In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
As I walked away from my voting spot today and looked around at the lines of people waiting to vote I was greatly discouraged as an American. We are finishing what has been one of the most contentious elections in recent history with candidates about whom the best can be said is that they are better than the other one. No matter who wins the conclusion that the American experiment is drawing to a close is inescapable.
A country that started out based upon God and was supposed to be about freedom and protecting people from the abuses of government has gone way, way astray.
What hit me as I was walking out of the polling station was the fact that it is our fault people. Not Hilary’s, not Trump’s, not congress’, not the R’s or the D’s – yes, they are culpable for their actions but are just a reflection of the countries problems. The moral populace that George Washington spoke about as necessary for America to work would have no time for the type of politics that the past years foisted upon us. The politicians themselves may be criminal and exploit what we have given them, but it is the division and immorality of us as people ourselves that has resulted in politics of division and immorality. It only works if it motivates us.
If you read the Book of Judges you will see a similar story being played out. Judges takes place after the death of Joshua when the tribes of Israel have entered the Promised Land and begun to settle. Each person in the tribes of Israel is offered the privilege by God to choose each day whether they will be faithful. Freedom is experienced on an individual basis. They are allowed to decide whether they will follow the call that God put on their life and serve the God that gave them everything they have or compromise and rationalize – to choose their pleasure, ease and sin over God’s clear direction.
Some like Caleb remain faithful and take their spiritual life by the horns, understanding that walking with God is always better than following our own will even if our eyes are telling us differently. Caleb follows God whether he is facing down giants or the angry Israelites who want to stone him. He walks by faith and not by sight.
The sad reality though is that Caleb is the exception. Most of the Israelites choose sin and corruption over God though the details of their walk in the flesh look different. They walk by sight and sight alone so when they are worried about a harvest and a storm is coming, sure, it just makes sense to sacrifice to Baal as why not cover all bases. When we choose our own judgment this way then we lose the ability as a culture to determine right from wrong.
As the verse says, each does what is right in their OWN eyes – not God’s – my eyes will give me different answers than yours and who are we to judge each other. The result is that you have a sinful, self involved bunch of individual little kings concerned only about what seems good to them making decisions that indulge their sins where God intended there to be a great family of His Children. Fractured, angry divided and only looking out for themselves.
Pundits on both sides blame Trump or Obama or Hilary or insert politicians name here for divisive politics and try to make them out to be the source of the great anger and contention that is present in America on this day. He/She is such a divider! is the accusation, often leveled with the intent to divide.
I disagree – they are just capitalizing on the fact that there is no king in America in these days and each person is doing what is right in our own eyes – not God’s.
America is divided into millions of little kingdoms and the election of Hilary or Trump or Jill Stein or Donald Duck is not going to change this fact.
The only solution is right there in the verse – there was no king was the source of the problem – restoring the true King to the Nation is the solution.