Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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Reflections for September 28, 2016

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Reflections for this date are based on the following scripture passages:
Judges 19
Judges 20
Judges 21

Godly Leadership

Judges chapters 19-21 give an account of how perverse Israel had become during the days of the judges. The account began with the statement, "In those days there was no king in Israel," and concluded with the statement, "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever he wanted." (Judges 19:1, 21:25) This account is very similar to one given in Genesis revealing the perverse nature of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. The message that is conveyed through this account in Judges is that the Israelites had become as perverse as the people of Canaan whom God defeated on behalf of Israel to give His people a land of their own. God replaced a perverse people with His chosen people who then became as bad as the ungodly people of Canaan whom God removed.

With the oft repeated phrase in Judges that "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever he wanted," we come to understand the importance of godly leadership that keeps pointing a people to God and punishes injustice and wickedness. We cannot stay faithful to godly living unless we remain faithful in turning regularly to God in worship and being reminded of His teachings. And it seems that we do not remain faithful in turning to God regularly in worship without the encouragement of godly leaders.

While in principle we can worship God in isolation and be totally faithful to Him and His teachings, in practice isolation usually leads to perversion. Jesus taught that the whole of scripture is summed up in two commands: Loving God with all our hearts and loving others as we love ourselves. To be faithful to God and to serve Him as He intends, both ingredients are required: love of God and of others. But, we are not likely to observe either of these commands without the influence of others in our lives and without entering into relationship with God and worshiping Him.

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