The Days When Everyone Does As He Sees Fit

 

Just as Canada is meeting the onslaught of the Financial Tsunami head on, along comes political instability. Perhaps we all feel outraged and upset about the sudden twist in the political arena. This writer is reminded of an interval of political infighting and internecine carnage during the period of the Judges. Chapter 9 of the Book of Judges records how Abimelech, son of Gideon, used treacherous and vicious means to attain the leadership position of his country. Yet in the end he and the people of Shechem met with defeat and death because of their excessive wickedness.

 

God had used Gideon to deliver the Israelites from the oppression of the Midians. Gideon knew that the elevation of the Judges was by the choice of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. Although he had seventy sons, he said to those who would crown him as king, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you." But after he died, his son Abimelech used despicable means to stir up his mother’s brothers in Shechem to support him, and took money from the temple of Baal to hire reckless adventurers as followers. When he had seized power, he slaughtered his seventy brothers and made himself king. Because he and the people of Shechem had colluded and used each other merely for the sake of influence and gain, once they attained dominance, they started to attack one another under the provocation of the Devil. First, Gaal roused up the support of the people of Shechem in order to overthrow the reign of Abimelech. Then Zebul exposed the plot to Abimelech, so that the scheme of Gaal to usurp the throne was thwarted. Later, the men of Abimelech battled those of Shechem and Gaal was driven out. Abimelech set fire to the Tower of Shechem in anger, resulting in the tragedy of a thousand men and women being burned alive. Finally, during his siege of a city, Abimelech was hit on the head by a millstone dropped by a woman and died. All these happened because God wanted to convict Abimelech of his sin in slaughtering his seventy brothers, and to repay all the wickedness of the people of Shechem. God is righteous, and does not leave the guilty unpunished. He allows the wicked to suffer the consequences by biting and devouring each other.

 

The Age of the Judges is a period when everyone did as he saw fit, because in those days Israel had no king (Judges 21:25).  Everyone did as he saw fit means that everyone did what seemed right in his own eyes, and did not follow the word of God or his own conscience. When people sin and transgress to such a degree that they have buried their conscience, become proud and self-important, and rendered themselves a god, then God will not longer interfere, and seemingly allow them to act recklessly. “God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another …”, “God gave them over to sinful lusts …”, “God … gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.” (Romans 1:24, 26, 28) When God not longer takes notice, and gives people over to sin, the world will produce more and greater unrighteous acts and iniquities. In fact, these people who do as they please are just accumulating pent-up wrath towards themselves before God, and waiting for the punishment of the Lord. Just as the Anti-Christ before the end of days will receive the tribute and worship of all nations on earth, and the Devil will also give him unprecedented power and authority so that he can do as he sees fit on earth for 42 months (Revelations 13:5), but he will be destroyed by Jesus Christ in the end.

 

When we see the unworthy in power and the wicked ascendant; when many chaotic, unjust and unrighteous things are happening, we should not be chagrined nor generate sinful thoughts because of that. Preceding the Coming of the Lord are the days when everyone does as he sees fit, just as in the days of Noah and of Lot in the city of Sodom. We should always be vigilant and steadfast, love and encourage one another, and pray for the nation, lest the righteous abandon righteousness and fall into sin. “For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But my righteous one shall live by faith. And if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” (Hebrews 10:37-38) “Behold, the Judge is standing right at the door!” (James 5:9)

 

By: Daniel To