I was recently listening to a teaching in which the speaker drew the listener's attention to the last verse in the book of Judges. "In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit." (Judges 21:25) This same verse is repeated in Judges 17:6, 18:1, and 19:1. Whenever the Scriptures repeat something, it is a signal to pay attention. The words "everyone did as he saw fit" suggests that Israel had departed from the covenant standards of conduct found in the law. And later in the book of 1 Samuel chapter 8 Israel asks for a king like the other nations that surrounded them. It was not good enough that God Himself was their King. As a result of having their request granted, Israel then plunges into a succession of various kings. Some of these kings led the people into evil practices and others followed the Lord. In either case, Israel did not fair too well apart from their true King. How similar are the circumstances we find taking place in the world today. Many people don't want a king and have chosen to depart from any absolute standard. They don't want any "so-called God" telling them what to do. Everyone does as they see fit. And the expectation is that every one is supposed to follow the same game plan. Those who want to be faithful to Christ and follow His ways are often scorned, mocked, and labeled intolerant. As a result, the slow elimination of anything pertaining to God and His standards is causing a similar chaos like Israel experienced. At Christmas time we remember that God sent us a King in the form of a baby. This baby ultimately grew up to become our Savior. He did not grow up in a palace enjoying all the benefits expected of royalty. But He laid aside His rightful place as King and became human, humbly walking among us showing us the heart of the Father and dying for our sakes to reconnect us to God. And when Jesus was born, Herod sought to destroy Him because He felt threatened. (Matthew 2) A similar tone is being experienced today. A recent news segment showed people protesting because the governor of Rhode Island wanted to rename the traditional Christmas tree to a "holiday tree." Furthermore there is a push to acquaint Christmas as a time of "great bargains" as there is a mad rush to purchase gifts on "Black Friday" which in some cases was pushed back even further to "Black Thursday" or Thanksgiving Day. And with the ever increasing electronics age, there was "Cyber Monday." It seems that when some feel threatened by the presence of God, like Herod they seek to destroy any remnant of Him. But try as they will, Christmas is still Christmas and the King has come. Moreover He will be coming again not in humility but with the authority and power as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Hallelujah! "Joy to the world the Lord is come, let earth receive her King!" Let us bow down and worship our King for He alone is worthy!
Peace at Christmas!