(Today's post by Jacob Moore)
Personally, I think the last verse in this chapter should have been the first.
“In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25 NKJV
Reading this chapter felt like listening to a bunch of teenage girls trying to explain their relationship drama. Except with a lot more violence. And kidnapping. And virgins.
The Israelites destroyed the tribe of Benjamin in the previous chapter, and now the Israelites are crying over it. All the women and children are dead in Benjamin, and so the tribe will eventually die out. And since apparently Jabesh Gilead doesn’t care about Benjamin, the Israelites kill everyone in Jabesh Gilead except for the virgins. The virgins are given to Benjamin. But, it turns out there aren’t enough women to go around; so, the Israelites teach the men in Benjamin how to kidnap women. The Benjamites kidnap all the women they need and return to their inheritance to rebuild their cities.
And that’s chapter 21, folks. The kingless Israelites have officially proven that they need a king.
Ultimately, this chapter just made me grateful to not be in the same situation as the Israelites. I’m nearly 100% sure I’ll never have to instruct a bunch of men–whose fathers and brothers I've just killed–how to kidnap women. But who knows? Maybe the Israelites thought the same thing.
If all sin is truly equal, maybe telling a small lie looks just as ludicrous and atrocious to an Israelite as kidnapping young women looks to me. And maybe telling a small lie puts me on the same path the Israelites started on.
This chapter makes me grateful to not be in the same situations as the Israelites, and more than that it makes me grateful for my king. And goodness, it makes me not wanna stray far from Him, because it gets nasty without Him.
What is your greatest take-away from the book of Judges?