The moral use of the Bible

Some see the Bible as some sort of instruction manual on how to live a supposed good life.  Somehow, the Bible serves as a backup proof text for all the great questions in life.  A biblical response is either good or bad, not subject to argumentation.  You can only discuss the text.  Putting your life and belief system in the Bible means that you are trumping every other argument.  “The Bible tells me so” ends the discussion and the argument.  You can only agree, disagree, or argue about the meaning of the text, if your morality is based on the Bible.

The proposition (Dan 13:19-13:21)

“When the maids

Had gone out,

The two elders

Got up.

They ran to her.

They said.

Look!

The garden doors

Are shut!

No one can see us!

We are burning

With desire

For you!

Give your consent!

Lie with us!

If you refuse,

We will testify

Against you

That a young man

Was with you.

This was why

You sent your maids away.’”

The two elder judges seized the moment, once the maids were gone. They jumped up from their hiding place and ran over to the bathing Susanna. They made their proposition. They told Susanna that they were burning with desire for her, as if that was a good pitch. They wanted her to consent to have sex with them. They wanted consensual sex rather than rape her. However, they told her that if see did not agree, then they would testify against her. They were going to say that she sent her maids away, so that she could have sex with a non-existent young man. That was the deal, sex with them or be judged by them as committing adultery with someone else. What a strange choice.

Eliphaz wants Job to reconcile with God (Job 22:21-22:30)

“Agree with God!

Be at peace!

In this way good will come to you.

Receive instruction from his mouth.

Lay up his words in your heart.

If you return to the Almighty Shaddai,

You will be restored.

If you remove unrighteousness from your tents,

If you treat gold like dust,

If you treat the gold of Ophir like the stones of the torrent bed,

If the Almighty Shaddai is your gold,

If the Almighty Shaddai is your precious silver,

Then you will delight yourself in the Almighty Shaddai.

Lift up your face to God!

You will pray to him!

He will hear you.

You will pay your vows!

You will decide on a matter!

It will be established for you.

Light will shine on your ways.

When others are humiliated,

You say it is pride.

God saves the humble.

He will deliver even those who are guilty.

They will escape

Because of the cleanness of your hands.”

Eliphaz wanted Job to admit his guilt so that everything would be fine. He wanted him to just agree with God. Then Job would be at peace. He should listen to God and admit his failings. He wanted him to return to the almighty Shaddai. The almighty one should be his gold, silver, and precious metal. Then he could lift up his face to God since God would hear his prayers. God does not like the haughty, but prefers the humble. Eliphaz wanted Job to be humble before God. Thus even if he was guilty, God would forgive him because of his clean hands.