They asked: “Who among the tribes of Israel did not come up to Jehovah at Mizpah?” It so happened that no one had come from Jabesh-gilead into the camp where the congregation was.
The people of Jabesh-gilead lived east of the Jordan, within the territory belonging to the tribe of Gad.
When all the other people of Israel gathered against the tribe of Benjamin for condoning a mass sex act which resulted in the death of a woman, the people of Jabesh-gilead did not take any action (Jud. 20:3-6, 12-14; 21:8,9).
As a consequence of their grave mistake, many suffered the same fate that most of the tribe of Benjamin had already suffered: annihilation (Jud. 21:10,11).
Among the thousands of people who died during the war against the tribe of Benjamin, there must have been many who considered themselves to be neutral and uninvolved in the conflict.
Sometimes a passive attitude toward social conflict can result in further violence or the injury of innocent people, for as a wise man wrote, there is “a time to be silent and a time to speak; […] A time for war and a time for peace,” (Eccl. 3:7,8).
As Christians, we do not engage in political struggles such as war, for our hope for the future lies wholly in Christ’s kingdom (Isa. 2:2-4; John 18:36).
We do, however, make every possible use of our voice to promote righteousness and condemn blatant acts of hatred and violence- acts that government too often covers up (2 Cor. 10:3,4).