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Bible Pathways 03/30/2004

March 30

Read Judges 20 -- 21

In Today's Reading:

Civil war between Benjamites and other tribes; Benjamites defeated; wives provided for few remaining Benjamites

The tribe of Benjamin refused to allow justice to be done to the homosexual mob that gang-raped a defenseless woman causing her death (Judges 20:13). All the other tribes of Israel united to execute judgment against them. Following two defeats, they came to the House of God, and wept, and sat there before the LORD, and (they) fasted that day until evening, and offered burned offerings and peace offerings before the LORD (20:26). In deep humility, they committed themselves to the Lord.

It was only after they had built an altar and offered the necessary sacrifices for their own needs that the LORD said, Go up; for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand (20:28). The tribe of Benjamin was almost destroyed before the consequences of this wicked sin had been meted out.

There is growing indifference to immorality in our society that is similar to what existed in the tribe of Benjamin. We have redefined sin. Adultery is now called "having an affair." Homosexuality is replaced with "gay and lesbian" or "alternative lifestyles." Fornication is referred to as "live-in lovers." The purpose is to remove the sense of guilt for violating God's moral Law and to make the sinner feel comfortable, as they did when in those days . . . every man did that which was right in his own eyes (21:25). However, while hating and exposing sin, we must also show mercy as we pray for and lovingly entreat sinners to repent and allow Christ to change their lives.

All sin is abominable to our holy God; however, all sin that is truly repented of and forsaken is forgiven through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians that some of them had been delivered from sexual sins when he wrote: Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind . . . shall inherit the Kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified (set apart), but you are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (I Corinthians 6:9-11).

Word Studies:

20:5 forced = raped; 20:6 lewdness = immoral, shameful conduct; 20:10 folly = wicked conduct; 20:29 liers = an ambush; 20:34 sore = a fierce disaster; 20:45 gleaned = caught, were cut off; 21:6 repented them = were sorry.

Christ Revealed:

As our Deliver (Judges 20:26,28). As we pray and seek the Lord's will, He delivers us from all evil forces. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world (Galatians 1:3-4).

Prayer Needs:

Country: Tanzania (31 million) in eastern Africa · Major languages: Swahili and English · Churches are expected to help implement Marxist policy · 33% Muslim; 19% Roman Catholic; 19% animist; 15% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to make you willing to go wherever He wants to send you (Isaiah 6:8).

Optional Reading: John 21

Memory Verse for the Week: John 3:18

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