Sermon Notes “Political Unrest and Civil War” 05/30/21

The Book of Judges Series – Revival in the Land 5/30/21 “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did
what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 17:6; 21:25 (NASB)
Introduction-“Who will go up for us…” (1:1-3)
I. Background of the period of the judges-The reason for Israel’s apostasy (1:4-3:6)
A. The political background-Hostilities between Israel and the Canaanites (1:4-36)
B. The spiritual background – Israel’s conduct and God’s response (2:1-3:6)
II. History of the period of the judges-The record of Israel’s apostasy (3:7-16:31)
A. 1st apostasy-Mesopotamian oppression-Othniel’s deliverance (3:7-14) B. 2nd apostasy-Moabite oppression-Ehud’s deliverance (3:12-30)
C. 3rd apostasy-Canaanite oppression-Deborah/Barak (4:1-5:31)
D. 4th Apostasy-Midianite oppression-Gideon’s deliverance (6:1-8:35)
Addendum: This “cycle” is different – “The Enemy Within” – Conspiracy (9:1-10:5) E. 5th apostasy-Ammonite oppression-Jephthah’s deliverance (10:6-12:7)
Addendum: Less well-known judges served between cycles of decline (12:8-15) F. 6th apostasy-Philistine oppression-Samson’s partial deliverance (13:1-16:31)
III. The results of Israel’s apostasy – Spiritual, social and political chaos (17:1-21:25) Introduction – Many expositors believe chapters 17-21 are not chronological
A. Spiritual and moral Chaos – Micah ‘s idolatry and private ‘religion’ (17:1-13)
B. Social Chaos-Danite apostasy and migration–Looking for the ‘easy way’ (18:1-31) C. Political Chaos – The Benjamite war instigated by gross immorality (19:1-21:24)

  1. The reason for the war-The moral atrocity in Gibeah (19:1-20:14)
  2. The execution of the destructive Benjamite civil war in Israel (20:15-48)
  3. The results of the war-The preservation of the tribe of Benjamin (21:1-24)
    Conclusion: The reason for all of the tragic events during the time of Judges (21:25)
    Key Verse(s) *Accommodation —> spiritual apostasy —> political disruption (war) Judges 21:25 (NASB) *Key verse of the Book of Judges (no “moral consensus”)
    “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.” [the issue: no central authority or accountability— cf. Judges 17:6; also 18:1, 19:1]
    Judges 19: 1-2 (NASB) *Concubines were culturally acceptable during this time
    “Now it came about in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite staying in the remote part of the hill country of Ephraim, who took a concubine for himself from Bethlehem in Judah. But his concubine played the harlot against him, and she went away from him to her father’s house in Bethlehem…”
    Judges 19: (NASB) *The man was referred to as “husband” and clearly cared for her “Then her husband arose and went after her to speak tenderly to her in order to bring her back…So she brought him into her father’s house, and when the girl’s father saw him, he was glad to meet him. His father-in-law, the girl’s father, detained him…”
    “…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
    2 Chronicles 7:14 (NASB)
    Judges 19:1-21:25 “Political Unrest and Civil War”
    “Now the angel of the LORD…said…’I will never break My covenant…’”
    Judges 2:1 (NASB)
    Key References– The final phase of national degeneration – Political disruption Judges 19:11-12 (NASB) *The Levite was distrustful of the Jebusites in Jerusalem “When they were near Jebus [Jerusalem], the day was almost gone; and the servant said to his master, ‘Please…let us turn aside into this city of the Jebusites and spend the night in it.’ However, his master said to him, ‘We will not turn aside into the city of foreigners who are not of the sons of Israel; but we will go on as far as Gibeah.”
    Judges 19:14 (NASB) *He should have been leery of the Benjamites in Gibeah “So they passed along and went their way, and the sun set on them near Gibeah which belongs to Benjamin.” [Note the contrast-The Good Samaritan, Luke 10:30-37]
    Judges 19:22-23 (NAS) *Odd contrast between moral depravity and social hospitality “While they were celebrating, behold, the men of the city…surrounded the house… saying, ‘Bring out the man who came into your house that we may have relations with him.’ Then the man, the owner of the house…said to them, ‘No…please do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not commit this act…”
    Judges 19:24-25 (NASB) *Extreme commitment to protection of guests in home “‘Here is my virgin daughter and his concubine. Please let me bring them out that you may ravish them and do to them whatever you wish. But do not commit such an act of folly against this man.’ But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine and brought her out to them; and they raped her and abused her all night until morning, then let her go at the approach of dawn.” [cf. Lot in Gen. 19:1-11]
    Judges 20:10-11 (NASB) *The other tribes disgusted by the immorality —> civil war “‘And we will take…1,000 out of 10,000…that when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, they may punish them for all the disgraceful acts that they have committed in Isra- el.’ Thus all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, united as one man.”
    Judges 20:12-13 (NAS) *Benjamites had the opportunity to turn over those guilty “Then the tribes of Israel sent men through the entire tribe of Benjamin, saying, ‘What is this wickedness that has taken place among you? Now then, deliver up the men, the worthless fellows in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and remove this wickedness from Israel.’ But the sons of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brothers…” [Note: again the consequence of “no king” or central authority]
    Judges 20:34-35 (NAS) *The LORD finally delivered Benjamin to devastating defeat “When ten thousand choice men from all Israel came against Gibeah…Benjamin did not know that disaster was close to them. And the LORD struck Benjamin before Israel, so that the sons of Israel destroyed 25,100 men of Benjamin that day, all who draw the sword.” [Note: Israel sought LORD’s guidance in conducting this war]
    Judges 21:6-7 *Considered mitigation due to the severity of Benjamin’s punishment “And the sons of Israel were sorry for their brother Benjamin and said, ‘One tribe is cut off from Israel today. What shall we do for wives for those who are left, since we have sworn by the LORD not to give them any of our daughters in marriage?”
    “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”
    2 Timothy 2:13 (NASB)


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