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Mar 23-29 God The Son Is A Deliverer
 

Mar 23-29 God The Son Is A Deliverer

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Our little Church is using a Chronological Bible Reading Schedule by Skip Andrews. It can be found here: http://www.churchofchristduluthga.org/ ...

Our little Church is using a Chronological Bible Reading Schedule by Skip Andrews. It can be found here: http://www.churchofchristduluthga.org/
Each Sunday a lesson is given from some of that week's reading. This lesson covers Mar. 23-29.

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    Mar 23-29 God The Son Is A Deliverer Mar 23-29 God The Son Is A Deliverer Presentation Transcript

    • A Cycle Of Rebellion And Rescue
      • Today’s lesson is taken from
      • “ The Word In Life ”
      • Study Bible
    • A Cycle Of Rebellion And Rescue
      • The Book of Judges tells what happened during the period when Israel was settling into the land of Canaan. The narrative is built around a recurring cycle of spiritual rebellion by the people, judgment by the Lord (usually in the form of military attack), a cry for help, and the Lord's response of raising up deliverers called judges.
    • A Cycle Of Rebellion And Rescue
      • As this cycle of rebellion repeats itself over and over throughout the book, we see the nation of Israel spiraling downward into spiritual and moral decline. The leaders become less godly, and spiritual darkness increases. By the end of the book, the culture seems to be adrift in a tide of civil anarchy.
    • A Cycle Of Rebellion And Rescue
      • However, this pattern of decline is occasionally interrupted by periods of revival led by the judges. These judges were not jurists as we use the term today, but national leaders who were generally military heroes as well as spiritual authorities.
    • A Cycle Of Rebellion And Rescue
      • Twelve judges are mentioned in the book. Two of the best known are Gideon and Samson. The latter’s story is typical of the larger context of the book. Samson frequently turned his back on God and violated His ways, with tragic consequences. Never-the-less, the Lord remained faithful to His chosen leader (and His people), whether in judgment or in grace.
    • A Cycle Of Rebellion And Rescue
      • In Judges we also encounter another figure who was frequently prominent in the life of ancient Israel, the pagan god Baal. This god of the Canaanites was worshiped because it was believed that he could make farmlands fertile.
    • A Cycle Of Rebellion And Rescue
      • The rites of Baal worship involved occult practices, various forms of sexual intercourse, and even child sacrifice. By committing these evils, the Israelites brought judgment on themselves in accordance with the terms of the agreement they had with God, called the covenant.
    • A Cycle Of Rebellion And Rescue
      • Readers of Judges may find many of the events recorded here to be extremely troubling—for example, Jephthah's vow, Samson's immorality, or the incident of the Levite's concubine.
    • A Cycle Of Rebellion And Rescue
      • In considering the significance of events like these, it is important to remember that although the Bible reports what happened, that does not imply approval. The period of the judges was a sad time for Israel.
    • A Cycle Of Rebellion And Rescue
      • The biblical account shows what happens when people turn away from the Lord and do what is right in their own eyes.
    • A Cycle Of Rebellion And Rescue
      • Judges 17:6 NET In those days Israel had no king. Each man did what he considered to be right.
    • Unfulfilled Expectations
      • The Israelites departed from Egypt with high hopes. They were setting out on a journey that would soon bring them into a land "flowing with milk and honey." Their first exposure to Canaan went badly. But a new generation under Joshua finally crossed the Jordan to possess Canaan.
    • Unfulfilled Expectations
      • Yet by the end of Joshua's life, major portions of the Promised Land remained unconquered, and many of the Canaanite and Amorite inhabitants whom Israel was supposed to displace remained in the cities. This failure meant that Israel would go through several generations of civil, political, and spiritual unrest.
    • Unfulfilled Expectations
      • It was not until God finally raised up David as a unifying king that the extent of Israel's borders would begin to match the expectations originally laid out by God.
    • Thorns And Tears At Bochim
      • God told the Israelites to dispossess the Canaanites by taking over their cities, destroying their idols and altars, and refusing to enter into agreements with them. Apparently the citizens of Bochim failed to carry out those instructions.
    • Thorns And Tears At Bochim
      • No one knows the exact circumstances, but the offenses were serious enough for the Angel of the Lord to come up from Gilgal to this village near Bethel and cry against it
    • Thorns And Tears At Bochim
      • The timing of the sermon was important. The days of Israel's conquest of Canaan were drawing to a close, yet many cities remained in the hands of, or at least were still influenced by, the Canaanites. Joshua's life was over, and a new generation was coming into power.
    • Thorns And Tears At Bochim
      • So Bochim's spiritual failures were a serious matter. They set a dangerous precedent of idolatry that persisted from that day forward, as the Book of Judges shows.
    • Thorns And Tears At Bochim
      • Apparently the people of Bochim tearfully repented of their wrongs and, in the presence of Joshua, offered a sacrifice to atone for their sins. But the pattern of spiritual adultery was established.
    • Thorns And Tears At Bochim
      • Unbelievers today are free to worship whatever "gods" they will. But God's people cannot adapt to their ways.
    • Thorns And Tears At Bochim
      • Like Israel, believers may need to limit their neighborliness if necessary to preserve their own faith and godliness.
    • Thorns And Tears At Bochim
      • They must allow nothing to distract them from unswerving allegiance to the Lord. Otherwise they invite a host of thorny issues and a legacy of tears.
    • Who Were The Judges?
      • During the period between about 1380 and 1050 B.C. (according to one commonly accepted estimate), Israel was led by a series of national leaders called judges.
    • Who Were The Judges?
      • These men and women were generally military heroes, sometimes called deliverers, who were called by God to rally the people against oppressive enemies and stimulate them toward spiritual revival.
    • Who Were The Judges?
      • The authority of the judges derived from the days of the Exodus, when Moses almost wore himself out trying to decide the many cases brought before him.
    • Who Were The Judges?
      • Following the advice of his father-in-law Jethro, Moses appointed judges over the people to handle all but the most important questions.
    • Who Were The Judges?
      • Later, the Law commanded that judges be appointed city by city when the people entered the Promised Land. The most difficult cases would be heard in conjunction with the priests, who were the custodians of the Law.
    • Who Were The Judges?
      • The Israelites apparently followed this pattern during the days of the conquest. But after the death of Joshua, the government became disorganized and the people tended to rebel.
    • Who Were The Judges?
      • Without a human king to
      • guide them, "everyone did what was right in his own eyes." In fulfillment of the covenant, spiritual apostasy soon led to military defeat and political oppression by outsiders.
    • Who Were The Judges?
      • Nevertheless, God raised up judges. As successors to Moses and Joshua, they were called to deliver the people from their enemies and turn them back toward the Lord.
    • Who Were The Judges?
      • In the early days of this period, the judges largely succeeded in this mission. But over time, their calls for revival became less and less effective.
    • Who Were The Judges?
      • Samson, the last judge mentioned in the Book of Judges, was given to immorality, and managed to deliver his people from the Philistines only by taking his own life.
    • Who Were The Judges?
      • The final chapters of Judges tell of increasing idolatry, immorality, and civil war—marks of a nation in moral decline.
    • Who Were The Judges?
      • Eli, the next-to-last judge, was a failure both as a father and as a national leader. Samuel, his successor, was much more effective, but even under his capable leadership the people rebelled insisting on a king of their own choosing.
    • The Lord Raised up Judges
      • The Book of Judges reveals a cycle that was often repeated during the early years of Israel's history in Canaan: the people fell into sin; God sent Judgment upon them; the people cried out for deliverance;
    • The Lord Raised up Judges
      • God raised up a "judge" or deliverer to deliver them from their enemies and bring spiritual renewal; eventually the people fell into sin again after the passing of the judge.
    • The Lord Raised up Judges
      • The following table lists the twelve judges mentioned in the Book of Judges.
    • The Lord Raised up Judges
    • "Problem" People
      • Nearly everyone has at least one person in life with whom it's hard to get along. The Israelites shared the Promised Land with entire nations with whom they were in constant conflict.
    • "Problem" People
      • Israel was supposed to displace these groups as it took possession of Canaan. But for various reasons, many Canaanites were left.
    • "Problem" People
      • During the period of the judges, God used them to challenge His people, to punish them for violating His laws, and to turn them back toward Him.
    • "Problem" People
      • As you think about people in your life with whom you frequently run into conflict, is it possible that God may have placed them in your path to challenge your faith and open your eyes to areas where you are not following Him?
    • "Problem" People
      • Perhaps it's an unreasonable supervisor, an unreliable employee, an unusually demanding customer, or an unbelievably insensitive relative.
    • "Problem" People
      • Could it be that these so called "problem" people are not really problems but God-given opportunities for you to grow?
    • Willing Leaders
      • While it’s always easy to find people who want to be "in charge," it's far more difficult to find people of character and ability who will step into roles of leadership.
    • Willing Leaders
      • Israel faced a chronic crisis of leadership during the days of the judges, when " Each man did what he considered to be right . " Few could be found who were willing and able to offer moral and spiritual direction.
    • Willing Leaders
      • Perhaps that's why Deborah, in her song of praise composed after Israel's victory over Jabin and Sisera, celebrated willing leaders followed by willing people.
    • Willing Leaders
      • Apparently the people were willing to follow if they could find leaders who would lead rather than despots who would dominate, such as Abimelech.
    • Willing Leaders
      • Deborah and Barak were good models of leaders willing to lead. Their stand for God and integrity before the people were profoundly inspiring.
    • Willing Leaders
      • So much so that even common people such as the woman Jael were emboldened to grab whatever was at hand, be it but a tent peg and a hammer, and strike down their enemies.
    • Willing Leaders
      • Will you be a willing leader for God today? Whatever your sphere of influence—at your job, in your home, at church, in the community—will you accept the challenge to stand for God's ways and encourage others to do the same?
    • How Can We Determine God’s Will?
      • Christians believe that they should carefully obey God's will. But how can we know what His will is? How should we go about making decisions that honor the Lord?
    • How Can We Determine God’s Will?
      • The example of Gideon is frequently cited as a model for godly decision making. Before acting, Gideon carefully considered whether the Lord wanted him to rally an army and attack the Midianites.
    • How Can We Determine God’s Will?
      • Twice he set out a fleece to make sure of God's intentions. On this basis, some have argued that before Christians make major decisions with long-range consequences, they should "put out a fleece before the Lord," seeking some tangible sign that indicates His will with certainty.
    • How Can We Determine God’s Will?
      • Is that an appropriate way to know God's will? In considering the question, it is important to note that this is the only occasion in the Bible when God revealed His will through a fleece.
    • How Can We Determine God’s Will?
      • It is also worth noting Gideon's extreme hesitation, doubt, and fear. The Lord had already told him what to do through the Angel of the Lord. In fact the Angel had already given Gideon a confirming sign.
    • How Can We Determine God’s Will?
      • In light of these facts, Gideon's use of the fleece would appear to demonstrate a lack of faith more than any zeal to be certain of God's will. Fortunately, God was very patient with him and granted his request for a confirming sign.
    • How Can We Determine God’s Will?
      • But it seems that using a fleece to determine God's will was the exception rather than the rule, and thus does not serve as the best pattern for how we can depend on God for guidance.
    • How Can We Determine God’s Will?
      • Is there a more reliable way? Yes, God has clearly and objectively told us what He wants throughout the Bible. For example, the Ten Commandments give straightforward instructions to guide our behavior in numerous areas of life.
    • How Can We Determine God’s Will?
      • Likewise, one of the New Testament letters to the Thessalonians says plainly, "This is the will of God" ( 1 Thess. 4-3 ) The passage then goes on to outline some of God's will in regard to sexuality.
    • How Can We Determine God’s Will?
      • Thus when it comes to making choices in life, God calls us to clear thinking—thinking that is based on our relationship with Him and our allegiance to His values, which are clearly spelled out in Scripture.
    • How Can We Determine God’s Will?
      • God has made us to be thinking, discerning, analytical persons who assume responsibility for working our way through life in accordance with His general plans and purposes.
    • How Can We Determine God’s Will?
      • He challenges us to learn all that we can about any situation, relationship, responsibility, or opportunity that we have, weigh it in light of His precepts and principles, and then act.
    • How Can We Determine God’s Will?
      • As we act, we can take comfort from the fact that He is at work within us.
      • Philippians 2:13 NET for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort — for the sake of his good pleasure — is God.
    • The Man Who Would Be King
      • After Gideon defeated the Midianites, the people of Israel wanted to make him their king, but he refused the title. Apparently his son, Abimelech, was not so humble.
    • The Man Who Would Be King
      • Even though it meant the brutal murder of his seventy half brothers, he arranged to have himself crowned king of Shechem. Yet Abimelech's glory was as limited in scope as it was in duration.
    • The Man Who Would Be King
      • His influence probably never extended more than ten miles, even though he was said to have reigned over Israel. And after three years he was driven from Shechem by troubles with the very people who had aided his rise to power.
    • The Man Who Would Be King
      • He sought safer quarters several miles south at Arumah. As Abimelech's grasp on the region began to slip, he resorted to more violence in a desperate bid to retain control. But in the end, having been rejected by Gideon's family, by his mother's family,
    • The Man Who Would Be King
      • and by the citizens of his "kingdom," he found himself dying in shame. True to form, he made one last request to preserve what little reputation he had left by compelling one of his men to run him through with a sword.
    • Overcoming A Tough Start
      • What hope is there for a child born to a prostitute? Society tends to have low expectations—and sometimes downright hostility—for people born out of wedlock. Such was the case for Jephthah.
    • Overcoming A Tough Start
      • The product of his father's dalliance with a prostitute, Jephthah was not only excluded but expelled from his more "respectable" family.
    • Overcoming A Tough Start
      • Like many rejects, he led the life of a criminal, though he and his gang of raiders may have harassed the Ammonites more than the Israelites.
    • Overcoming A Tough Start
      • The irony of Jephthah's life was that when Israel faced war with Ammon, the leaders of his hometown came looking for Jephthah to deliver them!
    • Overcoming A Tough Start
      • They offered no apology; they merely appealed for help. To his credit, Jephthah agreed to help them after negotiating his terms, and God gave him the victory.
    • Overcoming A Tough Start
      • Jephthah's life is a good illustration of the truth that God does not Judge people on the basis of appearances. He can overcome any background and use any set of circumstances to
      • accomplish His purposes.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • The incident of Jephthah's daughter may seem incredible and profoundly cruel to some modern-day Bible readers.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • But in reading this narrative, one must be careful to interpret events in the context of that day, not merely by the moral climate of one's own.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • The account is clear that the judge Jephthah vowed to sacrifice as a burnt offering whatever came out of his door if he returned victorious from battle.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • Many commentators think Jephthah had a human sacrifice in mind, probably a slave. It was a common practice for warriors in the ancient world to make vows to their gods in order to secure divine assistance in warfare.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • However, the Israelites were prohibited from making human sacrifices, in contrast to many of their neighbors. In fact, child sacrifice was common among the Ammonites and Moabites.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • Why, then, would Jephthah make such a vow? And why fulfill it once he realized that the sacrifice would have to be his own daughter?
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • The answer may lie in a recognition of how much the moral and spiritual condition of Israel had declined by this time. The Mosaic covenant was violated more than it was honored, and a spiritual blindness seems to have fallen over the land.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • In the midst of this darkness. God used the Ammonites to bring His people to their knees. Not that they actually turned back to Him. But they did recruit Jephthah to lead them.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • Jephthah was no spiritual giant, but he at least remembered the history between Israel and Ammon, and how God had delivered His people during the Exodus.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • He viewed the Lord as the supreme Judge who would decide the current conflict between Ammon and Israel. Jephthah was accurate in his understanding.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • God was indeed prepared to judge between the two peoples. Neither group was without sin. On the one hand, the Israelites had forsaken the Lord for idols; however, they also had repented.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • On the other hand, the Ammonites had long practiced what the Lord called "abominations," such as child sacrifice; yet they never had repented, and now they were claiming territory that did not belong to them.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • God decided the matter by empowering Jephthah to recruit an army to carry out His judgment on the Ammonites. At this point of zealous energy and action, Jephthah made his rash vow. Why did he make it?
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • Perhaps because of an inadequate view of God. Jephthah correctly perceived God as Judge, but he may have incorrectly likened Him to the god Chemosh of the Ammonites.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • He may have felt that if Chemosh's help supposedly could be enlisted through human sacrifice, then the Lord's help could be gained in the same way.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • Jephthah appears to have followed through on his vow, though first he gave his daughter time to grieve the fact that she would never marry and have children; childlessness was considered a curse in that day.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • He kept the vow because he had a profound fear of the Lord. He was deeply afraid of what God might do if he did not fulfill his vow.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • From today's perspective, that fear seems primitive, superstitious, and tragically misplaced; but it was certainly genuine. The daughter's statement of submission is one of the most touching speeches in Scripture.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • She shared her father's extreme reverence for God, even if it cost her marriage, children, and life itself. No wonder the young women of Israel honored her ever after.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • What does this incident teach us who read it today? For one thing, it warns us to beware of spiritual decline in our surrounding culture.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • When our neighbors are not following God, it can warp our own perspective, leading us to make foolish statements and rash commitments, and causing us to do things that are unworthy of our Lord.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • At the same time, the incident reminds us of how seriously people of that day took their vows to the Lord, and therefore how seriously we should take our own commitments to Him.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • We may criticize Jephthah as cruel and superstitious, but we cannot deny that he feared the Lord.
    • The Tragedy Of Jephthah’s Daughter
      • The tragedy of his daughter challenges us to ask: What would we be willing to sacrifice as a sign of our devotion to God? Or are there things (or people) that ultimately we value more than Him?
    • God’s Gifts Without God’s Blessing
      • Hebrews lists Samson as a hero of the faith, an honor that seems to conflict with the image of Samson in Judges. For example, he was notorious for his involvement with Delilah that led to his downfall.
    • God’s Gifts Without God’s Blessing
      • Likewise, as a Nazirite he was obligated to refrain from touching a dead body, to abstain from alcohol and other products of the vine, and to avoid the use of a razor.
    • God’s Gifts Without God’s Blessing
      • He clearly violated the first commitment, in all likelihood violated the second, and ended up betraying the third. Yet these failures must be put in perspective with the low moral and spiritual tide of Samson's day.
    • God’s Gifts Without God’s Blessing
      • Ultimately, he did act in faith at the time of his death by praying to God for the strength to pull down the roof on his enemies. Thus he not only destroyed a temple of Dagon, he killed more Philistines than ever, most of which were probably members of the ruling class.
    • God’s Gifts Without God’s Blessing
      • In addition, Samson demonstrated that it is possible to experience the gifts and power of God without the
      • blessing of God. God gives people abilities to accomplish His purposes, but that in no way guarantees that they will seek to know Him or follow His ways.
    • God’s Gifts Without God’s Blessing
      • Balaam, for example, was empowered by God to bless Israel, yet his own life remained spiritually bankrupt. For that matter, God could even speak through Balaam's donkey, but that hardly enabled the donkey to enjoy God's presence.
    • God’s Gifts Without God’s Blessing
      • Samson is a sobering reminder that great abilities are not the same as great faith. As Paul pointed out, one can "speak with the tongues of men and of angels" yet live a life of loveless emptiness.
    • A Spark of Hope
      • If you ever feel that you are living in dark times, the story of Ruth can provide encouragement. It stands as an important afterword to the Book of Judges.
    • A Spark of Hope
      • The Book of Ruth tells how God used an unknown widow from a foreign nation to produce a king for His people. Against the backdrop of Judges, Ruth’s faith shines like a point of light in the spiritual darkness of that era.
    •  
    • A Spark of Hope
      • In reading Ruth's story, you can take hope from the fact that no matter how terrible, the times may be, God always has His people, and He is always carrying out His purposes.
    • A Spark of Hope
      • Are you aware that the Lord wants to use you? The impact of your faithfulness may seem small and insignificant, but as Ruth shows, that hardly matters. Any spark of faith can light a fire of righteousness.
    • God The Son Is A Deliverer
      • This week we read of God’s people continually falling into corruption, then being lifted up and redeemed by God raising up a Judge.
    • God The Son Is A Deliverer
      • In the era we live in God’s own Son was raised up to deliver us from the corruption that surrounds us.
    • God The Son Is A Deliverer
      • There is reason to follow the straight and narrow path that leads through the gate to eternity few will enter.
    • God The Son Is A Deliverer
      • Too many travel the wide & easy path that leads through the gate to eternal death. Which path are you on?