Sin and Evil and the Levite’s Concubine

Jeff Munroe

READ : Judges 19:1-30

Such a thing has never happened. (v. 30)

Sin and evil are not the same thing. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23), but not all sinners practice evil. The world is full of good and decent people, sinners one and all. Sin is directed at God. It is being out of right relationship with God and violating his law. Evil is directed at God’s creation, harming or destroying what God has made.

The story of the Levite’s concubine is pure evil. It is an illustration of how low Israel has sunk. There are parallels in the story of Sodom, found in Genesis 19. But Sodom was not Israel. This is. The exodus and giving of the law have happened, but Israel has no moral compass.

The story begins with hospitality galore when the Levite goes to his father-in-law and can hardly tear himself away. Things are vastly different in Gibeah. No hospitality is offered there until an old man—not from Gibeah but the same hill country of Ephraim as the Levite—appears. The old man knew it would not be good for the Levite and his company to spend the night in the village square. What happens next is unrelenting, sickening terror. Even the “good guys” are problematic—how could they throw the concubine outside as a way to solve the problem? How could the Levite dissect the concubine into 12 pieces? This is as bad as it gets, and civil war is next.

PRAYER

Deliver us from evil.