I have been reading through the book of Judges. I typically read my Bible in the morning. I want to learn, I want to come away with something to apply to my life. But, I have to admit, I have struggled with finding application in Judges. I have been having a hard time figuring out just what it is that I am supposed to be learning as I have been working my way through this book. There are some stories that just make me scratch my head. Stories that leave me wondering, “why would they have done such a thing” or “what in the world is going on here.” Well, this morning I finally finished Judges. The last verse in the book of Judges reads, “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.”
It took a bit for the significance of that verse to start to settle in. Of course, Israel eventually did get a king. In 1 Samuel 9, Saul is anointed as Israel’s first king. But before the prophet Samuel anoints Saul, he takes the people’s request for a king to the Lord. God tells Samuel to go ahead and give the people what they want and in 1 Samuel 8:7 the Lord says, “…they have rejected me as their king.”
It is interesting. I had understood the statement “the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” to simply be the effect of having no king. It was also the cause. God wanted to be their king. He desired to lead them, to instruct them, to provide for them, and to protect them. He was supposed to be their king, but in “choosing what was right in their own eyes” they had rejected Him. As a result, they were left to be ruled by “whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” Sometimes the consequence of rejecting God’s “kingship” in our lives is not getting to enjoy God’s “kingship” in our lives.
When I start making decisions based on what I think is best and what I want to do, I am essentially setting myself up as king in my life. When I operate from my own understanding, from what is right in my own eyes, I am making decisions based on selfishness and limited perspective and rejecting God as king.
So, who will be king? No more king me.