This period hits a climax with this story which finishes off the book of Judges over chapters 19-21.
The everyone-doing-what-is-right-in-their-own-eyes reaches new heights until everyone in Israel is astounded by the evil their own is capable of.
The story starts with a Levite taking a concubine. That’s not right. The concubine it seems commits adultery. That’s not right. No one shows them hospitality when they get to the Israelite town. That’s not right. Worthless men want to rape the Levite. That’s not right. The Levite forces his concubine to go out to them. That’s not right. The men abuse her all night and she dies. That’s not right.
The Levite sends a grotesque message to the people of Israel to tell them about this evil that’s been done. They know it’s not right.
Finally, someone is standing up to the idea that people can judge for themselves right and wrong. Finally, someone is standing up to the idea that people can be righteous by their own decree. Finally, someone is standing up to say God’s people shouldn’t act like this. Finally, someone is standing up to say God’s people should live by God’s laws.
Now, the people of Israel won’t get it right, but they are getting shaken up, waking up to what’s been going on and starting to remember their God and His ways.
We don’t have to wait until things go horribly wrong before we wake up and turn back to God. We’ve let the church get way out of hand doing what is right in their own eyes, or in the eyes of the culture instead of the eyes of God. We need to stand up for truth. We need to act with courage and defend God’s name and word.