There will be consequences!
Our greatest desire should be justice.
“Give up those evil men, those troublemakers from Gibeah, so we can execute them and purge Israel of this evil.” But the people of Benjamin would not listen.
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There will be consequences!
The account of the Levite and his concubine in Judges 19 and 20 is one of the strangest ones in the Scriptures. You might wonder as you read it, ‘What is going on here? Why is this in the Bible?’ A couple of times in Judges we are told that Israel had no king and they did whatever seemed good to them. The Israelites were God’s chosen people. They had His written commandments to instruct them on how to live a God-glorifying life. What they were lacking was leadership who would lead them toward God’s Word. Judges proves that people will generally choose what seems right in their own eyes over what God wants.
In the previous chapter, the Levite is traveling with his concubine and stops to spend the night in Gibeah, a town in the territory of Benjamin. An old man invites the Levite into his home for the night. While there some wicked men come and demand that the Levite be sent out so that they can have sex with him. Sounds like the account of Sodom and Gomorrah, doesn’t it? Inexplicably, the Levite shoves his concubine out the door, and they rape her all night long, and she crawls up to the door and dies. He then takes her to his home, cuts her up and sends pieces of her to every tribe in Israel. I told you it is strange.
The tribes gather to decide what to do. They decide to send 40,000 troops to attack Gibeah. What happened to the concubine was evil, and according to God’s Law should be punished. It would be just and right for those wicked men of Gibeah to be punished for their evil. The tribe of Benjamin learns that the other tribes have gathered, and they rally to the defense of Gibeah.
What struck me about this verse was the statement, “But the people of Benjamin would not listen.” The people of Benjamin and the other tribes were equally God’s chosen people and bound under the same laws and regulations. The absolute right thing for them to do would have been to investigate the matter and then hand over the wicked men for the judgment they deserved. It would have been perfectly right for them to experience the consequences for their wickedness. Instead, they stand and fight against their relatives, and thousands die as a result.
There are consequences for evil and wickedness. As Christians, we know the eternal, spiritual consequences for our sins, evil, and wickedness were dealt with on the cross of Christ. But doesn’t mean we will be delivered from the temporal consequences of those same sins. This is hard to accept when someone we love is facing the consequences of their sins. It is natural for us to want to save them from the consequences, but our greatest desire should be justice. The men of Gibeah were wicked, but the tribe of Benjamin committed the greater sin of resisting justice and experienced an even greater consequence, not just for them, but for the whole nation. As hard as it is, be satisfied with justice. God is the righteous judge, trust His judgment. Jesus, help us to trust You with our consequences.
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