Anarchy Among the People of Israel

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Image of the symbol of Anarchy

Today’s Bible reading* can be summarized in the last verse from today’s reading: In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever seemed right to him. Judges 21:25 (CSB) In fact, this sentence is repeated frequently in the book of Judges. The first verse of today’s reading includes the first part of this sentence, possibly implying the second part. Without a centralized authority, the people lived in a state of anarchy.

An old man in Gibeah urged a traveling Levite to come to his house with his concubine and not spend the night in the town square. The two entered the old man’s house. Reminiscent of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, (Genesis 19) the wicked men of the city sought to have their way with the old man’s house guest. The wicked men demanded that the old man release the Levite to the mob so they could rape him. Instead, the old man offered his virgin daughter to the mob and they refused. The Levite’s concubine was released to the mob and they raped her all night long. She returned to the doorstep in the morning and died.

Anarchy turned to civil war among God’s people.

This is a horrible story that portrays how bad things were in Israel. Indeed, the people did what seemed right in their own eyes.


This story also tells the dangers of anarchism which leads to mob rule. No one wins in a situation like this. The people of Israel desperately need a ruler! We’ll learn more about this as Israel transitions from anarchy to rule by prophets and kings.

Regardless of how bad things may get in our government, anarchy isn’t the answer. Our Founders wisely provide a way to make changes if necessary, including the Article V Convention of States.

Let’s continue to pray for our government officials, as well as those who seek to violently protest and riot.

* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
Judges 19
Judges 20
Judges 21

This devotional was originally published on March 30, 2021.

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