In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
(Judges 17:6; 21:25 NIV)
I don’t often do this, but there are certain chapters in the Bible that I skip because I just can’t bring myself to read them. Judges chapter 19 is one of those chapters. It’s a story about a Levite whose wife is raped and slaughtered to pieces. I told you, it’s not an easy chapter to read. The men who committed the gruesome act were from the tribe of Benjamin, so the other tribes go to war against them and the Benjamin tribe is almost wiped out. This saddens the other tribes and they cry out to God, “Lord, God of Israel…why has this happened to Israel? Why should one tribe be missing from Israel today?” (Judges 21:3). Yet we find the answer to their question at the end of the chapter, and even throughout the book, “in those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit” (v.25; 17:6). Mind you, I don’t think an earthly king is in view here.
Without God in our lives, leading us as our heavenly King, we too tend to drift off and do as we see fit. And when our own plan backfires, we also run to Him and question Him about it but the answer isn’t too hard to find. Did we consult God in the first place, or did we just make a plan and expect Him to bless it? Is He truly Lord over our lives as we claim He is? “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”‘ (Matthew 7:21). I pray that He will truly be our King so that we will only do what He sees fit.
Without God we’re all a lost cause.