Judges: God’s War Against Humanism

“In those days there was no king in Israel.”

This is seen by some as a reference to the Davidic monarchy. Israel is in anarchy, and only a strong centralised state can help her. This is exactly the opposite of the message of Judges. Rather, the message is precisely the same as Samuel’s message in 1 Samuel 8, which is that the Lord is King. The book of Judges contains a sustained polemic against centralised human government, for it is an expression of man’s will to be like God, and is part and parcel of Baalistic humanism. In no way does the author of Judges (probably Samuel) want to see the erection of a human monarch in Israel, at least not until the Lord is ready to bring one out of Judah (which is probably part of the message of the book of Ruth, but we cannot take the space to comment on that here).

The anarchy in Israel resulted, each and every time, from a failure to recognize the Lord as King. When the people took other gods as their kings, they fell into bondage, but when they returned to the Lord, they were delivered. As the people forgot the Lord as King, they began to want mere human kings to rule over them, but God graciously prevented this from happening until the days of Saul. Behind all of this was the fact that the Levites were failing to make manifest the presence of the Lord as True King and Husband, the True Baal of Israel.

On the tomb of Oliver Cromwell is written, “Christ, not man, is King.” Is it any wonder that our Puritan forefathers, whether separated from episcopacy or not, insisted that the Lord should be King, and the king of England should be but His prince? Christianity in America has fallen a long way from that early vision. We look to the force of arms more than to Christ for our defense. As a nation we have sought out other gods, and we have also centralized all power into one pagan humanistic state. This is due to one problem, and to one problem only: The Churches (Levites) have failed to set forth clearly the presence of Christ as King. Conservative theologies tell us that we may have Christ as Savior, but that it is optional whether or not we have Him as King. They tell us that Christ is not King today, and will not become King until the Millennium (a serious departure from historic Christian beliefs, even from historic premillennial thought). They fail to make His sacrament visible on a weekly basis, thus pushing the people of God into a search for fellowship with Him along all kinds of fantastic avenues, most prominently seen in the riotous “worship” of certain charismatic churches. Until the Church once again takes seriously the King and His Law, and makes Him manifest in her midst through Bible exposition and weekly sacramental fellowship, we shall continue to live in the days of the judges.

James B. Jordan’s Judges: God’s War Against Humanism is available in PDF at www.biblicalhorizons.com

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