“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25

So ends the book of Judges. I found this statement to be quite curious from the standpoint that they had never had a physical king nor had they ever asked for one. Why does the author of Judges even bring it up? Why was a king necessary for some semblance of universal morality?

I Samuel 8 give us a strong clue. The people implore Samuel to give them a king “Like all the nations”. If anointing a king would somehow correct the problem of everyone doing what was right in their own eyes, you would think this to be a good thing. Why did this request displease Samuel? (I Sam. 8:5-6) God clears it up for him.

 “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.” I Sam. 8:7

There is the key. The issue was not the lack of a king. The issue was which king. God had promised Israel through Abraham that He would be their God and they would be His people, a promise that is repeated several times in the Pentateuch. The problem of everyone doing what was right in his own eyes was not due to the lack of a king. It was the direct result of rejecting their true King. The request to Samuel was their attempt to employ a political solution to a spiritual problem.

Do you see a correlation here between the situation in Israel three thousand years ago and our culture today? If you were to replicate the moral and ethical conditions in Israel at that time, it would be difficult to create a scenario any more accurate than the modern West in 2020. Killing babies for the sake of convenience, redefining marriage to accommodate sexual preferences, living according to a psychological rather than a biological gender, are all manifestations of a culture populated by people doing what is right in their own eyes.

Given all of this it should not surprise us that the current election cycle features a strong socialist, and in some cases even a fascist, flavor. What we are experiencing is a culture that has rejected God and is seeking to fill the void with a different “king”. Just like Israel in the time of Samuel, it is the attempt of the masses to employ a political solution to a spiritual problem.

There truly is nothing new under the sun.

-Ross Lehman

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