Read Judges 20
War against Benjamites; their defeat; wives for the remaining Benjamites.
In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes (Judg. 21: 25).
God should have been accepted as King over his people. Each time Israel forsook God as King, they were defeated by every nation God would have given into their hands.
Their disregard for the Commandments of God left them powerless. The moral decline and spiritual decay that prevailed in the nation was the result of every man doing that which was right in his own eyes (21:25). The way of a fool (one who despises wisdom) is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise (Prov. 12:15).
Since they often forgot to recognize God as their Ruler, they were left without an earthly leader from the death of Samson until Samuel. This situation is pointed out four distinct times, in those days there was no king in Israel (Judg. 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25).
A man's conscience can only be a true guide when he is being led by the Word of God. But when we ignore God, as did the chosen nation, man is without a true guide on his journey through life. When the Word of God is ignored, people enthrone "self" and soon turn to the immoral conduct of their sin nature.
Today we see a growing indifference to holiness similar to that which existed in the days of the judges. We have redefined acts of sin with pleasant-sounding terms. Adultery is now called "having an affair." Homosexuality is replaced with "gay and lesbian," or "alternative lifestyles." Fornication is casually referred to as "live-in lovers." The purpose of this is always the same — to remove the sense of guilt for violating the moral Law of God, as well as to make everyone feel comfortable doing what is right in His (their) own eyes (21:25). However, we must hate and expose sin, but show mercy and kindness as we pray for and confront the sinner.
In the midst of anarchy and unbelief, God always has a faithful remnant who withstand the pressures and pleasures of sin and live to please Him. What precious assurance comes to us as we face our problems! He has never failed His faithful ones, in the past, and His promises for the future are secure. As we are faithful to His Word, we are strengthened by His Spirit.
Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck (I Tim. 1:19).
Thought for Today:
Man was not created to be master of his own will; and without God, his life will be misdirected.
As our Deliverer (Judg. 20:26-28). As we pray and seek the Lord's will, He delivers us from all evil forces. Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God (Gal. 1:3-4).
20:5 forced, raped; 20:6 lewdness and folly, sinful, shameful disgrace; 20:13 children of Belial, evil perverts; 20:34 sore, fierce; 20:35 smote, struck down; drew the sword, were experienced soldiers; 20:41 amazed, terrified; 20:42 turned their backs, retreated, fled; 20:43 trode them down, overtook them; sunrising, east; 20:45 gleaned, cut off; 20:46 fell, died; men of valour, valiant warriors; 21:13 call peaceably, proclaim peace.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Dr. John A. Hash • Government Official: Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (VA) • Country: Zambia (10 million) in south-central Africa • Major languages: English and 70 indigenous languages • Religious freedom • 30% Roman Catholic; 25% Protestant; 24% ancestor worship, magic, and witchcraft; 19% cults • Prayer Suggestion: Praise God for the power of His Word (Heb. 4:12).
Optional Reading: John 21
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 2:16