The Old Testament story from today’s Daily Office is actually quite entertaining. Two young Israelite secretly enter the city of Jericho in order to spy on the city that Joshua is planning to attack. They are taken in by a prostitute who hides them and lies for them so that they are not caught by the Jericho authorities. Then, under the cloak of darkness, the spies are let down the city walls by rope. Who would have thought that the Bible was filled with such intrigue and espionage?
When I first read the Old Testament, I was shocked at the very human stories that are described. This isn’t all about nice guys and gals hanging out in some heavenly garden. No way; the pages of the Bible are filled with sex, lies, murder, deceit, and then with even more sex, lies, murder, and deceit.
But wouldn’t it be weird if the Bible, a book about people and their dynamic relationships with God, be missing something if it wasn’t filled with these very human stories? I think that the Bible is true because it reflects the human condition, it’s not afraid to bare it all and expose humanity (the best and the worst) as it really is. The hope and good news in the Bible is that amidst all of the sex, lies, murder, and deceit, God is constantly loving and is a loving constant. The Old Testament should not be thrown out the window because it’s a story of humanity. Rather, the Bible makes even more sense to us because it’s not foreign; sometimes it’s shockingly similar to the lives we live.