Read Judges 21:13-25
3. The Results of the War (continued). A peace offering is sent to the people of Benjamin. The 400 virgins are given, but they are not enough. The people came up with the idea of stealing virgins from a festival being held in Shiloh.
There was a plan for dealing with angry fathers and brothers. The plan was executed. The book ends with mention that everyone did what they saw fit.
- Reconciliation and moving forward. Notice in vss. 13-14 that there was serious effort given to reconciling and moving forward. It is sad to see how many people in our churches, families, and communities, give so little effort to reconciliation and moving forward. Some are too unforgiving to come to the table.
Some are too uncompassionate to come to the table. Some are too stuck in the past to move forward. Some are too domineering to work on a way forward that most of the parties are in agreement with.
The result of these type of mindsets is we stay divided and unprogressive. This makes the devil very happy and the Lord very sad and angry. Let’s work on reconciliation and moving forward. Humility, forgiveness, compassion, and dedication to God are key items we need to bring to the table to work on this application.
- Integrity. Notice in vss. 15-21 that the men were trying to keep their word. On one hand, we can criticize them for how they committed the sins of killing and stealing to avoid the sin of breaking their oath.
But on the other hand, at least they tried to keep their word. There are too many who seem to have no issues with breaking their covenants. Think about how easily and shamelessly people break the church covenant, marriage vows, and employment agreements.
Let’s work on keeping our word. This will call for being careful about giving our word, discerning God’s will when stuck between two bad choices, and having the spiritual courage to do what we believe God is calling us to do.
- Discovering and carrying out God’s plans. Notice in vss. 22-23 the plan to kidnap the women as if they were simply property.
First, give them some credit for having a plan. There are too many who get emotionally upset and run off with no plan.
Second, give them credit for carrying out their plan. There are many who just talk and talk and talk but never take action.
Third, we should not follow their example regarding how they treated the women. Women are as fully human and valuable in God’s eyes as men. They are not property to be traded like baseball cards, horses, or stocks. Let’s work on discovering and carrying out godly plans.
- Individual stewardship. Notice in vss. 23-24 that each person went back to care for their inheritance.
First, as important as church and community are, it is important for people to be able to go home to work on their families and personal lives. Churches need to be careful about having people at the church house too often.
Second, all that we have is essentially an inheritance from the Lord. God is the giver of every good and perfect gift. This should prevent any arrogance on our parts.
Third, as inheritors we are called to take care of what has been placed in our trust. We dishonor the one who gave us the inheritance, when we waste or neglect what was given. Think about personal care issues like our mindsets, health, and finances. Let’s work on being wise stewards of those things God has placed in our trust.
- Everyone doing their own thing. Notice in vs. 25 the mention of there being no king and everyone doing what seemed fit to them. First, the people of God do much better when they are following a leader sent by God.
Somebody needs to give serious attention to staying in touch with God and giving direction to God’s people. Somebody needs to be the leader.
Second, Proverbs 14:12 teaches that there is a way that seems right to a person, but the ends thereof are the ways of death. Just because something seems fit to me, you, or us doesn’t mean that it is right in God’s eyes.
The church and our families, at their best, are not democracies ran by what the people want. At are best, we are democratic theocracies. We share our understanding of what God wants, not what we want.
The Bible is the best thing that we have to know God and His will for our lives – authoritative truth (see II Tim. 3:16). Let’s work on seeking and obeying God’s will for our lives.
Conclusion: Let’s work on being obedient, instead of disobedient. God has much for those who obey His will.
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