Everyone Did What Was right In their Own Eyes

The book of Judges in the Bible is an eye opening portrayal of the downward spiral of a nation. And a very good lesson for all of us today.

Right now I’m studying the book of Judges. Yes, Judges! That Old Testament book is sandwiched in between the books of  Joshua and Ruth. I would guess that Judges is not one of the top 10 favorite books of the Bible on most people’s lists.  The book of Judges has a lot to say about our condition today! And is like a mirror of our collective lives!

I love the Old Testament as much as I love the New. It’s important for all of us who call Jesus our Lord and Savior to know the full counsel of the word of God and that includes Judges!

The book of Judges is about a very very dark time in the history of Israel.

A time when the Israelites “did not know the Lord nor yet the works which He had done for Israel”.

Judges is a book about APATHY AND APOSTASY! About a time when the chosen people of God turn away from Him and did what was right in their own eyes.

The time the people of Israel knew and followed God until the apostasy, or falling away of their faith, took a mere couple of generations! WOW!  Think of that!

After Joshua, a great and mighty servant of the Lord, died and his generation along with him the next generation did not know God. Oh, they knew of God but did not know Him and His word. They were no longer obedient to Him and did not cling to His ways!

The book of Judges is VERY convicting to me! It is a lesson in what happens to an individual and a nation as they stray from being committed to knowing and following the Lord. This is a very sad and eye-opening story about what happens when God is no longer important and the very center of their lives.

It teaches us about what happens when we start doing what WE think is best and not what GOD knows is best! The downward spiral and unraveling of a person and a society is jaw-dropping!

The book of Judges is very, extremely, overwhelmingly relevant for not only us but for our nation today!

To understand Judges, we need to get a little insight into the relationship between God and the nation Israel.

God chose the people of Israel to be a light in a dark world. To shine so that as they lived and obeyed the Lord they would show just who God was to a world that was mired in idolatry and spiritual darkness!

The Israelites were to be the way the whole world would come know God and worship Him! God promised to bless them so greatly, IF THEY OBEYED HIM,  so all the world would wonder who the great and benevolent God of the Jews was. In ancient times everyone believed in a god.  (Deut. 30)

But God also promised the people of Israel that if they would turn away from Him and not obey Him and would be a bad representation of who He was to the world that He would punish them. (Deut. 30) Not because He was mean or spiteful but because of God’s righteous judgment. The people of Israel had made a covenant, better than a promise, and agreed to this deal. Every evil act has a consequence.  

God punished the Israelites as a way of waking them up so they would turn from their evil ways and turn back to Him. And in turning back to Him the Israelites would again show the world who the real God is.  

During the time of Judges, the stubborn nation of Israel started a very dangerous and downward spiral! They turned to their own ways and understanding and always fell into great trouble and great sin.

They would turn away from God and…

“do what was evil in the sight of the Lord”.

This phrase is stated seven times in the book of Judges.

Turning away from God started a downward spiral of degeneration and degradation for the Israelites!

This is how it happened…

The Israelites would forget God and do what they thought was best, sinning and turning their back of God’s word.

Then God would punish them for their disobedience and disregard for being God’s representative in the world as a way of reminding them they were His chosen people.

Then the people would cry out to the Lord when things got really bad for them. I find it so interesting that not until things got bad in their lives that they concerned themselves with God. Sound like many of us today!

Then God would answer them and send them a leader called a Judge (really a warrior Chief) to set them on the right path of obedience to God and get them out of the trouble they were in.

Then there would be peace and rest in the land until the Judge died.

And here is the scary thing, the cycle would start over and over again! Seven times in over 300 years!

And why did the nation of Israel sink into this downward spiral of disobedience and judgement?  It was a matter of THEIR EYES!

The Hebrew language is very literal. It use lots of concrete words to define abstract ideas. The word “eye” in the context of Judges means “sight or perspective or arrogance”. During the time of Judges, the people did what they THOUGHT was right… not what WAS right. 

The whole book of Judges can be summed up in these few words…

“Everyone did what was right in their own eyes. Judges 21:25

The book of Judges can be a very “eye opening” book!

It shows us what happens to us when we forget God and go our own way. And it isn’t pretty! It shows us how we too can get caught in recreating the same sin over and over again because it is our very broken nature.

Thankfully, God has a cure for our eyes!!!! 

Fixing our eyes on Jesus the founder and perfected of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of God. Hebrews 12:2

Fixing, or looking at nothing else than Jesus, is a way to stop the cycle of our own eye problem!

And how do we do this? By bowing our knees to the authority and kingship of Jesus in our lives. Living for Him and not for ourselves! Accepting His free gift of salvation and becoming a disciple of His and Him alone!

Then under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, reading and studying and obeying the very Word of God! How can you know and see Jesus if you do not read and study your bible?

Let’s not take our eyes off of Jesus! For if we do we will develop the same eye problem the nation of Israel had in the time of the Judges! 

Thank you, God, for Jesus!!!!

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  1. Amen. So well said, my friend. We need to be sharing the gospel from generation to generation. Hugs to you.

    1. Our minister just finished a series on Judges.
      Convicting. Challenging. We are exactly like the sraelites of old.
      History always repeats itself. We never learn to follow God. We want life to go our way.
      These lessons were a call (for me) to Remember.
      Thank you for your post.

  2. Very well said. I love your Sunday reflections, so relevant in our world today. God Bless!

  3. Thank you for sharing a spiritual message, especially such a profound one. We are in such troubling times now that it feels like history continues to repeat itself when we do not recognize and believe in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Sharing this message and the message of our own belief is a wonderful way to praise Gods d His holy word.

  4. Thank you for sharing the wonderful words of Truth that our world so desperately needs to hear. You are a great inspiration and testimony. May God continue to bless you and use you for His glory!

      1. H. Avalos says:

        It is no wonder of why in this most free country of America we are reaping of what the “We the people…” have sown.
        The rebellious cry of ” We have rights..” have trampled over the christian principles that our for fathers had founded this nation with. With the death nail of expelling God from our schools.

    1. Thank you Yvonne -acknowledging the Lord and the Bible’s teachings will help us all, just traveling through Europe and South America the telltale signs of a world that no longer sees Christ as the Saviour is so startling

      1. I know! And these areas not that long ago were filled with faithful.

  5. Hi Yvonne
    I love your explanations of the Bible and look forward to reading your blog everyday, but especially on Sunday.. Would you share the name of the books you use to help you understand the Bible? It can be so confusing! Thank you!

    1. I use an online resource called BibleHub. I like to study all the Greek or Hebrew words and then I have a much better understanding of what the Bible is saying. Also I HIGHLY recommend HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE INDUCTIVELY by Kay Aurther. It has really helped me:https://amzn.to/3JqO9oI

  6. Anita Hardy says:

    Yvonne, I love your insights and it struck me that when you said in the last lines about developing an “eye” problem that we could also interpret that as an “I” problem, so fitting that both words are pronounced the same and also apply the same. I love hearing your words on Sundays. God bless you and all who read these blessings.

  7. JoAnn McM says:

    So well expressed! This cycle continues and continues through to our present day. I am so thankful that we have such a loving God that he never turns away from us in spite of what we do. The eye explanation was “eye opening” Happy SonDay!

  8. A good study. Thankyou

  9. Convicting! Thank you Yvonne.

  10. Gail True says:

    Thank you for sharing these timely words. Our pastor is walking through the book of Judges….lots of action, take away lessons, and understanding the character of God (His faithfulness, love, and mercy). We too are prone to do “what is evil in the sight of the LORD”….BUT, ….
    “when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7

  11. Debbie Atchley says:

    Excellent teaching Yvonne. (as usual) I must ask once again if I can print this out and share with the ladies I lead on Thursday nights?

  12. God’s words are alive indeed. It is true in the olden days, it is even true nowadays. Unfortunately, this is happening in our country again. The pages are unfolding right in front of our very eyes. Please pray for my country, the Philippines.

    1. Oh, Sophie. I just prayed for you and the Philippines. God bless you!

  13. Lianzathang says:

    I will be using this in my sermon on the night of August 20. 2022 in our church service. Please pray for me. Thank you.

  14. Robin Albanese says:

    Sweet Yvonne – I love your teaching and really this was the best article I found on the topic. My question and comment is this…. Is there a way to print this teaching without all the ads? And truly the number of advertisements that pop up and crowd out the text of your posts is so disruptive. I realize you have a blog as a source of income, but truly I’ve been following you for years and it has gotten so bad that I frequently just delete them when they appear in my inbox. Honestly, I would pay you to NOT get the ads! Is that an option you would consider. I would be the first woman to sign up!! I love your heart and your life for Christ and your approach to decorating… you are a gem!

    1. Robin, the best way to print this is to cut and paste it to another page. I’m sorry about the ads, but you have no idea, and why should you, how expensive it is to run a blog! If there is a StoneGable there will be ads. I love publishing my blog as a free gift to my readers. Ads are just a part of blogging life. I hope you can overlook them and enjoy the content.

  15. Mary Rose says:

    I heard a pastor preach about the book of Judges and I had a feeling of overwhelming conviction. Iam guilty of seeing and doing things my way not His. God has to judge me according to my sin. I’ve accepted that. Best part is I call myself a Christian. Iam so ashamed my parents would be too!!!

    1. Mary have you accepted the free gift of grace? Have you trusted Jesus’ substitutionally death on the cross in your place? God judged your sin on the cross, if you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. You will not be judged for you sin! You will be free from shame. Please, Mary read this post:https://www.stonegableblog.com/what-is-saving-faith/

  16. Mary Rose says:

    Thank you for your response. No I haven’t accepted the free gift of grace. I want to I thank God for it but I fall back into my old ways. I won’t even go to church or admit my true feelings except to my husband.

    1. Mary Rose, God loves you! He sent His only son to die for you He loved you so much. Don’t listen to the lies of the devil! Listen to God. Read your Bible! Find a good Bible believing church and ask for help. Your eternal destiny is the most important thing. You are loved and once you accept God’s amazing gift to you- you will be set free!

      1. Mary Rose says:

        Very sweet of you to reply. I know you are speaking from a good place. This coming Sunday I will attend church. I have been pouring thru God’s word. I do want to spend eternity with Him. I believe He will restore what the canker worm has stolen!!! I do believe that! You are so sweet thank you for your time! !

    2. Lissa Kosovich says:

      Hello Mary Rose I came across this blog today and was reading all the comments, hope you have experienced the new life in Christ since this time, seemed God was calling you back to Himself. Would like to recommend a wonderful new book to read by Michael Arnold called “The Forgotten Feast: From Performance-Driven Christianity to the Covenant of Outrageous Grace”, it is very well written and helps you to see Grace through the new blood Covenant. The Father is so loving and merciful to bring us back to Himself and nothing we can do in ourselves to redeem ourselves without this amazing plan of salvation promised from God back in the garden of Eden, Jesus was that promised seed. Blessings and nothing but the new life in Christ’s finished work and indwelling Holy Spirit be your hope for forgiveness, wholeness and eternal life. Amazon link to the book https://www.amazon.com.au/Forgotten-Feast-Performance-Driven-Christianity-Outrageous/dp/1796263168

  17. Karen Brown says:

    Praise the Lord! And thank you! I had just ask Jesus in my bible study, in the book of Judges. In Chapter 2:10, When they didn’t even know God nor what He did for Israel. How then did they know to call out to you in chapter 3? The Holy Spirit lead me to this sight! The knew of Him but didn’t know Him. So sad! That is pretty much like our world! I really enjoyed reading this:) very good job!

  18. As i study judge chapter.. for my message to my co.workers..i came across your written portion about the message… love your explanation… thankyou for your insight of God’s word..may God bless you more with good health as you share His powerful message of repentance… Thankyou

  19. Sandra Hartsell says:

    I will follow Jesus for the rest of my life on this earth