BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6 NKJV).
The LORD wants human beings to live only by His standards, not ours. He wants us to do what is right in His eyes, not what is right in our own eyes. He said concerning Abraham, “I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the LORD and do what is right and just. Then I will do for him all that I have promised” (Genesis 18:19 New Living Translation). Please take note of that phrase “do what is right.” That’s talking about what is right in the eyes of the LORD, not man. In other words, doing what pleases the LORD.
In the time of the judges, the Israelites did what seemed right in their own eyes. Our anchor scripture, Judges 17:6, states this clearly. Judges 21:25 repeats exactly this scripture thus: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (New King James Version). This was contrary to what Moses told the Israelites in Deuteronomy 12:8-9: “Today you are doing whatever you please, but that is not how it will be when you arrive in the place of rest the LORD your God is giving you” (New Living Translation). The Israelites missed it by setting their own standards and doing what seemed right in their own eyes.
Why the world is in trouble
Because of the fallen nature of man, what seems right in the eyes of man does not always equal what is right in the eyes of the LORD. The world is in trouble today because man has chosen to do what is right in his own eyes. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought normal activities in many parts of the world to a standstill. This Coronavirus disease has brought the nations of the earth to their knees. The entire world is living in the fear of being subdued by this pandemic as they battle to find a solution to the novel disease.
For a long time, God has been unhappy with the world. Human beings have been living as if they created this world; but God did. Even if those with secular minds don’t believe this world or earth belongs to the LORD, Psalm 24:1-2 says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths” (New Living Translation).
When God created the earth, He put Adam in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it (Genesis 2:15). Though Psalm 115:16 says, “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s; but the earth He has given to the children of men” (New King James Version), that doesn’t mean God abdicated ownership of this earth and said man could do whatever he liked.
God gave man the earth to hold in trust for Him. God has always been interested in what we do here on earth. That was why He sent Jesus to come and die to save humanity from her sin (John 3:16). Unfortunately, however, since man took over the earth, he has continued to do what is right in his own eyes even after Jesus shed His blood for the salvation of the world.
Adam and Eve started it in the Garden of Eden. Since then, man has not looked back. How could God say something was not good for man to eat, but man said it was good? Good in whose eyes – God or their own eyes? “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate” (Genesis 3:6 New King James Version).
Every choice you make has consequences. When you choose what is right in your own eyes as against what is right in the eyes of God, you will suffer the consequences. God did not only pass judgment on Adam, Eve and the serpent, He drove human beings out of the Garden (Genesis 3:14-24).
In the Bible, we read again and again how man continued to do what was right in his own eyes, living independent of God. In the history of the divided kingdom of Israel, the Bible records that some kings did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and some didn’t do what was right in the eyes of the LORD. Even out of those who did what was right in the eyes of the LORD some went astray and didn’t end well.
If God allows everybody to do what is right in his eyes, everybody will be justified in his actions, and that is a recipe for anarchy. “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts” (Proverbs 21:2 New King James Version). Even a foolish person will insist that he is right. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise” (Proverbs 12:15 New King James Version). However, God has made it clear in His Word what He demands from man. What does the LORD require of you? “He requires you to fear him, to live according to his will, to love and worship him with all your heart and soul, and to obey the LORD’s commands and laws that I am giving you today for your own good” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13 New Living Translation). According to Micah 6:8, what He requires is to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. Unfortunately, these are usually not man’s priorities.
Whereas what seems right to man is not always right, the way of the LORD is always right. He is just (Ezekiel 18:25). The ways of the LORD are right (Hosea 14:9). The statutes of the LORD are right (Ps 19:8). His precepts are right (Psalm 119:128). The Word of the LORD is right (Psalm 33:4). You can’t go wrong when you follow His Word; you will always do what is right in His eyes.
Stop doing what is right in your own eyes; do what is right in the eyes of the LORD. While some human beings still engage in the worship of some graven images today, most human beings are involved the worship of the modern gods of money, power, fame, pleasure, materialism, etc. Anything we love more than the LORD is an idol. Anything that comes before Him in our lives is idolatry. The trouble that the world is going through now is because we have neglected the living God for other gods, our idols. True repentance is the only solution. “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19 New King James Version). Stop doing what is right in your own eyes.
Do what is right in the eyes of the LORD
In order to do what is right in the eyes of the LORD, your heart must be right with Him. Peter told Simon Magus, the sorcerer, “You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God” (Acts 8:21 New King James Version).
You shouldn’t do what is right in your own eyes but what is right in the eyes of the LORD. You don’t always know what is right. You can’t depend on your senses and preferences all the time. What you sincerely think is right may be wrong. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12 New King James Version). Proverbs16:25 says the same thing.
There is a way that may seem right to you now but, ahead, there could be danger. God always knows where every road leads and how every journey will end. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version).
The LORD’s standards are higher than man’s standards. He wants man to comply with His standards set out in the Bible. “‘My thoughts are completely different from yours,’ says the LORD. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9 New Living Translation). It is as you renew your mind daily in the Word of God that you begin to align your thoughts with His thoughts and your ways with His ways.
1 John 2:29 says, “Since we know that God is always right, we also know that all who do what is right are his children” (New Living Translation). If you’re a child of God, you’ll do what is right in His eyes, not in your own eyes. “Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it is because they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous” (1 John 3:7 New Living Translation).
Some benefits of doing what is right in the eyes of the LORD
1.The LORD will accept you. “In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right” (Acts 10:35 New Living Translation).
2. You will see the face of the LORD. “For the LORD is righteous, and he loves justice. Those who do what is right will see his face” (Ps 11:7 NLT).
3. You will enjoy the mercy of the LORD. “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him” (Deuteronomy 13:18 New Living Translation).
4. You will be exempted from plagues. “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you” (Exodus 15:26 New King James Version).
5. It will be well with you and your children and you will possess your possession. “Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so all will go well with you. Then you will enter and occupy the good land that the LORD solemnly promised to give your ancestors” (Deuteronomy 6:18 New Living Translation). In addition, Deuteronomy 12:25 and 28 say that doing what is right in the eyes of the LORD will make things go well with you and your children after.
6. You will experience the LORD’s deliverance or salvation. “‘Be just and fair to all,’ says the LORD. ‘Do what is right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you” (Isaiah 56:1 New Living Translation).
7. You will avert the judgment of the LORD on you. “This is what the LORD says: I am planning disaster against you instead of good. So turn from your evil ways, each of you, and do what is right” (Jeremiah 18:11 New Living Translation).
Conclusion: God told Cain, “You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master” (Genesis 4:6 New Living Translation). However, Cain failed to respond correctly to God’s correction. He progressed in his error. He murdered his brother, Abel, and God cursed him.
Commit yourself to doing what is right in the eyes of the LORD, not what seems right in your own eyes. Romans 6:13 says, “Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God” (New Living Translation).
Make the Word of God your standards; don’t use others’ standards. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right” (2 Timothy 3:16 New Living Translation).
If you’re born again, don’t stop at receiving the milk of the Word; grow to receive the solid food of the Word. “And a person who is living on milk isn’t very far along in the Christian life and doesn’t know much about doing what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right” (Hebrews 5:13-14 New Living Translation).
Let the Word of God be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105). Hide His Word in your heart, and you won’t sin against Him (verse 11). Don’t be a hearer (or reader) alone; be a doer of the work. Then, you’ll be blessed in what you do (James1:25).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start to attend a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. There, they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I’ll be glad to hear from you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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