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March 21 Today’s Reading: — Judges 19-20
No King — No Deliverer
In Judges 18:28 we are told that there was “no deliverer.” Here we read “there was no king in Israel.” Let us remind ourselves, day by day, that where Christ is Savior, Christ is King (Matthew 10:37-39, Mark 8:34-38, Luke 14:26-27). He will not be my Savior if he is not my Lord. Spirit of God, give me grace to bow to my Lord in all things. Sweetly, graciously force me to bow! If you do not bow me, I will not and cannot bow. So I beg your grace to bow to Christ, surrendering all things to him as my Lord in humble faith.
The last five chapters of the Book of Judges are placed after the death of Samson; but these chapters record a terribly evil period in the history of Israel sometime between the death of Joshua and the first of Israel’s judges (Othniel). Chronologically, what we have recorded in these chapters probably occurred at the period of time described in Judges 2:10-13. It should not surprise us that these events are not revealed in chronological order.
All that is recorded in the last five chapters of the book of Judges took place at a time when there was no king in Israel, and every man did that which was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25). Nothing is more dangerous, nothing is more certain to ruin our souls than doing that which is right in our own eyes. — “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26). Of this you can be sure, — Everything that is right in our own eyes is wrong. And that is most especially true when it comes to spiritual and religious matters (Proverbs 12:15; 14:12; 16:25).
Actually, there was a King in Israel. They had no physical, visible king as other nations had. But we are told in 1 Samuel 12:12 that the Lord God was their King. The problem was not that there was no king, but that they did not know their King and refused to acknowledge and serve God as their King. And anytime men and women refuse to bow to, obey, and worship the Lord Jesus Christ as their King, the result is what we have described in these chapters. — Everyone does that which is right in his own eyes.
These people got into the mess they were in, not by every man doing what was wrong in his own eyes, but by every man doing what was right in his own eyes. And when people do what is right in their own eyes, the results are exactly the same as the things recorded in these chapters: idolatry, pragmatism, hedonism, humanism.
Christ Our King
Remember, the Lord Jesus Christ is our God and King. That means that he is our Ruler, our Lord, our Savior, our Defender, our Provider, our Protector, our Judge, and our Deliverer. O for grace ever to acknowledge, worship, and bow to him as our great King! The very first principle of saving faith is the surrender of our souls to Christ our King (Luke 14:25-33). To believe on Christ is to cease to do that which is right in your own eyes, bowing and surrendering yourself willingly to his dominion and his will as your Lord and King. Faith in Christ is the surrender of myself to him, trusting him alone as the Lord my Righteousness.
The Right Place
The events of these chapters are out of order chronologically; but they are in exactly the right order of Divine Revelation. Moses (the law) was dead. He died in the wilderness because the law of God can never bring Salvation. Joshua had brought Israel into the land of Canaan. He portrayed Christ bringing salvation. God had given Israel 12 judges (deliverers, saviors, and kings) who typified Christ and his continual deliverance of our souls by his grace. The last judge was Samson. As Samson brought deliverance by his death, so our great Samson obtained eternal redemption for us by his death. In these last chapters of Judges we see the corruption and depravity, idolatry, and debauchery that possesses all men by nature. Yes, before they are converted by God’s omnipotent grace, before Christ is revealed in them, God’s elect are just like all other men, “children of wrath even as others.” Then, when we get to the next page in the Book of God, we see our great Samson revealed again in the Person of Boaz. Blessed be his holy name, Christ our Kinsman Redeemer will yet do all that is required for our souls.