«And when the men of Israel turned back, the men of Benjamin panicked, for they saw that disaster had come upon them» (Judges 20:41).
A woman who was unfaithful to her husband fled to her father’s house, but her husband decided to go get her. On the way back, the men in a city of Benjamin assaulted and abused her until she died. The husband cut her into 12 pieces and sent a piece to each tribe. They held a national assembly and decided to take revenge. The city refused to hand over the guilty men, and the other tribes attacked. After three days of battle and many deaths on both sides, the tribe of Benjamin was practically wiped out. How far moral depravation can take a nation when it wanders from God!
Could this civil war with more than 75,000 dead have been avoided? Perhaps. If the woman had not been unfaithful, if she hadn’t run away. If the man had listened to his father-in-law, he would have avoided his wife being assaulted. If the men of the city had had moral values, they would have respected the woman. If the husband hadn’t sent pieces of her body to every tribe, the Israelites would not have decided to take revenge. If the inhabitants of Gibeah had handed over the guilty men, there wouldn’t have been a war.
How much pain and death because of the disobedience of one person! Ignoring the word of God and following your own will results in total chaos. The innocent suffer and the vulnerable are ignored. Order and discipline are replaced by strife and anarchy.
«God’s all-seeing eye notes the defects of all and the ruling passion of each, yet He bears with our mistakes and pities our weakness. He bids His people cherish the same spirit of tenderness and forbearance. True Christians will not exult in exposing the faults and deficiencies of others. They will turn away from vileness and deformity, to fix the mind upon that which is attractive and lovely. To the Christian every act of fault finding, every word of censure or condemnation, is painful.”- Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, ch. 7, p. 95.00