I suppose most people view the Book of Revelation as the scariest book in the Bible, but the theme of that book is that in the end God wins. That is not the theme of the Book of Judges, and that is why I think I find that book far more frightful. What is the theme of the Book of Judges?
Judges 21:25 New American Standard Bible
25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
The theme of the Book of Judges is curiously understated. We can read it and easily miss the import of the statement. The Book of Judges tells us what happened when the people of Israel did not accept God as their King. The Book of Judges tells us what happened when everyone did what seemed right in his own eyes.
Even when it is explained, we can miss the point. What is wrong with people doing what seems right in their own eyes? Consider It Should Not Be So (insanitybytes2.wordpress.com). This article, written from a Christian perspective, communicates the angst and frustration we feel when we see a wrong that needs to be righted.
A couple more really sad losses happened in our community, young people, and my heart just aches for these families, for this community. We haven’t lost anyone in this county to covid-19, but we sure have lost a lot of our precious children to heroin and meth overdoses and to suicide and mental health disorders.
How long Lord, before this community gets woke to the fact that we have a real public health crisis here, that our spiritual health really matters, that economic health matters, that these precious lives mattered? (continued here)
Whether we are a Christian or not, we can feel the same angst and frustration. However, it matters whether we place our trust in our own wisdom or God’s wisdom. The Bible says we should lean on God’s understanding.
Proverbs 3:5 New American Standard Bible
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
The Book of Judges details a series of disasters. At the end the people of Israel realize they have virtually destroyed one of their own tribes, the tribe of Benjamin, but they still don’t understand what they are doing wrong. Instead of of relying upon the Word of God, upholding God as their King, they were still doing what seemed right in their own eyes. It is amazing how insanely one who is doing what is right in his own eyes can behave. Nevertheless, the people of Israel would only turn to the Lord when they were in great desperation. The people of Israel had yet to learn to view the world through the lens of the Bible.
At the time the Book of Judges was written, King Solomon was still to be born. The Book of Proverbs had yet to be written, and King Jesus had not yet given His life for us. So, could the people of Israel be forgiven for their homicidal foolishness? God knows, but more has been given to us. We have less excuse. We just have to read and study the Bible. We just have to love our Creator and obey Him. We just have to try to see ourselves and our world the way God does.
Is it easy to love God? Does not seem to be. We have many modern examples of the peoples of supposedly Christian nations doing what seemed right in their own eyes. These disasters include the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the takeover of Germany by the Nazis. The Communists replaced the teachings of the Bible with those of Karl Marx, and the Nazis adopted the superman ideology of Adolph Hitler.
What about the United States? What about our land? Are we still a Christian nation or are we doing what seems right in our own eyes? What disasters might we bring upon ourselves? The gruesome deaths of tens millions of unborn children, perhaps?
If we believe “it should not be so”, what then can we do? If it is wrong to do what seems right in our own eyes, what can we do? We can follow the example the apostles gave us when they followed Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:17-21 New American Standard Bible
17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ,19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their[a]appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.20 For our [b]citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;21 who will transform [c]the body of our humble state into conformity with [d]the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
We can remember our citizenship is in heaven, not here. We can study the Bible. We can learn what it means to love and obey our Savior. Instead of doing what seems right in our own eyes, we can each uphold God as our King and obey His Word.
Does that mean we need a theocracy? No.
- What it means is that God has given each of us personal responsibilities we cannot hand over to the state. For example, God has made parents responsible for their children, and no matter what our leaders demand we cannot give responsibility for our children over to the government. We must each obey God before we obey man.
- What it means is that we each should vote in accordance with our Christian beliefs. We cannot allow candidates for public office either to buy our vote or to guilt us into voting for them. We must pray, diligently research the issues and the candidates, and then vote as we each believe our Lord would have us vote.
What if we don’t like any of the candidates? We cannot vote for perfect candidates for public office. None exist, but we can vote for those men and women whose record of service and position statements are most compatible with the teaching Word of God. We cannot vote perfect candidates, but we can vote for the best of the worst. Sadly, until the Second Coming, that will usually be just about the best we can do.
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHERE THE CANDIDATES STAND? Then please read this post, DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHERE THE CANDIDATES STAND?. Are the questions that post lists important to you? Then please let the candidates know. Use the contact information in that post and let the candidates know you want them to answer our questionnaire.