Judges 21 – The Religion Without King
Tuesday, 31st January 2023
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
SECTION ONE V1-14 FOLLOW IN LUSTFUL DESIRE
The Israelites blamed God for the problem they were facing. But it was their own decision to destroy the tribe of Benjamin, they did not want to take the responsibilities of their mistakes. Often we also do things in a rush, we did not care about the consequences and did it in our flesh. Then when problems occur, we blame God and we cry out to God for the things happening to us. The Israelites offered before God and did all the religious rituals before God, but what were in their hearts? Did they truly repent and admit their mistakes?
The Israelites wept before God, but what was in their hearts? After they offered and wept, they asked each other what to do next, instead of asking God. We are also like this, we come before God to make offering, to pray, to repent, and to do everything that is religious, but we do not really come to God. We still seek the advises of other people, we still want to solve our own problems.
The Israelites made one mistake after another, they killed the people of Jabesh Gilead, because they did not go fight with them. We don’t know if this is only an excuses to destroy the people of Jabesh Gilead because they needed to find wives for the people of Benjamin.
SECTION TWO V15-24 FOLLOW IN BLINDNESS
The people of Israel were walking in darkness, they thought they were following God, but they were actually blind. God is talking to us every day, but we still seek to live our own lives and walk in our own paths. When problems occur in our lives, we blame God and don’t see our own mistakes. The people of Israel were not crying to God to repent their mistakes, they were crying because there was one tribe less in the whole Israel.
The elders of Israel did not want to take this responsibility, they gave the problems back to the people, instead of asking God, they asked the people what to do. What is our priority? Who are we following? Do we really have God in our lives and in our every decision? Or are we still walking in blindness and let people make decisions for us? There was no king and no one coming out to lead the people, so the elders also did not want to take the responsibility of their mistakes. As leaders, they did not lead the people back to the principles of God, instead they made one mistake after another.
In the yearly feast of the Lord in Shiloh, the Israelites should be worshiping and praising God, but what they did was to take the women against their will to be their own wives. What is our interactions with God? The Israelites were walking in parallel lines with God, they did not cross paths with God, they did what they wanted to do and fulfil their own desires.
SECTION THREE V25 THE RESULT OF WILFULNESS
Let us learn from the mistakes of the Israelites, do not just become ‘Sunday Christians’, only following the religious rituals but have no interactions with God. Stop living in our wilfulness and blindness, but seek to stay in the fragrance of the Tree of Life, follow our authority, so we can be covered, be blesse, be guided, and be protected.