As I read the Bible, I encounter stories that bring me horror, all of which were the atrocities of man. Never did I ever expect that I would read these kind of stories in the Bible. Yes, now I know that the Bible is not a wholesome book but a book about the truth, the good and the bad. And the truth is, apart from God, man is evil. We need Jesus and He is the only One who can save us from ourselves.
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 21:25 ESV
As I continue with my Bible Reading in a Year challenge, this passage has to be shortest yet profound verse that I have to reflect so far in the Old Testament. The book of Judges ends in this verse and so it is important to reflect on the entire book to get the magnitude of this ending verse. Judges is one of the books of the Bible that narrated the cycle of idolatry of the Israelites. The Israelites would sin, God would allow them to fall into the hands of their enemies, then they would cry out to God for deliverance and God would redeem them by sending judges to lead them back to Him.
One who is reading Judges will see how patient and merciful God is, for sure in our own standard we would have given up easily on these people because they don’t tend to learn. Someone must think how such people keep on sliding back to idolatry in spite of all the wonders that God revealed to them but I think this story is our story as well. Everytime that we don’t intentionally make God our priority, we more likely to focus on our own idols whether it be money, relationship, work, vices or material things. And that is when we start to fall apart as that of generation of Israelites, unlike those generation in Joshua where they were fully committed to obeying the Lord.
Truly, I could not help but relate this to if it feels good then it must be right belief. Self-defined pleasure is not everything and should not be our one thing because it is blinding. Such is the issue of homosexual practices which others support as their right to love and they subscribe to it as love is love. This can be a good universal moral statement. However, if we apply the same concept to a father-daughter or mother-son in a romantic relationship, for sure the same people who support love is love belief might be against it or furthermore feel gross about it. As I heard from one preaching, love is not love if it does not follow God’s design. Moreover, we should not define our own moral compass because we on our own are not good with morality. That is why God already provided the moral laws for us and He laid it out for us to prevent us from harming and corrupting ourselves. This is real love that our loving Father in heaven does not want us to perish in sin, just as He sent the judges, He sent His Son Jesus to die for us sins and be cursed in our behalf.
This is what I’m so thankful about Jesus, we were so dirty of sin but He saved us and made us clean. Not that He only redeems people but He also teaches them how to live a life according to God’s moral laws. Yes, at times Christians still commit sins but as new creation who traded life with Christ, we are now convicted when sins enter our way of life. We become sensitive to our guilt and conscience for it is the power of the Holy Spirit who keeps us to abide in Jesus and obey the Father’s will. Without Jesus, we do not have king as that generation of Israelites in the book of Judges. Actually, they had king which is God but in their hearts they did not acknowledge Him as such. So the question now is will you allow Him to be your Lord of all and be the king you will faithfully serve?