In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
There was a period in Israel’s history where there was no king; no governing authority except God and His Law. From our own experience, most folks will admit that it is simpler to obey an authority we can see than one we cannot. So, absent a king, Israel did all manner of wonky thing because they considered it right in their own eyes.
If there is no king; no authority; no recourse to absolute then there is no answer to the question “What is right?” If “King Pleasure” says I should be promiscuous and “King Psychology” says I should not (because reasons) then which is right? The contradictory voices of “authority” in the world create an environment where “right” is a relative term. The same goes for “wrong.”
If, on the other hand, God is the King (and He is) then right and wrong are absolute. If there is only one King; one Authority then only His rules apply.
Those are the alternatives. We either have relativistic “right” and “wrong” because there is no king or we have absolutes because the King decrees that it is so. I know there will be some who will say that we can have absolutes with law, but no king. Which would take us off into the debate over where those laws would derive their authority from (a debate I am not going to address right this moment). Absent Authority (God), there are no absolutes (and words become meaningless … as does life in general).
Which do I choose today? Is there a King in my life or will I do what is “right” in my own eyes?