In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. – Judges 17:6
Most of the time we think we know what to do in life. We believe we have the answers, and even if we do not, we think it will just come to us. This assumption makes life bearable for the masses, but it is often and tragically wrong. Many times we find ourselves in situations beyond our experience or education. Either we have not seen it before or our parents or teachers never taught us how to deal with it. In the end, we often base our decisions on “what feels right” with less regard for the future than on what seems convenient.
The result of this ideology is relativism. That’s right relativism. While moral relativism as a philosophy was not formalized until more recently, the idea of basing your decisions and morals upon changing circumstance and environmental pressures is ancient. Eve was tempted by her limited perspective and the Serpent’s arguments for godlike wisdom. His said it would enlighten her with the knowledge of good and evil. So called “enlightenment” is one of many arguments used to excuse disobedience. Instead of realizing that the Lord has our best in mind in all of His divine commandments, we look for excuses to do what we want. When we do not look to the Lord for guidance, we are in effect saying to ourselves, “You will not surely die.”
When the Scripture today was recorded, ancient Israel was a nation of loosely confederated tribes tied together by ancestry, language, tradition and law. As the nation chosen by God to serve as a grand example of human behavior, they were given clear laws to follow and religious sect to oversee the centralized worship that was to govern their lives. On a day to day basis, they had immense freedom. Unless they were a priest or serving Levite, they could do whatever they wished inside the confines of the Law given to their ancestors. They had “liberty in law” as the old song goes.
Overtime the nation waxed and waned in their conformity to the standard established by their sponsor and benefactor, God Almighty. As a result they suffered deprivation, hardship, slavery and death. It was often not a good time. From one generation to the next, the people would change their minds about how and how much to obey God’s covenant. Therefore they suffered as promised and were blessed in turn when they repented.
What the Israelites failed to realize was that they always had a heavenly King even if they did not at first have an earthly king. The plan of salvation would solve this problem for greater Spiritual Israel (The Church). In due time the final king of Israel would be the manifestation of the heavenly King in the Person of Jesus Christ, reconciling all things to God through the Cross (Colossians 1:9-20).
Though live in a time where more and more people do what is right in their eyes, let us remember that we have no King but Jesus. He is our Savior and the Bishop of our Souls. Let’s do what’s right in His eyes. He is Truth.