Read Judges 18 -- 19
In Today's Reading:
The nation's moral and spiritual decline now hits rock bottom. The tribe of Dan is on the move. They kill and plunder a city. A Levite's concubine is cruelly raped and left dead.
Verses for Today:
The tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in. . . . When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young Levite. . . . And they said to him, Ask counsel . . . of God, that we may know whether our way . . . shall be prosperous (Judges 18:1-6).
Danites by force adopt Micah's Levite as their priest and steal his pagan idols to worship; Danites attack Laish in the far north, then occupy it; a Levite and his concubine are victimized by Gibeah's wickedness.
The tribe of Dan lacked obedience by which Joshua had conquered Canaan. God said to Joshua: This Book of the Law . . . observe to do according to all that is written . . . and then you shall have good success (1:8). Joshua's success is recorded for all to know that he left nothing undone of all the Lord Commanded (Joshua 11:15).
Following the death of Samson, the moral and spiritual condition continued to decline in his tribe. Samson, a Danite, had violated his calling as a Nazarite and Judge by his moral and spiritual conduct.
An incident was recorded of a Levite and his concubine who lived in the tribe of Dan. In ancient societies, a concubine was a slave girl who was the legal property of her master and, therefore, could engage in legitimate sexual relations with her master; yet, she did not have the rights of a free wife. At the time of the Judges, only foreigners could be bought and sold as slaves (Leviticus 25:44-46). We are disappointed to read of a priest having a questionable relationship with a concubine who was probably a Caananite and a prostitute or had become one (Judges 19:2). Perhaps there was an exchange of harsh words between them and, for whatever reason, she returned to her father's home. After four months, the Levite decided he wanted her back; so he went to her father's house to speak friendly to her (19:2-3) and, after some days, they were returning together to the Levite's home.
It became too late to complete their journey before nightfall, so they stopped in Gibeah, a city belonging to the tribe of Benjamin (19:14). An old man offered them hospitality to stay that night in his house and they gladly accepted. But, in a scene reminiscent of Lot in Sodom, certain sons of Belial (Satan-controlled sinners -- comp. 2 Corinthians 6:15) . . . beat at the door, and spoke to the . . . old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into your house, that we may know (rape) him (Judges 19:22). The old man pleaded with the crowd not to do so wickedly (19:23). Since the gang of homosexuals was so violent, to appease them the Levite gave his concubine to the gang; and they knew (raped) her, and abused her all night. The next morning she was found dead at the door of the house (19:25,27).
For a nation to receive the blessings of God it is most important that the spiritual and civic leaders be men and women of high moral and spiritual integrity since their influence will affect so many others. It is a fact that when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice (Proverbs 29:2).
A Thought from Proverbs: Only by pride comes contention: but with the well advised is wisdom (13:10).
In the statement: In those days there was no king in Israel (Judges 18:1). Christ was the rejected King of Israel. Pilate said unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priest answered, We have no king but Caesar (John 19:14-15).
18:12 Mahanehdan = Camp of Dan; 18:15 thitherward = in that direction; 18:21 carriage = baggage; 19:11 Jebus = Jerusalem; 19:17 wayfaring man = traveler; 19:19 provender = fodder, food; 19:22 sons of Belial = evildoers, sons of hell (Deuteronomy 13:13), and sodomites, as in this situation; may know him = may have homosexual relations with him.
Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: Andorra (66,000) in the eastern Pyrenees between France and Spain · Major languages: Catalan and French · Religious freedom · 94% Roman Catholic; .6% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for your adversaries (Psalms 109:4).
Optional Reading: John 20
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:16