Yesterday, we left the Levite and his concubine staying in a town controlled by Benjamites. They were one of the twelve tribes of Israel, so they knew how to walk together with God. A man from that town offered them a place to stay, so they were safe…until they were not.
As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, worthless fellows, surrounded the house, beating on the door. And they said to the old man, the master of the house, “Bring out the man who came into your house, that we may know him.” And the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my brothers, do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not do this vile thing. Behold, here are my virgin daughter and his concubine. Let me bring them out now. Violate them and do with them what seems good to you, but against this man do not do this outrageous thing.” (Judges 19:22-24 ESV)
I’m going to pause here just because I’ve been in too many Bible studies where the teacher/facilitator tried to justify the actions of the master of the house. But we cannot. His actions were just wrong. He was trying to replace one sin for another sin. What the men wanted to do was wrong. What the master offered was also wrong. They knew that, too, because they were Israelites. They had the ten terms of the covenant (the ten commandments). They had the Levitical law. They knew the proper name of the LORD. They knew better.
But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine and made her go out to them. And they knew her and abused her all night until the morning. And as the dawn began to break, they let her go. And as morning appeared, the woman came and fell down at the door of the man's house where her master was, until it was light. And her master rose up in the morning, and when he opened the doors of the house and went out to go on his way, behold, there was his concubine lying at the door of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, “Get up, let us be going.” But there was no answer. Then he put her on the donkey, and the man rose up and went away to his home. (Judges 19:25-28 ESV)
They were not safe. She was dead. The people of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin, in the town of Gibeah have fallen to the depths of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is no better in Israel than in any place else.
And when he entered his house, he took a knife, and taking hold of his concubine he divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel. And all who saw it said, “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; consider it, take counsel, and speak.” (Judges 19:29-30 ESV)
How about you? What would you do if you lived in a land like this? What do you do when you see evil around you? Do you help people be safe?