In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
This two sentence epilogue is a telling statement of a desperate society. The lack of leadership led to a shortage of commitment. The people struggled to follow God. And self-determination led to chaos. This was spiritual and social meltdown. The two went together hand and glove.
Simple and scary observations come to mind when reflecting on this. My culture increasingly places its highest value on individual choice and freedom. These are not bad values, in the proper context, but they have been idolized. Now people think that there are no moral norms. And by moral, they mean primarily personal standards regarding spiritual and sensual behaviors. The theory is that as long as nobody "gets hurt" physically, anything goes. But the outcome is social and personal chaos.
I know. I have seen it more than I can count. It is devastating. I have counseled people who cannot trust anyone because they have been so betrayed by everyone whom they thought they loved, or whom they thought loved them because they based that "love" on a physical relationship. Our world cannot tell you that their is a noble part of love that transcends the sexual dimension. We have let naturalism and science be the priests that tell us all that we should do. And it has led us to a false idolatry that has left our hearts empty and unfulfilled.
This epilogue of the Book of Judges could well be the epitaph of post-modernism. It is where we are right now without God.
- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13