Read Judges 20:1
Civil war between Benjamites and other tribes; Benjamites defeated and the results.
From Dan to Beersheba, all the tribes of Israel gathered to punish the sins committed at Gibeah by a few perverted men of Benjamin. Tolerance toward Benjamin would have been treason to Jehovah — a principle too often forgotten. Sixty-five thousand men died in three great battles and the tribe of Benjamin was almost destroyed.
The tribe of Benjamin refused to allow justice to be done to the homosexual mob that gang-raped a defenseless Israelite woman causing her death (Judg. 20:5,13). All the other tribes of Israel prayed: Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the Lord said, Judah shall go up first (20:18).
It was only after two disastrous defeats at the hands of the Benjamites that the Israelites came unto the House of God, and wept . . . until even, and offered Burnt Offerings and Peace Offerings before the Lord (20:26). The Lord said, Go up; for to morrow I will deliver them into thine hand (20:28). Note that they offered sacrifices for their own sins. In deep humility, they committed themselves to the Lord. Clearly this illustrates how available our God is to provide guidance and victory when we submit ourselves to His Word. In the Scriptures we discover the plan of God when our desire is simply to do His will.
There is a growing indifference to immorality in our affluent society. 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 of this new vocabulary is to remove the sense of guilt for violating the moral Law of God and to make the sinner feel comfortable. However, while hating and exposing sin, we must also show mercy and kindness as we pray for and lovingly entreat all sinners to repent and come to Christ as Savior and Lord.
All sin is abominable to our holy God; however, all sin that is truly repented of and forsaken will be forgiven through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ (I John 1:9). The Apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians that some of them had been delivered from sexual sins: 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 (past tense) some of you: but ye are washed . . . sanctified (set apart), but ye are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (I Cor. 6:9-11).
Thought for Today:
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time (I Pet. 5:6).
As our Deliverer (Judg. 20:26-28). As we pray and seek the Lord's will, He delivers us from all evil forces. Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world according to the will of God (Gal. 1:3-4).
20:5 forced raped; 20:6 lewdness and folly sinful, shameful disgrace; 20:13 children of Belial evil perverts; 20:34 sore fierce; 20:35 smote struck down; drew the sword were experienced soldiers; 20:41 amazed terrified; 20:42 turned their backs detreated, fled; 20:43 trode them down overtook them; sunrising fast; 20:45 gleaned cut off; 20:46 fell died; men of valour valiant warriors; 21:13 call peaceably proclaim peace.
Pray for Government Officials: Sen. Mark Begich (AK) and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (VA) • Country: Benin (6 million) in western Africa • Major languages: French and tribal languages • Some hostility toward Christians • 59% animism and voodoo; 17% Muslim; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that at all times you will find pleasure in what pleases the Lord (Phil. 2:13).
Optional Reading: John 21:1
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 1:15