The last verse in Judges indicates the peril of self rule, which is the demise of mankind.’In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.’ When man is bent on self rule, destruction is sure to follow. A good example of this is found in 1 Samuel 8. Godly Samuel was aging. Experiencing the bodily limitations that prevented service, he appointed his ungodly sons to judge Israel. However, seeing that Samuel’s sons did not follow the ways of their father, Israel asked for a king to be like all the nations. Therein was the beginning of the end.

Of course, Samuel was grieved by this desire. After prayer, the Lord told Samuel that the real reason for their plea was because they did not want God to reign over them. When ‘self’ is on the throne, it leaves no room for the authority of Christ in one’s life. Self rule blinds judgment. To continue in our example, the Lord told Samuel that since they insisted on rejecting Him, He would give them their king, but all their king would do would be to take away from them. Although Samuel tried to warn the Israelites of the dire consequences of their folly, they persisted in it. How the assertion of self interest results in leanness of soul!

Jesus must reign in our lives or He is not our King at all! We also must resist the temptation to be just like the world. Too often we think we are capable of self rule, but this is just not so. We need the Lord’s guidance in everything, saints.

May we, at the beginning of each new day, vow to follow the example of Paul: ‘Not I, but Christ’ Loving submission to our Father, not stubborn insistence that my will be done, is what communion is all about. Jesus reigns!