Civil War

Today’s Passage – Judges 20 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Revelation 4 – 6;  Proverbs 27Psalms 131 – 135

Scripture Memorization for March – 1 Corinthians 6:9 – 20

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Psalm 89:1

Read a great article by Pastor Paul Chappell  – I Am Not Ashamed, Pictorial Steps to the Resurrection, Part 3

Read the “0327 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God, and asked counsel of God, and said, Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the LORD said, Judah shall go up first. And the children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah. And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin; and the men of Israel put themselves in array to fight against them at Gibeah. And the children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites that day twenty and two thousand men.” – (Judges 20:18-21)

This is a particularly sad story in the history of the tribes of Israel. Yesterday’s reading revealed a crime that was committed by the people of Gibeah, which belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, against a man of Israel and his concubine. (Read blogpost from yesterday’s reading) The men of Israel all rallied around this man, and demanded punishment for the people of Gibeah for the heinous crime that they committed. The tribe of Benjamin, however, defended the people of Gibeah, and stood up to fight against the rest of the tribes of Israel. Civil war had broken out for the first time in the history of God’s people.

What happens next is even more sad. Though the people of Israel were right in their cause against Gibeah and the rest of the tribe of Benjamin, God allowed Israel to suffer two devastating defeats, which resulted in the deaths of 40,000 men. The people of Israel had even asked the Lord prior to both of these catastrophic losses, and the Lord had given them the green light to attack. Finally, God gave them total victory on the third day of battle; but why did God allow the eleven innocent tribes suffer to such a degree, when their cause was just?

I believe the answer to this question lies in the fact that God is very displeased when brethren don’t dwell together in unity. Battles against foreign enemies are hard enough, but battles within a family, or even within a nation, are especially difficult. I believe God wanted the Israelites, including Benjamin, to pay a very high price for their dissolving of the union that God had established. Our Civil War was a similar situation. Though the North was right in their cause to free the slaves, the price they had to pay in order to settle the conflict was extremely high. In fact, I am no expert, but I believe the losses sustained by the North were probably greater in many respects as those of the South. The price of war between brothers is brutal.

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