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When religious restraints are removed we find the moral conditions of a country going down. This fact just shows the basic wickedness of man when he is apart from God. Here we find a religious leader of Israel whose life should have been a shining example of purity taking to himself a concubine (v. 1). In ancient Israel, a concubine was a wife of low estate and a practice that was never divinely approved. He allowed his lust to exceed his loyalty to God! Soon his concubine became angry with him and she ran home to her father who lived in Bethlehem of Judah (v. 2). Four months later wanting to persuade her to return he traveled to Judah where he stayed with her father several days feasting and drinking (v. 3).
He was gladly welcomed by her father who apparently was seeking to establish good treatment of his daughter in the future (v. 4). A three day visit would have been normal but when the Levite attempted to return home on the fourth day the father insisted that he stay an extra two days (vv. 5-9 In fact he wanted him to stay another night but in the middle of the afternoon of the fifth day the Levite decided he could stay no longer. He took his servant, his two donkeys and his concubine and traveled north to Jerusalem (v. 10).
What religious restraints can I think of that have been removed from our society today and what are some of the results? For example Bible reading and prayer in the public schools. Discuss this with my family the seriousness of removing Godly principles from our lives.
In those days, when there was no king in Israel, a certain Levite was sojourning in the remote parts of the hill country of Ephraim, who took to himself a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. And his concubine was unfaithful to him, and she went away from him to her father's house at Bethlehem in Judah, and was there some four months. Then her husband arose and went after her, to speak kindly to her and bring her back. He had with him his servant and a couple of donkeys. And she brought him into her father's house. And when the girl's father saw him, he came with joy to meet him. And his father-in-law, the girl's father, made him stay, and he remained with him three days. So they ate and drank and spent the night there. And on the fourth day they arose early in the morning, and he prepared to go, but the girl's father said to his son-in-law, "Strengthen your heart with a morsel of bread, and after that you may go." So the two of them sat and ate and drank together. And the girl's father said to the man, "Be pleased to spend the night, and let your heart be merry." And when the man rose up to go, his father-in-law pressed him, till he spent the night there again. And on the fifth day he arose early in the morning to depart. And the girl's father said, "Strengthen your heart and wait until the day declines." So they ate, both of them. And when the man and his concubine and his servant rose up to depart, his father-in-law, the girl's father, said to him, "Behold, now the day has waned toward evening. Please, spend the night. Behold, the day draws to its close. Lodge here and let your heart be merry, and tomorrow you shall arise early in the morning for your journey, and go home." But the man would not spend the night. He rose up and departed and arrived opposite Jebus (that is, Jerusalem). He had with him a couple of saddled donkeys, and his concubine was with him.
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Judges 16:1-3Three Lovers Among Avowed Enemies
Judges 16:4-22Delilah Leads Samson to his Doom
Judges 16:23-31The Death of Samson
Judges 17:1-6Micah Makes a Pagan Shrine
Judges 17:7-13Guided by convenience rather than conviction
Judges 18:1-11The Danites Search for New Territory
Judges 18:12-31The Danites Seize Laish
Judges 19:1-10The Desertion of the Levite Concubine
Judges 19:11-21Full Hospitality for Weary Travelers
Judges 19:22-30The Results of Sexual Perversion
Judges 20:1-11Judgment Must be Rendered
Judges 20:12-23God’s Law Commanded Death
Judges 20:24-35The Horrors of a Civil War
Judges 20:36-48Tricked into Surrender
Judges 21:1-12The Remorse of the Israelites
Judges 21:13-25The Ruthless Mind of Man