Saturday, May 30, 2015

May 30 - Judges 19

Today's reading in our daily plan is Judges 19. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • A Levite pursues his unfaithful concubine by going to her father's house in Bethlehem.  Having a concubine was an accepted part of Israelite society although this is not what God intended.  A concubine had most of the duties but only some of the privileges of a wife.  Although she was legally attached to one man, she and her children usually didn't enjoy the inheritance rights of the legal wife and her children.  Her primary purpose was giving the man sexual pleasure and contributing more help to the household.  
  • After persuading his concubine to return, they set out to return home.  They stopped in Gibeah for the night where a man invites them to stay at his home.
  • While there, some wicked men demanded to have sex with the Levite.  While the host protected the Levite, he willingly offered his daughter and the concubine to the men.
  • The concubine was raped and died.  
  • The Levite communicated the horror of the crime committed by cutting his concubine into 12 pieces and sending one to each of the 12 tribes of Israel.  In doing so, he demanded a response.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Sexual perversion and chaos are a by-product of Israel's disobedience to God.  Both chapters 18 and 19 begin with "In those days Israel had no king."  Not only did they not have a literal king, but they also failed to see God as their true king.  The result was they drifted into a culture of sin.  
  • Sin blinds us.  Ironically, the Levite who alerted Israel to the murder of his concubine was just as guilty for her death as the men who actually killed her.  He protected himself when the men demanded to have sex with him, but he didn't have the courage to protect his concubine.  He then fails to see how he too was at fault in her death.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Whenever we get away from God and His Word, all sorts of evil can follow.  When the Israelites stopped letting God lead them, they became no better than the evil people around them.  Our drifting away from God may seem slow and almost unnoticeable, but you may be shocked at what you are capable of doing.  Are there any aspects of your life that you are leaving God out of (i.e. relationships, sex life, work)?  What can you do to begin honoring God in that area again?  
  • Sin is not a private matter.  Our sin affects the lives of others.  When you face temptation, consider what impact giving in to that temptation may have on your spouse, children, and friends.