Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Pont Aven, France

Monday, April 4, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for April 5, Judges 19-21

Today's readings are Judges 19-21. Tomorrow's are Ruth 1-4.

Judges19 begins with the story of the Levite and his concubine. It seems gruesome but note the parallels between this story and the story of Lot in Sodom. The men of Sodom brought judgment down on themselves for their sexual immorality. The Benjamites fall into the same sexual immorality and suffer the same judgment. God will not tolerate sin among His people. 

Meanwhile, Israel, who is now sliding backward at a breath-taking pace, suffers consequences as well. There is grace at the end and reconciliation but the slide has not yet halted. 

The first two chapters of Judges note a number of military victories. They also are careful to describe Israel's failure to eliminate all the opposing nations and their people from Canaan. Yet, that first generation that lived in the Promised Land was blessed in an awesome way. In Judges 2:7, we read that the entire nation "...served the Lord all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua..." In other words, things were going well. The nation was at peace and prospering...except for those seemingly minor infractions. By the end of the book, everything has degenerated into chaos. Entire tribes have forsaken God. There is infighting, pagan worship, ungodly behavior and near-total integration with the cultures they were told to eliminate and avoid.  Judges ends with this chilling note, "In those days, Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit."

Clearly, they are in need of a king.

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