What does it say? After the wicked men of Gibeah abused and killed a runaway concubine, her husband sent pieces of her body to every area of Israel.
What does it mean? The shocking events throughout this account show the degradation that takes place when there is no moral standard or central authority to hold people accountable. God seems completely absent from the entire scenario. No one called on Him; neither did He speak or act. Without actively seeking God, His chosen people were subject to the whim of their lusts, demonstrating human depravity at its worst. Normal behavior for the children of God had become as vile and corrupt as Sodom within a generation or two of Joshua. The Levite’s actions upon returning home started a chain of events that continue to unfold in the remaining chapters of Judges.
How should I respond? Reading this passage would make most feel sick to their stomachs. Yet, our society embraces the same rejection of God that led to such depravity and devaluing of human life. Without recognition of God’s laws to guide thoughts and mold the conscience, priorities become twisted. What have you allowed to mold your conscience? Do you recognize God’s Word as the final authority for your life? The moral and ethical values in Scripture are the keys to maintaining standards of decency, both in society and in the human heart. Will you determine to actively seek God each and every day?