Drawing by Charles Joseph Stanliand, circa 1900
11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.
Types and antitypes: The Bible is full of them. Moses brought Israel out of Egypt from the clutches of a tyrant. Israel wandered around for 40 years in part because they could not control themselves, their children entered the Promised Land but they went into subjugation over and over again because they could not control themselves or evil doers, and eventually they cried out to Samuel to give them another tyrant like all the nations that surrounded them. People like to conveniently forget that kings of those days were despots who claimed either divinity or the descent from divinity. As a result, they ruled with absolute power and were usually given to the corruption of such intoxicating power. That was what Israel was demanding!
The era of the judges is a parallel to the era of today. God’s promised people have no king, and everyone is doing what is right in his own eyes. Many are still seeking a human king instead of looking for the King of Kings because they aimlessly wander from doctrine to doctrine and want a man to interpret things for them. They neither understand authority, nor do they want to submit to valid authority. We are living in the era of the spiritual judges. Let’s get one thing straight: God did not leave His people without leadership in the days of the judges! They had civil elders and judges, and they had the priesthood! However, it was a loose type of authority (can you say “freedom”?) that absolutely cannot work unless the people are committed to self-restraint.
Forget all the nonense about eras of Revelation! The word “era” does not appear in the Bible, and over and over again Jesus repeats to every one of the churches, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches“, plural! The real era we are living in is the spritual era of the judges, in which people are either casting off all restraint or they are seeking a tyrant to rule over them.
The warnings to the seven churches are warnings to any church, organization or individual who is given to those propensities. It is a warning and not a club to be used against each other! The risen Christ speaks to each individual church and to those within it who will heed His words.
Down through the ages, God has had men rise up to gather His people together at critical times. They went by a lot of names down through history, and most of that history was preserved by the enemies of the people of God. However, just as God raised up judges so that physical Israel could survive, He raised up men of faith to ensure that the gates of Hades would not win against His Church!
We are without a physical king. God wants to see what each one of us will do with the freedom granted us right now. Will we serve Him? Will we club each other over the head? Will we submit to proper authority? Will we reject wrongful authority? Do we know the difference?
If Paul did not write the Book of Hebrews, then whomever did was certainly familiar with Paul’s writings. For in it, we read:
10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
This is so similar to what Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
3 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
“I am of Pack!” “I am of Meridith!” “I am of Thiel!” “I am of Flurry!” …
“Are ye not carnal?”
Joshua led Israel into the Promised Land. “Joshua” is the Anglicized Hebrew word that really is the same as the Anglicized Greek word “Jesus”. We were taken out of captivity, so why do some flaunt their liberties while others seek to return to bondage?
Life is a journey on a road. There is the law, which helps to ensure everyone gets safely to where they are going. There is a speed limit, there are lines drawn on the road to help people from colliding into each other, and then there are lines that highlight the boundaries of the road to help drivers stay on it rather than into one ditch or the other.
Too many Christians prefer the ditch to the road.
Traffic laws are usually passed and written down in books. They will normally stipulate the action that is desired or undesired and the penalty for breaking the law. Sometimes, there will be a stipulation for who is to enforce the law.
And, what is a law without enforcement? Isn’t it really then just a preference?
The time of the judges was one of lax enforcement. It was a time of utter failure, in fact. We saw an utter failure to carry out God’s commands by the people, the rulers and even the priests. Should that not sober us?
Why did God allow such confusion then? Why does He now? Isn’t it because He always starts small? He started the world with one man and one woman. He then destroyed it all and started over with one family. He created many nations from one man and one woman, Abraham, the father of the faithful. He started a Church through one man, Jesus Christ, who Himself did not have but about 120 devout believers at first.
There have been in human history very few who loved the truth. There have been very few to search out the truth and be willing to govern themselves by it.
Was it easy for these few? Was it cushy? No! Why?
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
31 Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.
How are you doing in whatever test you have been given? Do you even know?