How far will humanity fall if left to himself? Without Godly leadership, man’s wickedness will fall to depths that are unimaginable. This story is a classic example of the wickedness of man apart from God. The wicked men of this city begin with homosexuality, then move to rape, and eventually to murder. The story (in fact several stories) begins with the phrase, “There was no king in Israel.” The point that is being made is that the people do not have an authority over them except God, so there isn’t any “political party” to blame for the mess they are in. These stories are about God’s people, the Hebrews, whom God had chosen, made a covenant with, and given His Law. And all the while, God was faithful to them. He kept His promises, delivered them often, and was so patiently forgiving. Yet, these stories keep showing us that people left to themselves will always drift away from God, and move toward self-absorbed idolatry. It was one thing for the nations around them to live as if there is no God. But how sad it became when God’s people lived in this way.
We live in a culture that is drifting further and further away from the mores commanded in the Scripture. But the real tragedy is that the people of God, those who claim the name of Jesus don’t really have different values and attitudes from the world around. The truth be told, Christianity in our country looks a lot more like the book of Judges than we want to believe.
This story illustrates one of the great Biblical truths about people. The Bible teaches that people are totally depraved. This means that people are totally unable to please God on their own, and that if they are left to themselves, they will always choose his own wills and desires. The book of Isaiah says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” People will always choose sin, and if left to themselves, they will end up in the situation our society is in now.
The only answer to man’s depravity is God’s grace. God can and does make a difference in people’s life, and can deliver them from their sin. This is why God is so wonderful! He can take a life that is selfish, and separated from God and can change them forever.
The men of Gibeah had fallen to incredible depths of wickedness. They prove to us that man is hopeless apart from God. As you will see in the next chapter, they will experience judgement as a result of their sin. American society reflects the depth of wickedness in Gibeah. The good news is that those who trust in Christ can experience the grace of God and forgiveness from sin. Aren’t you thankful that God didn’t leave you in the state you were in before He saved you?