Thursday, October 6
Judges 19-21 starts its account by making it known that the events took place when Israel had no king. Even more than Israel having no king, Samson was the last judge so during this time there was no spiritual leader either.
The accounts in these chapters are gruesome and disturbing. First we read about the Levite staying in Gibeah while traveling. While there perverted men of the city demanded that he be handed over to have sex with him. When they refuse his concubine is handed over then raped and abused all night and dies from her injuries.
When the man returns home, to send a message to Israel he cuts her up into 12 pieces and sends her out to the territories. This then triggers a civil war in Israel against Benjamin where the Lord does tell Israel to fight against the Benjaminites. God hands over the Benjaminites to the Israelites but tens of thousands of men die during this war.
These accounts of lawless Israel not held accountable by a king or judge are so sad and unfathomable. We see the people not consulting God but trying to figure everything out on their own. When we do whatever we want without regard to God and his laws, life is a mess. Our understanding and rationale is so flawed–just look at how entrenched in sin and unmanageable Israel had become!
The last verse sums up this section very well, Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever he wanted.” And it was chaos.