Saturday, October 17, 2009

Always Someone Else's Fault

In the morning her master got up, opened the doors of the house, and when he went out to go on his way, there was his concubine lying at the door of the house, with her hands on the threshold. "Get up," he said to her, "we are going." But there was no answer. Then he put her on the donkey; and the man set out for his home. When he had entered his house, he took a knife, and grasping his concubine he cut her into twelve pieces, limb by limb, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel. Judges 19: 27-29 NRSV

I have spoken previously during our time in the book of Judges about people not taking responsibility for their actions, including blaming others and causing even more problems for themselves and others. Here is another example.

This man chose to give his concubine to the men of Gibeah. His choice. Not hers. She is just a thing to him.

This man apparently didn't care what happened to her. There is no grief, no attempt to heal, no compassion shown to her at all. She is just a thing to him.

This man takes her home and chops her up into twelve pieces (was she already dead or not?). He is angry. He wants revenge. She is just a thing to him.

For the Levite, the concubine is not a human being but a thing, a belonging. He never focuses on his own faults, but highlights what others have done. Even though what was done was really bad, he is as much at fault. He chose to leave the father's home late, he chose not to stay in Jebus, and he chose to give his concubine to the angry mob.

But it wasn't about what he did. It is all about what the men of Gibeah did.

God, you call each one of us to be responsible for our own actions and reactions. Help us, Lord, help us. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Question of the day: What have you refused to take responsibility for?

Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims

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