Throughout the pages of the Bible, we see stories of God giving a voice and a place in the story of redemption to women who were marginalized. Some of these marginalized and exploited women even became the ancestors of Jesus: Tamar, who resorted to prostitution for survival; Rahab, a prostitute in Jericho who became a believer in God; and Bathsheba, whose husband was murdered by King David so that he could have her for himself (see Matt. 1). Jesus himself was often criticized for associating with prostitutes.
There are also deeply troubling stories in the Bible about the exploitation of women, such as that of the Levite’s concubine (or sexual slave) in Judges 19. The Bible does not shy away from depicting the deep brokenness of humanity with regard to sexuality and the protection of vulnerable people. Sex trafficking and coerced prostitution distort and exploit the God-given gift of sexuality.
God cares deeply about marginalized people and expects his people to do the same—in fact, he says, “If you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness” (Isa. 58:10).
Find a Bible study guide on Judges 19 from Hope to Freedom below.