“But they wouldn’t listen to him. So the Levite took hold of his concubine and pushed her out the door. The men of the town abused her all night, taking turns raping her until morning. Finally, at dawn they let her go.

Everyone who saw it said, “Such a horrible crime has not been committed in all the time since Israel left Egypt. Think about it! What are we going to do? Who’s going to speak up?””

Judges 19:25, 30 NLT

It’s a lot of mess going on in our communities and our nation. It was disturbing to see 8-year-old Gabriel Taye bullied in Cincinnati, which led him to go home and hang himself with his own necktie. It’s disturbing to see the countless domestic abuse cases in Memphis that often lead to murder. It’s unsettling to know that our mayor has put more emphasis on locking kids up, but has put no money in the budget for public education. The question is: who’s going to say something? What are we going to do?

In this passage in Judges, there was a man that had abused his wife and she went back home to her father. After four months the husband went to persuade her to come back home. Her father tried to get them to stay because he probably had fatherly intuition that this would be the last time he would see his daughter alive. Family members know when their loved ones are in danger. We should pay attention to the warning signs. We should take heed to bullying. We should take heed to signs of domestic abuse. Do something while you can.

In the text, the abusive husband convinced her to go back with him. On their way back home they stayed overnight with a man. Men surround the house and want to rape the abusive husband. The host offers his virgin daughter and the abusive man’s wife instead. The abusive man, true to his nature, shoves the woman outside to be abused and raped all night long.

He then gets up the next morning to find her dead body laying on the threshold of the door. He cuts her up in 12 pieces and sends the pieces to the 12 tribes of Israel. The people of Israel asked themselves two questions we need to ask ourselves:

  1. Who’s going to say something about this? There are too many injustices going on in our city and nation for us to remain silent. If you see something, you should say something. I’ve had a couple of parents approach me about bullying in their children’s schools. It’s always the underachieving students attacking the students who are trying to make something out of themselves. The focus should be on saving our children, not locking them up. Who’s going to say something? Who’s going to say something to these weak men that keep beating their women and killing them when they try to leave? We have to say something about this abusive culture!
  2. What are we going to do about it? The 12 tribes of Israel went to war against the men of that town, but they should have gone to war against the culture that caused the woman to be raped. They did not value their children or their women. When we have a President who supports rape culture by saying it’s okay to grab women by the vagina, we have a culture problem. When you have a president that wants to stop healthy lunches for children just because a black woman came up with the idea, we have a culture problem. When we have a president that obstructs justice by firing the FBI director while he’s under investigation, it doesn’t matter who the country goes to war against when our culture is corrupted. I have seen the enemy and he is us!

There is a newly formed organization called MICAH (Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope) that is attempting to pull the “12 tribes” of Memphis organizations (any organization concerned about social justice) together to fight against injustice in education, poverty, and criminal justice. We need citizens who are brokenhearted and outraged over the injustice we see every single day to join the organization.
Our next meeting is June 15 at Bridges at 6:30pm where we will take action against the injustice of the mayor not funding public education in Memphis. Lack of education leads to poverty. Poverty leads to crimes like rape and domestic abuse. Who’s going to say something? What are you going to do about it? Meet us June 15 and do justice, show some mercy, and be humble enough to work with others to fight our city’s wicked problems.

Dear God,

How many more women have to be raped and killed? How many more innocent children have to kill themselves before we say something? Help us to come together in this city and not only say something, but do something! Heavenly Father, your people are suffering injustices and we can no longer afford to remain silent. Bring us together to do something about this injustice.

In Jesus’ Name,