Today's Reading: Judges 16-18
There are phrases in the book of Judges we hear over and over again:
There was not king at this time...
People did what was right in their own eyes...
Idols, idols, idols...
We hear about some of these Judges and wonder, "How did he get the job? He seems fairly stupid."
One cannot read the story of Samson and Delilah and not wonder, "what was he thinking?" Not once, not twice, not even three times after being deceived does he learn he cannot trust Delilah. What is going on here? Doesn't he get it? Can he not learn from his experiences?
Perhaps his excuse is an excuse in the newspapers this past week--sexual addiction. This judge of the people of Israel seems like an out of control testosterone bomb. He can't seem to keep a wife, he goes out whoring on a frequent basis and he gives away his most precious secrets to someone known to be untrustworthy. Not a good candidate for leadership.
Speaking of leadership, in the next chapters we read about the household of Micah with all its religious paraphernalia. Ephods from the priests at the tabernacle mixed with idols of the land. How often do they need to be told, "No idols," before they get it? Micah sets up his own priesthood and then hires his own family priest from the Levitical tribe. Haven't they been reading their Bibles? Don't they get it?
It is easy to sit back and judge the people of the Bible whose lives are laid out for us to read. It is as if we are the jury, hearing the condensed story of wrongs all in the period of one or two chapters.
I wonder what it would be like for me if I were in the book of Judges...
What foolishness is apparent in my life? What are my mistake patterns which are obvious to everyone else but not to me? Where are my idols which get mixed up with my faith? Where is my disobedience? Where are my flaws?
Where don't I "get it?"
Each did what was right in her own eyes.
That pretty much describes everyone of us, doesn't it?
Dear Lord, show me the idols of my life and set me on solid ground. Knock down all the false places and kill off what is evil within me. Create in me a clean heart, O God.