“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” Judges 17: 6, 21: 25
Judges 21: 25 is the last verse in Judges and it summarizes well the content of this sad book.
“Doing as one sees fit” – at first glance is a definition of FREEDOM – -something we Americans revere and value. But like many values and traits – -it becomes perverted, distorted and no longer a value when taken to an extreme. Unconstrained freedom becomes anarchy with no rule of law. Unchecked freedom with no restraints is dangerous. I don’t think any of us would want to live in a place with no police protection, no court system, no Constitution, no military. We welcome the boundaries that create safety in a civilized society.
And the same is true for us spiritually. There is freedom for us in Christ — Galatians 5: 1 proclaims, “It was for freedom that Christ has set us free.” But our freedom is restrained by God’s good law. And when we as individuals reject God’s healthy boundaries, spiritual chaos ensues. The result is a life out of control. And when collectively we as a society reject God’s good laws, the fallout becomes even more pronounced. Addictions, perversions, misery, no peace, no joy.
When God’s people reject God’s healthy boundaries to do as they see fit, we see repeated over and over in individual lives the cycle we will see lived out in Judges collectively.
We may think that throwing off the restraints will bring freedom – the pleasure of “doing as I see fit” – but it really only leads to bondage. Slavery to stuff, to self, to schedule, to whatever. Chaos. No purpose. No peace.
We cannot choose pieces of God’s character or parts of God’s law to embrace. We cannot throw off the healthy boundaries of God’s law and expect to enjoy the peace that comes with the presence of God’s love.
We don’t resent the guard rails when driving up a curvy mountain road.
We don’t resent the rules of the game when we watch football – in fact, we yell loudly at the ref if they are not enforced.
We really do know intuitively that when everyone does as he or she sees fit – it really is not a good thing. Can you, for example, imagine just the condition of your family if your children were each permitted to do as they saw fit – -eat what they wanted, go to bed when they wanted, to choose to go to school or not.? If we as imperfect parents find it important to establish healthy rules for our children, then certainly our holy and perfect God will establish healthy boundaries for us.
We must take God and God’s law seriously.
We must honor Him. We must accept His love AND His justice, His compassion AND His truth. He is not a doting grandfather who winks at our sin and sweeps it under the rug. He loves us too much for that.
The woman of God takes God seriously.
And that means she takes sin seriously. God is Holy. He is our creator. He is God Almighty. He must be revered, honored, and obeyed. We can trust Him. Our obedience flows from our love for Him.
His Word is truth. Christianity is not a democracy. We don’t get to take a vote and decide which pieces of Scripture we agree with, which we want to accept and which we want to disregard. We are either all in or not. As women of God, we take Him seriously when we choose this day to love God with ALL our hearts, with ALL our souls, with ALL our minds, and with ALL our strength.
When asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” here’s how Jesus answered:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12: 30
Taking Him seriously means we are ALL IN! Are you ready?
Let’s do this!