Women Of Judges

Issue 16  // 

It’s so unsettling living as a woman in my country. The tribe of Benjamin has been nearly destroyed as punishment for defending a group of Benjamites who raped and killed the concubine of a brother from the tribe of Levi. He had been travelling with her from Bethlehem to his home in Ephraim (Judges 19). And now, the leaders of Israel’s twelve tribes are taking pity on the surviving Benjamites. “With the women of Benjamin destroyed, how shall we provide wives for the men who are left?” they say, even after giving them 400 young women from a town wiped out for not joining the civil war. I hear that they plan to allow the Benjamites to kidnap us young women as wives (Judges 21:16-23)!

What will become of us? I remember my father telling me stories of when our people came out of Egypt, walked the wilderness and came to Canaan. We feared God and obeyed His commands to drive the inhabitants out from this land that was first promised to our Father Abraham. Women would have been well-treated then. Look at Achsah, daughter of the great warrior Caleb (Judges 1:12-15). Caleb promised his daughter to the man who would obey God and capture a city. He even granted her bold request for precious gifts of water sources.

But because of our people’s self-centredness and disobedience, many have turned to worshipping idols and doing whatever they think is best for themselves! Our leaders’ failure to fear God and obey Him has greatly affected our entire nation, and since we women rely on the men for security, we are especially vulnerable. What will become of us?

WHAT WILL BECOME OF US?

Remember that Levite man? Rumour has it that he sent his concubine to be raped in his place! When the Benjamites came for him, he pushed her out and did not attempt to save her (Judges 19:25-28).

Our God cares for the weak and lifts up the needy. It is all written there in His laws (Exodus 23). But just look at how the leaders are now making use of us women after deciding to decimate Benjamin! Are we not also made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and so deserve the same dignity as men?

ARE WE NOT ALSO MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD AND SO DESERVE THE SAME DIGNITY AS MEN?

Whenever our nation of Israel cried out to God, He showed His faithfulness by raising a deliverer who would save us from our enemies and bring peace to our land. Sadly, apart from Joshua, Caleb, Othniel and Deborah, many of these deliverers have not been obedient leaders. They did not worship God and God alone, leading our nation into further decline.

So who is our latest deliverer, you ask? There is no one. Samson was the last, and he too was disobedient. He considered his supernatural strength his own, fell into the charms of foreign women, and died with the enemy (Judges 13-16).

What is to become of us now? So what if we have the Promised Land? Everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes, and not God’s! Perhaps this is why God has not given us peace in the land after all these years. And us women … I shudder to think of what is to come.

Oh Lord, have mercy on us! Turn Israel’s eyes back to You, that we might fulfil Your will for us in this place!

Benita Lim
Benita recently moved to LA to further her theological education, and is constantly amazed and humbled by how much love and grace God continues to show to this world — and herself.

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