Read Judges 20
Focus on verse 12-1
Someone sent me a link to an article today which I thought was interesting. The title of the article: Report: Declining Church Attendance Is Problem for Everybody, Not Just BelieversThe entire article can be found at this link.
The conclusion of the article was essentially that people who regularly attend church tend to display the kind of behavior that benefits not just themselves but also the communities in which they live, the places they work, etc. more so then those who typically do not attend church. In other words — church attendance is good for humanity — hence when people stop attending church it affects everybody in a negative way. In today’s reading, we find more evidence that could support the idea that when people choose to harbor evil, in stead of exposing and eradicating it — everyone suffers.
The tribes of Israel sent men throughout the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What about this awful crime that was committed among you? Now surrender those wicked men of Gibeah so that we may put them to death and purge the evil from Israel.” (v. 12-13)
The people of Benjamin refused to surrender the perpetrators of the crime in Gibeah, which resulted in a civil war. By the time is was over, forty thousand men from the tribes of Israel, twenty five thousand men plus women children and livestock of the tribe of Benjamin — well over sixty thousand in total — quite possibly closer to a hundred thousand people destroyed. Why? Because they chose to protect evil, instead of purging it. Did the Lord God ordain this? Though I am certain God was aware this would happen, and though it is evident that He was there in the midst of it, I rather doubt this was what His original design for Israel in the Promised Land. Had the people chosen to walk in obedience to the commands given through Moses, there may have been a very different story written at this point in Israel’s history.
This is the ongoing affect that sin has on humanity. This is what happens when people allow themselves to walk in the deception of our spiritual enemy. It would be a dismal and pointless existence if we left out of the equation the redemptive nature of God as He remains involved with and faithful to His people. In tomorrow’s reading as we come to the close of the book of Judges we will begin to see how the Lord uses this awful event to demonstrate His redemptive nature.