Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Judges, Chapters 19-21 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Highlight Reference Passage : Judges 21: 24-25… 24 At that time [i.e., the era of the Judges] the Israelites left that place and went home to their tribes and clans, each to his own inheritance. 25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
My Journal for Today: Reading through the last chapters of the book of Judges; and really touched by the last verse, highlighted above, is the bottom line for the history of God’s people in the time of the Judges. And I have summarized these times in a somewhat more colloquial title I’ve given to this morning’s journal entry: They Did Their Own Thing!
And if you’ve read through these last three chapters of Judges, one’s sensibilities are challenged, to say the least, by some of the horrible things which happened amongst these God-chosen people. For example there is the story of the Levite in Chapter 19 which is so reminiscent of that scene in Sodom and Gomorrah involving Lot. In this horrible scenario, the Levite sends his concubine out to be gang-raped by the men of his village; and when she comes back in, having been defiled, he cuts her into a dozen pieces.
And here is what my Parsons Commentary says about how we can look at the application of such a horrible Biblical story: ”When they [i.e., the Israelites] stopped letting God lead them, they became no better than the evil people around them. When they made laws for their own benefit, they set standards far below God’s. When you leave God out of your life, you may be shocked at what you are capable of doing.”
You know, we CHRISTIANS would like to think that we’re above such monstrous evil. We’d like to think that, being church-going believers, we could never become like a Ted Bundy, the monstrous serial killer. But my friend, if we turn away from God and His ways and His will, as did the Israelites, there’s no telling what our hearts and flesh are capable of doing. And God – at least for a season – will allow such ungodliness from His collective peoples (for example, from the Church in our day).
When I read the New Testament description – by the Apostle Paul – in Romans 1: 18-32 (linked here for your study). I shudder to think what my life might have become after 22 years of habitualized sexual sin if I hadn’t surrendered my life to Christ. Who knows, unchecked I might have become a monster like Ted Bundy.
BUT … (big “But” contrast), … I did not!!! Instead – and I’m only touting God for this! – I became something different. After I decided to do life God’s way in 1983, I stand here today as a poster child for the proclamation of truth in 2nd Cor. 5: 17 (which I hope you know by heart). I am that “new creation;” I have become like the man about which Rascal Flatts sings in their song to which I link you here. “I’m changed!”
But the Israelites in this day did their own thing; and God let them do it … over and over and over again. And it was not until their Messiah came to provide the way of redemption for His people that this cycle of disobedience and rebellion and degradation could come to a halt.
But even today, we Christians can easily let our lives get out of touch with God when we do life our own way rather than the way God has set forth for us in His word. My friend, we must ask ourselves if we are doing life our own way? If so, beware!!! … God will let us; and who knows where it will lead.
My Prayer Today: … Lord, I’m doing life Your way! Amen