Judges 17:6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
Judges 18:1 In those days Israel had no king.
Judges 19:1 In those days Israel had no king.
Judges 21:25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
I PUZZLE at the deep and intricate stories of the Old Testament that I don’t YET understand. It is OK that I don’t yet understand (YET) because I know I WILL understand some day – and all these popcorn kernels in my head that have not YET popped open, WILL pop. I long to sit down with God’s newsreels of wars and warriors. Someday, we will understand it all – and maybe as we will pick up cliffnotes commentaries we will learn on the go, SO for now let us just glean the truth as we can get. It is BETTER to read it first and let the Lord fill in the blanks because He has the best heat to expand our brain spaces like Jiffy Pop. Don’t eat the old popcorn off the floor of the movie theater either – get a NEW bucket and free refills for yourself and start digesting the scripture scenes for you own clean nourishment. Eventually with HIS Heating Elements, you will pop the unpopped kernels of information – gratefully add the Spirit sprinkle of Salt and Light – and surely there will be Endless refills because God already paid.
Because I have read the book of Revelation, I know that the coming together and tearing apart of Israel is key to study throughout all time and especially now. What I can glean from the stories of Judges 17 thru 21 is that without a king, Israel did what they could. As the scripture repeats in chapters 17, 18, 19, and 21: everyone did as they saw fit. The Lord was still in charge – and was consulted often – the ark was still revered and remembered – yet there was war between even the Israelite tribes. There were MANY lost soldiers, women, children, and animals – destroyed towns – so much bloodshed that it was like Israel was bleeding and eating at itself. Eventually the Benjamin tribe was especially ambushed at war and decimated but for a few left. The whole house of Israel was divided against itself. The house of Israel, formed from Jacob who fought his own brother from the time of being in their mother’s womb, continued to sometimes mentally wander even when IN the Promised Land.
War started at home – war kept going – war without a peacemaker turns inward. Even the strange tale of the concubine killed and divided by her master who sent parts to each of the tribes is a disturbing story of blame – of calling out – an analogy of discord for the kingdom to be reunited with the need of a King. NO WONDER the disciples of Jesus asked Jesus if He was going to restore the Kingdom of Israel (Acts 1:6 after He arose and before He ascended).
Judges 17 starts the story of Micah and his mom – silver was stolen and returned – but the interesting solution to problems is when Micah hired his own priest. If we think about Israel as a whole – from one man Jacob to 12 sons – and the infighting and plotting they had against each other back then – especially of Joseph (the youngest with that dreamcoat) and Benjamin the second youngest – we can see the back and forth trouble beginning between jealous brothers and then between eventual tribes. Imagine that large scale now with the 12 tribes. Imagine the heartache Moses and Jacob had trying to manage the unmanageable. Imagine the remorse later for the brothers to have lost Joseph – imagine the remorse for the tribes in Judges to have lost most of the Benjamites. This was a family trait – to lose and then long for each other.
There are many more stories of Israel for us to read next and for us to live next when Israel once again becomes center stage as the book of Revelation predicts. When does this end? When a King is risen up from Israel and when the King, namely Jesus, returns to put all to rest. We live in a flip-flopped life. No king for Israelites in the book of Judges but always a God to look to. Now a King in Jesus, but not always Jesus being looked to. Jesus turned the world upside down with his humble birth and rise as not a King for their earthly reign, but for a Kingdom to restore.
No, the popcorn has not yet popped in the brains of all men to know Him and follow Him. Jesus is the King to return peace but not without war – not without battle – not without strife – not without division.
I am sure that there are educated scholars to tell us the answers to the puzzling story but there is ONLY ONE KING to have already known the solution to the problem. Restore the Kingdom. Be the King of the Kingdom – RETURN.
Come Lord Jesus, on a cloud that looks like popcorn. I am saving the seat next to mine for your commentary of all.
Amen (and forgive the unpopped kernels of knowledge that I need salt and light for popping.)