30th March: Judges 20 – 21 – God uses a sinful and shameful situation to call His people back to Himself …

Judges

20:1-28

God uses a sinful and shameful situation – ‘Such a thing has never happened or been seen from the day that the people of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt until this day’ (19:30) – to call His people back to Himself – ‘all the people of Israel…assembled as one man to the Lord’ (1). God’s call was clear – ‘Put away evil from Israel’. ‘The Benjaminites would not listen’ to this call for holiness among God’s people (13). This was a serious situation. It was not to be taken lightly. This was no mere difference of opinion, something that would soon be forgotten. ‘The Benjaminites came together…to go out to war against the people of Israel’ (14). Three times, God called His people to ‘go up’ against the Benjaminites (18,23,28). Victory comes from the Lord: ‘I will give them into your hand’ (28).

20:29-21:25

Judges ends on such a sad note: ‘every man did what was right in his own eyes’ (21:25). This situation is not merely political – ‘no king’. It is moral and spiritual. The people had no regard for the authority of God and His Word. In Romans 5:20, we have Good News: ‘where sin increased, grace abounded all the more’. Here, we have bad news: ‘where grace increased, sin abounded all the more’. Reading Judges, we become acutely aware of the need for revival in our own day. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 we see the way to revival: ‘If my people who are called by My Name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land’. Read of human ‘compassion’ (6,15). Rejoice: God ‘will again have compassion upon us’ (Micah 7:19).

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