Thursday, November 13, 2014

We are Living in a "do what ever you want" World!

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:25

This is the fourth and final time this is said in the book of Judges. In 17:6 it is in connection with their neglect of God. In 18:1 it is in connection with their neglect of their fellow man. In 19:1 it is used in connection with their moral corruption and here it is used in connection with their over-all moral condition!

Let’s take a closer look at this verse and break it down a bit! 

First, “There was no king in Israel.” This reminds us that there was no authority, no one to hold them accountable, no bottom line. We often hear this today, there are no absolutes, there is no authority. This is what happens you lay aside the Word of God and ignore its teachings! Proverbs 29:18 reminds us “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law.” This is the result of ignoring the Word of God, soon there is no fresh revelation, no “what does the Bible says!” Then anything goes and restraint is cast off! We see this in 1 Samuel 3:1-4, which was written during or following the time of the Judges. There we see the moral condition.

1. The Word of the Lord was rare in those days.

2. There was no wide spread revelation.

3. The man of God was lying down.

4. His eyes were dim, so he could barely see.

5. The lamp of God was about to go out.

6. But God was preparing a man!

7. God speaks!

Even though the moral conditions may be dark around us and many may neglect and ignore the Word of God, God will not leave Himself without a witness! He will not let the lamp of testimony go out. He is looking for those who would return to their first love and “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent” (Revelation 2:4-5).

There was no king because God was to be their king. But they rejected Him and in 1 Samuel 8:3-8 we read of their demand for a king. 1 Samuel is the book of Man’s King- King Saul. 2 Samuel is the book of God’s King- King David who was a Man after God’s own heart! But here in Judges we see that man’s heart was not and is not aligned with God’s heart and as a result every man does what is right in their own eyes! The Word of God is full of warning and admonishments for us today!

Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 21:2, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts.” Proverbs 30:12, “There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness.” Proverbs 12:15, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” Proverbs 26:12, “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

The answer to all of this is found in Proverbs 3:5-7, "My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life. And peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; ear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones."

Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. Ruth 1:1

It is important to note that while Judges and 1 Samuel occur about the same time, so does the book of Ruth and it is a love story and a harvest story! A story that reminds us that while there may be spiritual famine and moral decay all around us God is faithful to the heart that turns to Him!

This story begins with Elimelech doing what was right in his own eyes, leaving Bethlehem, “the house of Bread” because of a famine in the land. But God used Elimelech’s failures to remind us His faithfulness and after Elimelech and his two sons die, his wife Naomi and one of her daughter’s in-law Ruth return! As we read of this beautiful story unfolding we are reminded of the very day we are living in and how God desires to bless us draw our hearts to the person of Christ! Ruth is brought from far away (chapter one) and brought into contact with Boaz, one who is willing and able to provide and care for her every need (chapter 2)! We have such a Person in the Lord Jesus! In chapter 3 of we see Ruth finding rest at the feet of Boaz. This is what our Lord Jesus provides for each of us (Mt. 11:28-29). At the end of chapter 3 we read of Ruth sitting waiting for her Boaz to conclude things concerning her and in chapter four we see things consummated! We too are waiting for the Lord Jesus to return for us and take us to be forever with Him!

Judges and 1 Samuel teach us that there is failure moral darkness all around us, but the book of Ruth reminds us that we have a near kinsman Redeemer who is faithful and will provide for our every need if only we turn to Him!

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