The book of Judges, if put into a movie, would be rated R, if not worse! It is incredibly graphic and full of stories that demonstrate the deterioration of righteousness, holiness, and devotion to God. It starts out with stories of Israelites turning to the false God’s around them and grows to horrible stories of men wanting to homosexually rape a Levite, but instead raping and abusing his concubine to death. I sat there wondering what the point of all this filth was in the Bible. I mean, I understand that it shows the history of the Israelite’s stupidity, and it tells us about some great leaders before the Israelites had kings, such as Gideon, but why do I need to hear such graphic details?
Then I finished the book. It read, “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” (Judges 21:25) They didn’t do what was right in the eyes of their Judge and Leader. They didn’t do what was right in the eyes of their Creator. They didn’t do what was right in the eyes of the One who gave them all they have and saved them out of Egypt. They ignored all of God’s laws and precepts and followed what “seemed right in their own eyes.”
We, as humans, can justify just about anything. Reading about that poor concubine makes it hard for us to understand how anything like that could be justified, but don’t put it past the human mind. We tend to live as if the only desires to be gratified are our own. And we find a reason why it is right because we want it, whether it is a simple statement as “I can eat this hamburger and blizzard because I ran two miles today,” in order to eat whatever we want, however we want, or as complex as to say, “God gave me these desires for people of the same gender. Surely he doesn’t want me to live in suffering. He loves me.” Yeah, I went there people. We can justify anything that WE see as right, anything WE desire.
In our society, there is still this extreme moral decay where we have polyamory, homosexuality, alcoholism, drug addiction, abortion, idolatry, gluttony, and the list continues. We have strayed so far from what is right in the eyes of GOD, that we don’t even know what it looks like anymore. We are in desperate need of the redemption of a perfect God. Don’t mistake what I am saying for legalism. I am not saying we need to return to all the standards of the holiness movement, but we also can’t be on the other extreme where we don’t even know what holiness is. Our society needs God to live holy, righteous, and moral lives.
So what will it take America? Will we be divided and conquered like Israel? Will we continue to live in our own unrighteous desires until God’s wrath is poured out on us all? Or will we take a stand for holiness? Will we take a stand for God? Will we say “As for me, I will follow the ways of Yahweh Elohim,” the personal Lord God who desires a caring, loving relationship with us? If we want to see holiness in our society, it starts with us. It starts with you. It starts with me. Let’s redefine “Right.”