Now the Israelites had sworn at Mizpah, "No one of us shall give his daughter in marriage to Benjamin." And the people came to Bethel, and sat there until evening before God, and they lifted up their voices and wept bitterly. They said, "O Lord, the God of Israel, why has it come to pass that today there should be one tribe lacking in Israel?" Judges 21:1-3 NRSV
Okay, I am just trying to figure this out.
1) The Israelites all but exterminated the tribe of Benjamin.
2) There are only 600 men left from the entire tribe.
3) The Israelites have not just sworn but really cursed anyone who would give their daughter to a man of Benjamin.
4) The Israelites are wondering how will the tribe continue if these men are not to take either Israelites or non-Israelites as wives.
5) The Israelites are truly sorrowful about the possibility of one of the twelve tribes becoming extinct.
6) The Israelites appeal directly to God.
How many times in my own life have I cut off all possible solutions to a problem myself, then wanted God to come and bail me out? How many times have I thought I was doing God's will when I was just making things worse? How many times have I felt remorse about the outcome of my actions rather than my actions themselves?
Ugh. How many times do I have to see myself in the book of Judges?
God, your Word often makes all of us see ourselves in a less than positive light. Help us to use this insight to follow you more closely from now on. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Question of the day: How would you answer the questions I have asked myself?
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims