My reading today was only 13 chapters. It was however a very rewarding experience; as it usually is reading the Word of God. Reading the Judges chapter thirteen through 21 you will find a common phrase in it in the latter chapters.
“In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 17:6
That verse is also the very last words of the book of Judges. We will look at that a bit later. One other time the phrase “In those days thee was no king in Israel” (18:1) is used. My thought on that is that God is speaking of a godly spiritual leader.
The stories of the Judges is a dark one due to disobedience or “partial obedience” which is disobedience.
We read of God’s grace toward the people of Israel by the appearance of the “angel of the LORD ” appearing to Manoah’s wife, and telling her she will have a son. This angel of the LORD is believed by many; and I am one of those; to be the preincarnate revelation of the Son of God. If you will note Manoah and his wife “fell on their faces to the ground” (13:20); an act of worship; and Manoah confesses “We shall surely die, because we have seen God.” (13:22). The “angel of the LORD” accepted the worship without any rebuke to them.
Samson was the promised son to Manoah and his wife from God. Samson was truly a “rascal”. He was a pain in the sides of the tormenters of Israel. He was however faithful to God and God’s ordained purpose in his life. Of Samson the writer of Hebrews mentions him in the “Hall of faith” (Hebrews 11:32); along with Gideon, Barak, Jephthah, David and Samuel.
There are probably many professing Christians today who might say something like; “Well I sure don’t want to be in place where people like that are.” Too bad. If you have that kind of attitude you have yet to see your own heart; and the evil within.
There was much rebellious, rachus living going on in Israel in those days. We find a man who made on Levite his own private priest (chapter 17). He and his idols were taken by the Danites for their own private priest; and this is all contrary to the word of God.
Another Levite took a concubine who was unfaithful, and ended up in war with the tribe of Benjamin nearly destroying the whole tribe. There is much darkness and evil in Judges, yet God rules, even when there is no other king in Israel (see also chapter 19:1).
The book of Ruth takes place during the time of the Judges; and is such a great story of redemption, grace and the power of God and His sovereignty.
Elimelech, due to a famine in the land of Israel, packs up his family and moves to Moab, the land which wanted to curse Israel; and he and his sons die in the land; leaving their wives widows. Naomi, the wife of Elimelech and mother of Mahlon and Chilion hears things are better back home and proceeds to leave, but tells her two daughters in law they are not required to go with her; but Ruth chooses to go.
Because of Ruth’s faith she is now in the lineage of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. From what had been a judgment upon the nation of Israel, God was working, to bring redemption to His people and to the world.
“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25
“And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, and Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, and Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, and Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.” Ruth 4:17-22 (KJV)
You might also want to read Matthew 1:1-17; the lineage of our Lord and Savior.
-Tim A. Blankenship