Cover to Cover
Reading: Judges 20:1-21:25
Focus: Judges 21:25
These days, you tell people what to do and you’ll probably get the response, “Don’t tell me what to do, I’ll do whatever I like, thank you!” Nobody likes being told what to do, but a society without boundaries, structure, governance—essentially, without the laws of the land—leave you with anarchy. Each person does as they so desire and, in the end, nobody benefits…nobody.
The book of Judges has one line which it repeats throughout its pages, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” This is repeated over and over again, which begs an answer to the question, “Wasn’t God meant to be their king?” The build up from the Exodus to Joshua illustrated life directed and guided by God, yet here in Judges we find the lack of a leader causing anarchy rather than continued trust in God’s direction and guidance.
Second to that, the book of Judges also sets up the story of what follows in Israel’s history: the coming of Samuel and his later instalment of a king in Israel. It is only with the arrival of Samuel that there seems to be some restoration in the people’s faith in God. Yet, even then, it is not so much the people who seek God but the leaders who they follow. So, in the end, it’s still just as disconcerting that people follow what they see before them, rather than trusting in that which upholds them and gave them life.
What is it about us people that simply wants to break free? To rule in our own domain? To control the world that we live in? Well, personally, I don’t there’s anything wrong with any of those, it’s how we’ve been designed…however, that being said, what we lack is the responsibility, accountability, and integrity to do all those things with propriety. It is in our design to be rulers, but it was also in our design to do so within the proper constraints of sustainability and care for our world.
The book of Judges certainly highlights this nature within us, further still, it highlights what happens when it is allowed to run rampantly unchecked. Human nature has destroyed life, nature and itself in its pursuit of unwarranted pursuit of power. We see it today, not only in the war-torn countries of the world, but in our corporations, our media, even our own homes… Jesus came to bring in the age of the Kingdom of God, an age where God would reign sovereign once again. Only when our lives are submit to the rule of God, only then will our task to rule be fulfilled as it was intended…
Next Reading: Ruth 1:1-4:22