This story is a continuation of the one in Chapter 19 in that it responds to the horrific events. It seems that despite the fact that sinfulness was running rampant among the Israelites, the assault on human dignity displayed in Gibeah was too much.
We hear that “all the Israelites were united as one man,” but that “all” did not include the tribe of Benjamin. Being that Gibeah was located in the land of Benjamin, it would be a “conflict of interest.” Benjamin was now the target of their aggression.
There were a lot of Israelites gathered. “The entire community assembled in the presence of the Lord at Mizpah.” At last, we see the cry to the Lord for provision. The Israelites have reached their limit and are ready to turn to God for direction.
It was necessary to educate all the warriors and fellow Israelites about the events of Gibeah. The Levite spoke the truth. While the means of distributing his concubine’s body parts to the others is a bit unsettling, the fury seemed to be that the woman died unnecessarily in the first place. God had perhaps opened their eyes to see how barbaric this was and inflamed their anger and desire for revenge. They knew, at least, that they needed God’s blessing on more bloodshed.
There was unity that day. If there were any jealousies among tribes or awkward family dynamics, it was set aside for this common goal. After discussion of how to proceed, “all the Israelites were completely united, and they gathered together to attack the town.”
Have you ever had to work with people you didn’t know very well to reach some common, critically necessary goal? Without a plan and a blessing from God, it may have been a bit rocky. What we see unfolding before our eyes should prove very interesting.
If they call upon God, God will respond. He most certainly will respond. The question is, what will the response be from God?
Take some time to reflect on some big audacious goal you may be working toward. Hopefully, it’s not revenge. Have you checked in with God and asked him for help or if he approves of this goal?
In another devotional I read today, the verse to ponder was Psalm 37:4 which reads: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” How do you delight in the Lord?
Let’s pray …
Lord, when I think of all that you have done for me, I can’t help but delight in you. When I look around your creation and see the beauty and intricacy of each member, I delight in reverence and awe. I pray that my endeavors to glorify you are pleasing. Bless each step I take in this life. Prepare my heart to serve you in ways I may not feel ready for now. Shine through me over and over again. In Jesus’ name. Amen.