There is a good proverb which says, “It’s the banana that leaves the bunch which gets peeled.” It is dangerous to live solitary lives.
The book of Judges tells of the tribe of Dan searching for new territory. “They saw a people there, how they dwelt safely, in the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure. There were no rulers in the land who might put them to shame for anything. They were far from the Sidonians, and they had no ties with anyone.” (Judges 18:7) The name Laish means “a lion.” They may have been a lion, but they were lazy.
The words “dwelt safely” meant they felt safe and were not on guard against anyone. They were careless and did not realize these men from Dan were spies. Jesus warned us we must “watch and pray.” (Matthew 27:41)
The Hebrew word “quiet” meant they were a peaceful people who naively thought no one would harm them. The word “secure” meant they were prosperous and living without worries.
But prosperity produces another type of problems. The greater God’s blessings are upon our lives, the greater is the temptation for thieves to attack us attempting to steal the blessings. Wherever we find riches, there will always be unscrupulous people scheming how they can get it.
There were no rulers with authority. This created a dangerous stage for a power-play, and the tribe of Dan decided they would take control. “There were no rulers in the land who might put them to shame for anything.” There was no one with power to restrain the people. They may have enjoyed their freedom of doing whatever they wished, but when Dan attacked them, they were confused about what should be done to defend themselves.
God ordained government. Without good government there is confusion. God is a God of order not of chaos.
These people said they were living in the “manner of the Sidonians,” but in reality, they were living “far from Sidon.” Their founding fathers probably came from Sidon, but they had failed to maintain relationships with them. They became disconnected from their roots. Because of their peaceful prosperity they did not see the value of strong relationships and therefore had no one to defend them when they were attacked.
Without a good understanding of our past, it is hard to know our future. Without good roots we cannot produce good fruit.
They didn’t see the value of covenant relationships. Unity is where you and I tie together. God said, “It is not good for man to dwell alone.” (Genesis 2:18) They failed to build good systems of communication, and when trouble came there was no one to call for help. The tribe of Dan attacked Laish and easily destroyed them. (Judges 18:27-28) They rebuilt the city and named it Dan.
They foolishly did not believe anyone would harm them. The world in which we live can be a dangerous place.
Because they naively believed no one would harm them there was no one on guard.
They had given no one authority over their lives. Without good leadership they were easily defeated.
They did not value covenant relationships. We can’t produce fruit without roots.
When they were attacked there was no one to defend them. Those who love us become a defense for us.