April 4: Psalm 94; Judges 17-19

Song for Today: 
He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands
I Stand Amazed in the Presence

O Lord, God of vengeance,
God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O Judge of the earth,
Render recompense to the proud.
How long shall the wicked, O Lord,
How long shall the wicked exult?
They pour forth words, they speak arrogantly;
All who do wickedness vaunt themselves.
They crush Your people, O Lord,
And afflict Your heritage.
They slay the widow and the stranger
And murder the orphans.
They have said, “The Lord does not see,
Nor does the God of Jacob pay heed.”
Pay heed, you senseless among the people;
And when will you understand, stupid ones?
He who planted the ear, does He not hear?
He who formed the eye, does He not see?
He who chastens the nations, will He not rebuke,
Even He who teaches man knowledge?
The Lord knows the thoughts of man,
That they are a mere breath.
Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O Lord,
And whom You teach out of Your law;
That You may grant him relief from the days of adversity,
Until a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not abandon His people,
Nor will He forsake His inheritance.
For judgment will again be righteous,
And all the upright in heart will follow it.
•••
If the Lord had not been my help,
My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence.
If I should say, “My foot has slipped,”
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul.
•••
the Lord has been my stronghold,
And my God the rock of my refuge.
from Psalm 94

when he returned the silver to his mother, his mother took two hundred pieces of silver and gave them to the silversmith who made them into a graven image and a molten image, and they were in the house of Micah. And the man Micah had a shrine and he made an ephod and household idols and consecrated one of his sons, that he might become his priest. In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.
•••
there was a young man from Bethlehem in Judah, of the family of Judah, who was a Levite; and he was staying there. Then the man departed from the city, from Bethlehem in Judah, to stay wherever he might find a place; and as he made his journey, he came to the hill country of Ephraim to the house of Micah. Micah said to him, “Where do you come from?” And he said to him, “I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, and I am going to stay wherever I may find a place.” Micah then said to him, “Dwell with me and be a father and a priest to me, and I will give you ten pieces of silver a year, a suit of clothes, and your maintenance.” So the Levite went in. The Levite agreed to live with the man, and the young man became to him like one of his sons. So Micah consecrated the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in the house of Micah. Then Micah said, “Now I know that the Lord will prosper me, seeing I have a Levite as priest.”
from Judges 17

In those days there was no king of Israel; and in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking an inheritance for themselves to live in, for until that day an inheritance had not been allotted to them as a possession among the tribes of Israel. So the sons of Dan sent from their family five men out of their whole number, valiant men from Zorah and Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to search it;
•••
the priest stood by the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men armed with weapons of war. When these went into Micah’s house and took the graven image, the ephod and household idols and the molten image, the priest said to them, “What are you doing?” They said to him, “Be silent, put your hand over your mouth and come with us, and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be a priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?” The priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod and household idols and the graven image and went among the people.
•••
The sons of Dan set up for themselves the graven image; and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land. So they set up for themselves Micah’s graven image which he had made, all the time that the house of God was at Shiloh.
from Judges 18

The old man said, “Peace to you. Only let me take care of all your needs; however, do not spend the night in the open square.” So he took him into his house and gave the donkeys fodder, and they washed their feet and ate and drank.
While they were celebrating, behold, the men of the city, certain worthless fellows, surrounded the house, pounding the door; and they spoke to the owner of the house, the old man, saying, “Bring out the man who came into your house that we may have relations with him.” Then the man, the owner of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my fellows, please do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not commit this act of folly. Here is my virgin daughter and his concubine. Please let me bring them out that you may ravish them and do to them whatever you wish. But do not commit such an act of folly against this man.” But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine and brought her out to them; and they raped her and abused her all night until morning, then let her go at the approach of dawn. As the day began to dawn, the woman came and fell down at the doorway of the man’s house where her master was, until full daylight.
When her master arose in the morning and opened the doors of the house and went out to go on his way, then behold, his concubine was lying at the doorway of the house with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, “Get up and let us go,” but there was no answer. Then he placed her on the donkey; and the man arose and went to his home. When he entered his house, he took a knife and laid hold of his concubine and cut her in twelve pieces, limb by limb, and sent her throughout the territory of Israel. All who saw it said, “Nothing like this has ever happened or been seen from the day when the sons of Israel came up from the land of Egypt to this day. Consider it, take counsel and speak up!”
from Judges 19

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