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Topic: Right in Our Own Eyes

What You Want to Hear

by Darrel Cline

"In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25; NASB).

"Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven" (Matthew 23:9; NASB).

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths" (2 Timothy 4:3-4; NASB).

What is the connection between these verses? To answer, let us consider them in order.

First, the verse in Judges says everyone was doing what was right in his own eyes. This is clearly a statement that no one ought to be doing what is right in his own eyes. In a cause-and-effect universe, man does not have enough facts (he is not omniscient) to do what is right in his own eyes; he is not smart enough (he is not all-wise) to do what is right in his own eyes; and he is not loving enough (he doesn't have pure motives) to do what is right in his own eyes--and escape the negative consequences that will occur.

Therefore man universally has the responsibility to come to One Who is omniscient, all-wise, and completely loving for instructions on what to do when he is faced with a decision in his life. Man is responsible to do this. But most men do not want that responsibility. They would rather someone else take it and then tell them what to do. Men, surrounded by an environment where Christianity has been made known, rather intuitively know that to come to God will mean studying the Bible. And since this activity seems to most to be boring, impossible, and useless to try, they forsake their responsibility--but not totally. In other words, they know better than to do what is right in their own eyes, but they do not want the responsibility of approaching God one on one. So, they farm out the task--to some religious leader (rabbi, priest, pastor). This is the reason for Jesus' command: "Call no man on earth father". He did not mean that generally (it isn't wrong to call your father, "father"). He did mean it specifically: no one is to let another person become an authority who stands between him and God. God deals with men one on one. In the day of judgment it will be one on one. In that day what will be critical is not where we got our instructions, but whether they were true. It is not safe to put your eternal destiny in the hands of another mere man (who may well be doing what is right in his own eyes).

Then there is the third verse. Some people, having forsaken their own responsibility to deal with God one on one, will not like the rules their father (religious authority) sets up. So, they will go looking for another one. The verse says they will choose to whom they listen according to their own desires. In other words, they will look for someone to tell them what they want to hear. This is not a pursuit of the truth--and will lead eventually to disaster.

There are many who set themselves up to be religious authorities. None have the right to step between you and God.

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This is article #003.
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