Today we wrap up the approximately 335 years following Joshua’s death. Cycles of apostasy, oppression, and deliverance continue in the land. It’s hard to imagine that these people are thinking of God., yet every now and then there seems to be a little sign that they know that there are certain expectations.
One of these is when Israel rises against the tribe of Benjamin because of their treatment of a concubine. They are appalled at the rape and murder of this girl, so they take retribution. After the defeat of Benjamin, when there are very few left, the Israelites take an oath that none of their daughters may marry Benjaminites.
At that time, however, the other tribes mourn the fact that one of the tribes will become extinct. They have no wives to replenish their tribe – they have all been slaughtered.
Hey, wait. An idea pops up. Oh, when the great feast is held in Shiloh and everyone is dancing, the Benjaminite men may hide and watch. Then they can choose girls from the dancers and kidnap them. What a plan!
The last verse of Judges is a repeat of one we’ve heard before. “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”(21:25)
Some strange things seemed “right,” didn’t they?
Better days ahead.
I love the way Jesus treats those around Him. He’s never ruffled by the charges of the arrogant Pharisees. He knows their hearts and thoughts, and speaks to them very directly.
At the same time, our Savior shows such love and compassion for those who are humbly seeking to be lifted out of their sinful lives.
We’ve seen this account in the other gospels, but I love reading it every time it’s presented. Jesus understands and appreciates the sinful woman who washes His feet with her tears and pours perfume on them. She is weeping and kissing Him because of her great love for Him. She knows that He has forgiven her.
“For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”(47)
Over the years, I have seen this principle applied many times. Often you will see someone who came from a very sinful lifestyle turn to the Lord, and they will be the most radical christian in the crowd. Having experienced the love and power of Jesus, they know first hand how good He is.
I love to see those people as they share their stories. They have such a zeal, and often those people lead the way in evangelism.
He says, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”(v. 50)