Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on David’s Tent, a ministry of Israeli believers Avner and Rachel Boskey. The Boskey’s have ministered at Tabernacle of David, and we consider them trustworthy and Biblically sound.
A horrifying story in the Book of Judges chapters 19-20 has application to recent events on planet earth – the October 7, 2023 terrorist massacre from Gaza.
Judges 19-20 describes a Levite from the tribal allotment of Ephraim whose concubine (originally from Bethlehem) was brutally raped and murdered in Gibeah of Benjamin. There are striking parallels in this story to the attempted rape of the two angels and Lot in Sodom (Genesis 19).
The bestial violence of the rape-murder of this one Jewish woman shocked all of Israel, who declared, “Nothing like this has ever happened or been seen form the day when the sons of Israel came up from the land of Egypt to this day!” (Judges 19:30).
Shielding the murderers
The entire army of the Jewish people (400,000 strong) was mustered to deal decisively with the evildoers. The sentence was death.
- Then the tribes of Israel sent men through the entire tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What is this wickedness that has taken place among you? Now then, turn over the men, the worthless men who are in Gibeah, so that we may put them to death and remove this wickedness from Israel.” But the sons of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the sons of Israel. Instead, the sons of Benjamin gathered from the cities to Gibeah, to go out to battle against the sons of Israel (Judges 20:12-14)
The leaders of Israel inquired of God, “Who shall go up first for us to battle against the sons of Benjamin?” The YHVH said, “Judah shall go up first” (Judges 20:18). The battle was severe, and many soldiers from the eleven tribes were killed fighting Benjamin. On the third day of combat, Israelite special forces laid an ambush and were able to crush Benjamin in battle. “And YHVH struck Benjamin before Israel, so that the sons of Israel destroyed 25,100 men of Benjamin that day, all who drew the sword . . . The men of Israel then turned back against the sons of Benjamin and struck them with the edge of the sword, both the ntire city with the cattle and all that they found. They also set on fire all the cities which they found” (Judges 20:35, 48).
There are some very sobering principles here:
- The God of Israel and the nation of Israel viewed the rape and murder of one Jewish woman as a crime worthy of death
- The God of Israel and the nation of Israel considered that Benjamin’s shielding of the criminals made that whole tribe worthy of death
- The God of Israel led the nation of Israel into battle, to bring destruction to entire cities and to all the possessions of the tribe of Benjamin
The armies of Israel treated the tribe of Benjamin in the same way that God treated the whole world in the Days of Noah; in the same way as God treated Sodom and Gomorrah in the time of Abraham; in the same way as God treated Jericho in the days of Joshua.
- These biblical principles have great relevance to the current situation with Hamas and Gaza, where terrorist jihadis carried out a mass slaughter of whole families (on kibbutzim) and of teenagers and young adults (at a music festival); where Hamas tortured parents to death in front of their children; where they carried out mass rapes of Israelis of all ages and then murdered their victims; where they dismembered, decapitated, tortured and slaughtered babies and young children in their own homes and kindergartens – often burning them alive. And these horrendous events were filmed on GoPro cameras attached to Hamas helmets, and beamed live to the world in real time on social media.
The Scriptures give us perspectives and principles as to how to respond to these atrocities.
Standing with Hamas has a cost
There are marches happening across the globe where participants are cheering Hamas on, calling for genocide against the Jewish people and for the destruction of the Jewish state. Anti-Semitic attacks have increased beyond belief over the past month. Today at 13:00 a 30-year-old Jewish woman in Lyon, France was stabbed repeatedly in her stomach at the door of her apartment, and a large black swastika was spray-painted on her door.
Those who stand with Hamas, who carry out the deeds of Hamas and refuse to condemn Hamas, will face the same divine judgment as Hamas will face. Judges 19-20 explains those biblical principles with painstaking clarity, Psalm 83:1-18 sums up YHVH’s thought and heart toward these enemies of God and of the Jewish people:
- My God, make them like the whirling dust, like chaff before the wind. Like fire that burns the forest and like a flame that sets the mountains on fire, so pursue them with Your heavy gale and terrify them with Your storm. Fill their faces with dishonor, so that they will seek Your name, YHVH! May they be ashamed and dismayed forever, and may they be humiliated and perish, so that they will know that You alone, whose name is YHVH, are Most High over all the earth!
How should we then pray?
As IDF tanks are rolling in Gaza, here are some bullet points to be praying about:
- Pray for victory for the IDF as they dismantle Hamas HQs, tunnels, mines, commando teams wherever they are located – even beside mosques and schools or under major hospitals
- Pray for clarity of strategy, purpose and resolve for Israel to achieve the total and unconditional surrender of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and their total removal from Gaza
- Pray for Israel’s leaders to withstand international pressure so that Hamas can finally be removed from its cruel terror dictatorship in Gaza
- Pray for minimal loss of life on Israel’s side and for those Gazans who are truly innocent
- Pray for God’s strategies and leading regarding how to deal with Hezbollah, and for the God of Jacob to hold back regional war if possible, involving Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, Turkey, the Yemenite Houthis and other superpowers
- Pray for revelation and clarity to be imparted by the God of Israel to the world political and intelligence community who have not yet understood what jihad is all about and are fogged as to how to deal with it decisively
- Pray for the physical rescue of the at least 242 Israelis (including babies) kidnapped by Hamas
- Pray that the outstretched arm of YHVH will not return before it brings justice to God’s enemies
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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