The book of Judges is an exciting book to read but a sad reflection of God’s people. The book ends with one of the saddest verses in all of scripture: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Jgs. 21:25). These very words are clearly seen from the outset (Jgs. 1:27-2:5) when Israel failed to complete the conquest of Canaan by not driving out the inhabitants of the land. This failure led to Israel’s unfaithfulness and set the course for what would be the pattern throughout the entire book of Judges; 1) The people turned their back on God, 2) God punished them by raising up their enemies against them, 3) The people cried out to God for help, 4) God raised up a judge to deliver them, 5) The land had a period of rest, 6) The cycle is repeated.
As I reflect on the book of Judges, I can’t help but wonder, “Are God’s people today committing the same sin as the people of Israel did in the book of Judges? Are we doing what is right in our own eyes?” To answer these questions honestly, each of us must answer a few underlining questions about our lives.
1) Do I fully desire to live out God’s will for my life (Eph. 6:5-7)?
2) Do I fully desire to live according to God’s standards, even when they conflict with my own desires and interests (Rom. 13:12-14)?
3) Do I fully desire to honor and worship God the way He has commanded (Jn. 4:24)?
4) Do I fully desire to please God above everyone and everything in my life (Gal. 1:10; Jn. 13:42-43; Acts 5:29)?
5) Do I fully desire to give up and sacrifice my rights, my privileges and my desires because I want to be totally devoted to God (Gal. 2:20)?
Friends, if we answer NO to any of the above questions, I’m afraid we are guilty of doing what is right in our own sight. The book of Judges is a tragic display of self-destruction. When God’s people begin doing what is right in our own eyes, we open our lives up to a huge mess!