Day 76 – Thru the Bible
Today we complete Judges and continue Psalms.
As the overview video we watched at the beginning of this book said, Judges is disturbing. The depth that the human heart can sink to is truly sad. The darkness within can be extremely dark, but remember its purpose…it reveals just how badly we need to be rescued.
Judges 19-21 – Judges concludes with a final long and complicated story of God’s people devouring one another through widespread lawlessness. The men of Gibeah are driven by illicit sexual desire (19:22); a Levite is more concerned with personal preservation than the welfare of his wife (19:25–26); and Israel extinguishes their own people rather than the Canaanites (21:8–12).
What is most striking about this sordid account is the way it recapitulates things that, earlier in Israel’s history, were true only of godless Gentiles. The astute Hebrew reader of Judges 19 could not miss the way this story echoes Genesis 19—another account involving a visitor being sought out to be raped by the men of the city. Only that time, the horrid events took place in Sodom, the city that came to represent the epitome of godlessness. Here in Judges 19, the repugnance of Sodom is repeated in Gibeah, a city of Benjamin. Israel has become like her pagan neighbors. Only Israel’s united stand against Benjamin’s wickedness (20:1, 8, 11) and explicit pursuit of God’s will and his response (20:18, 23, 28) provide any glimmer of hope.
We are silenced and then outraged by the unspeakably awful sexual abuse and death experienced by the unnamed innocent woman (19:22–29). Guilt, shame, fear, and many other latent emotions arise in those who have experienced such wickedness at the hands of others. The pain of those wronged by people who claim to be Christians may persuade them to walk away from the Lord. In light of such injustice there are no easy answers. Yet if God does not abandon His people in the face of such horrible sin, then we are helped to understand that he never will abandon us.
We must also consider that if fallen but redeemed men and women sense the depravity of these events, then how much greater is the pain to our Lord and how amazing is the grace He provides to atone for such sin.
Jesus, the King, has come and conquered our rejection of His reign (John 1:9–13). His suffering with us enables us to bear our own suffering (John 16:33; Romans 8:21–39). The painful experiences of being both sinner and sinned against propel us to plead with God for the return of our true King. And to see His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
Everyone did what was right in their own eyes…because they had no king.
While this story is extremely disturbing, how does it point you to your need for King Jesus in your life?
Psalm 76 – Second only to the exodus as the most significant redemptive event in the Old Testament is God’s defeat of the Assyrians under Sennacherib, when God’s angel slew 185,000 Assyrian soldiers (2 Kings 19:14–37). Ancient tradition relates this Psalm to that event—interwoven with references to other redeeming events in Israel’s history. By either prophecy or reflection, the psalmist recounts the mighty deeds of God (Luke 1:49).
However, it should be even more amazing to all believers that this mighty God graciously makes himself knowable (vv. 1–2). He tabernacles among His people to live with them and be their God.
Asaph sees that, at the end of time, the Lord will so dominate His enemies that He will wear the “wrath of man” like a “belt”. Asaph’s vision was a glimpse of the man Daniel saw, who also wore a belt of glorious triumph (Daniel 10:5). John would later see the same man but recognize Him as Jesus in His glory as Judge on the Great Day (Revelation 1:12–16). The
How does the Lord’s all-powerful preservation of His people in the past, and His indestructible promise of their glorification in the future, provides indescribable “Salem”—that is, “peace”—that can be enjoyed even now? Hint: Romans 5:1; Hebrews 7:2.
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
Videos produced by www.TheGospelProject.com.
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