Read Judges 19-21
Evil is in plainclothes. A Levite and his concubine who traveled to the town of Gibeah and were offered hospitality. The men of the town demand the Levite be turned over to them for sexual purposes, and instead, the man offered his virgin daughter and the Levite’s concubine to them. The concubine was then brutally raped and died in the morning.
The Levite took the concubine’s body back to his home and cut it into 12 pieces, which he sent to the 12 tribes of Israel. This act caused outrage and led to a war between the tribe of Benjamin and the other tribes of Israel, who demanded that the men of Benjamin hand over the perpetrators of the crime.
War puts extinction on the table for the tribe of Benjamin, and Israel comes up with a plan to allow the remaining men of Benjamin to kidnap wives from the annual festival of Shiloh. This story is wild. And it turns into a ‘seven brides for seven brothers’ sort of tale! Except it’s true. What would it have been like?!
Evil is not new. God’s people who have the will to do good, if not careful are capable of great evil. Sin lurks. It looks for opportunity. When you see evil, it shows you complacency is not an option. We must resist it. Even if it’s in our nation. Again sin lurks. Beware when a sinful desire meets opportunity! Temptations are a combo of these two.
Psalm 36:1-4 Sin lurks deep in the hearts of the wicked, forever urging them on to evil deeds. They have no fear of God to hold them back.
Instead, in their conceit, they think they can hide their evil deeds and not get caught.
Everything they say is crooked and deceitful; they are no longer wise and good.
They lie awake at night to hatch their evil plots instead of planning how to keep away from wrong. (The Living Bible)
The book ends with the tribe of Benjamin being allowed to marry and continue, but with the acknowledgment that the events that transpired were a result of the Israelites doing what was right in their own eyes.