Archive for the ‘Judges 19’ Category

The Levites as a Litmus Test

Seems like after Samson’s death in chapter 16, things have been looking pretty bleak. I guess we shouldn’t be too surprise, after all, these chapters are just an outworking of what happened in the garden “every man did what was right in his own eyes.” We always seem to be wanting to define what is good and evil.

Thinking about today’s chapter, Judges 19, wasn’t all that fun. It was horrifying, graphic, angering, it stirred emotions that don’t get stirred very much in this news-evading, tv-drama-avoiding gal. But still God spoke to me about my own issues.

  • There’s the topic of procrastination again, which could have contributed to the ghastly events later in the chapter (verses 5-10).
  • What about the whole idea of judging those not of “our denomination” or “faith-base”? Though he was near Jerusalem and the day was far spent, he pressed on in the night to avoid staying with “foreigners”. (It looks like he would have been better off he had stayed with those who were NOT children of Israel).
  • Then there is the issue of just how wickedly the Benjamites treated their brother Levite. Can family really be so cruel?
  • Homosexuality makes an appearance in this chapter, along with rape, prostitution and pimping.
  • Oh, and how about the dramatics the Levite employed at the end of the chapter, almost as an attempt to lessen his involvement in the whole merciless exploitation?

It makes the head spin and the heart faint. 

And I’m wondering why I don’t feel this outraged when I hear about the kangaroo trial the Lord had to endure, and the gang rape of the whole world’s sin being put upon Him on the cross. Have I become so desensitized to the gruesome horror of the cross, that even Mel can’t capture the perversion of it all?

The last few chapters have a common denominator in the story line. Yes, there is the downward spiral. And the headlong trip into idolatry. But what strikes me the most is who the lead role is.<

The Levite, in chapters 17, 18 and then this chapter, serve as a litmus to just how acidic things were getting in Israel. What happens when the watchman is the burglar? Or he who is to be setting people free, is tossing folks in the dungeon? 

  • In chapter 17 the Levite is satisfied to disregard Micah’s idolatry for a few bucks. 
  • Chapter 18 have the Danites toting along a very cheerful and willing Levite to “bless” their corruption and disobedience.
  • Then there is the behavior we have from a Levite in this chapter.

Question…why isn’t he serving in the temple? Why is the Lord’s business being neglected? Could it be that if the Levites would have been tending to the calling the Lord placed on them, that not only would they be staying out of trouble, but perhaps all of Israel would be more godly?

I can imagine the excuses being rendered (not hard to imagine, because I hear them echoing in my mind). 

  • “Well, they aren’t paying us the offering like God said they should?” 
  • “Nobody wants to worship in today’s society.” 
  • “The times they are a changin’.” 
  • “What difference will one person make?” 
  • “I’m just taking a little hiatus.” 
  • etc.

Interesting that the story of David committing adultery with Bathsheba, and eventually murdering her husband, all began with:

“It happened at the time when kings go out to battle that David remained in Jerusalem and saw a woman bathing from his roof top.” 

Why wasn’t he where he was suppose to be? Oh the grief it would have spared him and other people if he had been.

Oh Lord God, show me where You want me, and compel me to concert my energies and efforts in Your work, and not my own wonderings. Grant me a new heart towards the shocking work You did on the cross for my sake, awaken me to it. And Lord Jesus, I pray You will minister to those who have suffered any type of abuse, especially sexually.