I don’t believe the USPS or FED-UPS would have shipped it. The contents were definitely ‘fragile,’ ‘liquid,’ and ‘perishable.’ As terrible as the Levite’s actions were in cutting up his dead concubine after she had been abused by the Benjaminites the whole night and sending the pieces to the twelve tribes of Israel, it did have the effect of waking them up to their spiritual drifting from God’s Law.
I. Judges 19:1-30. In a scene reminiscent of Sodom in Genesis 19, the Levite found his host’s home surrounded by men in Gibeah (where King Saul would come from) wanting to sexually abuse him. In a decision that is heinous to today’s sensitivities and not better explained away by ancient hospitality laws, the Levite’s concubine was given to them instead. Sending her body parts into Israel provoked outrage and war as this woke the nation up to their spiritual slumber since Moses had mediated the Law on Mt. Sinai many years before.
II. John 15:18-21. Throughout Scripture, God used extreme acts to awaken His people, but the result was to bring them back into a right relationship with Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). Today, it seems that many calling themselves Christian use these extreme actions to protest against truth and groups they feel are stodgy or reactionary. They call for Christians to blend in with the culture and water-down the gospel to feel-good emotions that are reliant on experience. Spiritual discipline is hard to market (Hebrews 12:5-11), and Jesus said that His followers were not to blend in with the world.
III. Matthew 25:1-10. It takes work to be and stay prepared spiritually (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6), but true worshipers will determine to put this effort above all else. This is yet another purpose for the church as we each encourage another and spur on to good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25). The alarm clock is set (Matthew 24:42-44), but we may be hitting the snooze button.
What would it take to awaken you to your spiritual slumber and urge you to awaken others?