“For the wages of sin is death…”(Rom6:23) is the foundational text supporting my idea that if sexual perversion is allowed to reach its apex it ends in some sort of violence, up to and including murder. This is not to say that all people who commit sexual sin will end up as murderers. However, because sin is like leaven (Gal5:9), as it reaches maturity it fills or dominates the perpetrator. Therefore, over time as sexual sins continue it causes a person to descend into ever darker places by unleashing man’s sin nature…a place where mankind becomes capable of any and the greatest of atrocities!!
As a third tidbit on the violence of sexual perversion, I would like to present Judges 19, where the Bible records the story of a Levite who took a concubine (19:2) for himself. The word concubine could possibly mean an illicit lover, a sex slave, or even a spouse (19:3(KVJ). At this point in the story, we cannot know for certain her status.
Subsequently, several Bible versions declare she became angry and deserted the Levite by traveling back to her father’s dwelling. Four months later the Levite arrives at her father’s home to retrieve her. Interestingly his father-in-law appears to be overjoyed, inviting him to a three-day feast/party.
After the three days pass, the Levite tries to move on but for the next several days—for some unknown reason--the father-in-law tricks him into staying for “just” one more night!!
Finally, the Levite begins his travels which end with him deciding to spend the night in Gibeah; which the Bible makes certain the reader understands is a city of the Benjamites. The Levite can find no one to invite him into their home for the night so he decides to sleep in the town square. However, an old man returning from his work in the fields invites them into his home for the night.
Interestingly, Judges 19:20 makes a suspicious statement: “And the old man said, Peace be to you; I will care for all your wants. Only, do not spend the night in the square”(ESV). After reading the old man’s response, one’s mind immediately wonders why he would give such a stern warning to the Levite. Well, the Bible does not wait long to inform us. As the old man and the Levite were “making their hearts merry”(19:22) (which probably means becoming drunk), like the men of Sodom (Gen 19:5), the men of Gibeah surround the house and demand the old man send the Levite out to them: “that we may know him”(Judg19:22). Obviously, the context defines the word “know” to mean to have sexual relations with him. Like the men of Sodom, over 700 years earlier, the men of Gibeah from the tribe of Benjamin…were homosexuals.
The old man pleads with the men “do not so wickedly” (19:23), and later in the same verse calls their behavior “folly”. Both Hebrew words: “raa” and “nebala” mean wickedness or evil. This teaches God condemns not only their rape but their homosexuality. We know that homosexuality is included in this condemnation because it is condemned in many other places of the Bible: Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:20-30; 1Corinthians 6:9; 1Timothy 1:10; Jude 7.
Tragically, this is not the end, but the story descends to a new level of evil which begins with the old man offering the mob his own daughter and the Levite’s concubine---in place of the Levite. Judges 19:24 (ESV) records the words of the Old man: “Behold, here are my virgin daughter and his concubine. Let me bring them out now. Violate them and do with them what seems good to you, but against this man do not do this outrageous thing.”
When the mob declines, still demanding the Levite, the man throws out the Levite’s concubine instead, who is gang raped by the mob all night long!!!
From this point, we are certain the concubine was not the Levite’s wife, but a sex slave, as no real man would have allowed that old man to sacrifice his wife! …at least I hope!!!
When the Levite opens the door at dawn he finds his concubine slumped down on the porch dead. With stunning callousness, he simply tells her to “get up”(19:28) so they can continue their travels. When she doesn’t respond he lays her on his donkey and moves her to his next destination where he dismembers her body and sends the pieces to the 12 tribes of Israel!!!! The Bible records his behavior as so shocking that nothing like this had ever been done in Israel.
Yet, this is still not the end of the story! The Levite’s behavior was so atrocious that when the nation of Israel hears of it, the other tribes assemble for war with the Benjaminites.
Skipping the events of the war that are described in Judges 20 and 21, I would like to you’re your attention to the horrendous sexual perversion in this passage. Beginning first with sex slavery by a Levite who ironically is from the tribe of priests or men who are called to minister God’s law to the people, we also identify his other sins as fornication or adultery, perhaps even throwing in the sin of kidnapping.
Allowing the old man to throw his sex slave to the mob informs us that the Levite had descended into the depths of this kind of sin over a ‘period of time’. But…cutting her body up informs us of the hideous debauchery of which the sin nature is capable of driving a human being when allowed to go unchecked!
Yet, I can’t ignore the male Benjamites of Gibeah who refused to learn(Rom15:4) from what happened to Sodom and Gomorrha 700 years prior. I contend, there is simply no way that the instant destruction of these two cities as a result of their sexual perversion would not have become widespread knowledge…in several hundred years!!!! In other words, Gibeah had to have heard about Sodom’s final destruction!! Yet, once again, this story teaches the spiritual blindness, and hardness of a heart that descends upon humanity when sin is practiced over time—and especially the sin of sexual perversion!
I repeat, rape and murder are not always the end of ONLY sexual perversion, primarily because the wages of sin is death…not just the wages of sexual sin! We must remember there are levels to evil; which means there is a difference between the beginning of sin and the end of sin. In addition, there is a difference between the maturation of sin in an individual over time; and the maturation of sin in a nation or group of people over time. The former affects the perpetrator and those in his or her’s inner circle; and the latter can affect millions of people over generations!!!
In conclusion, Judges 19-21 is a third Biblical example instructing us that violence is an ultimate consequence of sexual perversion. Yet, the act of sex which to many people seems benign because it is so often committed in a private atmosphere behind closed doors between two consenting adults. But tragically, this naïve outlook misunderstands the power of sin that is so accurately revealed in God’s word: “for the wages of sin is death” (Rom6:23).
When something has potential it has power, it expresses possibility, it is influential and effective.
-Mark Victor Hanson