OT19 | Eden to Exile

NT Connect: Romans 1:16-32

Weekly Reading: Judges 18-21; Ruth 1

When God Is Not Our King

The book of Judges is the book of “no king.” We see this expressed in (17:6; 19:1; and 21:25). God was their King, but the nation refused to obey Him. Their disobedience led them to a lot of consequence and heartache. Multiple times throughout this book we see that the people “did evil” in God’s sight and therefore had to chastened. When God disciplined them, they cried out for mercy and were delivered, but then, they often lapsed back into their evil ways and had to disciplined.

The sad history of Israel moves now from idolatry to immorality and civil war. If sin is not dealt with, it spreads like a plague and destroys people, nations, and generations. We see through these chapters that Israel’s plight was independence from God and their indifference to His law. Nothing can be right when every man does what is right in his own eyes. It was a time of moral and spiritual darkness.

When spiritual leaders fail to obey God and set godly examples, the church and the community suffer, and ultimately the whole nation decays. It makes a difference when God’s people are truly salt and light in a decaying and dark society (Matt. 5:13-16).

As our weekly OT reading led us into Ruth 1 as well, we see an example of God’s redemption through the dark days of judges. In the book of Ruth, we see the providence of God at work in the lives of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz. We also see another important link: the genealogy of the Savior. Naomi moves from bitterness to blessedness, and Ruth moves from loneliness to love. What a picture of the grace of God!

To me, the reading in Judges and Romans 1 is a great reminder that we still have a humanity that desires and strives to live independently of God and do our own thing! What is God’s answer to humanity’s sin and evil, what is God’s answer for my independent and sinful nature? The answer is his one and only Son, Jesus Christ! God has good news! It is promised in the Old Testament and centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to earth as a Jew, died, and arose again; and he saves ALL who will trust in him. Jesus alone purchased salvation, and this message of hope must be proclaimed to the whole world so others can know this Good News as well! Why, because the gospel alone is “the power of God to salvation” (v. 16).

Paul’s life was changed by the gospel; his whole life was controlled by it. Called to be an apostle (v.1), he felt himself a debtor to the whole world (v. 14). Through his church, God is calling people to Jesus Christ (vv.5-7). Have we confessed with our mouth and believed in our heart that Jesus Christ is Lord? Are we looking for opportunities to share this Greatest Message, of all Messages?

“Religions are man’s search for God; the Gospel is God’s search for man. There are many religions, but one Gospel” (E. Stanley Jones).

Robert Puckett