“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” Judges 17:6
Ok, let me explain—I am NOT randomly choosing verses this semester to write on. My little “yearly focus,” giving me structure which helps me maintain daily faithfulness to God and His word, is to go through the Bible and list the key texts that I would like to be able to have at least the idea of the text AND its location fixed in my mind. Hopefully by the end of the year I will have 365 texts that I can quickly identify without having to say, “I know it’s in here somewhere!” One a day and practice and review hopefully will accomplish that task.
I’m up to the book of Judges and I have identified 17 of them (so I’m one day behind but I KNOW I’ll catch up in the Psalms!). Today’s text just jumped out at me as a turning point in the difficulties and ultimate downfall of Israel AND it just grabbed me as a good reminder of what I don’t want to do with my life.
God wanted to be their “leader,” just as He does in my life today. They, on the other hand, wanted to “be like everyone else” and have a king- that THEY could appoint- THAT would help them accomplish what THEY wanted. That sounded way to familiar to the choices I have to make in my life that when done like the Israelites creates its own quantity of difficulties. My text describes anarchy- everyone doing what they want. It doesn’t work in society or cultures and it doesn’t work in my spiritual life. I am bombarded with the messages of “do your own thing,” “be all YOU want to be,” “If YOU think it’s right then it’s right,” and you can probably list your own descriptors of how this philosophy permeates all of life.
But God still wants to be Lord of my life and He continues to make it clear in His word all the ways HE knows are best, not so He can be a control freak or a power monger, but because He loved me enough to die for me so I could look forward to the promise and assurance of living with Him forever. IN THE MEAN TIME He wants to guide me through the challenges of life with clarity, focus and purpose. And He does it through His word and my decision to offer my “freedom” in anarchy to Him and allow Him to be the king of my life. I’ve seen enough of spiritual anarchy to know it doesn’t work. I pray daily that God will keep me from it and allow Him to be King. I pray the same for you.
Have a great day having a King (that is not you!)
Quote for the day: The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched – they must be felt with the heart ~ Helen Keller
PS Vespers tonight is our continuation of our Power Pac/One Project weekend. Terry Swenson, chaplain at Loma Linda University, will continue his talks about Jesus in Community. See you in the church at 7:15 if you want to watch the Matthew video; otherwise at 7:30 for the lighting of the Sabbath candle and a great time of worship. And if you can’t make it to church check out the live feed at www.ucollege.edu/uclive