wane a lot of theories, but just let that sit for a while………
When we read through the Bible we get immersed in the reality of the humanity that is God’s people. And I don’t think it is always helpful to just ignore or push away certain passages because they make us uncomfortable, or paint the people of God in a bad light.
So instead of commenting more, I just wonder what we do when we come across tough passages in Scripture that we don’t always read, or never read, and how we live in the midst of those questions, etc.