Sunday, April 06, 2008

Death of a Concubine

April 6: Judges 19-21

16 And behold, an old man was coming from his work in the field at evening. The man was from the hill country of Ephraim, and he was sojourning in Gibeah. The men of the place were Benjaminites. . . . 20 And the old man said, “Peace be to you; I will care for all your wants. Only, do not spend the night in the square.” 21 So he brought him into his house and gave the donkeys feed. And they washed their feet, and ate and drank.

22 As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, worthless fellows, surrounded the house, beating on the door. And they said to the old man, the master of the house, “Bring out the man who came into your house, that we may know him.” 23 And the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my brothers, do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not do this vile thing. 24 Behold, here are my virgin daughter and his concubine. Let me bring them out now. Violate them and do with them what seems good to you, but against this man do not do this outrageous thing.” 25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine and made her go out to them. And they knew her and abused her all night until the morning. And as the dawn began to break, they let her go. 26 And as morning appeared, the woman came and fell down at the door of the man's house where her master was, until it was light.
Judges 19:16 & 20-26

Death of a Concubine

The time of the judges was a dark time for the nation of Israel as revealed by today's reading. God revealed the depth of their sin by relating to us the story of a Levite and his concubine who had decided to spend the night in Gibeah. Though Jerusalem was closer, it was held by the Jebusites; the Levite thought a city of Israel would be safer. He could not have been more wrong!

The men of the city surrounded the house in which the Levite was staying wanting to abuse the visitor; to pacify them, the concubine was sent out to the men. The men defiled her all night long so that she fell dead on the doorstep of the place they were staying.

When the tribes of Israel were notified of the atrocity, the men of war gathered together to destroy the city of Gibeah. Gibeah was part of the tribe of Benjamin, and the men of Benjamin would not tolerate the destruction of one of their cities, so they rose up to fight against the other tribes of Israel.

After a time of fierce fighting with many deaths on both sides, Israel finally became victorious, and continued on to destroy all of the cities of Benjamin.

There is so much more to this story; it would be good for you to read the entire account from Judges 19-21.

As I was pondering these chapters, I wondered how most people today would react to this entire account. Would they be shocked by the sin of the men of Gibeah who raped and then caused the death of the concubine.

We as Christians should ponder this; the depth of sin has so increased in our world today that we find ourselves more and more tolerant of sins that Godly clearly abhors. That really presents a challenge to us as we attempt to live for the glory of God in a world rushing madly to destruction. How faithful do we remain to the clear teachings of the Bible?

As Christians are we offended at the rape and death of the woman, or has it become so commonplace that it no longer shocks us? Pray today that God would find you faithful to His Word, not willing to compromise to be more acceptable to the people around you.

God Bless You,

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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