Our Disobedience is Not Unlike The Israelites’ Rejection of God as King

Our Disobedience is Not Unlike The Israelites’ Rejection of God as King

“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” – Judges 21:25

The Destructive Cycle of Israel’s Disobedience

The book of Judges ends with the following ominous words: “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” In fact, the phrase “And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” is repeated throughout the book of Judges.

Although God had rescued the Israelites countless times, they continuously turned their backs on Him, and “whored after other gods and bowed down to them” (Judges 2:17). Later in the Old Testament in 1 Samuel 8:5, the Israelites tell Samuel to “appoint a king to lead us, such as all the nations have.”

The people of God refused to acknowledge God as their king and this refusal can be seen throughout the pages of Judges. Regardless of whether or not Israel considered God its king, He did what any good king would do to a debased and disobedient people—disciplined and restored.

You can see a destructive cycle in the lives of God’s people:

  1. Israel “does evil in the sight of the Lord” and worships idols.
  2. God hands them over to be oppressed by the surrounding nations.
  3. Israel “cries out to the Lord” and asks to be rescued.
  4. God appoints a judge to deliver His people.

The Meaning of the Text

Today’s Bible quote summarizes not only the entire book of Judges but also the overall relationship between God and Israel. In fact, this same verse is an echo of Judges 17:6. It’s wise to take note of repeated words and phrases in Scripture. It usually means God is trying to tell us something of utmost importance, whether it’s a warning or instruction.

God had given His people a standard in which to live. The Ten Commandments that Moses had received at the top of Mt. Sinai were instructions on how Israel was to relate with God and each other.

When the law (standard) and lawgiver (God, the king) are neglected, all sense of right and wrong disappear. Everyone does what is right in “their own eyes” rather than God’s. They become their own law and destruction immediately follows.

How to Apply the Text

Look at today’s bible quote as a warning. A warning of what will happen if you continuously chase other idols and only cry out to God when you need something. An idol is anything—good or bad—that we esteem more than God, whether it’s a relationship, a job, a certain status, or a feeling.

Don’t knock the King off His throne on your way to pursuing things that will never satisfy you. Do what is right in the eyes of the Lord and don’t get caught up in the tailwind of a destructive cyclone. Have a King. Honor that King. Obey that King.

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