Journaling: Judges 18-21

Speaker: Scott Jarrett | Jan 17, 2021
  1. Right interpretation requires recognizing ellipsis (“shorthand” understood by prior context) (18:1a and 19:1a w/17:6 and 21:25).


  1. Other ways people prove they do not have God as their king (besides 17:6-13 = starting your own church) is they: 1) refuse to do the hard work necessary to be successful (18:1b w/1:34-35), 2) look to leach off of or benefit from what belongs to others (18:2 w/7 w/1Ch 5:23 = The location of Laish was just below Mt. Hermon in the territory of Manasseh); (18:3-6 w/13-20, 30-31 = The Danite tribe took Micah’s religion and priest for themselves), 3) will fight to possess what is not theirs (18:21-26), 4) are only interested in or pursue those things that can be easily acquired (18:8-12, 27-29), 5) are selfish in their pursuit of justice (19:1-2 [“was unfaithful” = Committed adultery ] w/3 [“to speak kindly to her and bring her back” = The Levite is not outraged/not pursuing justice -i.e. the death penalty for what she had done, bc she was still valuable to him] w/19:22-20:10, 5-6 [“they violated my concubine and she is dead…they have committed abomination and outrage in Israel” = The Levite is now outraged/pursuing justice – i.e. death penalty for the Benjaminites, bc his value w/the concubine had now been lost. Demonstrates his view of justice to be selfish – i.e. you only pursue justice when it serves your interest]).


  1. Attempts at obstructing justice have been known to produce worse consequences (19:3-9 w/10-28 = The concubine’s father’s pressing the priest to stay longer was no doubt to win his favor and ensure his daughter did not receive justice for her sexual immorality. His plan however pushed their departure to a late hour which contributed to their stop in Gibeah and the horrific death of his daughter).


  1. Homosexuality is worse than (heterosexual) rape (19:22-24, “outrageous thing” = Excessively wicked act worse than the abomination of rape – 20:6; Hence the reason homosexuality is associated w/national destruction – Lev 18:27-30; 2Pe 2:6; Jud 1:7; e.g. S&G – Gen 19:1-29; Israel – Rom 1:18-27 w/2:1-3 w/11:7-25).


  1. Right interpretation rejects coincidence (19:14-24 w/Gen 19:1-9; What’s going on? 1] tribal land-grabbing leads to suspicion of outsiders as spies [18:1-10, 27-29], 2] since ancient times, gang rape has been practiced as a means of demoralizing and punishing those suspected as spies).


  1. If God’s justice is to be secured against those guilty in the covenant community then it will mean: 1) making her aware of the gravity of their sins (19:29-30), 2) sharing the dirty details (20:1-6), 3) seeking the support of her members (20:1-11), 4) seeking the help of those closest to the guilty party (20:12-13a), 5) never allowing our commitment to be de-railed by the sacrifice or suffering it may cost (20:14-23a, 24-26a, 29-36a), 6) seeking God’s guidance/direction through His prescribed leaders and prayer (20:23, 26-28; Jam 5:14-18 = The prayer of God’s leaders possess great power), 7) being able to outsmart them in their attempts to continue getting away with evil or defend/justify their (indefensible/unjustifiable) positions (20:36a-48).


  1. God expects His people to sacrifice for the sake of restoration (21:1-12; Gal 6:1-2).


  1. Not all forms of plausible deniability (the ability of leaders to deny any wrong associated w/ actions approved by them) are wrong (21:13-24).


  1. Not all forms of dancing are innocent (Jug 21:21 w/Exo 32:6 and Gen 26:8 = Erotic/sexual dancing to attract a husband).