In those days Israel had no king.
Now a Levite . . . took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. . . . She left him and went back to her parents’ home in Bethlehem . . . After she had been there for four months, her husband went to her to persuade her to return.
. . . Then when the man, with his concubine and his servant, got up to leave, his father-in-law, the woman’s father, said . . . “Spend the night here; the day is nearly over.”
. . . But, unwilling to stay another night, the man left . . . When they were near Jebus (Jerusalem) and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his master, “Come, let’s stop at this city . . . That evening an old man from the hill country of Ephraim . . . came in from his work in the fields. . . . “You are welcome at my house,” the old man said, “Let me supply whatever you need.” . . . So he took him into his house . . .
While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.” The owner of the house went outside and said to them. “No, my friends, don’t be so vile.”
. . . But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go.
. . . When the master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house . . . there lay his concubine . . . He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home. When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine . . . and sent them into all areas of Israel. Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, “Such a thing has never been seen or done . . . Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!” Judges 19:1-30.
In those days, Israel had no king. The absence of a king meant that by and large, lawlessness prevailed because everyone did as they saw fit. The Israelites had rejected the word of God over their lives and were worshipping other gods and following the vile practices of the Canaanites. It was only a matter of time before the unthinkable surfaced. No wonder the Israelites shockingly responded, “Such a thing has never been seen or done . . . Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!”
This incident, as vile as it is, would probably raise no eyebrows in our society. If CNN or Fox News reported it, it would be seen as one more wicked act in a deteriorating society. But this happened thousands of years ago. So, there is nothing new under the sun! The wickedness of the human heart is only restrained when God is allowed to rule society through godly leadership. When there is no godly king, everyone does what is fit in their own eyes and vile things become the norm. The rulership of God through His word is the only restraint against moral degeneration. As the Israelites said, “We must do something. So speak up!
Prayer: Father, without your rulership, the decadence of society would be unfathomable. Please help me to “do something” by my living authentically for you and sharing the Gospel. Amen.