Judges 21 … Consider Him, the Sovereign One

I bumped into confusion this morning. So much in this chapter seemed contradictory.

This confusion collision came with the following:

And the people were sorry for Benjamin because the Lord had made a breach in the tribes of Israel. [21:15]

The Hebrew word translated breach is defined in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: 6556. פֶּרֶץ pereṣ: A masculine noun indicating a gap, a break. It refers to a rupture, a tear, a breaking up or shattering of something …It is used figuratively of separation created between persons or groups (Judg. 21:15).

The LORD had done this? Made the breach, the gap, the break? Wasn’t this breach the result of rebellion and wickedness? And as I pondered these questions, an undeniable truth surfaced. He is Sovereign, and because I cannot explain His Sovereignty as it relates to the free will of man, does not make it any less true. He is Sovereign; He alone is the Sovereign One.

Consider Him, the Sovereign One

The Sovereignty of God is the biblical teaching that all things are under God’s rule and control, and that nothing happens without His direction or permission. God works not just some things but all things according to the counsel of His own will (see Eph. 1:11). His purposes are all-inclusive and never thwarted (see Isa. 46:11); nothing takes Him by surprise. The sovereignty of God is not merely that God has the power and right to govern all things, but that He does so, always and without exception. In other words, God is not merely sovereign de jure (in principle), but sovereign de facto (in practice). From http://www.theopedia.com

  • Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass.
    I have planned it, surely I will do it.[Isaiah 46:11]
  • …according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, [Ephesians 1:11]
  • And though the tragedy and near destruction of the tribe of Benjamin was a result of heinous acts which ushered in the breach of civil war, He is the Sovereign One.
    • So the people came to Bethel and sat there before God until evening, and lifted up their voices and wept bitterly. They said, “Why, O Lord, God of Israel, has this come about in Israel, so that one tribe should be missing today in Israel?” [21:2-3]
  • And though the sons of Israel found themselves backed into a corner and then finagled to ensure the preservation of the tribe of Benjamin, He is the Sovereign One.
    • Then the elders of the congregation said, “What shall we do for wives for those who are left, since the women are destroyed out of Benjamin?” 17 They said, “There must be an inheritance for the survivors of Benjamin, so that a tribe will not be blotted out from Israel. 18 But we cannot give them wives of our daughters.” For the sons of Israel had sworn, saying, “Cursed is he who gives a wife to Benjamin.”… “Go and lie in wait in the vineyards, 21 and watch; and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to take part in the dances, then you shall come out of the vineyards and each of you shall catch his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. 22 It shall come about, when their fathers or their brothers come to complain to us, that we shall say to them, ‘Give them to us voluntarily, because we did not take for each man of Benjamin a wife in battle, nor did you give them to them, else you would now be guilty.’” [21:16-18, 20-22]
  • And though there was no king, and though no one was following His law, He is the Sovereign One.
    • In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. [21:25]

How do we respond to Him, the Sovereign One?

Sadly, this closing statement in the book of Judges is an accurate, yet demoralizing summary of this period in the nation’s history. And sadly, it is not a stretch to say our own nation seems to be following this path: the path of relativism; the path of following your own set of rules; the path of whatever is right to man is the right way, unless of course, the way is Jesus.

However, Jesus is the only Way.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” [John 14:6]

And He goes against the tide.

 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” [John 15:18-19]

When we bump into confusion, we must refuse to wallow in doubt and discouragement, which will surely lead to despair. Instead, we must commit to hold on to Him, the Sovereign One.

  • We must hold on and not lose hope; He is the Sovereign One.
    • Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; [Hebrews 10:23]
  • We must hold on and not lose heart; He is the Sovereign One.
    • Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. [2 Corinthians 4:16-18]
  • We must hold on and not lose faith; He is the Sovereign One.
    • Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. 37 For yet in a very little while,
      He who is coming will come, and will not delay.
      38 But My righteous one shall live by faith;
      And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
      [Hebrews 10:35-39]

When we bump into confusion, we can hold on to Him because we know He is Sovereign and nothing happens without His permission or direction. We must believe His Word and trust His will and work in our lives and in the world; for He Who promised is the faithful Sovereign One.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. [1 Thessalonians 5:23-24]

Let’s Grow Together!

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