Read Judges 21
Focus on verse 10-13
I can remember more than a few occasions where after making a purchase I believed would be a good deal, I suffered from buyer’s remorse when I realized that the item I purchased did not deliver everything I thought it would. In today’s reading we discover the book of Judges ends about the way it began…with the people doing what was right in their own eyes.
So the congregation sent 12,000 of their bravest men there and commanded them, “Go and strike the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword; also the women and the little ones. This is what you shall do: every male and every woman that has lain with a male you shall devote to destruction.” And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead 400 young virgins who had not known a man by lying with him, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan. (v. 10-13)
In this last two chapters, the eleven tribes gang up on Benjamin and wipe out all but six hundred men. Then they start feeling remorseful and decide to try to make things right be finding wives for the survivors – problem is they all made a death pact not to give their own daughters to them. So they look around and find a group at Jabesh-gilead who were not part of the pact whom they promptly wipe out saving alive only the virgin females. The book closes repeating these words. “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” This in fact seems to be the recurring theme throughout Judges. Perhaps Judges brings to mind what the Psalmist expresses in Psalm 29:18 “where there is no vision, the people perish: But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (KJV)
When we do what seems right in our own eyes rather than what we know to be right in in the Lord’s eyes we do ourselves a huge disservice. The greatest loss in not that the Lord is disappointed, but that we sell ourselves short of His best for our lives.