No Controlling Moral Authority
Go Deep: That line pretty well sums up the sad story of the book of Judges. Several times in the last few chapters the author gives us several variations of this statement: “In those days, Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” (Judges 17:6, 18:1, 19:21 and 21:25) Even though the Lord raised up godly judges during this period to rescue Israel, overall, there was no controlling moral authority in the land. The result: personal piety tanked and social chaos became the status quo.
“Everybody did what was right in their own eyes.” Sound familiar? That’s one of the popular mantras in our culture right now, albeit in a variety of different expressions: “If it doesn’t hurt anyone, then what’s to stop you?” “That may be true for you, but not for me.” “Keep your laws off my body!” But these types of “enlightened” cultural declarations have led to the legalization of abortion, marijuana, and pornography, the normalization of homosexuality, increased sexual promiscuity and marital unfaithfulness, the widespread acceptance of divorce, the tolerance of filth over the airwaves, and a whole host of other “rights” that are rotting the moral foundation of our society.
“All the people did whatever seemed right in their own.” The problem with that kind of personal and societal philosophy is that it never results in a good outcome. It might sound like it’s a fair and enlightened way to do life—as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else—but it always hurts somebody else. Whenever there is no “king in Israel”—no controlling moral authority—personal piety will decline and social chaos will rise, which is exactly what we’re witnessing in our society today.
It would be easy for me at this point to rant and rave against any number of cultural forces that are presently at work in America, and insist that we get back to the Bible as the standard by which our society must be governed. And of course, I would be right…and you would agree. But perhaps the best cure for the social chaos and loss of piety in America would be for you and me to make sure that God’s Word is king in our lives on a personal basis.
What if Christian by Christian we truly made the Scriptures our controlling moral authority? I am not talking about just giving lip service to the authority of Scripture; I’m talking about it being what we mediate on day and night (Psalm 1:2), what we are careful to obey in exacting detail (Joshua 1:8), and teach and model to our children and our children’s children (Deuteronomy 4:9).
Can you imagine what would happen in America if everyone who called themselves a believer would live under the authority of the King’s Word? I think the supply line for most of the impiety and chaos in our culture would get choked off, and America would become a Christian nation once again.
Have you read, absorbed and determined to obey God’s Word yet this today? What are you waiting for, brother? Crack open that Bible and get after it!
Just Saying… A.W. Tozer offers these challenging words to us, “The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.” And nothing less than a wholehearted commitment to the whole Bible can make a Christian nation wholly Christian again!