Judges 19:1—20: 48
Do you remember how a few days ago we talked about syncretism? Well the syncretism of the Israelite’s covenant with God and the surrounding nation of Canaan is complete. This story, that reminds us of Sodom, is the proof that Israel has done what the Lord warned them not to do. Instead of reflecting God to the surrounding nations, they have been swallowed up by their depravity. This poor woman is the example of how women were treated by countries who did what was right in their own eyes. When there is no absolute standard, the Patriarchy goes off the rails and uses the vulnerable for their own needs. The story of Japheth showed us how they viewed woman and children. In their twisted view, it was right to sacrifice children to the fake gods they created. In this story it was more important to protect the men in the house instead of the woman. Heck the Levite opened the door in the morning to LEAVE, not to look for his concubine. The fact that this woman is a concubine (secondary wife) shows they have left God’s principles. It is a world gone mad and one that God did not ordain.
I spent a lot of time thinking God was a misogynist. I had no context for this other than “Woman should stay in the home, not be educated, and are less than men,” was shouted by men of the world who quoted the bible. People literally told my mother that she was not allowed to do certain things in school because of her sex. This “God hates women” idea was formulated in my mind without any education on who God really is. Upon being saved I was scared to read the Bible because I did not want to come across those statements in the Bible. Imagine my surprise upon finishing a chronological study of the Bible that no such language from God exists. Women are marginalized and abused by men who have left the Lord and replaced Him with doing what is right in their own eyes. If you need further proof that God did not ordain the treatment of this woman check this out. “By verse count the narrator devotes almost one-half (50/103) of this final story to Israel’s response to the horrendous events of chap. 19.”  God will use the defacto Israelites to exact judgement in the following verses. You almost get hopeful when you read their response to the disgusting package the Levite sends. Only to see that they go ask the Lord, not if they should do it, but tell Him, we are doing this, who goes first? Also, look at this: “here the narrator refers to deity by the generic designation “God,” Elohim, rather than by the personal covenant name, Yahweh.” They were not seeking Yahweh, they were asking that generic God their dads told them about, just one small god in their pantheon. BUT, the Lord uses it all anyway to “vomit” the evil doers out of the Land.
John 3: 22—4: 3
JTB is such a great example of someone who is in ministry for God and not himself. He tells them, “Don’t be mad! Jesus IS a bigger deal than me, in fact He is the biggest deal!” 3: 31-35 is a beautiful description of who Jesus is and what He is doing on Earth. I sent out a blog feedback survey a few weeks ago. The responses were anonymous so I could not hunt people down and convince them to like me. But someone responded and said that they were not sure who Jesus really is. That response has sat with me because this is why I am doing what I am doing. And to that person that said they were not sure who Jesus was, read and meditate on 3: 31-35. God is perfectly righteous and perfectly love. Through Jesus He made a way to judge sin and love the sinners. Amen and thank you Lord.
Psalm 104: 24-35
We get to know the Lord through His wonderful creation. What a beautiful song highlighting all the ways be made the world. Creation was not accidental organization of cells from primordial ooze. It was created by a Master Creator.
Proverbs 14: 22-24
When I read this Proverb, I thought of the word “intentional.” Live in an intentional way. Plan good, do work that brings profit. These things will lead to wealth instead of foolishness.