Judges 19-21

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by JohnC, May 14, 2015.

  1. Once again, in the final installment of Judges - it proves to be a book for today....

    Since hardly anybody ever reads this part - much less makes any sense of it... Let's take a swing at making some sense out of it. Judges 19-21 really is a great episode for understanding God's justice vs Man's justice....

    BUT - to see that contrast - it's useful to check out Sodom and Gomorrah - Genesis 13-14, Genesis 18-19. The episode in Judges really does appear to be written to ensure you will draw the parallels to Sodom - so let's check it out...

    Sodom:
    Was there testimony by 2 or 3? 3 - Lot + the 2 messengers.
    Was the testimony coming from a "Righteous man" - Yes - Lot is declared righteous in the bible (1st Peter)
    Was there a REPUTATION for evil in the place? Yes - look at Genesis 13
    Was there an indication that EVERYONE in the place WAS evil? Yes.
    Was Sodom called/invited to turn/repent PRIOR to destruction? Yes - Lot apparently preached against their works.
    Did they send in any Witnesses to ESTABLISH the facts? Yes.
    Did they send in any witnesses to seek out The Righteous? Yes.
    Did they send in any witnesses to SAVE the Righteous or deliver the place if there WERE a large Righteous population? Yes.
    Did they destroy The Righteous with The Wicked - NO - Lot and his people were delivered
    Is it clear that they actually destroyed The Wicked who DID the evil -Yes
    Did they exercise Restraint and listening to Reason - Yes - God listened to Abraham, the angels listened to Lot..
    In their anger and haste - did they ADD error on top of error and sin MORE - No. The destruction was limited to the wicked.
    Did they condemn the Innocent - No

    Gibeah:
    Was there testimony by 2 or 3? No - just the one.
    Was the testimony coming from a "Righteous man" - No. He turned his WIFE over to those evil men... He gave THEM permission to do what they did...
    Was there a REPUTATION for evil in the place? No.
    Was there an indication that EVERYONE in the place WAS evil? NO.
    Was Gibeah called/invited to turn/repent PRIOR to destruction? No.
    THEN...
    Did they send in any MORE Witnesses to ESTABLISH the facts? No.
    Did they send in any witnesses to seek out The Righteous? No.
    Did they send in any witnesses to SAVE the Righteous or deliver the place if there WERE a large Righteous population? NO.
    Did they destroy The Righteous with The Wicked - YES... Not only the righteous in Gibeah - but the ENTIRE tribe of Benjamin as well including women and children...
    Is it clear that they actually destroyed The Wicked who DID the evil - No... They could have been part of the remnant that fled to the mountains...
    Did they exercise Restraint and listening to Reason - NO.
    In their anger and haste - did they ADD error on top of error and sin MORE - YES..
    Did they condemn the Innocent - YES - the REST of the tribe of Benjamin, their wives and children, those of Jabesh Gilead and the virgins of Shiloh...
     
  2. So... What's happened here?
    God showed us a pattern of how HE does things... He expects us to learn something from that pattern - and apply it to OUR OWN situations as well.... And - true to our nature - we ignore those lessons and patterns of how God expects things to be done....

    Notice this same refrain is repeated by Jesus in the New Testament OVER AND OVER....

    So... The next thing... WHY did God THEN allow Israel to destroy Benjamin? Wouldn't God have wanted the Righteous of Benjamin to be saved?

    WELL - notice... Benjamin is ALSO guilty of the same offenses....

    This happened in THEIR land - did they take responsibility to administer justice? NO
    When notified - Did they take the charge seriously? NO
    Were they willing to investigate the actions of the place? NO
    Did THEY offer to bring the wicked to justice? NO
    Did they offer to help identify and rescue the righteous? NO
    Did they Negotiate - that instead of DESTROYING all - that Israel should instead investigate and deal with the wicked, saving the righteous? NO

    What did Benjamin do? They took up FOR the wicked.....
    They fought FOR the wicked
    They fought AGAINST their brothers who were seeking to root out bona-fide evil in their land
    And - they are all destroyed... Men, women, children, livestock....
    Thus - NOW, The righteous of Benjamin PAY the price of the Wicked.....

    To add irony on top of injury - it's not at all clear whether or not the Wicked men of Gibeah were actually destroyed... There is a remnant that flees to the mountains... and the Wicked me of Gibeah could well have made up some portion - or even MOST of this remnant.... Once again - without ANY investigation - we have NO IDEA whether those who are saved are Wicked or Righteous....

    If you look at the totals, and include the elderly, women, children, and the young - there could well have been over 125,000 people of Benjamin killed + almost 40,000 Israelite soldiers dead + the entire population of Jabesh Gilead (probably another 5,000) which had no part in the entire thing what-so-ever ....

    So, there's a GIGANTIC genocide with massive collateral damage all caused by what could have been as few as 5 or 10 wicked men in Gibeah.... WHY? Because NOBODY followed The Law OR God's way.....

    Let's take that to heart before we start crying "Kill them all, let God sort them out".....
    Let's take that to heart when we side with our guy against "Outsiders" because he is our guy....
    Let's take that to heart when one person brings charges and scandal against somebody else...
    That's not God's way...
     

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