Read Judges 19:16-30
B. The Benjamite War (19:1-21:25). 1. The Reason for the War (19:1-20:13a). Continuation – In this chapter of Judges an old man from Ephraim takes the Levite and his company in. A group of wicked men came to rape the Levite. The old man talked the wicked men into taking the concubine, instead of the man.
They raped and abused the woman, and she died. The Levite took her body home, cut it into 12 pieces, and sent it to the tribes of Israel, as a call to action.
- Old and useful. Notice in vss. 16-17, 20-21 that there was an old man who was known for both working and hospitality.
First, we should strive to be known for doing what we can. If the Lord blesses you to be able to retire from working for money, it seems that you should still try to do something that brings glory to God with your time and energy.
There are all kinds of non-profits who need volunteer or low cost help. You can always work and give the money to people who are in need, if you don’t need the money.
Second, we should strive to be known for having a loving spirit. There are too many people who are known for being old and grumpy. This man was old and hospitable.
If you work on being young or middle aged and hospitable then being old and hospitable will not be that difficult. We may not invite everyone to our home, but we can at least be friendly and help where we can. Let’s work on using our time wisely and being hospitable.
- Striving to take care of ourselves. Notice in vss. 18-19 that the Levite talks about what he can do for himself, and he was showing a willingness to take care of himself.
First, it seems that people are willing to help you more, when you try to do for yourself, instead of simply begging people to do for you what you can do for yourself. We should strive to take care of ourselves.
Second, we should not take all that we can get from people who are trying to be nice to us. We should understand the difference between what we need and what we want. For example, we need to eat, but we don’t need to eat at a $50 a meal restaurant.
Let’s work on trying to do for ourselves and understanding the difference between our wants and our needs.
- Protecting our loved ones. Notice in vss. 22-24 that some wicked men came to the old man’s house to rape the Levite. The old man offers his virgin daughter and the Levite’s concubine as an alternative to the Levite.
First, we should not be surprised when we see wicked people in our communities. Without Christ, anyone is subject to do anything. Evangelizing the lost and edifying the saints are so important because with Christ, we strive to love. But without Christ, we are subject to do some terrible things.
Second, we should not treat women as disposable people. Men should strive to protect their daughters and wives. Let’s work on living in line with God’s will, which includes avoiding being wicked and trying to protect our loved ones.
- Wickedness. Notice in vss. 25-28 that the concubine was given to the wicked men. She was raped and abused through the night. Her “master” found her dead in the morning and takes her body with him on his donkey.
Look at the various levels of sin in this text. It was sinful for men to want to have sex with men. It was sinful for people to want to rape anyone. It was sinful for the men to simply give the women to be raped. And obviously the rape and abuse were sinful.
As disciples, we should strive to avoid sinning. This often calls for fighting off cultural influences. When we do sin, we should be quick to repent. Let’s work on living in obedience to God’s word, instead of being wicked like those in the text. At the core of God’s will are the issues of being saved and living lives of loving God and others, as we love ourselves.
- Call to action. Notice in vss. 29-30 that the Levite cuts the woman’s body in 12 pieces and sends them to the 12 tribes. This was a dramatic call to action for the tribes.
Cutting a person’s body into pieces and sending the pieces to those who should respond is over the top for us today. However, when we see terrible things happening in our communities, we should call one another to do what God is calling us to do.
Think about what we are and are not doing with regard to helping our young people get saved and live abundant lives in Jesus, with regard to helping couples make sound marital choices and make their marriages work, with regard to helping people be wise stewards of their health and wealth, and we could go on and on.
Sometimes we have to do something very radical to get each other’s attention and commitment to action. Let’s work on responding to the issues of our day, as disciples of Christ should. We are the light of the world and salt of the Earth.
Conclusion: Let’s work on being obedient, instead
of disobedient. God has much for those who obey His will.