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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The Most Awful Bible Story: Judges 19-21

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ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
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Mississippi

 The Most Awful Bible Story: Judges 19-21

In recent months I was studying Joshua and Judges. I read it through slowly once, reread it going slower and getting stuck several times as these stories challenged me, teaching me by the questions they generated and mulling, meditating over them.

For a long time I considered the incident as recorded in Judges 19-21 as the most awful, dreadful story recorded in all of scripture. I asked my husband what Bible Story he considers the most dreadful and he said the one in Judges 3 where Ehud killed that fat man...I asked the sisters yesterday at the sewing circle what Bible story they consider the worst one and they agreed with me. Most say when they read this story they will just skim over it because they consider it so bad. Perhaps this opinion is more gender specific, dunno know.

Anyhow...

As I looked at this story, I got stuck hard - maybe because it is so dreadfully awful. In any case I saw a pattern emerge, I saw powerful lessons emerging.

I am wondering, has anyone else studied this story and has it taught you? and if so, what lessons did you glean from it?

Sandra


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Sandra Miller

 2015/1/14 12:46Profile
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 Re: The Most Awful Bible Story: Judges 19-21

I agree it ranks right up there with the most awful.

The lesson it teaches me is that there were barbaric people back then, including God's people.

It also teaches me that God may have commanded certain action but that man often used their own methods in achieving same, because in essence they were barbaric.


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Todd

 2015/1/14 13:17Profile
ginnyrose
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 Re:


QUOTE:
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there were barbaric people back then, including God's people.
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This was one of my first observations. This led me to the question, "How did people get that way?"

Sandra


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Sandra Miller

 2015/1/14 17:19Profile
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 Re:

If civilization as we know it goes kerplunk, people will go barbaric very quickly. I think it to some degree is human nature in its depraved state.

And of course the constant refrain in Judges is "everyone did what was right in their own eyes."


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Todd

 2015/1/14 18:05Profile
ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
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 Re: The Most Awful Bible Story: Judges 19-21

Now maybe I can proceed with inspiration received from this scripture - had a lot going on last week.

As I looked at this story, shaking my head in horror at the level people had fallen into, I noticed it did not happen overnight but it was a process. As I considered this I knew very well it is so today.

The story begins with a Levite who had a concubine that 'fell' into harlotry.

If this Levite had observed, obeyed the law as pertains to harlotry a LOT of lives would have been saved. But he didn't. The laws dealing with adultery were severe - both participants were to be killed - Leviticus 20:10:"If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death". If the offenders were from the priestly family they were not allowed to marry one given to harlotry and if the daughter of one becomes a harlot she was to be burned. Lev. 21:9.

If the Levite had dealt with this sin issue the only people who would have been killed would have been the participants - both male and female. But he didn't.

Compromise attracts sin. And more sin until you have a situation that reels out of control.

More later...


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Sandra Miller

 2015/1/19 16:18Profile
ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
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 Re: The Most Awful Bible Story: Judges 19-21

Today I want to look at the Scriptures analysis of this era of time, "and everyone did what was right in their own eyes." Judges 21:25

It does not take long for any society, church, however spiritual they are, to fall fast when they take their eyes off the Lord and allow their own reasoning, logic to be the guiding force in decision making. The religious leaders are not immune to this philosophy.

The Levites were the conscience in the Jewish community. They were not restricted to a particular area in Israel. They were scattered throughout the nation, owning land in the surrounding cities that were scattered about the countryside. They were the ones who were responsible for the maintenance of the tabernacle and later the temple; were a rank lower then the priests who were from Aaron's lineage; were not allowed to offer the sacrifices in the tabernacle/temple.

The Levites influence was widely felt in Jewish culture. Have you ever wondered why the northern kingdom - Israel - behaved so badly after the nation divided under king Rehoboam? In 2Chronicles 11:14-16:

14 For the Levites left their pasture lands and their property and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons had excluded them from serving as priests to the LORD.

15 He set up priests of his own for the high places, for the satyrs and for the calves which he had made.

16 Those from all the tribes of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the LORD God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem, to sacrifice to the LORD God of their fathers.

It was because the Levites left the area, they abandoned it. The countryside was berefit of any Godly leadership, hence you had a people left to their own devices. (Read the rest of the Chronicles and Kings about how wicked the northern kingdom became.)

Next I want to focus on the Levite in this story. I shared the above to help us understand the role in of the Levites in Jewish society.





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Sandra Miller

 2015/1/21 9:30Profile
ginnyrose
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 Re:

Now I would like to focus on the Levite in this story.

As a guardian of God's law it is sobering to think how far one can fall away from their love for God and his will. If he has such a low regard for it, is it any wonder that the people hankered after idolatry? Eli and Samuel's sons' conduct mirrored this mans...how can it happen?

How fall did he fall?

He had a low view of women. When men came who wanted to have sex with him, he offered his concubine/wife. LORD, have mercy! The guy is a first class jerk and worse! He obviously did not love her, not at all. He is absolutely disgusting, no less. If he had such a low view of his wife I wonder how he treated her otherwise? Maybe it is no wonder she ran away from him.

Ok, so in the morning he goes out, sees her lying at the doorway. He tells her, "get up!" Why did he not reach down to lift her up? What about the time when the men were ravishing her, did she not cry out for help? Likely did, if she was normal. Why did he ignore her cries for help?

He picks up her body, puts her on his donkey and returns home where he proceeds to dismember her and sends the parts to the rest of the tribes of Israel. It had the desired effect - people got upset: “Nothing like this has ever happened or been seen from the day when the sons of Israel came up from the land of Egypt to this day. Consider it, take counsel and speak up!” Judges 19:30.

More later..


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Sandra Miller

 2015/1/22 10:51Profile
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 Re:

He didn't answer her calls for help because he offered her up and knew what would happen.

As for his actions later, pretty Barbaric.


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Todd

 2015/1/22 16:04Profile
ginnyrose
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 Re:

As I consider the actions of this Levite I am so appalled at his cruelty, putting his wife at risk to save his own hide.

Someone has said that when males fall away from God they become mean. They are blessed by their Creator with brute strength and will use it to promote their well-being at the expense of others, and the weak. Compassion shown to the weak is considered a point of weakness - it is not masculine. One can readily see how males' strength is demonstrated by their penchant for the daring, life-defying exploits they will pursue; their love for the rough, and crude. Ann Landers used to say (something like this) God made women to civilize the men!

Jesus, on the other hand, demonstrated what a godly male should be like. He showed compassion to the hurting, the weak, cared for people regardless of gender, age or position in society. When he saw people - Pharisees - criticize his compassion for a suffering man, it angered him, Mark 3:5: "And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts."

The lesson one learns from this is when Christian males become carnal, fall away from God they may become cruel with their wives becoming their first victims. A godly man will love his wife and children - he will not put them in harms way or sacrifice them to protect his own hide.

Just because someone has a wonderful godly upbringing, has a wonderful heritage is no guarantee he/she will live accordingly. A godly heritage is to be treasured but selfishness will render it useless.

Tragic how far a man can fall...






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Sandra Miller

 2015/1/23 11:20Profile
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 Re:

I know many unsaved men who are just as nice as can be. I know a lot of Jewish professional men who are very civil and kind.

Of course I know unsaved non- Jewish men who are also very nice men.

And there are a lot of Christian men who are jerks.


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Todd

 2015/1/23 11:27Profile





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