Everyone who saw it said, “Such a horrible crime has not been committed in all the time since Israel left Egypt. Think about it! What are we going to do? Who’s going to speak up?”
What is the significance of this tragic story? When the Israelites’ faith in God disintegrated, their unity as a nation also disintegrated. When they abandoned God, they lost their purpose, and soon “all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Sexual perversion and lawlessness were by-products of Israel’s disobedience to God. When they stopped letting God lead them, they became no better than the evil people around them.
Whenever we get away from God and his Word, all sorts of evil can follow. Our drifting away from God may be slow and almost imperceptible, with the ultimate results affecting a future generation. When you leave God out of your life, you may be shocked at what you are capable of doing (Judges 19:30). We must continually return to God and work toward the establishment of God’s moral and spiritual reign in each of our hearts.
Have you noticed your heart and thoughts wandering away from God lately? Or have you recognized sin in your life that you never gave a thought to a few years ago? Spend time opening up these places to God and talking with him about them. Find others you can talk with also. As you do, ask God to make apparent the small adjustments that you need to make to keep a good course close to him.