Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Rescue Turns Tragic

O. T. #550  "A Rescue Turns Tragic"
July 2, 2015
Judges 19-Part 2
Now as they were making their hearts merry... Judges 19:22


A young woman is rescued, but a tragic conclusion lies ahead for her. Does it matter where we spend the night, and with whom? We see how one sin leads to another; bizarre actions result from deep sins. Yet, we read of such things happening in our world by the ruthless ones. It was a bleak period in the history of the nation of Israel. They were without a judge and king to direct them in holy living. Shall we finish this story?

The young Levite was married to a concubine, who went back to her father's home to get her after 4 months. Keep in mind that having concubines was an accepted part of Israelite society, although this is not what God intended (Genesis 2:24). On their way home, it was turning dark, so they stopped in the city of Gibeah in Benjamin territory for lodging. An older man offered his home, so they took him up on it. He took in strangers, fed, gave drink, washed their feet, tending to their needs.

Aren't we so thankful that Jesus loves us, takes us in as strangers, makes us a part of His family, feeds our soul with His Word, and gives us to drink from the fountain of living water (Holy Spirit)? He meets to our needs, even before we ask. Friend, just ask Jesus to be your Savior, forgive you of your sins. Then, you too, will be a part of His family.


While there, wicked men of the city came to the hospitable man's door, requesting the Levite for their sexual pleasures.
Sexual perversion and lawlessness were by-products of Israel's disobedience to God. The Israelites weren't willing to speak up until events had gone too far. (Life Application Study Bible)

Do we stand against homosexuality, supporting marriage between a man and a woman?

Let's continue this gruesome story:
  • The owner of the house refused to allow such a disgraceful thing for his guest.
  • The wicked men would not listen, so the man offered his daughter and the man's concubine, allowing them to do whatever they wish. (How low down is this father?)
  • In verse 25, we read of the abuse the city men did to the concubine, raping her throughout the night. (Hey, I thought he cared for her, since he journeyed 10 miles to bring her back home.)
  • The woman made her way back to the house, only to make it to the door, placing her hands on the threshold, laying there until daylight, where she died.
  • Her master came out the door the next morning, told her, "Get up; let's go." Without her answering, the outraged Levite put her on his donkey and made the journey home.
  • When he reached home, the master took his knife, divided, cup up his concubine in 12 pieces, sending each to a tribe in Israel. How gruesome! 
This method for rallying a nation was normally done by dismembering animals (1 Sam. 11). The verb to divide refers to a ritual dissection. (Ex. 29:17, Lev. 1:6) The Levite sent the 12 pieces of her body to the 12 tribes of Israel in an effort to rally the nation out of it lethargy and to a willingness to acknowledge its responsibility.  (Falwell)

What good could come out of such a horrible act?
Everyone who saw it said in verse 30 NIV, Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Think about it! Consider it! Tell us what to do! 

It was designed to get action, and it worked. (Davis)

We assume the tribe of Benjamin was included in the summons, but refused, thus identifying themselves with the men of Gibeah. The shock of seeing the girl's dismembered body and undoubtedly hearing the story of this undeniable outrage against the law of God caused Israel to consider this the greatest atrocity of the nation's early history. (Falwell)

Obviously, the Levite expected action from his brothers.
What can we learn from this story, which I believe actually happened, since the Bible is God's Word to us of accounts of His peoples' lives?
  • We see the need to call our nation back to God in repentance, then work toward establishing God's moral and spiritual reign in the hearts of every person.
  • Let people know that adultery and prostitution is sinful and unacceptable to God. (The life of a harlot is unacceptable and not permissible in the Old Testament, calling for killing of them.) I am not advocating such an extreme, but they need to be offered God's Grace for repentance and a way to change their lifestyle and line of business.
  • Men of God are not to be involved with a concubine. (Priests were forbidden to marry one.)
  • Do not open our door to immorality. Teach our children why such practices are not pleasing to God.
  • Witness to idolaters. Do not accept their lifestyle. God forbids idolatry. He alone is God, the only one to be worshiped. 

Follow the previous points, living for God's glory and according to His Word, admitting I am a sinner in need of forgiveness daily.

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