“In the days when the Judges ruled there was a famine in the land…” Ruth 1:1 (ESV)
As we have noted in our study, the placement of Ruth after Judges in our Bibles is significant. Not only because Ruth is of the same time period, but also, I believe, because the story of Ruth gives a modicum of hope after such a pathetic end to the book of Judges. Notice the last verse of Judges:
In those days
there was no king in Israel.
what was right
in his own eyes.
Judges 21:25 (ESV, emphasis mine).
I have reasons to believe that the author of Judges is overstating for effect. In other words, the practice of deferring to one’s own judgment in matters of life was ubiquitos. Read Judges 19-21, and discover just how low a society OF BELIEVERS can sink when a religious people set themselves up as a legitimate source of counsel in matters pertaining to life.
Ruth and Boaz buck the trend.
But what I would like to call your attention to as you look at the verse above is that “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
You see there is a refrain throughout Judges that gives us a clue how to understand a reason for why Judges was written. And it goes like this:
“And the people of Israel
did what was
in the sight of the LORD“
Judges 2:11. See also 3:7; 3:12; 4:1; 6:1; 10:6; 13:1.
“In the sight of the LORD,” is best translated, at least in Judges, as, “in the eyes of the LORD.”
Thus, Israel did what they believed was right in their own eyes; but God’s eyes perceived and reckoned their actions as evil.
A religious people only doing what they believe is right. Right?
Thats the language of our day.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Right?
Everyone is a unique person and is free to pursue life accordingly. Right?
What’s good for you is good for you. What’s good for me is good for me. Right?
Its all about you. Right?
Happiness is having it your way. Right?
Its my life and I can do what I want with it. Right?
Don’t bother me, and I won’t bother you. Right?
What an abusive lot humanity is.
What horrifying vision we have.
What distorted perspective we have.
“If then the light in you
how great is that darkness!”
How do you gauge the credibility of your perspective?
What source illuminates truth? Shines stability? Measures fitness?
What will you confer with today in order to have some, JUST SOME, indication that life in this world has a purpose?
Who will you trust in to give you an answer that will satisfy EVERY generation of mankind?
Where will you go to find rest?
Who tells you, “This way to love?”
“This way to respect?”
“This way to contentment?”
“This way to justice?”
And, how are their eyes?
“Let them alone.
They are blind guides.
And if the blind lead the blind,
Mt 15:14 (ESV)
Are you at rest?
Can you be honest?
How are your eyes?
Do they see only what you want to believe?
Is it in you to be honest?
Are you forcing life to look like what it is not?
What basis do you have to believe that what you perceive is accurate? Reliable? Secure?
Maybe you don’t care anymore. Maybe you eyes are for you and you alone now.
“Enough!” you say. ”Enough!”
“Its time I see the world as I like!”
“Its time that I do what I believe is right!”
“Its time that I trust in myself!”
“Its time that I believe in myself!”
“I will lead the blind
in a way that they do not know,
in paths that they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.
These are things I do,
and I do not forsake them.”
Isa 42:16 (ESV)
Almighty, Loving, Beneficent Father. Thank you that in Jesus Christ,
you have ripped my destructive eyes from their sockets,
and have given me Your eyes,
so that now I see all things through you.
Oh God, thank you. For saving me from myself.
God, like Ruth and Boaz, lead me to do what is right in your eyes.
God please….for Jesus sake.