Safety Among Brethren? (4/6)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Judges 19-21.

We remember Sodom where homosexuality was so prevalent that the men of the city demanded that Lot’s visitors be brought out so they could rape them (Genesis 19:4-5). God destroyed the city for this sin (Genesis 19:12-13, 24-25; Jude 7).

A few hundred years later, a similar event happened in Gibeah when a Levite and his concubine visited the city (Judges 19:1-28). The men of the city surrounded the house in which they were staying and called for the man to be brought out so they could rape him. When the owner of the house refused and the concubine was sent out instead, they brutally gang raped her throughout the night. She was treated so severely that she died just before dawn from the abuse she had received.

How did this couple find themselves in such an awful and dangerous place? They actually believed it was a place of safety.

When they were near Jebus, the day was almost gone; and the servant said to his master, ‘Please come, and let us turn aside into this city of the Jebusites and spend the night in it.’ However, his master said to him, ‘We will not turn aside into the city of foreigners who are not of the sons of Israel; but we will go on as far as Gibeah.’ (Judges 19:11-12).

So they passed along and went their way, and the sun set on them near Gibeah which belongs to Benjamin. They turned aside there in order to enter and lodge in Gibeah” (Judges 19:14-15).

These were not wicked Sodomites who inhabited Gibeah, they were brethren and fellow-countrymen – or so they thought. The Levite believed that this place would be safe because his brethren were there.

This story should serve as a strong warning for us: the fact that we are among brethren does not necessarily mean we are safe. We must always be on the alert for threats (1 Peter 5:8). There are times when even brethren can pose a spiritual danger for us (Acts 20:30; Galatians 2:4, 11-14).

Do not be naive. Never let your guard down. Always be alert.

Tomorrow’s reading: Ruth 1-4

[I’m using the Chronological reading plan on the Bible Gateway website if you’d like to follow along, too.]

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