Is your love on trial
In this text, from Judges Chapter 19, we see a man, and a nation undeniable caught up with the Kingdom of Self, rather than having their hearts anchored in the word of God. This was the beginning of a conflict that ended up costing many lives.
It has been said by the ancients, that most wars had their beginnings as a result of a “family squabble” of which the Palestinian, Israeli and Lebanese conflicts bear noteworthy proof.
And so here in 1Samuel we have the beginnings of disagreement between two nations because of what initially began in the home as a conflict between a man of God, a Levite, and his concubine. According to the King James Version, she had played the whore against him then left him stranded. The text implies that at the time of the disagreement she had opposed coming to an agreeable resolve and so she departed and journeyed to her father’s house.
Thus it appears that the Levite, unable to come to grips with himself and wearied by the separation, after four months had passed, went to her father’s house to retrieve his concubine.
Notice that in verse one, she is called a whore and a concubine but in verse 3 the text calls him “her husband”. Therefore we are to imply that there was a heated exchange between the couple and the concubine fearing the loss of her life quickly removed herself from the altercation of which she was apparently blameworthy.
The text says that, after four months, he also rose up and went to her father’s house because he wanted “to speak friendly unto her”. In other words, he wanted to appear passionate and apologetic by bringing her some flowers and some cheap candy,hoping that she may return and continue to be his concubine; not to be treated as a wife but as one to satisfy his sexual appetite. Therefore, he had his servants saddle a couple of asses to fetch her.
This Levite, it would appear, desired to have a “love slave”, indicative of some men today who could care less about the needs and the ambition of their wives. But just maybe, if he as the man in her life, paid attention to her needs, then the concubine may not have played the whore. But maybe the concubine needed a "pat on the head"; she needed for her soul mate to shower her with kindness, with genuine covenant affection instead of handling her as a whore that’s not being paid for her services.
Allow me to say that I am not condoning illicit sexual behaivor, it is very wrong. But for those women who participate in such a lifesyle, until you are redeem, let the john's pay through their noses; take them to the bank. This I say to the unredeemed women who practice this lifestyle, "If the "dogs" want to lay and play, then let them pay! And remember to ask for a tip.
Women, don't ever let a man brag to his friends that he got you coming and going and that if he put your brains in a blackbird it would fly backwards. And even-though that may be true, make sure you are flying backwards with all his spoils; his house, his cars and all his money!
Until men all over this nation learn to threat women with respect and dignity; as a mother's child, a father's baby that is loved, as one who is a functioning member of society having dreams and goals of her own, then this nation will never come to the horizons which the signers of the Declaration of Independence had imagined.
Now, in a relationship between a man and a woman, God instructs the man to love his wife and the woman to respect her husband. True love is the unconditional love which a man has for his wife, which holds the relationship together. True love never ask, "What is it that my wife is able to do for me but rather, what is it that I can do for my wife?
In a relationship, love is the principal thing. That means, the one that’s been given the capacity to give love, has been given the power and the authority as a giver and therefore the wife as a receiver. If there is any other resolve, then you have missed the train and your relationship will be a difficult one.
In Genesis 2:24 it reads, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”.
Now that charge which keeps you one flesh is the principal thing,which is love. It is not your "edumacation" (education), your money or your goals, but love.
1Cor.13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Charity is the Greek word, “agape” which means love that means also affection or benevolence. It’s the unconditional love of God which every believer should possess.
So, typically, our Lord God is not in love with us because of what we can do for him but because of what He desires to do for us and so should the "Adam be to "Eve"..
Husbands should love their wives not because of “what’s in it for them”; that's a depraved mindset, But it should be that I desire to stir up your faith and your hope and to love you exceeding abundantly above all that you may ask or think, according to the power of God that works within me.
When you begin to love like that then God will allow you to settle every disturbing thought that man, the satanic realm or self attempts to throw at your relationship.
The problemmight be that maybe the men in the life of today's woman is not hooked up to the right power source and maybe these women are sellng themselves short to men who sees them merely as an exotic contribution to mankind. Then my sister, you are indeed in great trouble.
But I believe that right now, it’s at the point in society that when a man speaks of spousal engagement with any woman that it is within her rights to ask him,
“Do you love me enough to work towards leaving me and the children we shall have an inheritance? In other words, what’s in it for me?
Do you have a vision for us and not just you?
Do you love me enough to marry me rather than keeping as a concubine or “tur-bine”.
Listen women, don't be afraid to sit your "Jimmy Mac" down and ask where is this relationship going? Find out now and save you the pain of having to file for divorce settlements later after you have lived through all his girl friends, his mother-in-law and O my God, some times his boyfriends. That is why you must ask before the relationship goes any further, "Do you love men more than you love me or am I in for a surprise? Ask them, "Did you ever play with dolls?
The story continues as the Levite, the man of God, arrives at the father’s house where the concubine had traveled for recluse. Women, some times regardless of how much you try to evade a bad experience some how it finds your location. Sometimes women have traveled great distances to avoid abusive mates; to shelter’s with no names, to safe houses; but trouble still finds you.
When a man of a controlling temperament and a strong spirit of lust decide to seek you out, then only God can give you wisdom as to the best alternatives for a divine hiding place.
When he arrived at the father’s house, he played upon her father, who apparently had not spoken to his daughter in dept about her mysterious transition to his house. He may not have known the dept of the disagreement between the couple. The man of God spoke friendly to his concubine to gain her confidence so as to retrieve her into his realm to be a servant to his flesh.
Evidently, she was quickly convinced and made preparations to return with him except for the father who continued to request that the Levite remained for extra day. But in the man of God's judgment staying longer with the dad was not necessary because he had concluded the business at hand, but he obliged the father.
Just as we place a demand on the anointing, women aught to place a demand on the men that’s seeking their intimate friendship, and say, ‘business first, puppy love later! Another thing about this relationship is that the concubine or "wife" did not tell her father of their disagreement which if he had known he may have imparted some wisdom which would save the life of this woman from the death that loomed over her head.
Finally, on the fifth day the man of God took his leave with his concubine. Little did the father know that this would be the last time he would see his daughter alive. It may have been divine that he requested that they stayed the extra days permitting them one last moment together.
The story goes on, and how that after they had left the father's house to return to the man of God home, that night was quickly drawing and so they sought shelter and an old man came to their rescue and sheltered them for the night.
The Love Challenge
The love Challenge
Life will always bring an occasion to show us that our love is not where it should be, that we have certainly not walked in the depth of God and that we are ignorantly and pridefully wearing a mask of condemnation.
The man of God met with a challenge on the sixth day, the day of man and beast, and had a confrontation with something that can never glorify God and in the text it goes by the name of men of Belial. This occasion was meant to show him that he was lacking and was no more than what was beastly.
Sometimes we hide our beastly attitudes under money, tradition and man's reputation that has been handed to us. We have no character but have allowed the legalism to pave a way for us only to one day run into God. What do we do when we have a divine collision? What do we do when God says, "I have taken enough of your hypocrisy!
Belial is a compound word bal, not and yaal, profit; good for nothing or profit for nothing.
a) These were sodomites
b) They comprised a beastly attitude and devil inspired nature in man.
Example of them in Sodom demanding that Lot send out the angels that they could know them. Genesis 19:22
The love we have for eachother will be often challenged and so many of us have walked away as failures to our challenges. In this case the challenge was to face up to sons of Belial who were calling for him to be the entertainment of their sexual escapades but he retreated and forced his concubine out into the darkness, so that the thing that she had played against him at first, in the end was fatal. And he was shown to be unwilling to love her unconditionally. Yet he would not repent and laid claim to the letter of the law. He laid the blame on the sons of belial not knowing that he was no better.
Is your love on trial?
- The man of God pushed her out into the world because he wanted to; save his reputation
- He had determined that there were certain things he would not do – that his life was too precious to risk sacrificing on her behalf.
- He rather save himself and let someone else do the dirty work.
- He love was conformed (outside) but not transformed (inside).
- His cowardly action cost her life to be taken (spiritually or physically)