Daily Readings & Thought for June 19th. “….IN HIS OWN EYES”
Today we completed reading the book of Judges. This covers the period after the death of Joshua who brought the people of Israel across the Jordan after their wanderings in the wilderness; wanderings completed when Moses died. Joshua oversees their establishment as a nation in the promised land. After he died the nation did not function very well, they rallied to serve God somewhat better when a particular Judge inspired them, but most of the time, as the final words of the book tells us, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
We read of some of the actions that took place that were really evil and made unpleasant reading, but the fact is, the Bible is honest, it does not gloss over unpleasant things, it tells us life as it really is – it is truthful.
One thing we noticed in the final chapter was that the people, now anxious to keep to God’s ways, felt themselves bound to keep to the oaths they had “sworn by the Lord” [v.7] although this created great difficulty in providing wives for the remaining 600 men of the tribe of Benjamin. We are reminded of Numbers ch. 30 from v. 3 onwards and the responsibility of a father to try to oversee any oath, i.e vow, his daughter or wife may make.
We think of the vows that should be made (or used to be) at a marriage ceremony that those present are gathered together ‘in the presence of God’ to hear their commitment in marriage “until death do us part” – or, as we often add, “until our Lord returns’ and they, by the grace of God, become immortal and the whole meaning and purpose of their life – and our lives – changes.
But today so many do what is right in their own eyes! How much longer before God really shows his anger on our unrighteous world? The only love of so many in our world is ‘self-love.’ But let us note what we read today in 2 John, “this is love, that we walk according to his commandments …. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what you have worked for; but may win a full reward.”