So all who fell that day of Benjamin were twenty-five thousand arms-bearing men, all of them courageous fighters. But six hundred turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and remained at the rock of Rimmon for four months. Meanwhile, the Israelites turned back against the Benjaminites, and put them to the sword - the city, the people, the animals, and all that remained. Also the remaining towns they set on fire. Judges 20: 46-48 NRSV
Wow. Pretty harsh. Not only did 24,400 warriors die in battle, but now everyone and everything of the tribe of Benjamin is destroyed. Did you catch that? Every single person that was of this tribe was killed. Every animal was killed. All of their belongings were burned. This is total destruction; this is cleaning house mafia style.
Sure, they did some very bad stuff. They were so off the mark when it came to being God's followers that they were acting as non-believers. But did they have to be eliminated? Including the women and children? What did the animals do? Obviously, the thought is that sin this bad must be totally eradicated as well as give everyone else an example not to follow. Who would now want to disobey God when that could get you and your entire tribe wiped off the face of the earth?
Have you ever led a life of such depravity that the only solution seemed for God to wipe you off the face of the earth? The amazing thing is that God, despite being jealous, does not punish us in this way. Instead, God does something remarkable: God has given up God's son in our stead so that God's son dies for our sins. God wants to forgive us if we only can admit our faults and accept Jesus into our lives. Sure, that is going to clean house but only in a good way.
The hope in this passage of Judges is that 600 men are left. They are hiding in the wilderness. That reminds us that there is hope with God.
God, thank you for your forgiveness and the gift of Jesus who died for our sins. Forgive us for the sins we continue to make. Help us to clean our own house. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Question of they day: What sins or sin do you need to admit before God today?
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims
Note from Amelia: Sorry I was unable to complete last week's devotionals! Hopefully, you will be able to pick up here from where we left off on Thursday.