April 6; They Refused

Judges 19-20

The man was a Levite, a church leader. This story is bad enough, but considering this Levite’s association with the church of that time, it is all the more despicable. He was sidetracked by the temptation to “enjoy himself,” “refresh himself.” It looks like he “partied” with his father-in-law for five straight days. Don’t get me started.

Then, when he was threatened by a group of sexually perverted Benjamites, he tossed his concubine at them instead. They raped her, abused her all night. And she died as a result. Does that make you as angry as it does me?

You can read for yourself what happened. It’s just too disgusting.

Later, when the Benjamites were confronted with their sin, when their brothers told them to rid themselves of the evil, they refused.

THEY REFUSED!

Thousands of people lost their lives because of that refusal. Thousands of people lost their lives.

Chapter 19 begins with, “In those days Israel had no king.” That explains it. When people are allowed to do their own thing, make up their own rules, come up with their own definition of morality, people die.

Yes, we are seeing babies die, kids killing kids, addictions taking lives, wars both abroad and on our own streets. People die every day because too many are living like there is no king, or that they are their own king.

But there is a King. And the King established the rules, defined morality according to His holiness, laid out consequences for breaking His laws, and He has not changed one bit since He inspired His Words to be written down thousands of years ago.

I wonder if we are becoming a bit like the Benjamites. When confronted with our own sin, what do we do? Do we repent, get rid of the evil? Or do we refuse? (and you do know that ignoring a sin is a form of refusal, don’t you?)

The Bible tells us thousands of people died because the Benjamites refused to deal with their sin. I wonder how many people will die today because of their own refusal? I’m not even talking about the physical death. I’m talking about that awful, eternal death that comes from refusing to obey God. How many people will die today without any hope?

Once again, God isn’t satisfied with me thinking about “them.” Generalizing a lesson from Scripture is sure a lot more comfortable than making it personal. But if I am serious about my walk with God, I need to allow Him to make it personal.

I feel God is asking me how many people are going to die that eternal death today because I refuse to eliminate sin in my own life. How Benjamin-like am I? My life touches so many who associate me with the Church, they know I’m a Christian. What do they see that draws them to their Savior? Or do they see things in me that make them want to run?

If I refuse to deal with a sin God reveals to me I know it effects my relationship with Him. I know that I am treading on thin ice. What I’m seeing today is, I may have invited others to join me there on that thin ice without even realizing it.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me… then I will teach transgressors your ways so that sinners will turn back to you… My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. (Psalm 51:10,13,17)

May I never refuse to repent of sin brought to my attention. For my eternal soul. But also for yours.

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