Opposition, Apathy and Grief

Judges 19-21

This is a passage I hate to read, not because it’s been convicting, but because it’s so disturbing. I recoil when I read it and have wondered why God saw fit to have this included in the Bible. The story tells of a concubine who is abused and gang raped for an entire night and died from the abuse. This crime was committed by perverted men in a city of the tribe of Benjamin. When the rest of Israel were informed what had happened, they demanded that the people of the city hand over the guilty men. But, the people of Benjamin would not give them up. Instead, they went to war with the rest of Israel.

The other tribes of Israel fought with Benjamin at the direction of the Lord. Twice they were defeated and many thousands of Israel were killed. But the third time, Benjamin was soundly defeated and the entire tribe was nearly lost. When the battle was over, all that remained of the tribe of Benjamin was 600 men.

This story is full of tragedy. What is the lesson here? This week, I began to see many lessons unfold and it finally dawned on me how this relates directly to abolition. You see, Israel knew that a great sin had been committed and it needed to be judged. So, they went to the tribe where it occurred and asked for the guilty men to be brought out. Instead of agreeing, the rest of the tribe protected guilty men. It occurred to me that many churches do this today. Rather than seeing abortion as sin and calling for it to be repented of or judged, rather than seeking to purge child sacrifice from those  that claim the name of Christ, many church leaders stand between the guilty and those who seek to judge righteously. Churches, give up those that are guilty so that those who have sinned can be dealt with. Look at what happened to Benjamin. They did not give up the guilty. Not only were those in unrepentant sin judged, but those that protected them were destroyed as well.

For those that would choose to remain on the sidelines, who don’t want to get involved, there is a lesson here for you as well. There was a city in Israel that did not join in the fight. Not one man from that city was there. The rest of Israel came against them and slaughtered them, only saving 400 young women who would become the wives of the remnant of Benjamin. Those who did not help destroy the evil in Israel were destroyed as well.

Apathy is judged.

Christian, you are not allowed to sit on the fence. There can be no neutrality with child sacrifice.

Now, before you think this is too harsh, that we, as abolitionists, have no heart, please pay attention to Judges 21:15. It says that the rest of Israel grieved for Benjamin. Though the sin needed to be dealt with, it grieved the nation that one of their brothers was cut down. They did not enjoy what needed to be done. It hurt them to have to do it.

Abolitionists do not enjoy what we know needs to be done. But we need to purge this evil and this apathy from our churches and from our nation. Doing the right thing, following the Lord, will cost us much. But nothing grieves us more than having to fight against brothers in Christ who live in sin, defend sin or are apathetic to sin.

Eventually, wives were found for all 600 men that remained of the tribe of Benjamin and their place in Israel was restored. But, they suffered the cost of defending sin. Christian, if you are thinking, “It’s not my calling”, “I don’t want to get involved”, “It’s just a political issue”, “It’s too controversial”, then you are choosing to be apathetic to sin. Now is the time for repentance and restoration.

Church, repent.