There is a theme throughout the Bible that describes a horrible tension between God and humanity. It began in the garden of Eden as Adam and Eve chose to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3). It continues to this day at every level. It is the ramification of a simple question every person must ask about how they live.
Will I do what is right in my own eyes or will I do what is right in the eyes of the Lord? Because humanity has an insatiable lust to rebel against the very words of God, people, families, kings, and cultures historically find themselves in the midst of horrible consequences. This is the result of the choice to do what is right in our own eyes verses what is right in the eyes of the Lord.
Take some time to read the following passages of Scripture. See how God describes the kings of Israel. My synopsis is simple. When the king does what is right in his own eyes, so does the entire nation. When the king does what is right in the eyes of the Lord, so does the nation. (Generally).
Not an exhaustive list but here goes:
- 1 Kings 14:22 and following: “Judah did evil in the eyes of the Lord.”
- 1 Kings 15: 1 and following: Abijah “…his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God.”
- 1 Kings 15:5 and following: David “For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord.”
- 1 Kings 15: 11 and following: Asa “Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.”
- 1 Kings 15:26 and following: Nadab “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord.”
- 1 Kings 15:34 and following: Baasha “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, walking in the ways of Jeroboam and in his sin, which he had caused Israel to commit.”
- 1 Kings 16:30 and following: Ahab “Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before Him.” (Check out how he dies in 1 Kings 22:34-38)
- 1 Kings 22:43 and following: Jehoshaphat “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.”
- 1 Kings 22:52-2 Kings 1 Ahaziah “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord.”
- 2 Kings 18-20: Hezekiah “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” 18:14 “Hezekiah trusted in the Lord God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after him. He held fast to the Lord and did not cease to follow him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses.”
Why does God take the time to describe the choice of the Kings: to do right in their own eyes or in the eyes of the Lord? Consider the plight of Samson in Judges 13-17. As a man set apart by God to lead the people, Samson chose to do what was right in his own eyes most days as the Scripture describes in chapters 14-16. The sad result of this kind of leadership is found in Judges 17:6 just after Samson dies.
“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit. (Judges 17:6)
How does all of this relate to us? Recently, President Obama signed ground breaking hate crime legislation under the banner of civil rights. The legislation is one thing but not the focus of this blog. Instead I would like to draw your attention to President Obama’s comments after signing:
“This is the culmination of a struggle that has lasted more than a decade. Time and again, we faced opposition. Time and again the measure was defeated or delayed. Time and again we’ve been reminded of the difficulty of building a nation in which we’re all free to live and love as we see fit.”
In my view there is a simple explanation for this. President Bush certainly did not do everything right. But for the better part of the last decade he served as a President who tried to do what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Granted it was not perfect and some of it was tragic but he sought the Lord. I think this is why the Hate Crime legislation was never signed… until now. President Obama is now leading us to do what is right in our own eyes. To live and love as we see fit. There are terrible ramifications for living the way we see fit.
Romans 1:28-32 “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanders, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
Join me as we continue to pray for our President and our nation. We all need Jesus. I have been some of the things listed in the Romans 1:28-32 passage. Thank you Jesus for the forgiveness you offer to all peoples on earth. We cling to your promise that if we confess our sins you are faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). We cry out to you and we come back to you! Help us do what is right in Your eyes.