Throughout the book of Judges, this phrase continues to occur, 'In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.'
We might think; So what? Who cares? That's probably a good thing right?
No king - no-one to pay taxes to, no-one to fuss around, if you don't have a king, then you don't have palaces to maintain, there's no-one to lead wars so it must be peaceful right?
When there's no ultimate authority, like a king, then like the verse says - people can do what they want - great then everyone will be happy right?
If , 'Everyone did what was right in his own eyes'. Then people should be content, people do what they want and get what they want - that's the way to happiness isn't it?
Now, let's think about it - if 'Everyone did what was right in his own eyes' is that such a good thing?
If everyone did what they want, what would that look like?
It would mean we could each make our own individual moral code, and we would justify our own actions. It would be very much every man for himself. Making up their own rules, taking vengeance where and how you see fit. Now, that would be ok if we only had to live with ourselves. However, we are part of; families, villages, towns, cities and countries and within those there are people. These people probably won't have the same kinds of self imposed rules or moral code as you, then there's a problem. Without a specific ruling authority then every man can do what they like when and how they like and the effects the others around them. Families, towns and countries are effected when there is no leader, no king to direct the best order of things.
Israel is a great example of this. They have no king, and often no judge bringing order for periods of time - no one is in charge. Following these times something disastrous happens because the nation takes matters into their own individual hands. We see this in different countries in the world today. Rather than being united under one king, or ruler, people make their own rules for their own individual lives, there's the usurping of governments and guerrilla warfare. Disorder, chaos and oppression reign instead.
For Israel their ultimate king is meant to be God - the Israelites were his chosen people. Time and again their usurp His place by putting themselves first and their desires first. Chaos, disorder and oppression occur when they don't look to their ultimate king.
It's the same for us. Our country has a queen, so we have an authority in this country who is responsible for the wellbeing of her subjects. Yes, we do have to pay taxes, but we also have laws which we are all required to obey for the wellbeing of everyone in this country. Rules are there to protect us and others. They help prevent the whole country from descending into anarchy. they are for the benefit of those within the kingdom. They are to protect and promote the wellbeing of those within the kingdom.
The same is for the kingdom of God. Some people believe Christianity is a bunch of old fashioned rules. What it really is, is a group of people who decide that God is their king. Yes, there are rules and guidelines that God gives, but like for our country and our queen - they are to promote the wellbeing of the people within the kingdom.