A nation without a ruler is what kind of nation? it is an unruly, disorganized, aimless nation. The people have no direction. They are self-guided. Their morals are daily trials of experience which fit best into what they want. The national and private conduct is subject to other nations taking advantage of their lack of discipline. Crime increases. Injustice abounds. Authority is nonexistent.
The above is descriptive of Israel in the Old Testament days during the period of the Judges. The condition of Israel is summarized in Judges 21:25: “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”
The need for a king is essential to the peace and prosperity of a nation. There are national implications to a country without a king. Where is the nation’s security? Where is its order? How is crime handled justly?
Unless a nation knows and practices self-control, chaos and division exist. Jealousy takes over and replaces love and compassion. Spiritual vision is forsaken when self-control is absent and is replaced with selfishness. Foolish ways become common. Pride dominates the hearts of the people. God is pushed aside and the people wake up in fear and doubt.
Authority is needed to punish violence, restrain the unjust, protect individual privileges, and establish proper judgment to resolve conflict with individuals or classes of people. National authority permits the honorable function of enterprise and commerce. Authority is the foundation of unity and support against foreign attacks which could destroy a nation. The humility to accept the leadership of God is what Israel needed in their king.
The need for a king in the life of every individual Israelite is what Israel needed then and what a nation needs today. A nation needs people who believe and obey the authority of God to keep us right. It is not safe for everyone to do what is right in his own eyes. We are swapped by the temptation of passion and greed. Every person at any moment is subject to prejudice. The present is the extent of our vision sometimes. People cannot see past the end of their noses. To allow every person absolute freedom to express themselves without restraint in whatever way they choose would bring the nation and the world to ruin.
Self-liberty is not a good thing. Each person needs a king. Jeremiah 10:23 says no man can direct his own path. Romans 3:10 says “There is none righteous, no, no one.” Each person needs to come away from the idea that what they think and do has no impact upon anyone else but himself. The problem with that thinking is we do not keep our thoughts or actions to ourselves. We need someone else in our lives to whom we can express those thoughts and actions. Therefore, it does impact someone else.
Doing what is right in our own eyes is not good, because we are members of one another. We are a keeper of our brother. Each person is bound to respect, honor, and assist in the needs of his neighbor (Matthew 22:39). It is the law. The supreme king, God, assigns this command to be followed by all those who say they love Him with all their heart, soul, and mind (v. 37). We are children of the King of the universe in whom we live, move, and have our being (Acts 17:28). We are under supreme obligation to respect His law. Those who call themselves Christian are not free to follow their fancy. They are under law. They are under Christ. They are under God. Therefore, the liberty in Christ is not without a king or authority. It is not in the will which it feels best to follow. It is the desire to love, delight, and obey the will of God and do unto others what we would wish they should do to us.
As much as we may try to live without a king, the king will judge us because we fail to subject our thoughts and ways to Him (Isaiah 55:8-9). Is that fair? Of course it is, when God is the one who made us. Whether each individual understands and lives under the rule of God does not matter. What God desires is our submission to Him (2 Peter 3:9), but God’s predetermined counsel is not dictated by our decision to obey or not obey Him.
What matters is God rules and judges over all. The numbers of those who are subject to Him matters none. He still rules supreme. Faith in God takes care of what is right (Hebrews 11:6). He rewards those who diligently seek Him as king. every person in every nation needs to surrender their will to the commands of the king. Instead of NO king, KNOW the King.