Daily Devotional

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

Did you know, according to a 2015 Pew Research Forum study, atheists only account for 3.1% of the U.S. population. So, the other 96.9% may not believe in the God of the Bible, but they still affirm belief in a god’s existence. The problem for most isn’t whether or not God exists, but how much authority this god has in their lives.

As we get closer to Christmas, I can't help that this reminds me of "Elf on the Shelf". If you recall the elf on the shelf is a little doll sold in stores that parents may buy to place around the house. The idea is that the elf works for Santa Claus and he is reporting all the good and bad that you're doing. Basically Santa's informant. The elf on the shelf is to be a constant reminder that Santa is watching and therefore gives children an incentive to behave at all times or at least during Christmas time. Now when the elf is literally on the shelf, it’s easy to believe in the elf's existence, but it’s another thing entirely to believe the authority the elf has to influence behavior. From a personal standpoint, we don't need elf on the shelf in my house because we have dad in the pad.

Now when it comes to God, many seem to be ok with God (or a god) as long as He is only a good, loving, spiritually uplifting thought, who answers our every beckoning call and is listening during our hard times. But what about a God who tells us the purpose and direction of our lives? What about a God who is a perfect Father and judge; who will correct us without hesitation? People have a problem with a "nosy", obedience-demanding God. They find the very idea offensive. And because they do not see the evidence of God continually providing in their lives, they trust neither Him nor His ways for the wellbeing of their lives.

This verse that concludes the book of Judges is one of the saddest in all of Scripture. Just shortly after God's people finally arrived in the promised land, they also arrived at a place of spiritual chaos. A place where each person was determining their own truth and choosing whatever path seemed right to them. It got so bad that they rejected God as their king by demanding that Samuel anoint a king for them so they could be like all the other nations. God gave His people Saul, who failed to trust and obey God, which brought his reign to an end. Israel needed a king who would trust and obey God the Father fully to establish a lasting kingdom. Jesus is that King. And through His perfect obedience, God established His rule over His people forever.

It is important to remember that our desires aren’t always good for us, especially when we find ourselves turning to different places for fulfillment other than God. Spend just a few moments this morning thinking of some ways that clearly demonstrate you find more delight in God than in the things of this world. Then give Him thanks for these things.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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