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Judges 20:29-48

Talks for Growing Christians

The Tribe of Benjamin is Defeated

Judges 20:29-48

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Lesson Number 29

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God's assistance is not necessarily a sign of God's approval.
  2. God can suddenly change the course of events.

Practical Application

  1. Can we say, "Better dead than depraved?"

Questions

  1. Why was there civil war between Israel and the tribe of Benjamin?
  2. What did the Levite do when his concubine was violated?
  3. Because of this act, how did Israel respond?
  4. How was the story of Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah comparable to this story? What was different?
  5. Were the tribes of Israel right in disciplining Benjamin?
  6. Was Israel faultless in this incident?
  7. Why did the Lord allow Israel to be defeated twice before the victory?
  8. Benjamin thought they were getting away with their defiant attitude. What happened to make them realize they weren't getting away with it?

Answers

  1. Because of the events recorded in Judges 19.
  2. He cut her body into twelve pieces and sent a piece to each of the tribes in Israel.
  3. Israel was outraged when they heard the story, so that they went to war in order to discipline Benjamin for allowing such events to happen.
  4. Both involved the sin of homosexuality. The difference was that the men of Sodom and Gomorrah were not God's people, whereas the men of Gibeah were God's people.
  5. Yes.
  6. No, because it took such horrendous deeds to finally cause moral outrage in Israel.
  7. To make Israel realize that they had to get right before the Lord before they could have victory.
  8. God intervened and changed the course of events.

Discuss/Consider

  1. God assisted Israel in winning the war over Benjamin, but He certainly did not approve of all that they did. Can you recall cases where Christians and even churches seem to have a measure of success, but where God would not approve of their practices and ethics? The Israelites were harsh to the extreme in disciplining Benjamin, almost to the point of annihilation. Church leaders need to be sensitive to the kind of discipline they use in dealing with wrong-doing. Can discipline be carried too far in a Christian home?
  2. The tribe of Benjamin thought they were getting away with their defiant attitude defending the sinful city of Gibeah. But God suddenly changed the course of events. Could this be true in our country today? God could bring another awakening to our land, but we must humble ourselves and pray.

Challenge

  1. During the time of the judges everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes. But from God's point of view, there was gross moral sin and depravity. The tribe of Benjamin was desensitized to sin, perhaps thinking of homosexuality as simply sexual preference. Does this sound familiar? What will it take to awaken people to God's holiness?
  2. Beware of viewing success as a sign of God's blessing.

Key Verses

  • "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 and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
  • "The Lord defeated Benjamin before Israel." Judges 20:35

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