Troubled Hearts: A Society without Restraints (Judges 21:25)
A Society without Restraints (Judges 21:25)
So you don’t want a king (21:25)? In those days, there was no king in Israel. These are the words of an author, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, looking back to dark days. These days are dark because the community had no human kingly leader, and they refused to acknowledge the rightful divine king.
Make no mistake; a human king would not solve humanity's sinful core. One day soon, Israel would have a king named Saul who transgressed and offered unacceptable sacrifices. David would ascend the throne, who would become an adulterer and murder. His son Solomon took the road to political expediency and married 700 wives!
Israel did not need a king to lead them into or out of idolatry; the people did that independently.
Take-Home: Your heart is your most significant threat to abundant life.
If honest, none of us want a king because we want to be the supreme leader of our lives. But, where there is no king, Judges reminds us that we will fill the void.
One way we fill the void of true Kingship is when we worship the god of autonomy. Thus, Israel’s rejection of Yahweh was more than a simple exchange of one God for another; it exposed a fundamental desire to chart their course, realize their destiny, and find independence away from a Holy God.
The god of autonomy says, “I have perfect freedom to do what I want when I want!”
It was the worship of autonomy that led Friedrich Nietzsche to exclaim, “God is dead! God is dead! And we have killed him!”
It’s the god of autonomy that sings the famous lines, “And now the end is here, and so I face that final curtain. My friend, I'll make it clear, I'll state my case, of which I'm certain.
I've lived a life that's full; I traveled each and every highway. And more, much more
I did it; I did it my way.”
Take-Home: Many have not come to saving faith in Jesus Christ because you are doing it “your way.” Don’t let the god of autonomy send you to hell. To worshippers at the altar of autonomy, Jesus says, “Follow me.”
Without a true King, we worship the god of identity. The god of identity says your most virtuous pursuit should be the advice of chief minister Polonius in Hamlet, “this above all: to thine own self be true.”
Without a holy King, you can be anything you want to be. Judges states it this way; everyone did what seemed right to him- to thine own self be true.
When everyone does what is right in their own eyes, it produces a society in which people lose their humanity and dignity.
One manifestation of modern Identity worship is the attempt to irradicate gender boundaries and mar what Yahweh made beautiful. But, unfortunately, in doing so, our culture is producing generations in which both sexes are losing their humanity as if a society without gender provides a greater good.
A society without restraint only produces confusion.
The gender-fluid revolution began as an attack on patriarchy but concluded in the dehumanization of female personhood.
Take-Home. The lie of the god of identity is that you can be anything you want to be. But, you will never find who you are without King Jesus. Jesus gives you a new identity.
Without a true King, we worship the god of individualism. Note the shift: Judges 2:11 And the Israelites did what was offensive to the LORD. Judg 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever seemed right to him.
Israel slowly morphed into a community that disregarded one another and corporate holiness for individual expression.
This is ultimately the lie of secularism: that faith is only private and should be kept out of the public realm. In the words of George Carlin, “thou shall keep religion to thyself.” By making faith merely a private affair, we have lost the ability to see how King Jesus shapes us within the community.
We worship at the altar of individualism when doing what is right - in my eyes - is the ultimate expression of truly enlightened humanity.
We honor the god of individualism when we see the gathered assembled church as optional for our faith.
Take-Home: Not everything is right in your eyes, so don’t do what is right in your eyes. Yahweh never designed your faith to be private! God’s grace has come to you because it is going to others.
Identity, autonomy, and individualism are but a few gods in the pantheon of societies without restraint.
Jesus rescues you from the idolatry of autonomy so what we can pray “your will be done.” Redeemed people ask, “Jesus what do you want me to do.”
Jesus rescues you from the idol of identity so what we can pray “Jesus, who do you want me to be?”
Jesus rescues you from the worship of individuality so what we can live in relationship with the Father and gather as His holy people.
Jesus’ response to a society without restraints
Where is God? Did you notice God mentioned at all in the final portion of Judges? Do you ever look at your broken world and cry, “Where are you, God?” While Yahweh is silent in this final chapter, He has not utterly abandoned Israel. Someday, humanity will no longer do what is right in their own eyes. One day, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow— in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Take-Home: Where is God? He might be silent, but he has not abandoned you. You display Jesus’ glory to the world every time you bend your knee to Him as King and confess Him as Lord.
What happens when we get what we want? At the end of the day, we all want to be our own kings. A life without Jesus is not a life of love, hope, and freedom. It only leads to a chaotic culture in which the worst in human nature becomes the norm.
Take-Home: Genuine human freedom that leads to flourishing is only found within holy boundaries through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Despite all the depravity and morally bankrupt individuals in the book of Judges, the Scripture ends with a miracle. Did you catch it? There is a miracle because Judah still existed. How can you make sense of the fact that such an immoral society would still survive? Because Yahweh is gracious and his mercy is deeper than people’s iniquity.
As the Book of Act tells us, many years later, he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. 21Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 After removing him, he raised up David as their king and testified about him: ‘I have found David the son of Jesse to be a man after my own heart, who will carry out all my will.’
Acts 13:23 “From this man’s descendants, as he promised, God brought to Israel the Savior, Jesus.
There was no king that would save Israel, they required a Kingly Savior.
Israel had a “Me do,” problem.
Me do – the cry of a society without restraints.
Me do- the cry of hell
He did! The cry of the redeemed.
The final solution for troubled hearts:
People who do whatever is right in their own eyes only find destruction.. Whatever lives are broken and troubled.
What is the answer to troubled heart? It’s leaving a whatever life and finding a new identity as a whoever.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.