If you doubt that, take a look at the broken nations of the world today. Look at the broken families, broken individuals, broken lives, broken relationships and broken hearts.
Recently in staff devotions, we read the book of Judges. We assigned each person one chapter and the first verse of that chapter. So, the first person read Judges 1:1, the second read Judges 2:1, and so on. When I said, *Go,* everyone began to read their verse at the same time. Well, you can imagine the utter chaos that erupted because everyone was reading at the same time. I then read Judges 21:25 because that verse summarizes all the verses that everyone else had been reading.
Judges 21:25 says, *In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.* This is in essence the summary of the book: there was chaos in Israel. Men made their own gods, assigned their own priests, and Levites lived as if they were pagans. It was a nation in turmoil.
What was the problem? The problem is not stated as the people doing wrong; it is stated as the people doing right in their own eyes, which amounted to doing things that were wrong. I don*t think most of us set out to do wrong so much as we set out to do right on our own. We are looking out for self, and not making sure that what we are doing is right in relation to other people and to God.
What was the reason for everyone doing their own thing? The Bible says that there was no king in Israel; there was no common authority. There is no order without some sense of community. What Israel had become was a string of tribes, and people were allowing corruption to go unchecked because their tribal loyalties were greater than their loyalty to God.
The bottom line of Judges 21 is that I cannot live well if my life is the only life I consider. If I*m going to live a life that is right, then I need to be able to put aside my own rights and defer to other people. Here was a nation who had left God, but had no human authority in their lives. If I am not obeying the human authorities that God has placed in my life, I*m not obeying God.
Israel had not been given a king, but God has made sure that you have all the authorities you need in your life in order to do what you ought to do. You need to think about others and realize that your life is not the only life that counts if you are going to live the way you should.