Judges 21:16-25

16 Then the elders of the congregation said, “What shall we do for wives for those who are left, since the women are destroyed out of Benjamin?” 17 They said, “There must be an inheritance for the survivors of Benjamin, so that a tribe will not be blotted out from Israel. 18 But we cannot give them wives of our daughters.” For the sons of Israel had sworn, saying, “Cursed is he who gives a wife to Benjamin.”

19 So they said, “Behold, there is a feast of the Lord from year to year in Shiloh, which is on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south side of Lebonah.” 20 And they commanded the sons of Benjamin, saying, “Go and lie in wait in the vineyards, 21 and watch; and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to [h]take part in the dances, then you shall come out of the vineyards and each of you shall catch his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. 22 It shall come about, when their fathers or their brothers come to complain to us, that we shall say to them, ‘Give them to us voluntarily, because we did not take for each man of Benjamin [i]a wife in battle, [j]nor did you give them to them, else you would now be guilty.’” 23 The sons of Benjamin did so, and took wives according to their number from those who danced, whom they carried away. And they went and returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the cities and lived in them. 24 The sons of Israel departed from there at that time, every man to his tribe and family, and each one of them went out from there to his inheritance.

25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

In this last act of “provision” for their brothers, they had to take a bit of a chance. There was no guarantee they would find wives, and even if they did, the men of Shiloh might have raised arms and pursued the sons of Benjamin.

But they trusted in the goodness of the men of Shiloh, who still held a feast every year for the Lord. Somewhere in each of us, though we often forget it is there, is the goodness of God. Though our flesh may suppress it, hide it, and try to eliminate it. There is in each of us the original design of the Creator.

And when someone appeals to our conscience, to our common sense of what is right and proper, then we know what to do. Not that we always obey that sense of right that God put in our hearts, but it is there regardless.

When we do what is wrong, that is why there is no excuse. It is for this reason we are cannot claim ignorance in many sins, because in our heart we know better. And we know that we need someone to help us become who we were meant to be.

Without God, the men of Shiloh would have been no better than their brothers, doing what was right in their own eyes. Instead, they chose to listen to the voice He had placed in them, and they chose to allow the men of Benjamin to “steal” their daughters away to have as wives.

When you really seek what is right and true, you will find Him. Above and in all, you will find the God who made you who you were meant to be. Choose Him, follow Him, and let Him show you what He created in you.

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