Q. In Judges 19-20, to protect himself from homosexual attack, a Levite pushed his concubine to the wicked men of Gibeah (Benjamites) who raped her to death. He then cut up her body into 12 pieces and sent one piece to each tribe in Israel. This triggered a civil war between the tribe of Benjamin and the rest of Israel. Israel inquired of God and yet was defeated twice before they won. The tribe of Benjamin was almost annihilated. Why would God do this to Israel and Benjamin?
A. No one knows for sure what’s on God’s mind because the Bible did not tell us. Skeptics use this passage to attack God’s character and the Bible’s morality. However, even though we do not know for certain, there are clues for us to deduce a plausible explanation. Similarities exist between this incident and that of Genesis 19, where God destroyed Sodom for her wickedness. Before we question God, let’s note what’s in the text.
First, the broad theme was “in those days, there was no king in Israel“, repeated four times in the text and immediate context:
• Judg 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.
• Judg 18:1 In those days there was no king of Israel;
• Judg 19:1 Now it came about in those days, when there was no king in Israel,
• Judg 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
The meaning of “no king” is not only literal, but also “no King” figuratively, i.e. no recognition of God, as “every man did what was right in his own eyes”. No one acknowledged God as Lord of their lives, and did as he pleased. The biblical principles on our relationship with God are:
• Jas 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you, and
• 2 Tim 2:12 If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
It wasn’t God did not care, but men ignored God. So God gave them over to impurity, degrading passions, and a depraved mind:
• Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity,
• Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions;
• Rom 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind,
and allowed them to suffer the consequences of their action. This is exactly what happened in Judges 19-20.
(To be continued)