Judges 19-21: An Unhappy Ending

The closing chapters of Judges are some of the darkest in all of Scripture. A woman is ravaged and torn into pieces, Israel battles with the tribe of Benjamin, virgins are stolen as brides for the men of Benjamin, and tens of thousands of Israelites die fighting one another.

What do we do with a section of Scripture like this? How do we see Christ shine through this deep darkness? What are we to learn from this sort of evil?

The last line of the book gives us a clue. It says:

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

This is not just a description of the situation in Israel, it is foreshadowing. This assertion that there was no king in Israel points forward to a king that is to come. That king is David, the one who brings the nation of Israel back into the shadow of the wings of God. But with David comes the promise of another, greater King, One who will not only bring Israel back to God, but will call a people out of every nation and tribe and bring them back to their great Heavenly Father. This King is Jesus, the seed of David and the offspring of Abraham. He is the One to whom the whole Old Testament points. He is anticipated in every chapter and verse. He is the better King, the greater High Priest, and the more perfect and faithful Prophet.

Do not despair in passages like these, for hope is coming, and it is coming quickly.

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