May 15, 2023
“In those days, there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever he wanted.”
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"In those days, there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever he wanted." Judges 21:25 (HCSB)
The last three chapters in Judges have been given the titles “Outrage In Benjamin,” “War In Benjamin,” and “Brides For Benjamin.” There are profound lessons about the decline, judgment, and restoration of a people. It is important to view the end of Judges through the lens of Romans 11.
In chapter 19, there are two scenes that resemble tragic and shameful events in Scripture.
First, there is the image of the Levite and his entourage searching for a place to stay the night. It is a picture of Joseph and Mary looking for shelter the night Jesus was born.
“While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough—because there was no room for them at the lodging place.” Luke 2:6-7 (HCSB)
Then, there is the Sodom and Gomorrah-esque image of the perverted men of Gibeah wanting to sleep with the Levite man. The story is almost an exact retelling of the Sodom story, down to the old man offering his virgin daughter. God was sending a message that the moral condition of Israel was as bad as it gets.
“The two angels entered Sodom in the evening as Lot sat at Sodom’s gate. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them. He bowed with his face to the ground and said, ‘My lords, turn aside to your servant’s house, wash your feet, and spend the night. Then you can get up early and go on your way.’ ‘No,’ they said. “We would rather spend the night in the square.’ But he urged them so strongly that they followed him and went into his house. He prepared a feast and baked unleavened bread for them, and they ate. Before they went to bed, the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, the whole population, surrounded the house. They called out to Lot and said, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so we can have sex with them!’ Lot went out to them at the entrance and shut the door behind him. He said, ‘Don’t do this evil, my brothers. Look, I’ve got two daughters who haven’t had sexual relations with a man. I’ll bring them out to you, and you can do whatever you want to them. However, don’t do anything to these men, because they have come under the protection of my roof.’ ‘Get out of the way!’ they said, adding, ‘This one came here as a foreigner, but he’s acting like a judge! Now we’ll do more harm to you than to them.’ They put pressure on Lot and came up to break down the door. But the angels reached out, brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.’” Genesis 19:1-10 (HCSB)
By what standard do you measure our nation’s morality? If you measure it by society’s standards, then things that infuriate God probably don’t bother you, much. But if you measure our morality by God’s standard, then you should pray for our revival because we are on the verge of another of God’s reckonings!
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©Steve Wiggins 2021