Wake Up Call

(Today's post by Chris Queen)

Judges 19

There are so many Bible stories that we equate with childhood. Some of us remember hearing a teacher with a flannel-graph and cutouts of apostles, prophets, and, of course Jesus with the white robe and blue sash. I remember Alice Jones (yes, the famous Mrs. Alice even taught me as a kid) and later great youth pastors like Gary and Scott making so many of these famous episodes from God’s Word come to life for me.

And then there’s Judges 19. There are no flannelgraphs to go along with this story and no cute crafts. The kids in E-town won’t see any sketches or sing any songs about this chapter. In fact, if someone made it into a movie, it would be rated R at its mildest, as a story of infidelity, homosexuality, rape, and murder.

Judges 19 begins with Israel leaderless and steeped in sin. A man travels to Bethlehem to retrieve a concubine who had run away from him. He then winds up spending a few days with her family. Heading back home, he stops in Gibeah, where an old man takes him in for the night. Here, the story takes an unfathomably horrible turn:

22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”

23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing.24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.”

25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. 26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.

27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.

29 When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, “Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!”

Israelite men performed unspeakable acts on a young woman, and her master, like a character out of a David Fincher movie, hacks her into pieces and sends the pieces to the tribes of Israel as some sort of wake up call. I’ve struggled with what to take away from this chapter, but I can’t help but think about how I deal with the sins of others around me and how I react when others point out sin in my life.

How do you react when people you trust point out sin in your life?

If you have to confront a loved one about sin, how do you approach it?

When it comes to dealing with sin, what can you take away from this chapter?

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  • Jeff Morton

    I’ve missed a few days, and what a place to come back in! My take away is this:
    1) frog in hot water- a little bit of sin is seed and it GROWS faster than good seed! Even to the point that all the horrid stuff here is just matter of fact!
    2) God has given us umpteen million metaphors in this world for this situation and the circumstances change but the whole of OT stories carry some sort of the same theme. The most obvious is my garden. I left a day early for my vacation garden looked good I had weeded my okra but not my peas in 7 days I cannot seperate my peas from weeds while my okra is thriving!
    3) Jesus addressed this phenom in John 14 his last night with the disciples when he washed their feet and told them to abide in him in 15 that his Father was the vine dresser.
    If you have ever had your feet washed you probably reacted at least internally like Peter, nope not gonna happen! Jesus seems to be telling us to be accountable to each other to wash each others dirt away by a) pointing it out and b) allowing it to be pointed out. We are to seek accountability. Back to the frog in hot water I just left panama city beach, I was wild when i was younger. But the difference in what is acceptable in society today as oppose to 10-15 yrs ago is sickening….. We have to stand up, not politically, or in anger but in Christ

  • Adam Cooper

    Boy this verse is at best disturbing. Brice I like what you said about not appreciating grace and mercy unless we have seen the bottom of the pit. That is so true; and I am so thankful that my bottom was no where as deep as the bottom depicted here. If you remember the story of Sodom and Gomorrah almost the same scene was acted out with the crowd wanting the Angels of God. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Throughout the Old Testament we see the Israelites sink to an inconceivable low only to be destroyed and then redeemed by God. How much love does that display? How much grace does that display? Do you think this man finally realized the depth that Israel had sunken to and hoped his sacrificed concubine would wake them up? God loves us, He has redeemed us through the ultimate sacrifice of Christ, and it is time for us all to pull our heads out of the ground and start speaking up as our society sinks into the depths of depravity. Almost every network on TV now has shows where the common theme is two mommies or two daddies, the most popular shows on TV are about serial killers or the like, and the accepted way of determining if you are compatible as a couple is to live together (and in many cases have kids together) before they are married. I will get off of my soapbox now – sorry for the rant.

  • Brice Hope

    I agree with the rest of you guys. This passage is worse than the latest Saw horror movie.

    When I read the last verse in the chapter (verse 30), I view it as Israel finally hitting rock bottom. “Nothing like this has EVER happened…” Considering what happened in the last couple of chapters in Judges, things are progressively getting worse and as a reader you just want relief from all the chaos and bloodshed. But the book of Judges is almost over, then we get to Ruth. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel through Ruth, Boaz, Jessie, David and ultimately Jesus.

    We don’t appreciate grace and mercy unless we’ve seen the bottom of the pit. The bottom of the pit we realize our sinfulness, the evil residing inside us and the fact that we are hopeless. In our state of hopelessness, then and only then can we appreciate God’s redeeming sacrifice for us through Christ Jesus.

  • A couple of us Normal Guys were discussing this chapter over coffee this morning. and we came to the conclusion that the OT has some crazy stuff in it.

    And in Judges 19..the writer almost glosses over some of the craziest stuff. Or at least writes it from a perspective where he’s not weirded out by it.

    So, a stranger shows up in the town and a group of men demand to have sex with him. The homeowner instead offers his virgin daughter and the stranger’s concubine. (Ok, as the father of three girls, I cannot fathom protecting a stranger by offering my daughters up for sexual abuse. If anyone has some study material that can help explain this, please post it.) And lastly, upon leaving the town, the man chops up the abused and molested-to-death concubine and sends the pieces out to all the areas of Israel. UNREAL!

    Anyway..yeah..this junk is crazy!
    I’m looking forward to some more commentary and perspective from others today.

  • Britt Ozburn

    When sin is pointed out to me, it can lead to anywhere from embarrassment to a busted self-image, but those are only temporary. We always need accountability, especially when “doing what’s right in our own eyes.” Judges, especially this chapter, gives an idea how bad it can get in the long term. Ick…

  • Brad Bacon

    Must admit this passage has always given me the heebie-jeebies. The way this man carves up this sin and distributes the proof to the houses of Israel is quite disturbing. I take this passage to underscore the need to be direct and honest, and do what it takes to point out sin in the world. I can’t say that is always the approach I use on myself or others, or that it is always the correct one, but sometimes it is: look ’em straight in the eyes and tell ’em like it is.

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