Moral outrage – A righteous anger over sin that will drive a person or group of people to stand against that sin and stand for Godly convictions. There is not a lot of moral outrage in America anymore. The message of the day is tolerance. It doesn’t matter what a person’s lifestyle represents, they are to be tolerated. The world calls for the church to not only accept, but celebrate the lifestyle choices of people who choose homosexuality, pornography, adultery, violence, and other wicked acts.
The response in this story is pretty drastic, but it is a picture of God’s desire for His people. When the people of Israel heard about the story in the previous chapter, the realized that they could not allow this level of wickedness to remain. God would judge them as a nation if they didn’t do something about the sin. God’s desire was for His people to be holy, separate, and different. As a nation they came together to rid the country of this sin. Their first attempt was to ask the tribe of Benjamin to have the same convictions and deliver the wicked men for judgement. When the people of Benjamin refused, the response of the nation was to engage in a civil war, which God blessed. Eventually Israel destroyed most of the tribe of Benjamin.
This was a special situation. God’s people had just entered the promised land, and were new as a nation. If the sin and wickedness of the tribe of Benjamin was not dealt with, the cancer of this sin would eventually spread throughout all of Israel. Therefore, God’s response was to send judgement through the rest of the nation. At this time, God is not calling the church to rise up and start a civil war. But He is calling the church to have the same attitude about sin that He does.
God hates sin. He is holy and morally perfect. He will not allow sin in His presence, and will always judge sin. His desire is that His people will be broken hearted over their sin, and the sin of their culture. When His people feel the same way about sin as He does, God’s people can then stand against wickedness in His church and in society in a loving way.