“In the days when the judges ruled” is a specific period of time in Jewish history. It was the time period that followed the leadership of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the prophet and priest of the Exodus, Moses and Aaron, respectively, as well as the successor of Moses, Joshua. “In the days when the Judges ruled” also preceded the kings of Israel namely Saul, David and Solomon. It was a special period of transition for God’s children. As a matter of biblical record the time of the Judges was a roller coaster ride of rebellion for Israel. By the account of many scholars the ride went something like this: sin before God, suffering at the hand of God, supplication in prayer to God, and then salvation by the mercy of God from further disciplinary action. An important factor during this period of time is that it was the period of time when the story of Ruth occurred.
Whether kings or presidents, judges or dictators, every nation has had rulers. There will always be a form of government inclusive of national, state and local jurisdictions. However, what kind of government for or of the people ultimately depends on God and that in direct relationship to the obedience of His people. It has been said, “As the leadership goes so goes the people, or nation, but first, as the nation is, so becomes its leadership.”
Though ultimately God is the King of every believer, Scripture says that every believer is to submit to the governing authorities (Romans 13). Furthermore, the believer is to pray for the leadership of such governing bodies. The child of God is not to focus on the human leadership of any given nation’s government, but to focus on God and His leadership to influence any given nation’s governing authorities. The only answer to economic, social, medical, educational, and religious reform(s) is Jesus Christ. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords!
It has been said that every nation that has fallen has fallen from within. The statement underscores the potential self-destruction of any nation governed by leadership choosing not to rely on God.