Monday, January 18, 2010

Old Testament Confusion

The Old Testament is fun to read, don’t get me wrong.  But it confuses me!  I’m a novel reader.  I love the details in the stories I’m reading.  I love to know the whys of a situation.  And I do not feel I’m getting that while I’m reading in Genesis.  I told someone the other day, it really will take me literally forever to sit down and chat with all these people in heaven trying to figure out what they were thinking or what possessed them to do whatever they did.

I’ll give you some examples of the things that are confusing to me or that I have additions questions about:

  • Why in the world did Eve give that apple to Adam?  Seriously.  What was that girl thinking?!
  • Why was it not until Adam’s grandson, Enosh, that people began to worship the Lord?  Obviously God had some sort of communication with Adam and Eve and even Cain and Able, but it says that it wasn’t until Enosh’s lifetime that people began to worship the Lord.
  • How did people live so long – and was it really THAT long?  Are their years number the same as ours?  And if so, what in the world did they look like at 200, 500, and even 900 years old?  I mean, Seth wasn’t born to Adam until he was 130.  But when did they start counting Adam’s age? 
  • Genesis 6:4 REALLY makes me wonder: “In those days, and even afterward, giants lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with human women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes mentioned in legends of old.” (NLT)  There are so many questions in just that one verse, it’s ridiculous!
  • Why did the men think it was ok, as in Abram’s situation with Sarai, to tell the kings or whoever that their wives were their sisters and give them up to the kings’ harems?
  • And what in the world was Sarai thinking to give her maidservant to her husband to sleep with?  Why did ANY of the women do that?  I mean, I realize these ladies had a desire for children, but what in the world?
  • What about Lot offering his two daughters to these creeps in place of the two complete strangers that he’d just taken in?  Are you kidding me?!  I do not get that AT ALL!  I was looking in my study bible at the commentary for that situation and it says “ Lot’s offering his daughters is explained (though not justified) by the demands of hospitality, which obligated a host to protect his guests at all cost.”  Even if that “all costs” meant giving his daughters to these dudes to do only God knows what to them?  That, in my opinion, is seriously messed up!
  • And what’s with Lot’s daughters getting him drunk and sleeping with him to get pregnant?  That’s just gross, my friends.  G-R-O-S-S.  And we think that what some of the kids these days do is crazy.  They’ve got nothing on some of these Old Testament people.  I mean, really.
  • What was Isaac thinking when his dad was about to kill him?  I’m sure a thought something like, “That dude has lost his ever lovin’ mind!!!” would have rolled through my head.  And what all happened in that scenario?  Did Isaac put up any kind of fight against Abraham?  Did he willingly get up on the altar?  I get what the whole point was behind it, sort of, but still – I’d like to know more details, especially from Isaac’s point of view.
  • The whole deal of Jacob and Esau gets me too.  What is the difference between a blessing and a birthright and what was the big deal with either of them?  Why couldn’t Isaac bless both of them?  Why just one?  I’m sure if I knew Jewish history a bit more, I’d understand.  But I don’t know the history, therefore, I’m still confused. :)
  • I totally don’t get the whole deal with Laban giving Leah to Jacob instead of Rachel and then making Jacob work for forever to “earn” Rachel.  And then it seems like those girls just go back and forth having babies and it’s like a competition or something.
  • Why was it ok for these men of God to have concubines or to sleep with their wife’s/wives’ maidservants?  Was it always ok for them to sleep with more than one woman? 

And all these questions are just a few I have and Genesis isn’t even over yet.  If any of you Old Testament gurus have an insight to any of these, feel free to put your two cents in.  I’d love to know more about all this stuff.  And I’m sure I will have many more questions as I read on through the OT.  Like I said, I enjoy it – it fascinates me – but it brings up so many questions for me.  Guess that just means I need to study more… Or Google it. :)


Superchikk said...

I feel the same way sometimes. So I just ask Chris! Ha! Helps to have a husband who is a minister and has a degree from a Bible college!

We actually talked about the "giants" in Genesis when we were studying Revelation in our home group. It was pretty interesting.

Gina said...

ALL good questions. :O)
I can tell you at least an idea on the "how did they live so long" comment.
You will notice that the ages start to go more to what we would consider normal starting after the flood.
In my Creation vs Evolution (not the real name) class we learned a probable reason for that but it's a bit complicated to type out!!
However I will totally explain in person the next time I see you.
Actually I'm enough of a seminary nerd that I would get into all of these questions with you... but right now I must go read a couple of hundred pages for my newly started MDiv classes... from which I hope to someday graduate!