Judges 17:6 (NIV)6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.
This is a sad commentary on that time. The judges were warrior rulers. Some of them had a heart after God, but others did not. The spiritual condition of the nation was at a low point. The Law was not enforced and everyone did as they saw fit.
Our world is not much different. In fact, that is the new teaching of our culture. Whatever you think is right for you is the way you ought to go. We still have laws that came from our Judeo-Christian culture but we are slowly doing away with many of them, calling them antiquated.
But this is a trend of our society because it is the trend of fallen man. He wants to do his own thing, be his own lord. He considers laws and restrictions unnecessary chains if they keep him from his desires. So here is the heart check. Are you a part of this trend? Is your king the King of kings?
This is what makes the difference, the presence of a king that enforces the laws. If you know your King, hear His voice, and are disciplined by His Spirit then you no longer do as you see fit. There is order and purpose to your life. You live at the direction of your King.
Consider: Are living under the reign of your King today, or doing as you see fit?
Luke 1:51-53 (NIV) 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
Today's passage is the rest of Mary's Holy Spirit inspired song upon meeting her cousin Elizabeth. (see May 11 evening) This was an amazing event in history. The woman whose womb holds the forerunner of the Messiah and the last Old Testament prophet had just met her cousin whose womb held the Messiah. They were both filled with the Spirit and uttered prophetic words. Mary's words are believed to have originally come forth as a song.
In the latter half of the song we have the passage for today. It is a sweeping view of the work of God. It gives us a principle of the way God works. God is writing history by His mighty acts. Those who are proud, even secretly within their hearts, are scattered. Pride is such an offense to God because He knows how utterly needy and poor man is. Pride denies the true condition of man and the wonder of God. God takes the rulers off their thrones and lifts up the humble. The people who think they have power find that God can take that power from them in a moment. It is the humble that find themselves exalted.
Near Bethlehem is Herod's incredible structure, the Herodium. Like a giant hill on the landscape, this towering circular structure is an architectural wonder. Underneath it are vast cisterns for water storage. Before it was a giant water arena in which sea battles were performed that included hippos. Surely the King of the Jews would be born in such a magnificent place. No, the incarnate God was born in the shadow of this structure in a little rock grotto. The humble unknown woman from Nazareth, a tiny, despised town in the far north, gave birth to the God-man, Jesus. God lifted up the humble.
Those who are hungering and thirsting for righteousness will be filled. They know they are needy. They know God is great. They know He is their only hope. They touch reality. May we all lose our pride in recognition of the reality of our sinful condition and the awesome sufficiency of God.
Consider: Your view of this reality will determine whether you go away hungry or filled.