Summary: In our society it seems that we are devoid of God. Life wasn’t much different in the days of Judges. It’s a life literally without God.
Life Without God
I remember clearly the day when I first saw the sign “God is Dead.” About 30 years ago, I was traveling on I-65 headed north to Indiana with my family. My mind was in neutral and I was somewhere else in “never-never land” as you sometimes get when you are driving on a long trip. It startled me so as if I had fallen asleep at the wheel. In a sense, that’s where I was. I had fallen asleep at the wheel of life and living it as if God were dead.
In our society it seems that we are devoid of God. The headlines on our daily newspaper and the evening news explain what I’m trying to say. It’s seems that everyone’s pursuit is in self-gratification. It’s about ‘who I am’ and not about ‘who anybody else is’. We have a world that worships self without regard to another person.
But you know it still shocks our system when we hear of a 10-year-old that sexually molests a 3-year-old and then brutally murders him. It’s shocks our system still when a protective authority figure releases a child that has been abused back to its abusive mother. At her hands, the child is suffocated to death. It stills shocks our system when we hear of killings in cold blood right in our own community. It still shocks our system to know that our youth is sexually active and have no fear of becoming pregnant. It still shocks our system when a young, unmarried, college student couple deals with an unwanted pregnancy by delivering the child in a Motel 6 room and throwing it in the trash to die. It still shocks our system to read and to hear these kinds of stories.
But the reality of it all is that we live in a generation of young people being raised to consider themselves and combining that with junk food, junk movies, and just plain junk. We are raising a generation that thinks of nothing but itself. The old three R’s of our old school system; reading, writing, arithmetic has now become the three G’s; games, guns, and getting high. Smoking, swallowing, injecting, and sniffing are the many things that our kids are into today to take them out of reality into themselves and away from God.
Life wasn’t much different in the days of Judges. For those of you who are reading through the Bible, got a mind full of things that happened in the times of Judges. And for those of you that have read this morning’s section wonder how much more horrific can you get than in the times of Judges? It’s a life literally without God.
In chapter 17:6 says there was no king in Israel and everyone did as they saw fit in their own mind. This phrase is going to come up several times. As a matter of fact, the book ends that way; “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” Just looking after self! But in reality, there was a king and His name was God. But the people lived as if there were no God.
So what is life without God? Look at chapter 2 of Judges and examine what life is without God, sin reigns. When sin reigns, there is disobedience. Look back to verse 2. The children of Israel disobeyed God. God had certain plans for them. He had brought them into the promise land and fulfilled His covenant made with Abraham. But the children of Israel disobeyed God, breaking the covenant. They disobeyed God and that’s what happens when sin reigns in our lives. God’s loves us enough to make a covenant and we break it.
Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus and begins, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” (Ephesians 2:1-2). He was speaking of the devil. All of us have lived at one time gratifying the sinful ways of our sinful nature and we followed its desires and thoughts. Paul dealt with this in his day. They dealt with it in the times of Judges. And we’re dealing with it today. We have become self-gratifying. In such a way that we begin to separate ourselves from God in doing what we want to do and that is called disobedience! When sin reigns in my life, I become disobedient to God. Satan is ruling your life, in a sense; he is the god in your life who’s ruling you.
I remember in speaking with a young person, who was kind of arrogant and very athletic. He says, “Nobody rules me”. I just kind of chuckled under my breath. We’re all ruled in some way or another. If God’s not reigning in your life, then Satan is. You say, “Well, I’m not a devil worshipper.” Yes you are. If God is not ruling your life, then Satan has you. We’re all slaves to one or the other, either God or Satan. When Paul writes to the people in his day he says, “this is where you were. You were dead in your transgressions. You were slaves to the spirits of this world.” When we consider the words of Paul in this text, not only are we disobedient but also when sin reigns in our lives we begin to compromise with sin.