Israel from Dan to Beersheba, including Gilead, assembled as one man to Lord at Mizpah. The chiefs took their stand in the assembly, 400,000 foot soldiers who drew the sword. Israel asked the Levite how this wickedness occurred. He explained that men of Gibeah intended to kill him but instead, ravished his concubine so she died. The Levite cut and sent her pieces throughout Israel to show this lewd and disgraceful thing. He asked Israel for advice and counsel (Judges 20:4-7)
The people decided to send ten percent of the people selected by lot to go up to Gibeah and supply food for people so they could punish them for disgraceful acts committed in Israel (Judges 20:8-17). Seeking revenge can lead to killing our brothers.
Israel went up to Bethel and inquired of God, “Who shall go up to battle against sons of Benjamin?” Lord said, “Judah shall go first.” Benjamin killed 22,000 men of Israel. They encouraged themselves and arrayed for battle again in same place as first day. They wept before Lord until evening and inquired of Lord, “Shall we again draw near for battle against Benjamin?” Lord said “Go up against him.” Israel was defeated again and fasted that day until evening by offering burnt and peace offerings before the Lord. They went up again at Lord’s command, but Benjamin did not know that disaster was coming (Judges 20:18-34). Include God in our planning and don’t trust in your resources or righteous cause.
Men of Israel swore that none shall give his daughter to Benjamin in marriage. People came to Bethel and sat before God until evening, lifted up voices and wept bitterly about why one tribe should be missing. Early the next day, they offered burnt and peace offerings and asked, “What shall we do for wives without husbands?” (Judges 21:1-7). Making snap decisions without prayer and reflection leads to bad outcomes. Time with God imparts compassion and allows you to think more clearly.
Not one of the tribe of Jabesh-gilead came up to Lord at Mizpah. Whole congregation spoke to Benjamin at rock of Rimmon and proclaimed peace to them. They gave them women whom they kept alive from women of Jabesh-gilead. People were sorry for Benjamin because Lord had made a breach in the tribes of Israel (Judges 21:8-15).
Benjamin took wives according to their number from those who danced, whom they carried away. And they returned to their inheritance, rebuilt the cities and lived in them (Judges 21:16-25). Even though couples are what God uses to rebuild cities, the end doesn't justify the means.
Repairing breaches or disunity between people involve the following actions:
1. Forgiving spirit instead of taking revenge
2. Including God in your planning instead of trusting in your resources or righteous case
3. Spending time in listening prayer instead of making snap decisions
4. Asking God for wisdom instead of believing the end justify the means
Which of these four actions will you apply in order to repair a breach in a relationship or in more broadly, in your church or city?