From a statement found at the close of the book of Judges, we find one of the root causes of the spiritual destitution which was typical of that day. The statement is, “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Judges chapter 17 mentions the idolatry of Micah, and how he set up his own pattern of worship (Judges 17:5, 6; 10-13). In chapter 18, the tribe of Dan steals the idols of Micah and persuades him to be their priest (Judges 18:19, 20). In chapter 19, we see the terrible crime of some of the Benjaminites (Judges 19:22-26). In consideration of this situation, we note that the tribe of Benjamin, instead of giving up these evil men for prosecution, tried to protect them. As a result, there was war and nearly all of the tribe of Benjamin was destroyed. Thus, the closing statement of the book of Judges concerning there being no king in Israel.

As we consider this statement, we must remember that they had a king – God, who they failed to recognize as such (1 Samuel 8:7). The Divine arrangement then was very much like the arrangement under the New Covenant today. In these days there is a similar disregard for authority and people in general are set on doing that which is right in their own eyes, which is what we want to consider in this article.

THERE IS DISREGARD FOR DOING THAT WHICH IS RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD – Our primary concern should be to please God, not self or others. Jesus is our model here, as is seen in a number of passages such as John 4:34; 8:28, 29; 12:49. The Apostles Peter and John provide an excellent example (Acts 4:19, 20). We need to remember that God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8, 9; Luke 16:15). Recall how the Apostle Paul pointed out that the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God (1 Corinthians 3:19-21). Hence, we cannot do that which is right in our own eyes and that which is right in the sight of God at the same time. Cain serves as an example of how that could not be done, and the “cost” involved (Genesis 4:3, 4; Hebrews 11:4).

GOD FOREWARNS THAT FOLLOWING ONE’S OWN SIGHT WILL NOT WORK -Solomon indicated that there is a way which seems right, but the end is death (Proverbs 14:12). Walking in the sight of our own eyes is the sin of presumption (Psalms 19:13). God specifically charged those who lived under the Law of Moses:

Not to do that which was right in their own eyes –

Deuteronomy 6:18; Proverbs 3:5-7.

Not to do more or less than what He authorized –

Deuteronomy 12:32.

There were many under the old dispensation who thought they could violate these principles and get by with it. Study of the Old Testament shows they did not. The same principles apply to those who are living under the law of Christ (1 Corinthians 4:6; 2 John 9). Notice Revelation 2:6, 15 concerning this. The Lord’s attitude should be our attitude (Psalms 119:104; Romans 12:9;  1 Thessalonians 5:21). We must quit insisting on our own ways, and begin insisting on doing that which is right in the sight of God.

We have the platform for unity given to us by the Apostle Paul  (Ephesians 4:1-6). As Christians we need to strive for this unity. Anything contrary to the apostles’ doctrine is wrong (Romans 16:17, 18). In the New Testament we see that factions, divisions, and parties are condemned because they lead to something other than the unity the Lord would have us to possess (1 Corinthians 3:1-3; 2 Corinthians 12:20, 21).

WHEN MEN FOLLOW THEIR OWN EYES, THEY ARE CERTAIN TO GO IN WAYS THAT ARE WRONG – This is so due to the fact that each person is found going a different way. Many of which are going in a direction other than the way the Lord demands. There are many denominations today, each having originated in the mind of men. They have been set up by the wisdom of men, and are walking in the sight of their own eyes. The simple fact is, Jesus is the head over all things to the church (Ephesians 1:20, 22). Division in the body of Christ is a downward movement away from what God desires because it weakens the cause of Christ. This is evidenced by what the Lord said in His prayer in John 11:20, 21, “that the world may believe”. The reality is division produces unbelievers.

DOING THAT WHICH IS RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF THE KING IS THE WAY UPWARD – As we have indicated, pleasing God should be our primary objective. He will bless us when we do those things pleasing in His sight (1 John 3:22). Seeking to please Him unifies believers which brings manifold blessings.

Peace and harmony, which in turn, pleases God –

Psalm 133:1; 1 Timothy 2:2, 3.

And more conversions – John 11:21; 13:35.

To have peace in the local congregation is a great blessing, while contentions, biting and devouring hurts the local congregation (Galatians 5:15).

During the dark days in the history of Israel there was much false worship and immorality when everyone did that which was right in his own eyes. There was no authority in those days. The same will be true today when man seeks to do that which is right in his own eyes. There is a King over Spiritual Israel today – Christ Jesus. Let us constantly seek to do that which is right in his eyes instead of ours (Revelation 22:12-14).