Archive for the ‘civil war’ Category

The Costliness of Poor Choices

These last few chapters are an unusual read especially when I study them right after asking the Lord to communicate with me. “Lord speak to me. Show me Your mind.” And then to read about a prostitute gang raped leading to her death. Hmmmm.

Today’s no exception to this puzzling response from the Lord to my request. Judges 20 has me scratching my head, wandering what is going on with the children of Israel.

It seems like the last 5 chapters of Judges show an internal breakdown of Israel’s worship and unity. A whole disintegration of Israel seems to be occurring. As soon as we behave in an ungodly fashion (ie, neglecting God), unrighteousness is soon to follow, until we get outright wicked in our ways.

Aside from the bloody civil war that has occurred within Israel, the most noticeable element of this account was how often the concept of “one man” or “unity” is mentioned. I’m thankful to see that at least everyone else understood the atrocity of what was done to this lady.

What was Benjamin thinking? Why rally all your men to protect the guilty perpetrators? Where is their outrage? How did they manage to get unanimity in this decision to protect these murderers?

Whether it was tired of being the “little tribe” or the “youngest brother”, or being confronted by so many at one time, or a soft compassion for the rapists that thought the law of Moses was too harsh, their choice had far-reaching ill effects.

  • A civil war broke out.
  • 40,000 Israelites were slain.
  • 21,000 Benjamites were killed.
  • The whole city of Gibeah, men, women and children, up in smoke.

The only folks who needed to be dealt with were the men who raped and murdered the woman of chapter 19. But Benjamin’s choice cost so much more.

Conviction for me comes from the two battles that were fought and lost by the zealous children of Israel who inquired of the Lord.

  • A tenth of the men of Israel, were lost in that battle with Benjamin.
  • God demonstrated that the “race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong.”
  • Attempting great exploits for God by trusting in our power and schemes shall always fail.
  • Israel had their own sins that needed to be addressed. (we need to remove the plank from our own eye before dealing with the iniquitous sliver in a brother’s eye)
  • And we must not think it strange that a good cause should suffer defeat for a while.
  • Nor should we judge the merits of a cause by the success of it.
  • Loss and affliction humbles us like no other impetus

Lord Jesus Christ, may my responses be in accordance with Your will. Preserve me from choices that are motivated by selfishness or ego. Gently humble me so I might perceive the world through Your eyes.

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