The Israelites had fallen so much into depravity that it was becoming more and more difficult for them to be shocked by sin. It’s the way of sin. Do it long enough, allow it to slide long enough, and it becomes not a big deal.
When the Danites went to scout out territory to live, they came across a fellow Israelites Micah and a Levite who was his personal priest. They both had carved images, an ephod and household idols along with the worship of the Lord.
Yet instead of the Danites being outraged as they should have been, they acquired the Levite and his idols and Micah’s idols into the tribe. Then they set those idols up in their new city. Instead of bringing judgment against this heinous crime in Israel, the Danites adopted it.
It gets worse.
A Levite, as in one of the special ones to serve in the ministry of the Lord, needed a place to stay. Instead of staying in a town where non-Israelites lived, he took his concubine and stayed in a town full of his fellow Israelites. He was not shown hospitality but left to wait in the town square.
Already we see how bad things have become. A Levite has a concubine? No one in the city gave him a place to stay as was custom for any stranger? And especially a Levite?
It gets worse.
Finally an old man with old school values took the Levite and his concubine and servant in. While they were eating men of the city banged on the door and brazenly demanded that they kick out the man, the Levite, the religious leader, as they wanted to have sex with him. These men needed fresh meat and this Levite was enticing.
Hospitality was and is one of the highest values in this culture. The owner of the house pleaded with people not do something so evil. But they men of the city were more in number and in compromising in their demands. They wanted gang rape this pastor.
It gets worse.
It became so bad that the man gave them his daughter and the Levite’s concubine. The men of the city didn’t want the girls. They wanted the Levite man. So the owner of the house shoved the girls out anyway. So the men in their rage took the girls and gang raped them to death.
The Levite took the body of his wife home and in an act to rouse the Israelite nation, he cut their body up and sent the pieces to the 12 tribes of Israel explaining what happened. It worked and the people rallied. They went to war with Benjamin per the Lord’s instruction and defeated them because they had become so evil.
This is how bad the evil had become in Israel.
To tell you the truth I don’t even want to publish this story because of the times we are in. We as a world have recently been horrifically shocked by the death of a man who did not deserve to die. It was so bad that the nation has risen up. Things are going every which direction as people are exploding in anger and outrage. It was the most evil I had ever watched.
These verses here are in NO WAY meant to arouse war between people groups. Israel was a covenant nation, a very different nation for a different time. This is not prescriptive in ANY way. But descriptive of how things had become.
Evil had become so evil. So very evil.
It’s amazing that God did not wipe them all out. But something had to change. The times were such that “everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” That’s the worst place one can be.
And the only solution, truly the only solution is for you and I and a nation to repent and get right again before the Lord.
The products of evil has many forms. We can fight those forms all we want and there is actually a place to do that.
But until we deal with the evil in our hearts, this won’t stop.
Until we bend our knee to God, this won’t stop.
Until we receive His mercy, this won’t stop.
Holy Spirit, please come.