January 8th

Lust Kills

While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, "Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him." The owner of the house went outside and said to them, "No, my friends, don't be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don't do this disgraceful thing. Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But to this man, don't do such a disgraceful thing." But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight. When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, "Get up; let's go." But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home. When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. Everyone who saw it said, "Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Think about it! Consider it! Tell us what to do!"  Judges 19:22-32 NIV 

This shocking story illustrates the depth of depravity that lust can bring people to.  I was hesitant to include this passage in our devotions, but felt is was important to share it because it reveals the true nature of lust.   

The Israelites had drifted into deep rebellion against God during the period of the Judges (1375-1050 B.C.).  The concubine was the first victim of lust in this story.  A war erupted in Israel from this incident because the tribe of Benjamin refused to condemn the mob who committed the atrocity.  The Lord was with the tribes of Israel who were determined to see justice done to the perpetrators.  As a result, an estimated 90,000 people died in the battles that followed (Judges 20).   

We can benefit from this story in a few ways.  Israel’s reaction to the atrocity shows us that zeal for the Lord hates the deeds of lust.  As followers of the Holy God, we are commanded to pursue holiness. In fact, God tells us to “be holy, as I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).  We are to hate evil and love good (Amos 5:15).  We cannot afford to have a callous or tolerant view of lust’s activity in our own life.  

The internet offers opportunities to watch depictions of lustful acts similar if not identical to what happened in this story.  Thousands of people, many of them Christians, feast their minds on this material.  They may know that it is evil, but they are too consumed by lust to stop it.  They are trying to satisfy the burning desires within them, just like the mob in the story.  Lust does not lead to the ultimate satisfaction that it promises.  It leads only to death, and it consumes one’s resources and life along the way. 

There is a way out of the deadly cage that lust forges.  Jesus Christ provides the way for a person to be reconciled to the ultimate love that destroys lust and its lies.  Through Christ, God’s love will blast through bars of iron that trap the lust addict and set him or her free!  If you are interested in breaking free of lust, please take our Freedom Journey course. 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord Jesus, I confess that I have tolerated lust in my life in the following areas: ________(list).  I ask for your forgiveness for this sin.  Please cleanse my mind with the blood of Jesus and take away even the memory of my sin.  Please re-sensitize my conscience to the sinfulness of lust and it’s true nature.  May I never give it a sheltered place in my life again!  I invite the Holy Spirit to re-fill me with passion and zeal for your commands and precepts, so that I may walk in purity from today forward.  Please unite my heart to fear you and serve you, O Lord.  Thank you, Jesus!  In your name I pray, Amen.”