April 13 – Judges 21:1-12

April 13 – Judges 21:1-12

1 Now the men of Israel had sworn at Mizpah, “No one of us shall give his daughter in marriage to Benjamin.” And the people came to Bethel and sat there till evening before God, and they lifted up their voices and wept bitterly. And they said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, why has this happened in Israel, that today there should be one tribe lacking in Israel?” And the next day the people rose early and built there an altar and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And the people of Israel said, “Which of all the tribes of Israel did not come up in the assembly to the Lord?” For they had taken a great oath concerning him who did not come up to the Lord to Mizpah, saying, “He shall surely be put to death.” And the people of Israel had compassion for Benjamin their brother and said, “One tribe is cut off from Israel this day. What shall we do for wives for those who are left, since we have sworn by the Lord that we will not give them any of our daughters for wives?”

And they said, “What one is there of the tribes of Israel that did not come up to the Lord to Mizpah?” And behold, no one had come to the camp from Jabesh-gilead, to the assembly. For when the people were mustered, behold, not one of the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead was there. 10 So the congregation sent 12,000 of their bravest men there and commanded them, “Go and strike the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword; also the women and the little ones. 11 This is what you shall do: every male and every woman that has lain with a male you shall devote to destruction.” 12 And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead 400 young virgins who had not known a man by lying with him, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.

So here we see the Israelites bemoan the fact that the tribe of Benjamin was now lacking. It was at their hand that the tribe of Benjamin was destroyed. Their solution was to kill, murder and maim again. So one poor decision led to another and another. How many times do we see someone we love continue to spiral out of control, making one bad decision after another? It is only through God’s unconditional love that help is found. Pray for that situation today and ask God for his love and mercy to be shown.

Heavenly Father, sometimes we make decisions without thinking about the consequences and we certainly don’t come to You for input.  Sometimes I find I make the same decision I felt You were calling me to make in the past without thinking that might not be the same way You would want me to respond this time.  How often do I make decisions without coming to You first?  How often do I mess up and say, “Why does God allow these things to happen to me?”  How often I blame You for my stupid mistakes and horrible decisions?  Even if things go wrong according to me, when I follow Your will, it isn’t the end of the story.  Your will goes beyond my decisions, my life, even the life of my children.  It encompasses all of eternity and You don’t make mistakes.  Thank You for always being there to guide when I am willing to listen.  Help me come to You to hear Your truth more often so I can follow Your will, even when I don’t understand Your will.

In Jesus’ name.



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