But they wouldn't do it. The Benjaminites refused to listen to their brothers, the People of Israel. Instead they raised an army from all their cities and rallied at Gibeah to go to war against the People of Israel. Judges 20:13 (MSG)
In today's chapter, the fledgling nation of Israel sinks to new depths of chaos. Their moral compass left true north as they disobeyed God's number one command and mixed their religion with the idols of Canaan. As morals fell aside, authority fell to the tribes and leaders who wielded the most power. People did as they pleased. Now, the moral failings lead to civil war as the tribe of Benjamin defends the rapists among them and stands against their fellow tribes.
As I read today's chapter, I reminded that we must sometimes hit rock bottom before real change can take place. The downward spiral I'm witnessing in the pages of the book of Judges bring to mind the first of the Twelve Steps. Many who have raised their lives out of the ashes of the downward spiral of addiction began with the words "I admitted I was powerless over my addticion. My life had become unmanageable." God's message to all of us is that forgiveness, hope and redemption are available to each of us no matter how deep we find ourselves in the chaotic consequences of our actions.