Israel had no King

*image originated here

Judges 16 – 21

Today we finish the story of Samson. We will also finish the book of Judges today with how the Israelites turn away from God to do whatever seems right to them, after the death of Samson.

Samson

Samson marries his second wife, Delilah. The Philistines go to her to have her discover what the secret to Samson’s strength is. Three times it tells us specifically what lies he told her to preserve his secret, but she nags at him night and day until he is tired to death. He then tells her everything. It is his hair that is the secret of his strength because it has never been cut. Because of her betrayal, the Philistines overpower Samson, gouge out his eyes, and send him to prison. Not long after they celebrate a festival to their god. During this celebration, they call for Samson to be brought out to entertain them. The servant who brings him leans him against the two main pillars to support him. Samson then calls on God to remember him one last time and give him strength even if Samson dies along with the Philistines in the temple. He then pulls down those two pillars killing himself and all 3000 people at the celebration. Samson led Israel for 20 years.

Israel Turns from God

Micah the Ephraimite steals silver from his mother which she curses because of the theft. He then admits to her that he was the thief. She then blesses him and consecrates the silver to God giving it back to her son to make into an idol. He installed one of his sons as his priest and worshiped this idol.

“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.”

-Judges 17:6

Sometime later a young Levite comes by and Micah offers a salary to him if he will become Micah’s priest. The man agrees. Micah believes that the LORD will be good to him because he has made the Levite his priest to serve his idols.

“In those days Israel had no king.”

-Judges 18:1

The tribe of Dan had not yet come into their inheritance so they sent spies through Ephraim to the land on the other side called, Zorah and Eshtaol. They find the land to be good and believe they will win  the day because the Levite priest in Micah’s house says the LORD has given it into their hands. When the warriors come up to conquer they also carry off the idols and pay the Levite to be  priest. Micah is extremely upset by this, but sees that the Danites are stronger goes home without his idols and priest. The Danites have victory.

Another Levite is married to an unfaithful wife. After she has again lived in her father’s house for four months her husband comes to take her home. Her father delays their journey a few days, but atlast they set out. As night falls the Levite refuses to stay in any town except that of the Israelites. They finally reach Gibeah, but no one will take them in for the night and they start to bed down in the townsquare. An older man is coming home late from his work and offers that they stay with him. He tells them they should not spend the night in the street. Late that night evil men of the city come to the old man’s house and demand that he hand over the Levite so they can have sex with him. The old man begs them not to do such disgraceful thing, but offers the Levite’s wife and his own virgin daughter for then to do with as they please. In the end he only gives them the wife. The wife is raped, murdered and left on the doorstep. When her husband gets up to leave in the morning he tries to wake her so he puts her on his donkey and takes her home. There he cuts her up into 12 pieces and sends one each to the other tribes of Israel. The town of Gibeah was a Benjamite town.

The rest of Israel gathers to hear what has been done then they arise to purge Israel of that evil. When the Benhamites will not hand over the evil men Israel goes up against them in war. Three times they ask God in they should fight the tribe of Benjamin. They fail the first two times losing first 22,000 men and then 18,000. On the tgird day the the men of Gibeah are confidant they will win, instead they are utterly defeated losing 25,100 men the women and children of Benjamin are all killed and the tribe cast out.

Israel swears theremaininot give any of thier girls as wives to the remaining Benjamites, but Israel mourns the lost tribe.

A compromise is made that at the feist of the Lord Benjamin can come take thier wives from among the women there. Therefore Benjamin will not be totally thrown out and the Israelites will not break their oath.

“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.”

-Judges 21:25

Right and wrong is not like an ice cream buffet to God. You don’t decide it based on what you like. God has given it to us in His law it should not take a king to enforce that law. If only everyone would do what is right in God’s eyes and not just as they see fit! Sadly our culture looks exactly the same and I can garauntee the consequences this time will be much worse brcause Christ has already come to be our King everlasting and our only hope of mercy!

 

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