One benefit of consistently working your way through both Testaments of the Bible at the same time is that you’ll frequently notice interesting and relevant intersections. Our daily Bible reading schedule includes one Old Testament chapter and one New Testament chapter most weekdays.
Just a few days ago, we launched into the Old Testament book of Judges where we’ll run across the same sad statement four different times:
In those days there was no king in Israel.
Twice, the next sentence will read:
Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Is that a big deal? Is it even worth reading such an ancient record in the 21st century? As we survey our own era, why is there so much brokenness, selfishness, and strife in the world? What happens when human beings fail to respect God’s authority?
Read the book of Judges with us and you’ll quickly be reminded, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”
Our reading schedule also leads us today into The Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament. How does it begin? With the resurrected Jesus speaking about “the kingdom of God” (1:3). How will it end? With the apostle Paul “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ” (28:30-31). The clear message of Acts is, “Jesus is King.” Just listen…
When they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (8:12)
When [Paul and Barnabas] had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. (14:21-22)
[Paul] entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdomof God. (19:8)
When they had appointed a day for [Paul], they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. (28:23)
Jesus is King. I consistently need that reminder. I’m guessing you do too.
Many, all around us, continue to live as if there is no King in heaven, doing whatever is right in their own eyes. But reading Judges and Acts at the same time powerfully shows us the difference a perfect King makes. We will be reasoned with “about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment” (Acts 24:25). We will be reminded of the desperate need to do the reasoning with others, sharing the good news that has changed our lives. Why? Because Jesus is the true and coming King.
Is he your King? If not, why not? Can’t you see the folly and danger of everyone doing what is right in their own eyes? The evidence has been there for millennia.
If he is your King, don’t ever discount the difference reading his word, day by day, can make in your life.