Then he commanded the men whom he sent saying, "Thus shall you say to all the Israelites, 'Has such a thing ever happened since the day that the Israelites came up from the land of Egypt until this day? Consider it, take counsel, and speak out.' " Judges 19: 30 NRSV
Michael Jackson's song, Wanna Be Startin' Something is playing while I write this.
There is no king in Israel. There doesn't seem to be any judges in Israel at this time, either. So the people must take things in their own hands.
The time is ripe for this Levite to use a hot-button topic to get the armies of the tribes to carry out his revenge.
I cannot tell you how many times in various churches I have seen church members use certain hot topics to create chaos, havoc and, eventually, whatever they want to happen or not happen. Maybe they didn't cut up a person into twelve pieces but they did use whatever would get folks riled up in order to get their own way. Many times the pastor was the focus of their attention but not in every case.
The result often included scaring off those who were truly committed to doing God's will over their own, hurting lots of innocent people and destroying the delicate balance of love and trust needed in a community of Christ.
Have you ever seen this happen in your church? What was your reaction? Looking back, was there something you could have done differently to change the outcome?
God, you want to start something but so often many of us wanna start somethin'. Help us to follow you rather than our own desires. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Question of the day: Have you ever started something in your church out of your own motives?
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims