We always think that we are better on our own than we are together. We often take the mentality of the average toddler in believing “I can do it all by myself.” And while we might have some success, more times than not, the spirit of individualism leads to our downfall. Like it or not, we all need someone in authority over us and we all need accountability. We see this in our text for the day which comes from Judges 2. Judges 2:18 says, “And when the Lord raised up judges fro them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them.”
As we move into the next book in the Old Testament, we are going to see a stark contrast from the book of Joshua to the book of Judges. While Joshua was alive and those in his generation, Israel obeyed the Lord. However, with the rise of a new generation, Israel fell away from the Lord. What we see in our text is that God graciously provided leadership for the nation of Israel through judges. While the judge was alive, Israel obeyed God and all was well. However, when the judge died, Israel reverted back to her old ways. Not only did Israel go back to her old ways, but later in the chapter we read that they actually got worse.
What this shows us is that we all need someone in authority over us to keep us on the right path, and we all need accountability. While we may think that we can do this by ourselves, we are deceived. When is a sheep the most vulnerable? When it falls back or wanders away from the rest of the pack. You and I are like sheep. As we stay connected to the Good Shepherd, who is Jesus, and the rest of the sheep (the church), we are less vulnerable to swallow the lies of Satan or fall into our own self-delusions of individual strength. Who do you have in your life that loves you enough to hold you accountable? Are you currently surrendering to those in authority over you? I think this is a timely reading because of where we find ourselves in America right now. The government has essentially ordered a self-quarantine. There are those in several states, including in Virginia, who have some tight restrictions for the next several weeks. It may seem dumb or irrational to people. However, this is a test to see whether or not we will submit to those in authority over us. Romans 13 says that it is God who has ordained those in authority and He has given them the power to rule over us. Our responsibility is to pray for them and submit to them. The only caveat to that is if they ask us to do something that goes against the Bible. Therefore, we as Christians, need to submit to our government and trust that God is truly the One who is in control. I read someone’s article the other day that said, “we have been saying for years that God is in control and He will supply what we need, now we are getting to prove our belief in that by doing what we are told to do.” That is a powerful statement, and one that I completely agree with. God has promised not to leave us or forsake us. He has promised to provide for us. Therefore, we need to act on what we say we believe. This also applies to children with their parents during all times. Parents are our first authority figures. We see our responsibility to submit to them codified in the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:3-17. In many ways, how we submit or don’t submit to those in human authority over us gives a picture of how we are submitting to or not submitting to God. So my last question for us today is this, is our life and our choices we are making today revealing that we are submitting to and trusting God?
By His grace and for His glory,