Judges 1-3…The continuing conquest of Canaan, and Israel’s unfaithfulness.
Our culture believes in moral relativism. Today, most people assume that we have a “right” to do whatever we want to do. Ironically, this idea is held as if it were absolute. Objection is raised anytime someone defines immorality objectively. If indeed all have the “right” to believe what they want, the relativist has no basis to object when relativism is condemned.
The book of Judges evaluates moral relativism and shows its consequences. In 2:11, the author asserts that Israel did what was evil in the days of the judges. But what led to this evil was the same moral relativism in our society today. Judges also tells us that in those days everyone did what was right in his own eyes (21:25). Instead of submitting to God, the Israelites embraced individual autonomy. Each person became a law unto himself, and widespread evil resulted.
Sadly, individualism has infected our churches in the form of consumerism. We treat church as another item on our spiritual buffet. However, we don’t have the “right” to function as Lone Ranger Christians. Scripture is clear about submitting ourselves to the authority of a local church. Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account.” So, are you obeying and submitting to your leaders? These are the elders/pastors in your church, which means if you are not committed to a church, you cannot obey this passage. Christ established His church for our spiritual good, and for His glory. Loving Jesus includes loving His followers (1 John 19-21), and the main context for this is the local church (1 Corinthians 13-14).