5 Minute Read
Today’s Bible Reading:
Judges 21:1–Ruth 1:22
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
Judges 21:25 (NLT): “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.”
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
The verse I have chosen for today is an important one in the book of Judges. In three other places in this biblical book (Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1), we are told there was no king in Israel. One of those references (Judges 17:6) says, word-for-word, the same thing as today’s verse.
So, the Lord, through the writer of Judges, wants us to realize that there was no king in Israel. Because of that fact, the people had no authority figure, so they made up their own rules and did as they pleased. As you read through the book of Judges, you realize that this wasn’t a good thing. Many bad things, even bizarre things, occurred during this time.
There is a powerful principle here. We come to realize that leadership is what God has ordained to set the tone for those under their influence. The leaders, by their words and actions, make it clear what is right and wrong. In the absence of leadership, people make up their own rules, and it will tend to not go well for them.
It is also important to note that it doesn’t say, “In those days Israel had no (godly) king.” It simply says that they had no king. Sure, a godly king would be much, much better. But even having a king, an authority figure that could create and enforce laws, point the way, and set the tone for society, would be generally better than mass chaos.
So, what actions must we take as a result of reflecting on this verse? Let me provide two:
1) Pray for your leaders.
Whether it is a national leader, our local officials, your pastor, your parent(s), your boss, or whoever else it might be, pray for them (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Pray that they would live and lead righteously, selflessly, and competently.
2) Follow your leaders.
Believing that those in leadership positions are set there by God, we submit to their authority (Romans 13:1-7). Those in spiritual leadership are ultimately responsible for your eternal well-being, so obey and submit to them (Hebrews 13:7), particularly regarding spiritual matters.
Leadership (as it was intended by God) is what the Lord uses to create an environment that is healthy, moral, productive, and a blessing to those who live under that authority. So, pray for them and follow them.
Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.