Scripture of the Day || December 14th, 2017
The tribes of Israel sent messengers throughout the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What about this awful crime that was committed among you? Now turn those wicked men of Gibeah over to us so that we may put them to death and purge the evil from Israel.”
But the Benjamites would not listen to their fellow Israelites. At once the Benjamites mobilized twenty-six thousand swordsmen from their towns…
Israel, apart from Benjamin, mustered four hundred thousand swordsmen, all of them fit for battle…The Benjamites came out and cut down twenty-two thousand Israelites on the battlefield that day….
Then the Israelites drew near to Benjamin the second day…The Benjamites came out of Gibeah to oppose them, they cut down another eighteen thousand Israelites.
Then all the Israelites…sat weeping before the LORD. They fasted that day until evening and presented fellowship offerings to the LORD…They asked, “Shall we go up again to fight the Israelites, or not? The LORD responded, “Go, for tomorrow I will give them into your hands.”…The LORD defeated Benjamin before Israel, and on that day, the Israelites struck down 25,100 Benjamites…They surrounded the Benjamites…eighteen thousand Benjamites fell, all of them valiant fighters…On that day, twenty-five thousand Benjamite swordsmen fell…The men of Israel went back to Benjamin and put all the towns to the sword…All the towns they came across they set on fire.
A small group of wicked men from Gibeah raped an Israelite woman to death. Such an abominable thing had never been done in Israel since they entered the Promised Land. The perpetrators were from the tribe of Benjamin and the rest of the Israelites approached the Benjamites to hand them over but they refused.They chose to fight in their defense. In the process, thousands of lives were lost on both sides and the Benjamites lost all their cities including their families and livestock. Their cities were set on fire.
Could the sorry have ended differently? I believe it could have!
How about if the Benjamites had apologized to their fellow Israelites and allowed justice to prevail? How about if they had handed over the guilty men so they could face justice for their crimes? Was it worth losing thousands of lives in defense of wickedness, sin and injustice?
What in the world drove the Benjamites to act the way they did? I believe they acted out of pride! They were unwilling to accept the wrong done by their fellow tribesmen. They were unwilling to say, “We are sorry.” They dug in their heels and went to war in defense of sin!
Sadly, the behavior of the Benjamites is a rather common human act. Many times we feel too proud to acknowledge that we are wrong. We would rather go to war than accept our faults and make amends. Instead of a simple apology and acceptance of our faults, we wage war in our marriages, relationships, families, workplaces, churches. This is all the result of pride.
Would you take a moment to deeply reflect over this? Let’s be humble to say, “I am sorry” when needed and not hesitate to make the necessary amend. It will save us from all kinds of wars!
Prayer: Lord, please give me the grace to accept my faults and to apologize when wrong. Amen
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