Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The next morning

Today we were reading from Judges 19 and it is a sad, strange, appalling story! A Levite priest could marry and this man took a concubine. The concubine got mad and left to return to her father. Four months later her husband set out to go and get her. Now this priest ministry was greatly tainted, because he had married a harlot. He disregarded her sin and her separation from God along with the fact she was considered unclean.

When they began their return trip home they stopped in Gibeah, which was from the tribe of Benjamin. They were going to stay with an older man and he welcomed them into his home. Later in the evening a crowd of troublemakers gathered around the home and told him to send out the man to have sex with them. Odd to begin with, terrible in fact and the older man stepped outside and said, no, don't do such an evil thing to my guest. I will send out my virgin daughter and his concubine. What? Did I just read that right? He thought so little of his own daughter that he would send her out to face this angry crowd of awful people? He took care of a stranger in his home that was male, but was willing to send out his daughter! Now this really got me and then it get's even worse...

The Levite man took a hold on his concubine wife and sent her out to face this crowd of men. A man of God sent out his wife that he just went and was bringing back home. A man that was wrong in the beginning to marry her, but just furthers his wrongs with throwing her to the wolves... He must have even gone to bed when he went back inside. Imagine it. No guilty thoughts or anything, because we are told that the men abused her all night she returned to lay at the door of the house until it was light. Her husband opened the door to leave and found her laying at the door. He was getting ready to leave. He was really concerned. He rested. He packed his bags and was going home.

He opens the door she is laying at his feet. He tells her with exclamation marks to get up! Let's go! No answer. So he picked her up and put her body on the donkey and returned home.

When the man returned home. He divided her body into 12 parts and sent a part to each tribe of Israel to send a message about the horrors of where they were. Did he think about himself at the same time? Was he only pointing the finger at others?

Last year I wrote across the top of this weird, awful story and it still hits me the same way...A leader that was leading people, a man of God that was acting in such a manner and in then in Judges 21 it closed with In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. Well, in those days and in our days we sin filled humans are able to justify in our own minds things, but in our hearts we know the truths...We know the wrongs we commit, we know!

Sweet blessings,

1 comment:

Frankie said...

Yes, very strange and appalling indeed! My NIV footnotes said that this story showed Israel's moral corruption...everyone did as they pleased. That describes our world today in many ways.

This story also reminded me of the the one about Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19.