JUDGES 19:1-20:48 | JOHN 3:22-4:3 | PSALM 104:24-35 | PROVERBS 14:22-24
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These were lawless times in Israel. With no king, each pursued their own pleasure, worshiping gods of their choice, taking up concubines as they wished, and essentially engaging in a most hedonistic lifestyle. The story of the Levite and his concubine is another most curious one. The hospitality of the woman’s father to her husband who comes to fetch her is in sharp contrast to the outrageous behavior of the Benjamanites down the road who at first demand that the Levite be given over to them, and when the man who is hosting them in his house refuses to allow that, the concubine woman is turned over to the crowd to placate them.
Is this not a replica of the story of Lot and the two angels? O, Israel, woe is to you for the evil that you practiced.
This one event of the Levite and the concubine sparks a civil war between the tribe of Benjamin and the rest of the eleven tribes, and eventually, the Benjamanites are soundly defeated and tens of thousands of them are put to death with entire towns razed to the ground—the prescribed way to purge out the evil from among them.
Turning to our reading in the book of John, we see the brief ministry of John the Baptist. Here is one man who repeated himself for emphasis and effect. He did not ever wish the spotlight on himself, and at every opportunity proclaimed the one who was to come after him as the Messiah.
John says this, 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.”
Our psalm for the day is yet another one in which David is singing the praises of the Almighty. He says:
33 I will sing to the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the LORD.
Finally, a few verses from the book of Proverbs that are worthy of record and rumination. Read each one as a stand-alone verse:
22 Do not those who plot evil go astray?
But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.
23 All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.
24 The wealth of the wise is their crown,
but the folly of fools yields folly.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.