Monday Musings for June 04, 2018

Good morning, Musers,

Today’s question reminds me of the old joke that, before Naomi returned to Bethlehem, Boaz was Ruthless. I know… haha. But the question implies that perhaps he should have remained so. You see, Ruth had this problem: she was a Moabite! … and God cursed them specifically… so, maybe Boaz should have held out for a nice Jewish girl.

“No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation.” (Deuteronomy 23:3, NIV)

Let’s do the math. Ruth begat Obed who begat Jesse who begat David. Wait a minute… that’s only three generations! Therefore, King David had no right to enter the assembly of the Lord! … and that would really mess up some of our prophecies! So, was David illegitimate? Is the Savior part Moabite? Is redemption, therefore, a sham because of this lack of purity?

That’s an absurd conclusion, of course… especially when we take the whole counsel of Scripture. One alleged contradiction cannot dropkick David out of the ring. In fact, it’s the absurdity of such an outcome that lets us relax… because if something had to give, it would be the verse’s rigid interpretation, not the relationship between David and Jesus.

Apologists have an app for this. When we run an argument through to its logical end and find the ultimate result to be absurd, it has no standing. In fact, it is guilty of a logical fallacy called “reductio ad absurdum” (which is Latin for “reduction to absurdity”).

Now, some of the arguments that end in absurdity might appear reasonable or even compelling in the middle. For instance, have you ever heard a statement like, “If God were a God of love, he wouldn’t have allowed my grandmother to die!” … and all persons present nod in agreement and grump at this alleged God for his cruelty.

But let’s play that out. Could 108 Billion people live on the earth today? … the one that seems crowded at 7 billion? Well, that’s how many people have lived on it before us, and with no death, we will have accumulated to that number.

Besides, those of us who have accumulated some seniority understand that death is one of the practical mercies of this age. Sure… a long life can be a blessing. The Bible teaches that. But a much longer than normal life would be a curse… and I’m talking only 20% more.

So, no one wants a loved one to die at whatever is the current moment… but when you add one day to the next, you soon see how the notion that “love equals continuing life here on earth” is absurd. Love is not indulgence or continual miracles. Love is God sending his Son to secure our future. Love is God standing with us as we die. Love is God making himself knowable and accessible.

It works this way with mere ideas, too. In today’s challenge, people ostensibly honor God’s word concerning the Moabites… but at the expense of the rest of his word concerning everything else. So, if we run Deuteronomy 23:3 to its rigid and logical end, David is disqualified from the assembly of the Lord… which for a Bible-believing Christian is a reductio ad absurdum.

You see, there’s a lot more Scripture showing that he’s not disqualified… and our job is to take the whole counsel of God — to compare Scripture with Scripture. So, come and see how we unscramble what is tantamount to a challenge of redemption itself.

To read the article referenced above, visit the link below.

(For comments, or to join the Monday Musings mailing list, contact us at To submit a question about God, the Bible or the Christian culture, click here.)