March 13, 2017
In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit. Judges 21:25
You have to admit, the book of Judges is a tough read. Don't get me wrong. It is the inerrant Word of God and is "useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16). But these years of Israel's history reported in this book can best be described in two words: "Train wreck!"
Judges describes a generation "who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel" (Judges 2:10). There are a few highlights like Deborah, but even the well-known characters are greatly flawed. Gideon was not only known for his fleece but also for the idol he made at the end of his life that became a "snare" to him and his family. Samson lived a reckless life, ending in one last demonstration of strength that killed 3,000 Philistines and himself. And the story of the Levite and his concubine ... well, it makes your stomach turn.
But that's just the point. This was a time in Israel's history when the people did not know God. There was no godly leader to give guidance. Everyone did as he saw fit. The same thing happens today. When we do what is right in our own eyes, our life can be described in two words: "Train wreck!"
Father, please let this book be a warning to us. Keep us from self-counsel and rationalization. Keep us from doing the things that seem right in our own eyes. Keep us in Your Word, following Your instructions. Keep us on the road that leads to blessing and life. In Jesus' name. Amen.