The Israelites went up to Bethel and inquired of God. They said, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Benjamites?” The Lord replied, “Judah shall go first.” (Judges 20:18)
At first glance, it’s uncomfortable to imagine that God encouraged Israel to fight against the Benjamites – one of the nation’s own tribes of people. What could possibly have been worthy grounds for a civil war? The answer: grotesque sin and an unwillingness to root it out. The horrific raping and murder of a man’s concubine in prior chapters took place by people of that tribe, and the tribe as a whole was unwilling to deal with the situation.
When the other tribes decided to rise up against the Benjamites, God’s blessing was on their efforts because they were dealing with the sin in their midst. God’s desire for His people is that there wouldn’t even be a hint of sin since He is a holy God and sin creates a barrier of separation between Him and the sinner.
Have you taken the time to root sin out of your life? God wants it gone for your own good because He knows that it’s best for you. Take some time to ask the Lord for help in seeing sin that needs to be dealt with in your life.
Lord, as the Psalmist said, search me and see if there are any offensive ways in me. Help me to be willing to deal with sin in my life and to receive forgiveness through what Christ did on the cross. Let me seek to live in a way that is pleasing to You.