“And when he entered his house, he took a knife, and taking hold of his concubine he divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel.” – Judges 19:29, ESV
When I was growing up in Jakarta, one of the most heinous crimes happened on November 23, 1981. On that fateful day, 2 boxes were found on the side of a major street, Jalan Jendral Sudirman. When opened, one box contained 13 body parts and a head while the other box contained 180 slices of various body parts and stomach content. All newspapers talked about the crime, “Misteri Mayat Dipotong 13” was the major headline for many days. I think the crime- both the victim and the perpetrator- remains a mystery up to this day.
In our sermon series at church, we are currently studying the book of Judges and yesterday we read from Judges 19. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we read a recorded history of a Levite who chopped his concubine’s body into 12 pieces. The first think that came to my mind was the mysterious crime committed in 1981. Then came another question: “Why in the world did God include this account of evil crime in his holy, inspired book?”
Pastor Lindemulder took us through this chapter that he dubbed as the darkest moment in redemptive history, and through his exegetical skill he helped us find Christ even in this seemingly out of place chapter. As usual, the comfort of the Gospel was offered even thorough these dark verses in the Bible.