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Daily Reading: Judges 21

Scripture Focus: And they said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, why has this happened in Israel, that today there should be one tribe lacking in Israel?” (Judges 21.3)

Devotional Thought: Whew! We are finally reaching the conclusion of Judges. It's not that this book is bad. It's just that it is depressing to see how bad things can get when people choose to ignore the commands of God. I'm glad that God gave us Judges. I just wish we didn't need it! As I mentioned yesterday, this chapter doesn't get any better. The people of God are solving their problems their way instead of God's way. When we do that, people get hurt. People get lost. People turn ugly.

Ugly. That's a good word to describe these closing chapters of Judges. The people lapse into sin, and sin is ugly.

The incident in Judges 21, shows that sin is ugly in its...

· Inception. This whole ugly scenario never needed to happen. It goes back to the ugliness of what happened in Gibeah, when the man gave up his concubine to be raped and murdered to a horde of degenerates. Sin starts out in ugliness.

· Impact. The sin at Gibeah did not stop there. Eventually, it worked its way all through society, touching everything and everybody with its ugliness.

· Irresponsibility. There is something particularly ugly about the failure to assume responsibility and take blame. What is the mantra? "Admit nothing, deny everything, demand proof, and make counter accusations."

· Increase. Multiplied among the people of God, it becomes uglier. There's a saying that catches that ugliness, too: "Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay."

In those days, there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. We need to make Jesus King!

Prayer: Lord, please give me the wisdom and humility to acknowledge my sin, admit my mistakes and assume my responsibility. I trust in Jesus. He is my King!

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 58.9-11

9 Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns, whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!

10 The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked. 11 Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth.”

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