In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.
Some passages of Scripture read like ancient texts. Others, like today’s verse, could practically have been ripped from the headlines of the New York Times. We live in culture that has no king (or thinks so anyway). In our current atomized and ultra-subjective culture, certain catch phrases abound. “If you feel…” “It’s true for me…” “Listen to your heart…” “It’s my right…” “Who are you to tell me…” “Freedom of choice…” etc. We are a people who are attempting the unprecedented historical project of saying that what we choose is automatically justified merely because we chose it. It is a project as doomed to failure as the attempt of ancient Israel to indulge moral anarchy while trying to avoid social, political and spiritual anarchy. Today’s verse caps a series of stories from Judges relating progressively more gruesome crimes committed precisely by people who did what was right in their own eyes (as indeed all monsters do). But we, who have produced a culture conducive to Columbine, partial-birth abortion, and other grotesque evils, have little room for judgment. Rather, we have plenty of room for repentance and a return to our neglected king: the God of Israel. It’s not too late. Seek the Lord while he may be found!