Judges 19:1 In those days, when there was no king in Israel, a certain Levite, residing in the remote parts of the hill country of Ephraim, took to himself a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. 2 But his concubine became angry with him, and she went away from him to her father’s house at Bethlehem in Judah, and was there some four months. 3 Then her husband set out after her, to speak tenderly to her and bring her back. He had with him his servant and a couple of donkeys. When he reached her father’s house, the girl’s father saw him and came with joy to meet him. … (the Levite and his concubine) got up and departed…15 They turned aside there, to go in and spend the night at Gibeah. He went in and sat down in the open square of the city, but no one took them in to spend the night. 16 Then at evening there was an old man coming from his work in the field. The man was from the hill country of Ephraim, and he was residing in Gibeah. …So the old man brought him into his house, and fed the donkeys; they washed their feet, and ate and drank 22 While they were enjoying themselves, the men of the city, a perverse lot, surrounded the house, and started pounding on the door. They said to the old man, the master of the house, “Bring out the man who came into your house, so that we may have intercourse with him.” 23 And the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Since this man is my guest, do not do this vile thing. 24 Here are my virgin daughter and his concubine; let me bring them out now. Ravish them and do whatever you want to them; but against this man do not do such a vile thing.” 25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine, and put her out to them. They wantonly raped her, and abused her all through the night until the morning. And as the dawn began to break, they let her go. 26 As morning appeared, the woman came and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her master was, until it was light. 27 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. 28 “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…
Sorry for such a long passage but I tried to edit it to make it more tolerable. This is a terrible story for many reasons. The concubine was treated with such brutality. The people of Gibeah failed to house the Levite or show him hospitality. The men of Gibeah (Israelites) acted like the men of Sodom in the book of Genesis. I mean, this story is horrible top to bottom. So what’s the point of the story? We get a hint in the first verse:
“In those days there was no king in Israel…”
A nation without leadership creates chaos as people do what seems right in their own eyes rather than what is right in the eyes of God. I can’t help but think of our own country (USA) when I read this story. Yes we have leaders, but our culture is increasingly doing what is right in our own eyes rather than what is right in the eyes of God. The moral compass of the Judeo-Christian worldview has been so diminished as to be irrelevant. Just have a look around. Our country seems to be lost right now. We need a “king”. His name is Jesus. Lord, let it be so. Amen.