The Unspoken Part of the American Dream
Andy Stanley makes the point that there is an unspoken part of the American Dream that goes like this: We want the freedom to do what we want, when we want, with whom we want, and nobody can tell us what to do . . . as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody. A trending attitude in our culture is “No Regrets.” What we are saying is, “I did dumb things. Things that were not good, but I did it my way and that is what really matters. So…no regrets.”
A Truly Awful Story
A man and his concubine visit the city of Gibeah in the tribe of Benjamin.
While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter,and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.” Judges 19:22-24
The men of the city abused and killed the mans concubine.
When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, “Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!” Judges 19:29-30
Then all Israel from Dan to Beersheba and from the land of Gilead came together as one and assembled before the Lord in Mizpah. The leaders of all the people of the tribes of Israel took their places in the assembly of God’s people, four hundred thousand men armed with swords. Judges 20:1-2
In a rage the armies of Israel annihilate the entire tribe of Benjamin except for 600 men.
The men of Israel had taken an oath at Mizpah: “Not one of us will give his daughter in marriage to a Benjamite.” The people went to Bethel, where they sat before God until evening, raising their voices and weeping bitterly. “Lord, God of Israel,” they cried, “why has this happened to Israel? Why should one tribe be missing from Israel today?” Judges 21:1-3
To right their wrong, Israel foolishly decides to kill all the people of Jabesh-gilead except for 400 virgin women. They give the virgin women to the 600 remaining Benjamites so the tribe of Benjamin might continue. At terrible ending to an awful story. The key to the this story is in the last verse of the book of Judges.
In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:25
Everyone in this story is doing what is right in there own eyes. When everyone does what seems best to them, it ends up in disaster.
Doing Right In Our Own Eyes
This is something we value in our culture: I Want the freedom to do what we want, when I want, with whom I want, and nobody can tell me what to do … as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody.
We are really saying, we want to do what is in right in our own eyes.
There are a couple problems with this
- Eventually you hurt you
- You can’t do whats right in your own eyes without eventually hurting someone
The only way to truly live with no regrets, is to look to what God wants.
This is a better way to live
I want the freedom to do what God wants me to do, when God wants me to do it, with who God wants. God isn’t trying to imprison you. He is trying to set you free.