Wow! As I read Judges 19-21, I am left puzzled by all that happens. It is a struggle to process this from my Western mindset. You have a Levite who takes a concubine for himself. She leaves and goes home to her father’s house. The father delays the Levite from taking his daughter back home. They finally leave and end up staying in Gibeah, where a man sees them and decides to allow them to stay at his home. While they are staying there, an event happens that is eerily similar to that of Sodom and Gomorrah. The concubine is violated, and she dies. All of this leads to a mini Civil War in Israel where the Benjamites are defeated. And the story, continues its strangeness from there. And yet the only thing that really makes any sense in all of this is the first verse in Judges 19 and the last verse in Judges 21. “Now it came about in those days, when there was no king in Israel…( Judges 19:1),” and “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25).”

When there is no leadership and people do what is right in their own eyes, there is no limit to the craziness that can happen. It speaks to our need to be led as sheep, and it reveals the deep need we all have for a Saviour…a KING! These chapters also demonstrate the importance of dealing with sin within our personal lives, our homes, and even our nation. Israel banded together, enquired of the Lord, and stood up against the evil deeds of the Benjamites. I could only imagine how this story would have ended if they hadn’t done that.

Prayer: Lord help me to deal with sin within my own life. May I not be able to ignore it any longer. Deliver me from that which keeps me from growing closer to you. In Christ’s name…Amen

by Marc Stern

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