Read 84.) Judges 19:1 thru 21:25. With today’s reading we finish the book of Judges, and what an ending it is! Have you ever heard of things so bizarre? Why is that? Only one reason, as we shall see. The last verse of chapter 19 is most useful here. The words, “Think about it! Consider it!” leap off the page. What has happened? What has happened is that places in Israel had sunk so low, as to be as bad as Sodom and Gomorrah had ever gotten, and God destroyed them! The point is to show how low Israel had become, and that they were fit only for severe judgment from God. Why all this? The one word is: Unfaithfulness. Israel had become unfaithful to the Lord. They had broken the Covenant, and they were literally slipping into perdition, because of their unfaithfulness. That’s what this is all about! God prophesied this. Moses recorded it in Deuteronomy 31:16. This is the ongoing fulfillment of the 4th of The 7 Promises and Prophecies that the entire Bible account revolves around. Get this, and understanding of all we are reading comes to you. The most amazing thing though, is still this: God won’t ‘lower the boom’ on Israel for yet another 500 years! So great is His mercy and His grace toward wayward humankind! Just as He has been with you and with me.
Chapter 20 relates more insanity. The ‘good guys’ who went to battle lost 5 1/2% of their fighting force the first day! Another 4 1/2% were lost on Day 2. Ten percent of Israel’s fighting forces were lost in a battle in just 2 days; against one of their own tribes! An unimaginable tragedy. By verse 35, Benjamin has now lost 25,100 warriors of their 26,000; a 96.5% casualty rate! This was a complete and utter disaster! With verse 47, only 600 are left. For all intents and purposes, Benjamin would appear to be no more. Then…
Chapter 21, and the end of Judges. Verse 3 asks, “Why has this happened to Israel?” We know why! Verse 4 actually provides the answer to their question! They’re, even then, building unauthorized altars and offering up unauthorized sacrifices to the Lord! Israel is unfaithful, and they have become barbaric! Period. Then, read of their ‘solution’ to that ‘problem’ which had been created… slaughter these, and kidnap those, because we made an oath not to give our daughters! Really? The solution would be to commit further fratricide in order to keep a rash oath?!?!? The final chapter, and the whole book, ends in utter moral turpitude. The depravity and wickedness in Israel, even when they think they are doing what is good and right, borders on the nauseating, does it not? The final point of it all is stated outright, with the closing words, “Everyone did as he saw fit.” By this point in our story, 300 years after Moses, Israel is fit only for judgment. Yes, God was working in this situation, as we read of Him there, but everywhere He is wanting them to come all the way back to Him, thru repentance, and back unto His Word! Today, much of the so-called Church of Jesus Christ is no more faithful unto Him, than Israel was unto God then; as so many ‘Christians’ are doing as they see fit. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell