Many times when I am doing my Bible reading, I have found it helpful to look for a verse, a sentence, or even a phrase that stands out as the key thought for the whole passage. For today that key thought or truth is found in verse 6 or Judges 16.
Judges 17:6 (NIV)
6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
I like the way that The Message Bible puts it.
Judges 17:6 (MSG)
6 In those days there was no king in Israel. People did whatever they felt like doing.
Think about this. The Children of Israel had spent time under some of the greatest leaders the world had ever seen. They had blessed by Almighty God unlike any other nation in the world. God had clearly laid out what they were to continue doing so that they could stay on the path of His wonderful blessing. On Sunday and Mondays reading we see practically the opposite of what God had asked of them. First there was Micah and his phony sliver idols. I found it interesting that when the Danites stole his idols, it was he who was going to have to rescue them instead of them rescuing him. (I’m so glad that the God we serve is capable of taking care of Himself without us having to rescue Him) Then came a Levite priest setting up shop in the home of Micah and utilizing idols as a part of worship. Then you have the Danites who hadn’t finished conquering the land that had been assigned to them, instead looking for an easier target to conquer. And it goes on and on. You read it so you understand how far things had gotten out of hand. They didn’t look very much like God’s chosen people.
Go with me back to the phrase in Judges 17:16, everyone did as they saw fit or as the Message puts it, People did whatever they felt like doing.
I think that description sounds menacingly familiar. Wouldn’t that phrase describe our current culture? Tomorrow the Supreme Court of the United States of America is going to hear a case that has all kinds of shockwaves for followers of Christ. They are going to be asked to give their opinion that could change the definition of one of the oldest institutions of order that God gave to mankind. That institution is the union of a man and a woman and it is called marriage. It has been one of the most fundamental building blocks of society and social order for centuries upon centuries.
For a moment, try to pull yourself away from all the propaganda and the militant forces of our society and simply think rationally and sanely. What is marriage? It is intended by God to be a lifelong, holy union between a man and a woman. Nothing has changed over the centuries that has caused God to say, “Oh, I made a mistake. Let me straighten this out and update the definition of marriage.”
We are seeing Judges 17:6 lived out before our own eyes. The reason that this is even an issue is that people have decided to do whatever they felt like doing. They are doing what they see fit. And all around us people are buckling. We can’t. We reach out to those that are around us. We do whatever it takes to introduce people to Jesus. But there comes a time when we need to respectfully stand up for what is right. In our reading we saw the consequences of doing what is right in your own eyes. I’m not suggesting verbal attacks on those who are going down a path which includes telling God he needs to redefine what He created in the first place, marriage between a man and a woman. What I am suggesting is that we not be afraid to take a stand for what God takes a stand.
You ask me, ”What do you think of marriage now that we are in the 21st century?” My answer to you is as simple as it gets, “I think God got it right the first time.”
We must never be ashamed of taking a stand for the same things that God is standing for.