In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
What would you do if there were no laws, no bosses, no parents, or no teachers telling you what to do? You might have fun for a while, getting to do things you were never allowed to do before. But most likely you would do some things that are not good for you. If no one ever taught you right from wrong, you would probably make a lot of mistakes and have to face the consequences of those mistakes.
In the period of time right after God’s people entered the land that God had promised to their ancestor Abraham, the people had no direction. According to the book of Deuteronomy, a king was responsible for knowing God’s laws and teaching the people how to follow God (Deut 17:14-20). But when the people had no king to teach and enforce God’s laws, they did whatever they wanted… with ruinous results. They were repeatedly harassed by their neighbors and they even battled with each other. Even after the people appointed a king to rule over them, the kings themselves led the people astray and did not follow God’s laws. We all need godly authority figures in our lives. When we do whatever is right in our own eyes, it usually turns out bad.
Thankfully, God promised to send a perfect king who does know God’s laws and would teach others how to be reconciled to God. That king is Jesus Christ (Luke 1:29-33). The Bible says that whoever believes in Jesus and follows him will be saved (John 3:16). Don’t be like the Israelites who did whatever was right in their own eyes. Follow Jesus, and he will never lead you astray.