I would like to know why women were so disregarded and allowed to be sacrificed by the very ones who were to protect them. In Judges 19:23-24 a Levite gave his virgin daughter to be raped and In Genesis 19:8 Lot agreed to give his two virgins daughters to the men who came to rape the angels.

Sister S, USA

Response by
Pastor Grace Akalonu

Assuring Grace

The question of women and rape is a long-standing issue dating far back to when it was first mentioned in the Bible. Rape is a social vice and humiliating to both men and women. In the two scriptures quoted in the question, the rape was for the men that came to take refuge as their quests. To be fair, not all women are disregarded, some have experienced love, honour, care, attention and tender treatment. Unfortunately, a vast number have not, because of cultural and societal values, the wickedness of people, mental settings, personality traits, poverty, family and religious backgrounds, to mention but a few. To get the entire picture of what happened in both scriptures, one has to read from verse one. In Judges 19: 1-3; A Levite had a concubine from Bethlehem who played the whore against him and went back to her father. He went to get her back and was encouraged to stay the night. This was a Levite, God’s servant. Was he supposed to have a concubine? Verse 4-10; The father of the damsel told him to stay to eat and drink and make merry when he got up to go after the first day, he stayed back, showing that he is not principled. He left the house in the evening of the fifth day to travel for 25miles to Ephraim. A risky journey to do, considering it was a mountainous road. He made the wrong decision to leave in the evening. He should have known what travelling back looks like but didn’t give thought to his decision. Verse 11-17; The night met him at the wrong place, the neighbourhood of the Jebusites which were enemies to the Israelites at that time, so they passed on to Gibeah. No one took him in. Remember, he had his asses, concubine and servant. He ended up on the street. An Oldman from his tribe recognised him as a kinsman and asked where he was going. Funny enough, he told the man that he went to Bethlehem and now going back to the house of The Lord and no one took him in. What an interesting way to speak the truth in deception. Man of God who went for his concubine and ran into trouble is now using the office he defiled to get a favour. He didn’t tell the complete story. Verse 18-22; The old man took them in and fed them out of respect as a man of God ( a Levite). Some sons of Belial, hoodlums, came to rape him. This is how people bring a problem to themselves and others when they make wrong decision and live anyhow. Verse 23-24; The old man thought that was absurd and shouldn’t happen. Men knowing men? He saw it as a duty to protect what was committed to his trust. This old man was a man of commitment, a man of great resolve, and should be emulated. He pleaded with them and when they would not listen; he gave up his concubine in exchange. You could see that these men were wicked from what they did to the woman. Don’t be anybody’s concubine! It is an adulterous relationship with no value. Verse 25-29; The woman has been defiled, by law no one takes her in again. In anger and as a judgement to Israel for the abominations going among them, he slew the woman and divided her to the 12 tribes of Israel as a curse. Verse 30; “Consider of it, take advice, and speak your mind”. This speaks volume, it means this story is not ordinary. Everyone should deliberately consider the folly of the Levite (Man of God), the commitment of the old man, the iniquity of men trying to defile the Levite and the consequences of irrational behaviour. Genesis 19 is a similar story. Some Sodomites came to defile the men that were to rescue Lot and his family. Lot thought the wickedness awkward. He offered his own life, which was his girls instead of losing what was committed to him. The Angels smote them blind. The lesson to learn from here, Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom, which was greener when Abraham asked him to choose. At the time of rescue, it was from Sodom. It was either the city grew and met him, or he moved into Sodom. Either way, everyone should be careful of walking by sight. He met what he did not bargain for. His wife eventually became a pillar of salt for looking back, and he didn’t survive it either. His girls committed atrocity with him. I wanted to get the context of these two passages first, then discuss other issues around the subject of disregarding women in Part 2.