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March 3, 2023 - Judges 18-21

On the heels of the Samson stories is the story of Micah and the Levite, who stole the silver from his mother. When he restored the silver to her, she had some of it made into an idol. A shrine and entire religious complex was set up around the idol. In the meantime, the tribe of Dan was relocating, and discovering the idol and its priest, took the idol and its priest to the tribe’s new territory, setting up the idol to worship themselves. And then, the story of the Levite and his concubine. And then, the civil war against the tribe of Benjamin. And then . . . and then . . . and then . . .

It seems as if these messy and ugly stories about Israel just never end. Rightly, did the writer of the book of Judges conclude: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (23:25). Is there any hope for Israel? Any possibility that she will ever become a faithful and obedient people to God? Which will win out in the end, Israel’s stubbornness and sin or God’s grace? Well, we know the answer to that question, and how good to know that God’s grace is able to overcome sin in the life of Israel and in our own lives!

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,

Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!

Yonder on Calvary’s mount out-poured–

There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,

Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;

Grace, grace, God’s grace,

Grace that is greater than all our sin! --Julia H. Johnston (1910)

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