The Bible says in Judges 18:11-21, And there went from thence of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol, six hundred men appointed with weapons of war. And they went up, and pitched in Kirjath-jearim, in Judah: wherefore they called that place Mahaneh-dan unto this day: behold, it is behind Kirjath-jearim. And they passed thence unto mount Ephraim, and came unto the house of Micah. Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ye have to do. And they turned thitherward, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, even unto the house of Micah, and saluted him. And the six hundred men appointed with their weapons of war, which were of the children of Dan, stood by the entering of the gate. And the five men that went to spy out the land went up, and came in thither, and took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men that were appointed with weapons of war. And these went into Micah's house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye? And they said unto him, Hold thy peace, lay thine hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest: is it better for thee to be a priest unto the house of one man, or that thou be a priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel? And the priest's heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people. So they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the cattle and the carriage before them. The army of six hundred that the Danites have formed do not present a very good image of Israel at this time. They are violent, and they are thieves. And just like Micah, they have either forgotten or they do not care to put into practice the teaching of the Word of God. Micahs priest gets an advancement. Instead of being priest over one family, he accepts the position of being priest over the people of the tribe of Dan.
The terrible situation in Israel that we have been reading about only gets worse. The Bible says in Judges 18:22-26, And when they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men that were in the houses near to Micah's house were gathered together, and overtook the children of Dan. And they cried unto the children of Dan. And they turned their faces, and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou comest with such a company? And he said, Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away: and what have I more? and what is this that ye say unto me, What aileth thee? And the children of Dan said unto him, Let not thy voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows run upon thee, and thou lose thy life, with the lives of thy household. And the children of Dan went their way: and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back unto his house. These verses speak for themselves. The soldiers of the children of Dan threaten Micah and his men, and so Micah, knowing that the six hundred were too strong for him, returns to his home.
The Bible says in Judges 18:27-31, And they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which he had, and came unto Laish, unto a people that were at quiet and secure: and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire. And there was no deliverer, because it was far from Zidon, and they had no business with any man; and it was in the valley that lieth by Beth-rehob. And they built a city, and dwelt therein. And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first. And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land. And they set them up Micah's graven image, which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh. The children of Dan killed and burned. They probably could have come up with some kind of agreement with Laish that would not have resulted in such a slaughter, but they did not seek that. There is one statement in verse twenty-eight that is very sad: there was no deliverer. When the enemies of our soul come against us, that statement could never be made about our situation. We have Jesus.
The Bible says in Judges 19:1-4, And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah. And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him unto her father's house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months. And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her, and to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of asses: and she brought him into her father's house: and when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced to meet him. And his father in law, the damsel's father, retained him; and he abode with him three days: so they did eat and drink, and lodged there. Once again we are reminded that during the time of the judges, there was no king in Israel. People need a strong and godly and wise leader. We are told about another family in Israel. It is not a pretty picture. A man gets married and then his wife decides to become a harlot. But the man wants his wife back and after four months he goes to get her. There are a couple of ways of looking at this. We could interpret this as the man having a lot of love for his wife such that he was willing to forgive anything and therefore always willing to take her back. We could also look at this as him being foolish. He probably married the wrong woman to begin with. You had better get to know people before you marry them and bring someone into your life. Use prayer and wisdom. Talking about someone who deserts you after you are married, it says in First Corinthians 7:15, But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
The Bible says in Judges 19:5-13, And it came to pass on the fourth day, when they arose early in the morning, that he rose up to depart: and the damsel's father said unto his son in law, Comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way. And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together: for the damsel's father had said unto the man, Be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night, and let thine heart be merry. And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him: therefore he lodged there again. And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart: and the damsel's father said, Comfort thine heart, I pray thee. And they tarried until afternoon, and they did eat both of them. And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the damsel's father, said unto him, Behold, now the day draweth toward evening, I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day groweth to an end, lodge here, that thine heart may be merry; and to morrow get you early on your way, that thou mayest go home. But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, his concubine also was with him. And when they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said unto his master, Come, I pray thee, and let us turn in into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it. And his master said unto him, We will not turn aside hither into the city of a stranger, that is not of the children of Israel; we will pass over to Gibeah. And he said unto his servant, Come, and let us draw near to one of these places to lodge all night, in Gibeah, or in Ramah. The man and his woman finally were able to start their journey. But instead of stopping to lodge for the night at the first city that they came to, they went further and stopped at Gibeah, a city of the children of Dan. This turned out to be a mistake and was once again a terrible testimony about the degraded condition of the children of Israel at this time. The man and has woman would have been better off stopping at the heathen town instead of a town that was inhabited by some of the children of Israel. They would have been much better off: they would have both come out alive.
The Bible says in Judges 19:14-20, And they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down upon them when they were by Gibeah, which belongeth to Benjamin. And they turned aside thither, to go in and to lodge in Gibeah: and when he went in, he sat him down in a street of the city: for there was no man that took them into his house to lodging. And, behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at even, which was also of mount Ephraim; and he sojourned in Gibeah: but the men of the place were Benjamites. And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street of the city: and the old man said, Whither goest thou? and whence comest thou? And he said unto him, We are passing from Bethlehemjudah toward the side of mount Ephraim; from thence am I: and I went to Bethlehemjudah, but I am now going to the house of the LORD; and there is no man that receiveth me to house. Yet there is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for thy handmaid, and for the young man which is with thy servants: there is no want of any thing. And the old man said, Peace be with thee; howsoever let all thy wants lie upon me; only lodge not in the street. And so the man and his woman come to the city of Gibeah and desire to lodge there. It seems to go well at first because they find great hospitality from one of the residents of Gibeah. But there is an ominous warning when the old man says at the end of verse twenty, only lodge not in the street. Life is like that. Some things seem to go well for a while, but then at any moment they can fall apart because of the failures and sins of human beings. When that happens, Christians can always turn to Romans 8:28 that says, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God and to them that are the called according to his purpose.
The Bible says in Judges 19:21-26, So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses: and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink. Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him. And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly. Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing. But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go. Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord was, till it was light. We will se in the following verses that the woman was dead. She probably bled to death from her injuries. This is one of the ugliest passages of scripture. It does not get any worse than this. It is Sodom and Gomorrah: lust, sexual abuse, immorality, harming the innocent on the worse scale, and murder. How far any people can fall when they turn away from God. That is the story here: how evil the people of Israel had become, at least in the city of Gibeah.
Copyright; 2020 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
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