All who believe are the Temple of God.
We are like Abraham when we believe, beloved of God. “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Rachel named her son Benoni (son of my pain) before she died. Jacob changed it to Benjamin (son of my right hand or son of the south). Both names are prophetic. When Joseph was taken to Egypt, only Benjamin remained to remind Jacob of Rachel, his favorite wife. Benjamin, the son of my right hand. The sanctuary of the future city of Jerusalem will sit between the section of land given to Judah to the north, and the portion of Benjamin bordering the south. (Ezekiel 48:21-22) Benjamin, the son of the south.
Considering Jacob’s affection for his son it was strange that he would say this about Benjamin’s descendants. “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; In the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.” (Genesis 48:27)
During the Exodus Moses took a census of the fighting men 20 years and older. The sons of Benjamin numbered 35,400. (Numbers 1:36) Although Manasseh’s 32,200 were fewer in number, Benjamin would become the smallest tribe. (1 Samuel 9:21) It happened this way.
A Levite, traveling home with his concubine and his servant, chose to stop for the night in a city of Benjamin. No one would offer them shelter. Without hospitality they were prepared to sleep in the open area. A native of the hill country of Ephraim was living among the Benjamites. Coming from his work he spotted them there and graciously brought them to his home.
At dark some worthless men of the town surrounded the home. They demanded that the Levite come out. They wanted to sexually abuse him. To appease them he threw his concubine out the door. Raped throughout the night at dawn they left her to crawl away. The next morning the Levite open the door and discover her dead body. He carved her body into 12 pieces and sent them throughout the land of Israel.
(Was this the act of ravenous wolfs who by night divided the spoil? Was the concubine pray devoured and left to die that morning?)
Shocked, the tribes gathered, discovered its meaning and decided her death would be avenged. When they demanded that the guilty be turned over to them the men of Benjamin refused. God’s council was sought, His judgement was given, battles were fought and 25,000 men of Benjamin died. (Judges 19-21) They became the smallest of the tribes
Moses’ prophecy has better words.
Looking forward to a time beyond sin and judgement Moses spoke these words. “Of Benjamin he said: ‘ The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by Him, Who shelters him all the day long; And he shall dwell between His shoulders.” (Deuteronomy 33:12) Benjamin has been promised a dwelling place close to the Lord. They are “the sons of the south.”
Thank God that His judgement for sin has been suffered by Jesus. Those who have been given salvation dwell with Him. We are a temple of God. Be fruitful.
To be continued.