The Worst Chapter in the Bible and Your Daily Newsfeed

by Nick Murray December 18, 2015

The Book of Judges is one of those books of the Old Testament where we are called to regularly pause and look in bewilderment at Israel. As we read, we cannot help but ask, "How did they get here? How did things get so bad so quickly?” But, like most of the stories about Israel, they are not just about Israel — they are about us. And as I have been reading Judges lately, I cannot help but notice that it has far too many parallels to our present day. In fact, reading Judges is not unlike reading my news feed in this present day — which is a condemning parallel, to say the least. We’re not just talking about guys killing lions here (though that is also a parallel), but about the blatant disregard for human life that is simultaneously strewn across the pages of Judges and the screens of our smartphones. 

Judges 19 is easily one of the worst chapters in the Bible. It starts with an unfaithful concubine, moves to a pretty weird interchange between a guy and his father-in-law, and then rapidly escalates to gang rape, men handing over their women to save themselves, and then the physical dismemberment of a woman who is then mailed out around Israel in 12 pieces. Really, it is an awful, awful story. And the point of it is to show how Israel, with no king and no order (Judges 19:1), did whatever they wanted. 

And then I look from Judges to my newsfeed, and I see videos of tiny human beings, who have been dismembered, who have been packaged up, sold, and utilized for research. I look to my newsfeed and see the celebration of sexual freedom, that lauds sex without cost or price — which is sex that disregards the true beauty and true purpose of such a gift. I look to my newsfeed and see the championing of women’s rights, that women might kill the very little women growing inside of them, so that they might maintain their freedom. And then I look back at Judges 19, and see the woman being destroyed. I see the sexual predators getting their way. And I see the bloody body parts passed around. And with an eye on Judges 19 and an eye on Twitter, the question is no longer, “How did we get here?” but, “How have we never even left here?”

"In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).

In our days, the seared conscience of selfishness is king in the land, and everyone legislates what is right in their own eyes. Who will deliver us from this legislative body of death? It will not be — indeed, it cannot be — an elected official. It must be the One who Himself does the electing of salvation. What we need is a King who can change our hearts, who can heal and straighten the broken desires of those want keep their unborn as just that: unborn. We need King Jesus to pour out His Spirit on this land so that there is no such desire for abortion. We need the God who not only forbids the sacrifice of children to Molech, but also considers it a thought that would never even enter into His mind (Jeremiah 32:25). We need Jesus. 

I look back to my newsfeed and see, “My body, my choice.” And then I look at the Judges 19, and see the coward of a man who said, “My concubine, my choice.” And then I look at John 19, where Jesus Christ, hanging on the cross makes the definitive statement: “My body, for your choices.” This is grace. Grace that abortion cannot tap out.