Danites force Micah's Levite to be their priest. They attack Laish, then occupy it; a concubine is victimized. Many of the Israelites yielded to their own lusts and self-interest rather than the Will of God.
Verses for Today:
In those days there was no King in Israel (Judg. 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25)
The last few chapters represent what life was like among the Israelites during the final period when the judges ruled. Idolatry prevailed in the land and God's people ignored His Word. And yet the Name of the Lord was also used as though He was approving their sins.
To illustrate the deplorable moral condition that existed at that time, a Levite, representing "spiritual leadership," and his concubine are introduced. We are disappointed to read of the priest's violation of the Law by his relationship with his concubine (Lev. 21:7) who played the whore against him, and went away from him unto her father's house to Bethlehem-judah (Judg. 19:2). After four months, the Levite decided that he wanted her back, so he went to her father's house. When the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced (19:2-3).
When the Levite decided to return home several days later, it was too late to complete their journey before nightfall, so they stopped in Gibeah (19:14). An old man offered them hospitality in his house, which they accepted.
The men of the city, certain sons of Belial (homosexuals), beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master . . . saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know (have sex with) him. And the man . . . said . . . do not so wickedly. . . . Behold, here is my daughter a maiden . . . but unto this man do not so vile a thing (rape him) (19:22-24). When the men of the city would not listen to the old man, the Levite took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them (19:25).
The vileness of rape, as well as homosexuality, is confirmed in the New Testament where we read: For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections (degrading passions): for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence (penalty) of their error which was meet (fitting) (Rom. 1:26-27).
Thought for Today:
Following our own fleshly desires always leads us away from God, but reading His Word will lead us into His perfect will for our lives.
In those days there was no King in Israel (Judg. 18:1). Christ was the rejected King of Israel. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar (John 19:15).
18:2 coasts =territory; 18:9 still =still here doing nothing; 18:15 saluted =have a friendly greeting to; 18:19 lay thine hand upon thy mouth =stop complaining or suffer the consequences; 18:21 carriage =goods; 19:4 retained him =pressed him to stay; 19:6 let thine heart be merry =enjoy yourself; 19:17 wayfaring =traveling; 19:21 provender =fodder; 19:25 spring =dawn; 19:29 coasts =territory.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Elaine Servetto • Staff: Barbara Bivens • Country: Congo, Republic of the (2 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: French and Lingala • Limited religious freedom, but government hostility has lessened • 41% Roman Catholic; 20% fetishism and belief in ancestral spirits; 17% Protestant; 9% cults • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you discernment in all decisions (I Cor. 2:12-14).
Optional Reading: John 20
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:11