Skeptics often point to immoral incidents in scripture and in their ignorance think that God condoned or even sanctioned their immorality. Not so. Here is why they’re recorded in scripture. “For whatsoever things were written before were written for our learning…” We can learn what not to do when we see people doing crazy things. Having said that, I must admit the bible often does read like some sort of tabloid headline.
Take for instance the respected man of God who ended up drunk and naked on his bed. Noah managed to lead his family to safety but then he embarrassed himself by drinking fermented wine. So what can we learn from that incident? Don’t get drunk with fermented wine. The book of Proverbs says wine is a mocker, a strong drink is a brawler and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
Then there’s a very strange incident with a man named a Lot. Homosexuals surrounded his house and demanded that he send out two angels that were guests in his home because they wanted to rape them. Then Lot had what he thought was a bright idea. He said “See now I have two daughters who have not known a man. Please let me bring them out to you and you may do to them as you wish.” This wasn’t just a dumb thing to say, it was disgusting. You think his wife would have said “Honey, don’t be so stupid. These aren’t a couple of stray dogs, they’re our precious daughters”. But she wasn’t too bright herself as we see further on in the narrative.
If you think that was crazy check out Jephthah’s vow. He was a soldier. In the heat of battle, he prayed “God, if you let me win, I will give a burnt offering of the first thing that comes out of my house.” What a dumb thing to say. Sure enough his only daughter comes out of the house first. But then this man had the audacity to blame his daughter for his stupidity. “Alas my daughter, you have brought me great disaster and you are the cause of ruin to me for I have made a vow to the Lord and I cannot take it back.” Of course you can. If you have made a rash wow to God, don’t make it worse by committing murder.
Then there was King Herod. He was blinded by lust by his illegitimate wife’s dancing daughter to a point he made a rash vow. He said “You can have anything you want up to half my kingdom. She wanted John the Baptist’s head on a plate and so rather than go back on his word, he committed murder. What sort of twisted mind would commit murder because he wanted to be seen as a man of integrity.
Then there was Judas, one of the disciples. John 12:6 tells us that he was stealing money from the collection bag. What was his problem? He loved money more than he loved God. What’s our lesson? You cannot serve God and money.
Then there was King David who committed adultery with Bathsheba. The book of Proverbs tells us “he that commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife lacks understanding.” Have you ever run a red light? It’s easy to do. It’s usually a last minute decision and you think “Man I could have killed somebody.” The answer is to predetermine to say to yourself “I will not run a red light.” David ran a red light. He didn’t listen to the voice of his conscience. He wasn’t governed by the fear of the Lord. What’s the lesson for you and I? Fear God, stay away from lust. Lust brings forth sin and sin when it’s finished, brings forth death.
Then there was Esau who gave up his birthright for a pot of stew. Hebrews 12:6 calls him a profane person. In other words, his God was his belly. Scripture warns “For a man given to appetite, let me put a knife to my throat.” Esau teaches us about priorities. We should seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and the stew will be added.
Then there’s Jacob who lied to his beloved father to get an inheritance. Nothing new here. Where there’s a will, there’s a relative fighting over an inheritance and that split the family. So what’s the lesson? The lesson is there are consequences for sin both in this life and in the life to come and all these things will be covered if we’ll just walk in the fear of the Lord.