No King In Israel - Judges 21:25

I.        INTRODUCTION

A.        Appendix To Judges

1.   Last 5 chapters an appendix

2.   Tell us a couple stories of life during this time

3.   Show a nation gone astray

4.   Morally bankrupt

a.   weak brutalized

b.   poor consumed by strong

B.        The Bookends

1.   Read these stories, ask “How could people be so corrupt and wicked?”

2.   Answer given in two verses

a.   one comes at the beginning of this final section, the other at the end

b.   17:6

In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

c.   21:25

In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

3.   I want to take a brief look at these two verses today

4.   For they are the writers explanation for why things were so bad in Israel at that time

II.       BODY

A.        “No King In Israel

1.   When Israel came out of Egypt, God brought them to Mt. Sinai

2.   There he made a nation of them

a.   till then, just a collection of families & tribes

b.   had no real corporate identity

c.   their only real bond was their culture as a race of slaves

3.   But God gave brought them together as a people

a.   they were united under His covenant

b.   he made them into a nation

·        with laws

·        with a government

c.   and He gave them a national mission

·        occupy Canaan

·        grow strong

·        be a light to the rest of the world

4.   From the beginning, they were to look to God as their King

a.   they would not be like other nations

b.   they would have a king all right —

c.   but He would be invisible

d.   rather than a monarchy, they were to be a theocracy

5.   God expressed His rule through His Word and through the priests of Israel

6.   But the Jews never really liked this system

7.   They wanted a visible leader

a.   they wanted to see earthly power

b.   they wanted a man they could exalt and follow

c.   it had been easier when they first came out of Egypt

d.   Moses there to lead them

8.   When Moses died, they grew fearful, so God raised up Joshua

9.   When Joshua died, the people turned away from God to idols

10. This is the story of Judges

a.   as the people turned away from Him to idols, God corrected them by turning them over to their enemies

b.   they would cry out to God, He would raise up a deliverer

c.   now that they had a visible leader once again, they would return to the Lord

d.   but when the judge died, they would again turn to idols and start the cycle all over again

11. They had a king — God; but they were not content with His rule

12. They had a king — but He was not in their hearts and lives

13. There was no king IN  Israel

B.        Do We Have A King?

1.   Interesting - though we are not a monarchy in US, there is still alot of interest in people of royalty among many

2.   Prince Charles in southland this week

a.   news had stories each night on what he did

3.   Recent scandals between Charles & Di are big news

4.   Their wedding was one of the biggest events in TV history

5.   The birth of their first son was a huge event

6.   Now that there are problems, many are asking if the monarchy in England can survive

7.   Interesting to look back at American history

a.   Americans have always held a certain fascination with royalty

b.   while we love and treasure the form of government we have,

c.   still, there is a sense of longing for a visible leader

d.   many people look to the president almost as a surrogate king

8.   The Founding Fathers tried hard to not allow the President to become king

a.   George Washington, as the first president labored diligently to make sure people did not make him King of the United States

b.   you see, while our founding fathers wanted to brake away from the tyranny of the English king, they were not really trying to do away with monarchy altogether

c.   what they sought to do was establish an earthly government which answered to a heavenly government

d.   it was often heard during the debates and discussions surrounding the founding of our nation that there was no king but Jesus

9.   Indeed, Jesus is the King of kings

10. As Christians, we’re not Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, Peace & Freedom, Greens

11. We are Monarchists; and our King is the Lord Jesus Christ!

12. We are members of a kingdom whose King sits upon the throne of the universe

13. There may be no king in the USA, but there is a King in our hearts

14. And because Jesus is King, it is our duty and privilege to love, serve, and obey Him

C.        Doing What is right

1.   In Judges we read, “There was no king in Israel, and everyone did what was right in their own eyes.”

2.   No wonder things were so bad in Israel at this time

3.   Everyone was determining for themselves what right and wrong were

4.   Because the people had stopped listening to God, because they had rejected Him as King, they were left without a standard of good and evil

5.   Their view of truth became subjective

a.   truth became defined by preference

b.   good was determined by what a person wanted

6.   When a society loses its moral direction, when it cuts itself off from a belief in moral absolutes, the result is certain shipwreck

a.   the weak will be preyed on by the strong

b.   the poor will be devoured by the wealthy

c.   might will make right

7.   This is what happened in Israel

8.   And this is precisely what is happening in our society today

9.   As our government has divorced itself as the earthly extension of God’s rule —

a.   as God has been removed from the consciousness of our leaders

b.   as He has been rejected as King over the affairs of man

c.   we have lost sight of the objective standard of His word

10. Truth has become a subjective preference

11. No longer do people believe in absolute truth

12. Good and evil, we are told, are merely cultural judgments

13. According to the 94 Barna Report

a.   72% of adults believe there is no such thing as absolute truth

b.   now, this reflects a lot of non-Christians - right?

c.   no! of those who claimed to be born again, 62% said there was no such thing as absolute truth

d.   what is even worse is to realize that that is UP 10% from just 3 years earlier

e.   in other words, the church has utterly failed at proclaiming the message of God’s word

f.    in 3 years, the percentage of Christians who do not believe in absolute truth increased 10% from 52 to 62%

g.   this statistic should shock  and disturb us deeply

14. The Barna poll also discovered . . .

a.   71% of all adults believe there are no absolute standards for moral and ethics.

b.   From Barna - “Placed in the context of the information at our disposal, our interpretation is that Americans are more and more likely to view survival in this culture, given our ultimate ends, as a no-holds barred confrontation in which it is every person fighting for all he or she can get.  In this perpetual fight for survival, no rule is too sacred to withstand challenge; no person is too insignificant to superimpose his or her views on others; no faith is so superior that it can be defined as the ‘one true faith’; no lifestyle is so righteous that it is to be appreciated more than any other.”

15. With this kind of a mindset, no wonder the last few weeks has seen two young mothers kill their young children for no apparent reason

16. When people reject God, they reject His standard

a.   truth becomes whatever I want it to be

b.   good becomes whatever I choose

c.   if my kids get in the way of my happiness, I get rid of my kids

d.   then society wrings it’s hands in shock and disbelief that a mother would do something so horrible

e.   but wait a minute - these women have merely taken the philosophy of the day to its logical extent

17. The Soviet Union tried the experiment of rejecting God and found it failed horribly

a.   now, after the demise of Communism, Russia is trying desperately to instill in their people a sense of values and morality

b.   they have invited missionaries to come over and teach morality and ethics in the public schools, using God’s word as their textbook

c.   because they realize that morality must be based on the fixed reality of truth, and truth must be established as an unalterable, absolute, FACT

III.      CONCLUSION

A.  What We Must Do

1.   If we are to move forward in our walk with the Lord, we must embrace Him as King and hold fast to His word

2.   If we are to make a difference, we must root out any lingering thought that truth is relative and bendable to this or that situation