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COURT DRAMA

by Greg W. Parsons, Th.D.

In recent times the O. J. Simpson case has dominated our news with its courtroom proceedings. I want to share information about another true story which ri a!s that case. "ore than a century ago, a prominent high court officia! in a "idd!e #astern country married a beautifu! woman who became unfaithfu!. $e erthe!ess he continued to !o e and pro ide for her e en when she had gone after other !o ers. %ina!!y this officia! decided to ta&e !ega! action and e en 'as permitted by the !aws of his country( to preside as )udge in the proceedings. *e!iab!e court records preser ing the tria! proceedings document that this high )udge brought his chi!dren in to testify against their mother to pro e her unfaithfu!ness. %rom the !itt!e &nown court transcript, I +uote the words of the wronged husband and father spea&ing as the p!aintiff, -.hi!dren, p!ace charges against your mother for she is no !onger my wife and I am not her husband.- Then addressing the court as a who!e, -/et her put away her adu!tery and prostitution, !est she recei e a prostitute0s pena!ty11to be stripped na&ed in order to unco er her !ewdness in the ery presence of her !o ers. I wish I cou!d !ea e her stranded in the desert to die an awfu! death2This )udge then +uotes his wife0s words, -I wi!! go after my !o ers who pro ide me food and fine c!othes and p!enty of drin&.- Sitting on the )udicia! bench, he dec!ares, -The erdict is gui!ty2$e3t the )udge whose identity you may ha e guessed 4name!y 5ahweh, the /ord God 'see 6osea 7,7189(: ta&es off his robe and returns to his ro!e as p!aintiff. I charge my wife with three main offenses '6osea ;,8(, .harge < 8, She has been unfaithfu!11spurning a!! my !o e to run after other men to whom she gi es credit for a!! the tender things I ha e done for her. =eing inf!amed with a spirit of prostitution ';,87> ?,;(, she is -ha!f1ba&ed'mi3ed up with this wor!d0s e i! system11@,A(. .harge < 7, She has not been intimate with me though she has bragged to others concerning what great intimacy we ha e. The truth is that she has been s!eeping with others and ha ing numerous affairs. She doesn0t &now that I0 e seen her and ha e eye witnesses to pro e it 'cf. ?,B> @,817(. She thin&s no one &nows. Ccting more !i&e a wi!d don&ey than a !ady 'A,D(, she ran off to foreign countries in her pursuit of !o e. She0s been a stubborn heifer ';,8E(. .harge < B, She has not been !o ing as a wife shou!d be. True, she a!ways buys me a birthday card and a .hristmas gift with !o ing words. =ut I don0t need words without action. She ne er has time for us to ta!& to de e!op a re!ationship, much !ess time for deeper intimacy.

The Judge 5ahweh dec!ares once again, -The erdict is gui!ty2 /et the punishment phase of this tria! begin2- 6e e3p!ains that the basic princip!e is poetic )ustice and ta!ionic )ustice 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth11#3od. 78,7B17;(. Since her !o e is as fic&!e and temporary as the morning mists and the dew '6osea E,;(, then )ustice is due11 name!y, that she herse!f shou!d on!y !i e a short time '!i&e the morning moisture and dew118B,B(. Since she was once a beautifu! ine producing on!y fruit for herse!f 'and her !o ers( but ne er sharing with her husband 'cf. 6os. 89,8(, she wi!! produce no more fruit 'chi!dren(11D,88, 8E. 4This was considered a terrib!e curse.: The specific pena!ties to be meted out are three in number 'introduced by -therefore- 7,E, D, 8;(, Paraphrasing Judge 5ahweh0s words, they are as fo!!ows, '8( I wi!! imprison her behind a wa!! !ined with thorn bushes to pre ent her attempts to escape to her !o ers. '7( =ecause she credits her !o ers with her pro isions, I wi!! cut off a!! support11no chi!d support 'cf. 7,;( nor a!imony '7,A1D(. %urthermore she deser es to be stripped of the ery c!othes she0s wearing 'which I ga e her117,D189(. %ina!!y, 'B( I am going to escort her to the desert. The )udge ta&es off his robe and comes to f!oor !e e! to address his unfaithfu! wife. /ater on I0m going to ta&e this woman on a second honeymoon2 I0m going to win bac& her !o e '7,8;, 8E1 79(. 6ow can I treat you !i&e any har!ot or adu!tererF 'see 6os. 88,A1D(. "y heart is changed and I cannot carry out the fu!! punishment you deser e 'name!y eterna! punishment and death(. Cfter you ser e time in e3i!e, I wi!! restore you. 6oney, you wi!! forget a!! the names of your i!!icit partners and on!y ha e eyes for me '7,8E18@(. We wi!! !i e together fore er in true !o e and faithfu!ness and you wi!! !earn how to be tru!y intimate with me on!y ' a mi!!ennia! honeymoon117,8A179(. Then we wi!! b!ossom together as I wi!! become !i&e dew to you 'with a!! its positi e in igorating +ua!ities11 8;,?1E(. This court drama has great significance for our own generation. /et us not be gui!ty of the three charges against Israe! 'cited abo e from 6osea ;,8(. '8( We need to &now the /ord intimate!y11not )ust &now about 6im. It is possib!e to !earn =ib!e facts without de e!oping a !o e re!ationship with God and 6is Son, Jesus .hrist. We need a re i a! '6os. E,81B( in which we see& the /ord to &now 6im better and more deep!y. /et us acti e!y pursue this re!ationship11in dai!y prayer and reading of the Word. '7( We need to be faithfu!11not mere!y in church attendance and in offerings11but in heartfe!t obedience to God0s princip!es 'E,;, E(. "y heart and yours need to be bro&en o er sin inc!uding e i! thoughts '6os. 89,87(. /et us repent and turn bac& to the /ord in 'B( !o ing&indness '89,87> 87,E(. This is demonstrated by obeying the /ord and by maintaining )ustice toward our fe!!ow man '87,E1@( Than&s be to God that 6e sent .hrist 6is Son to die that we might not ser e time for our sins. 6e !o ed us and died for us that a!! who trust in 6im may !i e in a !o ing re!ationship with 6im and 6is Son fore er. 6a e you repented of your sins and trusted in .hrist as Sa ior and /ordF