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Saturday, May 4, 2019
Saturday, May 4th: Judges 19:1-20:48; John 3:22-4:3; Psalm 104:24-35; Proverbs 14:22-23 ~ Tammy
how should we read difficult texts like Judges 19? We should read it for what it is: an historical narrative about a group of people at the depths of their depravity, doing wicked, vile, and evil things. And we can make those judgments because we the rest of the testimony of scripture: we know that the character and nature of God is contrary to the events described in Judges 19. God did not approve of it, nor desire for it to happen.
But also, we know from the rest of scripture that even though mankind is at his most depraved in Judges 19, he has not moved so far away from God as to be unredeemable. Yes, the events of this chapter are horrific and demand our condemnation and swift justice and punishment. Indeed, God will see that justice is done for the nameless concubine who is horrifically raped, murdered, and mutilated. Justice will be served for those responsible, either through an eternity of punishment in hell, or through the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. Judges 19 is a picture of just how sinful we all truly are. No, you may have never committed acts like those described in this chapter, but you certainly have fallen - and far - from God's grace, perhaps through murder of the heart by hating your brothers, or perhaps through sexually violating someone in the secret thoughts of your heart and mind. Nevertheless, you are not too far away to be redeemed. The scandal of grace - and the message of the book of Judges - is that God can even redeem rapists and murderers - even you.