Outrage in Benjamin

Open Your Bible

Judges 19:1-30, Jeremiah 8:18-22, Jeremiah 9:1-3, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

I can’t recall a more horrific story in Scripture than the one we’re looking at today (and it only gets worse in the following chapters). Judges 19 is a historical account that leaves me speechless. It’s like watching a news story that’s too dark to even absorb. 

We’ve all experienced heartbreak and loss. I’ve been hurt by people, and I’ve hurt people. As have you. And though my stories aren’t as intense as the one we just read, every time I experience suffering, I feel like a helpless child just longing for someone bigger and stronger to fix it and make all the pain go away. You know? 

Horrific crimes like the one recorded in Judges 19 are a result of what’s recorded in the very first verse of that chapter—“In those days, when there was no king in Israel…”

Without a king, depravity ensued. Without a king, lust and violence and vengeance ran rampant. All ways but the true King’s ways led to suffering and death and darkness.

And our response to kinglessness, as human beings carrying with us the brokenness of sin, is very similar to what we see in Jeremiah, isn’t it? “My joy has flown away; grief has settled on me. My heart is sick” (Jeremiah 8:18). And then a few lines later, “Is the LORD no longer in Zion?” (v.19). Like, God, are you seeing this? Where are you? Are you even here?


I have felt that. And I’m sure you have too. But praise God: the Lord is in Zion. Praise God: there is a King. Praise God that through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are not orphaned, without a king, and alone. Let us not be like the Israelites, who disregarded their King, for He is there to comfort us and correct us and bring justice to the evil we see. Our King has already dealt decisively with sin. When we are faced with evil and suffering and death and when we find ourselves at a loss for words, there is still the truth that our suffering isn’t our entire reality. We do have a God who is bigger and stronger. He was there in Judges 19, and He’s here now in our own broken hearts’ longing. We have hope. We have Jesus.

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49 thoughts on "Outrage in Benjamin"

  1. Hi, its pleasant article concerning media print, we all be aware of media is a impressive source of facts.

  2. Mary says:

    Praying for you, Lexi.

    Thank you, fellow shes for sharing your wrestlings with this tough day. I wouldn’t be committed to finishing this reading plan before moving on to Giving Thanks and Advent if it wasn’t for all of you prioritizing being women in the Word, and without the amazing ladies at SRT who invite us to just open our Bibles daily.
    And thank you Teresa for sharing the song Come Jesus Come. Very appropriate and summarizing the sadness and longing in our hearts we feel at reading a day like today’s passage. Lord Jesus, please come and heal this broken world.

  3. Jennifer Battisson says:

    This is by far the hardest read in Scripture. I had to just sit and ask the Lord, “What do you want me to know from this?” (ALL Scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching…) The thought came to mind that this story should serve as an example of just how BAD our sin really is when we compare ourselves to God’s holiness and righteousness. Oh Lord, forgive me for walking in indifference to sin and not recognizing how damaging and bad it really is! ALL of it, not just the “big” ones. If we can walk away from this story and come to a place of repentance and deoendance on Jesus in our own lives, this story has served it’s purpose.

  4. Ruth Long says:

    I read this passage and just cried. Cried over the horrific things that happened to the two women, and God’s heart for the daughters of his people. This sort of abuse, which far too many of us recognize, is being shown for what it is: a sick manifestation of sin and evil and far-ness from God.

  5. Brielle Hebert says:

    Amen! As dark and depressing as parts of this study are, I appreciate that SRT puts it shortly before the Advent study as it makes me long for the coming of Christ that much more. THANK GOD for sending the one, true King. He alone is worthy!

  6. Thea Joshi says:

    I know this isn’t something we’d do with Scripture – and that there are lots of bleak passages in the Bible – but I kind of feel that this one needed a trigger warning. It’s really shocked me and I didn’t realise it was coming.

  7. Erica Chiarelli says:

    I have long disliked this part of Judges but it shows the depravity of men and our intense need for a Savior! Praise God we have a King & He is good!

  8. Mary henderson says:

    This reminds me that there has been absolute depravity throughout the centuries…our times aren’t unique. Praise God that we have responded to his call to come out, be separate, and walk in His light and love.

  9. Helen Jerry says:

    As I read these bleak, heartbreaking passages where God seems so absent, I remind myself of the beginning of the book of Ruth…”in the days when the judges ruled”… and how in the midst of all this horror, when there was no king, God was working, bringing about the line of David- and more especially the line of Jesus.

    I’m in the UK right now so hadn’t heard of everything happening in Ohio but I am praying with you in the midst of this.

  10. HL says:

    Kelly (neo) praying for peace and quick resolution ❤️

  11. Indiana Elaine says:

    Kelly (neo), Just saw your post and am lifting you in prayer. Lord, please help this issue to be resolved in a timely manner. Wrap Kelly in your loving arms and flood her with your peace.

  12. Claire says:

    ♥️

  13. Claire says:

    I did not remember this part of the story where the concubine was tortured. I do not plan to ever visit Judges again. This made me physically ill. Thinking of these deprived humans is just too much and reminds me there is still so much of this especially in abusing children. I just cannot go there in my mind. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost for the salvation and protection they bring.

  14. Victoria E says:

    Kelly (Neo)- I grew up in Ohio and my family is still there. Have been watching the news. This week’s passages have spoken to me deeply- I’ve been struggling in my personal and professional life , which has been amplified by watching a former (?) friend who has rejected Jesus and turned to a religion of her own self and pagan rituals have success in the very areas where I have been struggling. These passages have been so hard to read but are a needed reminder of what happens when we reject and forget God. Todays main reading was just too much for me but the supplemental readings are incredible. I’m so happy to be in this community reading the Word with you all.

  15. Kelly (NEO) says:

    Hey Shes, need prayer for peace of mind please. Someone has forged a check and drained my checking account cannot do anything until branch opens in the morning.

  16. Alayna P. says:

    This my least favourite day of reading ever. Thankful the devotion reminded me of the hope I have in Jesus.

  17. Tina says:

    I am so glad I haven’t read this devo.. til now. I don’t think I could have coped.

    Today marks 19 years since my girl was called home. I have spent it with family and just wanted to touch base here..

    My Goodness!

    I remember reading the Bible in a year and getting to this and feeling sick to my stomach… I went to the church and asking the vicar, what was this all about? His response..
    “There are some things we will never understand this side of heaven..”

    Maybe.. but…

    Come on..!!!

    This is serious crime against women and the dad… seriously..

    I think I am again traumatised by this read..its really heart breaking that there is no respect at all for women, daughters..

    I am struggling to see good in this..

    BUT GOD..

    BREATHE.. Tina..

    Thankful, God promises to be my Father, and I know, that whilst I hold fast to Him, I may not understand this reading..
    BUT GOD..He won’t let these readings get to me, but He will guard my heart and mind to calm and by His Grace I will know good sleep and peace of mind..

    Praise God..

    AMEN..

    Wrapping you all in love and hugs after today’s reading!❤️❤️

  18. Teresa Donley says:

    I live in Ohio too. It’s hard to get my head around the voters of our state approving abortion at any point in pregnancy, regardless of the baby’s viability. It just makes me sick. It seems that every day, we are reminded of the depravity of man. This morning, I came across a song I’d never heard before: Come Jesus Come, by Stephen McWhirter. Some of the words spoke to me, especially today:

    Sometimes I fall to my knees and pray
    Come Jesus come, let today be the day
    Sometimes I feel like I’m gonna break
    But I’m holding on to a hope that won’t fade
    Come Jesus come
    We’ve been waiting so long
    For the day You return to heal every hurt
    And right every wrong
    We need You right now
    Come and turn this around
    Deep down I know this world isn’t home
    Come Jesus come

    I love where he says, “Deep down I know this world isn’t home. Come Jesus come.”

  19. Pam Williams says:

    Kelly, I grieve with you

  20. Mercy says:

    I remember reading this chapter 19 a few years back in NLT version and I was traumatized. God is in the business of pain. I got to remind myself to not run away from the pain and the easy. Today I was reading in ESV and it was less of an emotional toll on me since ESV does have a neutral journalism tone compared to NLT which is more connecting using contemporary language. Today’s chapter grabbed me at another angle. It’s the husband, the Levite. Lately I have been pondering, how men could be so indifferent to their wives, and what do you know? Bam…Judge 19. Lol Lord have mercy. God has a sense of humor. Today we see another Levite, who was wandering to a very wrong place at a very wrong time. A note from my ESV bible study couple of days ago that tied in: The Levites did not have their own tribal territory, but they had 48 cities, scattered among the other tribes (Josh 21), however Bethlehem was not one of those cities. So he came out of boundaries from what it seems. The callousness of his heart toward his concubine/wife was just reflecting his bitterness that she was unfaithful to him previously (See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled (Heb. 12:15)). His gruesome act of dividing her body instead of burying her is just unthinkable. The fact that God chose to repeatedly mentioning Levites in the last few chapters, this brought me to our ever so famous parable of the good Samaritan, the first 2 persons that were stone cold and walked away from the hurting person on road side are the priest, and the Levite. The Bible does not lie. I have witnessed this callousness in pastors’ families, the silence and the hardness of heart, even grievous abuse. I don’t know what it is that cause God’s very priestly line to act this way but it happens. I think the answer lies within the opening of each chapter in Judges, they did what was evil in God’s sight, though still keeping up a polished christian front. The “Sodom” hospitality that the Levite and his wife were given (when already inside the old man’s house) reminds me of the ones that wanted to “know” Lot’s guests/God’s very angels -who came to slay them. God is to be feared y’all. Homo$exuality is not a simple thing, we are reminded again, it is not harmless or romantic, it is a wicked perversion from the pit, may we see this “monster” for what it is pictured in the Bible. Father Lord God, we pray against the callousness of hearts for those in position of serving God, priests, pastors, modern day Levites, and those serving in church leadership roles, and for the body of Christ, may You soften our hearts with compassion and humbleness, remove the callousness of religion, we also pray against the spirit of homo$exuality and its many resulting depravities leading to violence, murder, etc., let these evil spirits and manifestations be cast out of our communities, nations, churches, families, and not widespread in our nations, cut off their attacks in school districts, entertainment and broadcasting, government laws, stop them from achieving social acceptance and widespread demonic influence, we pray you heal and restore those who have been afflicted and defiled on its destructive sweep. Let there be a full restoration, healing and transformation for the glory of Your Name. Amen.

  21. Lexi B says:

    This has always been such a hard read. Such depravity and cruelty in this chapter. How this must break God’s heart!

    The Jeremiah verses and Corinthians verses are perfect responses to this chapter. I relate to them so much in this season. Ladies if you could be praying…I left a very toxic church situation. It’s been so hard, but Jesus led me out and has been with me through the whole process. I have friends that are like family still there and my heart hurts for them. Praying that their eyes be opened to see the darkness and leave.

  22. Rhonda J. says:

    I agree of course that it is a hard read, but there IS purpose, always in scripture! I found it really helpful to read the full commentary by Mathew Henry. We can’t forget that the woman was adulterous, seemingly unrepenting, which leads to death in physical and spirit. There were many things that led up to the circumstances which you can read about, and like you all said it is exactly the same today- everyone living their own way, in sin, in the devil (if you are not in Jesus.). It’s a hard pill to swallow but truth. But God- sent His son for redemption of our wickedness. I too, was a horrible wicked sinner living by my will, committing adultery, murder, lies, stealing (and I thought I was good!), but we ONLY become clean in our repentance and following after the heart of Jesus! Praise God. Let us spread that light, the only truth, way, and life! Who else can do this in our world today, but us!

    Love you friends!
    @CEEGEE I must have missed you saying you were sick as well until a day or so ago, prayers for you!!
    @Sue..I saw that too, and didn’t even realize it was scam, thank you @Michelle!!

  23. Candace Blair says:

    I, also, am dismayed. But God. Praying that we all are, as you said, light in this ever-darkening culture. Lord help us see where You are and follow.

  24. Allison Bentley says:

    So these two verses stood out as I read today and I feel the need to share. V 15 “but no one took them into their home to spend the night” and v19 “there is nothing we lack”. They both got me thinking do I go out of my way to help others? Do I open my home to share and show others the love of Jesus- even if it means something terrible could come from it? No I see the people on the streets hurting and just turn the other way. I hear of the atrocities in the world and thank God it’s not me and my family.l and keep moving. How many times in my 40+ years have I said “I lack nothing” ? never – I’m always chasing the next thing, the nicer car, bigger home, better job, etc etc when really I have King Jesus – I do not lack!!!!

    Lord help me stay focused on you- keep me rooted in Your word so that I may make myself vulnerable to help others and remind me I have You and therefore lack nothing! Happy Wednesday She’s!

  25. Molly R says:

    Ironically, on yesterday’s notes in the study book, all I got written down was: “another hard read.” Little did I know that chapter 19 was waiting….

    It can be hard to understand why passages like this are even included. Not something I want to start my day with, or have rolling around in my thoughts as the day progresses. But God. I do find myself comparing this scripture with the holiness of God, and our desperate need of him. So very thankful for the influence and saving grace God infuses my life with – despite my innate brokenness I bring to the deal. This could be me. This could be the environment my family lives in. But God.

    When the final word of the day is nothing but horrific heartache it is such a hope-filled miracle that it’s not the final word of all time. He did come, and He’s coming again. Thanks be to God! God, please be in the depraved and bleak moments of humanity even now, where innocent life is being abused at the hands of godless people. Bring life into the death, light into the darkness, redemption into the brokenness. Thank you for the reminder that I hold that inside of me, and display a radical change only You could accomplish.

  26. Cee Gee says:

    FROM BIBLEGATEWAY NKJV BIBLE STUDY BIBLE:

    “Where do Christians today have an opportunity to extend protection and care to the most vulnerable in our world?

    Where might you have an opportunity to extend that protection and care?”

    I couldn’t help but think of the Ohio election when I read those questions.

    Thankful for our King and the promise of His coming. Made me think of the old song, THE KING IS COMING, by the Bill and Gloria Gaither.

    SEARCHING and MICHELLE PATIRE and others praying for me – noticeable improvement this morning after fever last night. Still a ways to go. Thanks, sisters! Love y’all and praying for you!

  27. KimN says:

    The last 3 chapters have included a variation of the phrase “In those days, Israel had no king.” I initially was frustrated because there IS a king and always has been. They just ignored Him.
    But I wonder if that’s the point that is being put across by that phrase. When people live as if there isn’t something bigger over their lives, evil takes over.
    I think the podcast had mentioned earlier that Judges isn’t chronological so that while horrid things are happening, God is also at work in other places in the lives of those still following after Him. Just like today.
    So, shine bright ladies. The world needs it!

  28. Donna Wolcott says:

    Brenda, thank you for your comment this morning, it’s what I was thinking. Dear sisters, your reflections help to make this book bearable. But for Jesus…… VERY MUCH looking forward to our next study. Prayers and hugs for each.❤️️

  29. Mari V says:

    The opening sentence of Scarlett’s devotion today were my thoughts exactly! My stomach was turning, and I even felt some anxiety. It was like a scene from Law in Order. I have to be careful what I watch and hear. I can’t handle it most of the time. My heart aches for this poor concubine. Maybe it’s the mother in me? But as Tina would say, “But God”. Oh, thank goodness for our God who loved the world so much for us, YOU and I, by sending us His One and Only son, so that we could have eternal life and live with him forever someday. I long for that day. I love you all so much, my sweet SRT sisters.

  30. HL says:

    As I read this devotional my eyes catch the flickering ad for the upcoming Advent study. Normally I don’t give it a thought but today it was a beautiful reminder that Hope is coming and that we have a King.

    Praying for you all today ❤️

  31. Traci Gendron says:

    Reading todays passages made me feel sick. I have read this before and it is always hard. Imagine if we didn’t have God, how would we make it through this life?? The news is overwhelming. People are making one bad decision after another. Not much has changed since the days of the Bible. I’m so thankful for our studies and all you SRT ladies.

  32. Michelle Patire says:

    Oh @Sue Dalos, I am so glad you were aware of it. I pray the Lord brings conviction to the one who stole this from you!!! I did miss your comment somehow :(

    I also missed @Cee Gee’s comment about the pain/illness she is dealing with. Praying God continues to bring healing where you are hurting and helps you recover. ❤️

    God bless, Shes.

  33. Michelle Patire says:

    2 Corinthians 6***

  34. SUE DALOS says:

    @ MICHELLE PATIRE Thank you for reaching out to me. You are correct the IG account has been hacked. I posted about it on here in the comments on Day 16 but it was late in the day, as I have no other way of contacting the ones that followed me or that I followed on IG. Please block the account as I will delete it if I can ever get it recovered.
    Also included are:
    @ MOLLY R
    @ RHONDA j
    @ MARTHA HIX
    @ HEIDI
    Always stay aware of false teachings and the devil looking for ways to fool us.

  35. Michelle Patire says:

    Today, I am meditating more on the words we read in 1 Corinthians 6. I think of John 16:8 – “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement.”

    Have you ever walked into a room where people were gossiping or acting selfish, then all the sudden they notice you’re watching them and they straighten up and act more proper?
    I’ve noticed that even happens sometimes with people who don’t know me, complete strangers.
    It’s not because of me, but He who is inside me, convicting them of sin with just His presence alone.
    1 Corinthians 6:16 NKJV- “And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them…'”

    We might be seeing such evil in the world today, but God is still bringing conviction to the world. Just sit and recall the ways you have been convicted and brought to repentance. I know I am constantly having to check my heart and observe my sinfulness. God can not let sin continue (1 John 3:6) – He has mercy and allows it for a time, but He is just and must bring judgement. Thank God for His mercy … But also equally, thank God for His judgement!

    Lord, forgive us our secret faults and disregard to Your Holiness … I am not without sin. Please keep us near to You and desire You above selfish things. Thank you for Your love and grace, without it, we are helpless.

    Just some thoughts this morning. This story is hard, but we must remember that the Lord can/will not let this evil continue forever. He is HOLY and is RIGHTEOUSNESS.

  36. Rachel S says:

    Oh how long the depths of evil and sin have tormented the world, through all history. We are wrong to assume our world is worse off in modern times, we are just plugged in 24/7 to it. A huge reminder why God cannot be near to sin and why he aches for us over it’s destructive path. It can be so easy to ask the age old question “Why does God allow this to continue?” But zooming out full screen it becomes plain sight that sinful ways welcome it all in. I’m grateful that our hearts are uniquely loved by Christ, that He paid for it all, oh how it must’ve felt. The biggest ache for Him, being apart from God for even a moment. Love and Hope to you all, Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus!

  37. Carol Rimmer says:

    Amen!

  38. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    Judges 19 is one of those chapters in the Bible that you wish wasn’t there and that you could skip right over it and get to the good parts. Many times I’ve read through this book and every time I come to this chapter I am still disgusted and baffled as to why it’s there. What is the point??

    I went to Enduring Word commentary and one of the writings said this:
    “What unfolds in the rest of this chapter is so distasteful that the commentator F.B. Meyer recommended not reading it. Commenting on this first verse, he wrote: “It will be sufficient to ponder these words, (there was no king in Israel) which occur four times in the book, without reading further in this terrible chapter, which shows the depths of the depravity to which may sink apart from the grace of God.”

    But, it is there. God included it. It shows us just how sinful and depraved man is and how much we need a Savior and King. What happens to this concubine is horrific, unconscionable and so beyond our imagination. Without Christ we are all lost and without hope. But for the grace of God, there go I.

    There is a beautiful song by Charity Gayle that says it all so beautifully –
    “I was a wretch
    I remember who I was
    I was lost, I was blind
    I was running out of time

    Sin separated
    The breach was far too wide
    But from the far side of the chasm
    You held me in your sight

    So You made a way
    Across the great divide
    Left behind Heaven’s throne
    To build it here inside

    And there at the cross
    You paid the debt I owed
    Broke my chains, freed my soul
    For the first time I had hope….” It is such a beautiful and powerful song, if you get a chance have a listen.

    Ending on a positive note -“But praise God: the Lord is in Zion. Praise God: there is a King…We have hope. We have Jesus.” ❤️❤️

    Remembering you all in prayer. Have a blessed Wednesday my dear SRT sisters!

  39. Jaclyn says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I live in Ohio and felt the same way when reading today’s devotional. We did our part and now we have to really put our faith in action by supporting pregnancy and foster care centers. The lies in our culture that scream “my rights” have never been more wrong. And I echo your prayer…Lord, have mercy!

  40. Adrienne says:

    Be lights in this dark world, sweet She’s! ⭐️

  41. Adrienne says:

    KRISTINE LOUGHMAN… I love your spoiler alert! I needed that after this dark read. It makes me sick to my stomach. That poor woman. Could you even imagine? I am grateful that Jesus delivers us from darkness.

    On another note… Leo’s grandma (and Leo continues to improve, by the way) has a son that drowned at the end of October. He is on life support, with no chance of recovery. Please pray peace for the family, as they will likely remove him from life support today. He has a 10-year old daughter. This has been a lot of yucky for this family.

  42. Laura says:

    The World often preaches that man is good. We should trust our feelings because they are good. We should do what feels right, because it is good. This chapter is a stark reminder that we are NOT good. Apart from God, left to our own thoughts and whims, we are as evil as it gets. The horrific things happening in our World today mirror the horrific things recorded in this passage. We must weep over evil and cling to what is good (which is God and only Him). Use me today, Lord, as an instrument of Your goodness as I mourn over the evil and wickedness of my own heart.

  43. Caroline B says:

    RIP unknown woman – she deserved better.

  44. Aimee D says:

    Oh Father when I read the atrocities in history of Your Word I can be judgmental. First, forgive me for that as a sinner saved only by by Your Grace. Thank You for giving freely Your only son to save us all. In Jesus name, Amen

  45. Brenda says:

    Wow, today’s scripture reading was a lot. A very real reminder of the need for Jesus in a world that does terrible things when left to our own devices. Before the study began, SRT had said Judges was a book best read in community and now I see why. I think without the helpful comments of you ladies, the daily devotions and the podcast it would be so easy to just focus on the terrible things that happened in this book and that are still continuing to happen in our world. But it also points us to Jesus. Amen.

  46. Searching says:

    The evil done by mankind when they have turned their backs to God – then and now – Lord be with us, guide us, give us wisdom, protect us, comfort us, strengthen us. Thankful for the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

    CEE GEE – such a nugget of truth yesterday! God will never leave us! ❤️ praying for continued healing

    MERCY – yes, we all have a choice as to who we serve Joshua 24:15. May we all be good stewards.

    RAE-ANN – I had never heard the phrase you mentioned yesterday – a long obedience in the same direction. Thank you for sharing that. A good plumb line to think about as I make choices and decisions- in what direction do they each point me??

    KELLY (NEO) ❤️

  47. Kristine Loughman says:

    I am grateful that the devotional closed today on a hopeful note because, wow. Today’s scripture reading was bleak. But a good reminder of the broken world we live in. I wanted justice through a flaming sword, but sometimes the story ends and there is no Justice. No redemption. (Spoiler alert: King Jesus is coming.) The other random thought I had after reading was that women in those historical times had it the worst! What a hard road we’ve walked on our way to freedom and agency.

  48. Kelly (NEO) says:

    The blatant disregard for the worth of the women shows the depth of the depravity of these Benjaminites. Such a horrific account of out of control lusts of the flesh.

    As this day dawns here in Ohio, my heart breaks that out of nearly 8 million registered voters, only 3.8 million voted on an unjust constitutional amendment. Where were the rest? The complacency to the value of humans is growing. Sorry for the rant, I’m just mourning.

    Lord have mercy on us. Show me how to be a light in this ever-darkening culture. :'(

  49. Karen Roper says:

    Amen