Judges 19 Devotional
By Pastor Lawrence
After the passing of the generation of Joshua, who famously said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” it appears that his descendants did not maintain that perspective and passion for God. In this chapter, another rogue Levite is wandering around the nation of Israel without any sense of calling from God. Instead of indulging in blatant idolatry as the previous Levite did, this one’s overall sense of morality is suspect from the start because he has taken on a concubine instead of a wife. And because there is no king in Israel and seemingly no men of integrity can be found throughout the land of Israel, this poor girl experiences the most startling nightmare one could ever imagine.
The story begins with this concubine running away from her master/husband and returning to her father’s house in Bethlehem. And after four months the Levite finally comes to speak kindly to her, which means he’s trying to coax her into returning to his service, if you will. It’s obvious that the man doesn’t love her as a wife, but only views her as a piece of property not much different from his donkeys. After spending five days in her father’s house being wined and dined by him likely to make atonement for his daughter’s rebellion, the Levite and his property make their way back north toward Ephraim. And as the sun goes down, instead of staying in the Canaanite city of Jebus, the Levite chooses to travel a bit farther in order to stay in Gibeah with his fellow Israelites. Unfortunately, none of the citizens of Gibeah are willing to take them in for the night except another foreigner from the same region as the Levite, a fellow Ephraimite. And when this foreigner takes them in, his house is made the subject of an attack similar to the one that Lot faced when he as a foreigner hosted the angels in the city of Sodom.
What is especially sad about this situation is that there are likely a number of people within the city who do not participate in the impending sexual abuse, yet who also are unwilling to take in this man and his concubine out of fear that they themselves could become the next victims. Thus, it seems that in every generation, most individuals are afraid to stand up to abusers, traffickers, groomers and the like. Just yesterday, a neighbor of ours who is on the local school board asked us to pray for Fenton High School because many of the faculty now are wearing rainbow pins to advocate for the cause, and any child who speaks with them about the issue is then given one of those pins, with a QR code on the back that promotes all sorts of evil things. Clearly, not only our country, but our local towns are transforming day by day into Sodom and Gomorrah, and there are plenty of adults who are willing to throw our kids to the wolves in order to protect themselves.
What makes this an especially heinous account is that a Levite, who is supposed to be an example of righteous, holiness and the fear of the Lord, one who both watches over and protects the people of God, is the one who throws this weak and innocent girl to the wolves to save his own skin. We must always remember that the nation of Israel is not to be equated with the United States but rather with the church of God. As concerning as it is to see our civic leaders promote wickedness in our country, it is all the more heinous to see religious leaders do the same. As our culture continue to spiral down, remember to pray for the leaders of the church to maintain their integrity, to continue to stand up for the truth and to be bold and courageous in protecting the innocent from the unruly mob. Even if the whole world is doing what seems right in their own eyes, we will seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, for He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.