Judges 18

Today’s Passage: Judges 18 

JUDGES 18 Jumpstart
As the book of Judges continually repeats, there was no king in Israel and the moral climate of this nation was at an all-time low. This is most clearly evidenced by the narrator’s description in verse 1:
“and the tribe of the people of Dan was seeking for itself an inheritance to dwell in, for until then no inheritance among the tribes of Israel had fallen to them.”
The rest of the chapter is a depiction of Dan’s unquenchable thirst for making something happen under their own power and as we read chapter 18, there are certainly some truths we should discuss.

1. Things go better when God is the driver.
It seems as if some attempt was made to consult God (see verse 5), but at best, this is a man-centered plan where God wasn’t the primary author of the idea. Like Abraham and Sarah waiting on God’s promise, our selfish desires get in the way from time to time. God hasn’t ignored Dan or been unfair to them in not allotting them land; He’s been very purposeful about it. When we go outside the bounds of waiting on God take matters into our own hands, it never seems to go well. Romans 1:24-28 is a clear example of God saying, “Fine, have it your way.” It is much better to wait on the Lord, let Him lead, and follow Him than it is to blaze a trail that’s motivated by our own selfishness.
2. Human success doesn’t always mean God’s favor.
We can tend to make assumptions that just because God doesn’t stop it, it must mean He is ok with it. Time and time again in the Bible (and in our personal lives), God’s allowance of an event doesn’t equate to His approval. The 600 soldiers of Dan found victory that day, but when you consider the source of their plight (selfishness) and the result of their success (idolatry), we have to know that God didn’t put His stamp on that one. Anytime we go against God’s design it never comes with God’s favor, even if it has a veneer of success with it. We know God desires holiness over success, and human victory is never a better option than spiritual obedience.
3. Don’t let idolatry run unchecked.
The end result of this plan was the worship of a carved image (v. 31); an incredibly sad ending to another piece of Israel’s story. Our hearts are prone to drift toward lesser things (there’s Romans 1 again!), and how quickly we forget God. May we not neglect our first love, our great Savior, and our precious Father. When God is not the King of our hearts, we will find something else to occupy that throne and the issue is, nothing rules and reigns in righteousness like God does. May He continually be on our heart’s throne, so that it’s never said of us, “there was no King in Israel (our heart).”

Written By: Drew Dukes

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