I've been trying to sort out a revelation that occurred to me earlier this week, and thought I'd offer two views on the same issue. This first post is my initial thoughts regarding the issue/question. The next post will feature the insights of a person who has become sort of a mentor/sounding board for when I encounter these issues.
So I had this spiritual “aha” moment yesterday and it’s kind of thrown me for a loop. I’ve been thinking about blogging about it, but I can’t think of any title other than, “God and the Sex Trade.” See, I was reading a book by McManus in which he discusses the story of Esther. He points out that this Old Testament story isn’t a romantic love story like we all think it is. At its essence, it’s the story of a girl whose people was enslaved by the Persians. God decides the way to rescue his people from annihilation is to plant someone in a strategic location so that this person will be in a position of influence. Sounds great … except His plan involved having a young, virgin girl forced into the king’s harem where she was obligated to satisfy the king’s every whim. Granted, the story turns out fine and dandy: Esther becomes queen and Israel is saved. By why did God’s plan center around a girl being forced into a sterilized version of the sex trade in order to save His people?
The second part that worries me is the question of what if God’s plan for my life involved a similar sacrifice. For the longest time, I thought bad things happen for 2 reasons: it’s a direct result of a person’s sin (ex: Israel’s captivity) or the result of someone making bad decisions (ex: story of Tamar’s rape in the Old Testament). Never had I considered that bad things might happen because it’s part of God’s plan. It’s like God sent Esther to the harem. This wasn’t a case of someone making a bad decision and God having to step in to make the best of the bad result. God ordained the bad situation!
So what if God’s plan for me requires me to be falsely accused for a crime and sent to prison just so other prisoners can hear about God? Or what if God’s plan requires me to contract a horrible disease so that I’ll be put in touch with doctors who are longing to hear about God?
So now I’m in a quandary about what to think regarding God’s compassion when it seems that at times God’s glory will outweigh God’s compassion.