The book of Judges ends with the statement:
“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)
The same refrain occurs multiple times throughout the book. Judges is meant to highlight how people operate when there is no one to provide direction. In short, when we operate according to our own wisdom, we not only sin against God, but we sin against others as well.
The book of Judges shows us in vivid detail that the positive talk about our ability to manage / govern self is untrue. When we cast off leadership and operate according to our own wisdom, societal breakdown occurs. The liberty we seek does not happen. The only way we are able to live free product lives that result in wealth, safety, and human flourishing is to agree to and live under a collective rule of law enforced by a non-corrupt government.
We know, not only from God’s Word, but also from human history, that the greatest amount of flourishing occurs when a societies laws and government most closely resemble God’s wisdom put forth in His Word. When we deviate from God’s Word and His wisdom, we push against the fabric of God’s good design for this world. The resulting rebellion is not freedom but bondage. It is not human flourishing but destruction.
We know this to be true from our own experience. Most of you reading this post use power tools according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. When you do, your home projects are done safely and with relative ease. The opposite is true when you use a tool in the way in which it has not been designed. You might get away with it a time or two, but sooner or later you are going to get hurt.
Freedom occurs when we operate according to God’s wisdom. Destruction results when we operate according to our own wisdom. Don’t reject God’s wisdom for your own. We know what happens. We know the ending. Turn to the Lord, His Word, His wisdom, and experience the flourishing you desperately desire.