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What One Person Can Do: Othniel

Conrad Vine
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Conrad Vine

President of Adventist Frontier Missions

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  • January 9, 2021
    11:00 AM
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And so privileged to some before you're here this morning to share from the Word of God sermon stays in title what one person can do and. This is a. It's not the kind of sermon that's going to get you cancelled the sermons are preached in 3 weeks may get me cancelled but this sums not going to get me cancelled as far as I know but when talking about the 1st of the judges and his name was off. And so I Lisp our heads only via invite the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts and Heavenly Father I want to thank you for the privilege of so serving you and sharing here this morning with this your church I ask Father that the chaos of the world outside will fade away and we will focus once again on your words and your truth and you will guide us as to how we are to live through this coming week I thank you Father for the promise of your spirit I pray that you will guide what I spit what I say you will speak through me and that the words I speak will bring comfort and hope and joy to those who are here father pray for those who are watching online scattered around Chicago Illinois and the United States we pray a blessing upon them that the Internet will hold up and that they may also experience the presence of your Holy Spirit today thank you Father for hearing this program in Jesus' name I ask men so today is we're living in a country where despite the events of last week it was a more general rule we're living in a culture that is increasingly hostile towards Jesus Christ we're living in a society where we have rampant individual ism a society where greed and narcissism and self promotion are rampant we're living in a society where wrong is right and right is wrong we're living in a society where what you thought was normal today is hate speech tomorrow and what is becomes hate speech yesterday will be normal in 3 weeks time we're living in a world of moral chaos. We're living in a world where every man does what is right in his own eyes and nobody can tell anybody else what is right or what is wrong what to do or what not to do because that makes you an oppressor and so this is the society in which we are now living and we ask ourselves how do we respond to this world in which we now find ourselves how do we respond as children of God How do we respond not just as citizens of the United States but as citizens of God's kingdom and we gathered here today presumably because we are 1st and foremost citizens of God's Kingdom from where we are expecting our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ and so how we live in this next week it does not really depend on our nationality or the possible we hold it depends on our allegiance to the our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and we gathering here today not so much that we main diligent politics which we're not going to do but to ask ourselves What would God have me do in this coming week and so the Bible talks about a time. Very similar to the world in which we live today where God's people lived in the midst of a hostile and Pagans civilization where God's people were facing temptation to compromise on every side where God's people were actually divided among themselves as are many churches today a time in which there was no central far to or no respect for any central Thora to a time when as the Book of Judges says in chapter 21 in those days there was no king in Israel every man or woman did what was right in their own eyes we are living in times like that today but these this is not the 1st time such chaos has affected a nation that's happened in the past and God's people have lived through those times and they've survived through those times as May we here today in the United States we're going to turn our focus today to The Book of Judges would look at the 1st of the judges His name was off Neal when I was a young boy I used to love reading for the book of Judges through my father's sermons and why was that because my father would give these heavy theological sermons and we had no t.v. or anything at home the most violent thing we ever saw was Tom and Jerry remember Tom and Jerry and you know my brother like Tom and I like Jerry and I was their battles went so went our battles you know my twin brother he sometimes preaches here as well and so I would read the book of Judges through my father's sermons because this was the closest I could get to x. rated. There was a lot there for the young male mind to feast on during my father's sermons but not so much from the 1st of the judges and his name was off Neal as you go through the book of Judges you see that Israel gets worse and worse and worse and worse and you find that the character of the judges goes from crystal clear like off the old who will focus on today it gets worse and worse and worse the character of the judges becomes more ambiguous so eventually we come to Samson the last of the judges who fell for every woman he saw couldn't couldn't hold himself back from drink he prayed 3 times to God and 3 time dos to be killed by God hardly amount of faith and his death came about through his own suicide and he was the hero of Israel and so if you go through the judges the judges get worse just as Israel gets worse but say we focus on the 1st of the judges and his name was off Neal the judges the book of Judges covers the span from 1st you have Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt Moses was God spokesman and then they were led by Joshua in the conquest he was God's general then you have a spirit of about 350 years and then you come to Samuel and Samuel leads us to Saul and the mana King and so for 350 years you had a nation without a visible central authority now we think the last week has been bad can you imagine living in a society without a central authority for 350 years but God's people still survived as many We today because God is always on his throne and he always leads his people it is not a time to throw in the towel will give up hope because God is still on his throne. And during these 350 years we know of one prophet a name was Deborah and there are a number of prophet of judges that we find in the book of Judges some of them we know a lot about such as Gideon you know Gideon 300 and we know about Jephthah and his son his daughter for instance we think he executed on his return from victory in the battle a tragic story we know about Samson but there are some other judges there like Shamgar lawn and Toller and jack about whom we know almost nothing other than they led Israel for many years and during the leadership of those judges things seemed to go Ok and Israel went through this this cycle and that 1st of all they'd be right with God And then there would be apostasy and then they would fall into the hands of their enemies and got then they would turn back to God repentance and God would raise a judge a deliverer to set things right and during the lifetime of that judge things would be Ok again and when the judge died then the whole cycle started again but with every cycle it got worse and worse and worse so they apostatized they fell under God's judgment they repented and then God raised the judge and he would lead them back to God in the cycle gets worse and worse the people are sinking lower and lower and lower with each one of these cycles and God's people were not faithful when they enter the Promised Land they enter the land of incredible wealth Now imagine if you were the people of Israel you've been wandering in the wilderness for 40 years that's like being in Death Valley for 40 years if you've ever been to the wilderness of Sinai there's nothing there it's like camping in the Badlands of South Dakota surrounded by poisonous venomous snakes and nothing else no air conditioning nothing I mean that's when the essentials of life yes internet and mechanician and so they are scamping in the in the Badlands of South Dakota or Death Valley. And then they're suddenly transported to Malibu or Hawaii that's what it's like to cross the river Jordan they go in from 40 years of eating nothing but manna every day I don't know how you feel about having the same food every day all right. With my father goes away from home she graciously prepares these like things of food in the fridge when she comes back it's always still there because I used to bread and cheese or bread and peanut butter that's why when my wife is not at home I'm quite happy when I'm on my own just eating bread and cheese that my wife's around I'd rather have some variety on a daily basis I'm a hypocrite I guess in that sense but the Israelites of eat nothing but man a full 40 years how would you feel if you ate nothing but manna for 40 years tasty their manner is that there's only so many ways you can prepare manna you know my wife said What would you like for Christmas meal I said I'd like baked potato roast potato mashed potato and French fries chips potato in any form is always good yes some people come from rice cultures I come from a potato and you know and steamed vege very boring diet we have in England and so potato in any form is good as far as I'm concerned but I'm not sure how many ways you can prepare manna but the Israelites come from Manor for 40 years to a land flowing with milk and honey there was all of trees there were the grains Bali and wheat and there was milk and there was cream and there was honey this was a land of plenty It was like going from from you know almost just eating like dry bread to walking to a Wal-Mart. You know I had when I came back for the 1st time from the Soviet Union things had changed I came back to America to England and our local store had turned into a supermarket and I walked into the the section where they were selling cereals and I was astonished how many cereals do we now have in England like in America you walk into the cereal section must be a 100 different kinds of cereal that was overwhelming the choice and some people come from countries they look at this and it actually overwhelms them there is so much choice here how do we navigate all these choices and so the people of Israel they come from from manna to incredible bundles of food from the Badlands of South Dakota to Malibu and they walk into the promised land and instead of seeing people living in tents setting people living in cities they are they have their own advanced civilization they have ion chariots they can they can smelt I am they know how to process a metals they they have music there at the center of the Middle East so all the trading of the Middle East goes through modern day Israel all the ancient land of Canaan there and so this was a rich advanced civilization and these these tent dwellers from the wilderness they have a march across the Jordan into the land of plenty and they must of thought to themselves why would we kill the golden goose We've just come from nothingness to where everything is available these guys must know something about how to live their gods must be powerful they must have some wisdom in the ways of this world because Jehovah asks us to live for 40 years in the wilderness on manna in goatskin tents and that we are moving into these beautiful cities with wells that we never done we never a dog drinking Greg grape juice from vineyards we never planted harvesting the Bali and the wheat and getting the fish from the River Jordan and from the Mediterranean and now they have iron and they have other metals and they have beautiful metal works these guys must be doing something right the gods of Canaan must be pretty powerful. And so the people of Israel naturally almost humanly speaking they turn their back on Jehovah and they start following the gods of the nation in which they live it's a cruel nation it's a nation where the people are always fighting amongst each other it's a nation of sensual religion and sexual morality a nation of no more restraint and nation where they would sacrifice their children they'd roast them alive in the gods in the bronze arms of their gods they were cruel nation and this is where the people of Israel find themselves so turn in your Bible to judge is chapter one we're going to focus on judges chapter one today I'm going to look at verses the 1st 3 verses judges Chapter one The 1st 3 verses and thank you for putting it up on the screen. It says now after the death of Joshua it came to pass that the children of Israel asked the Lord saying who shall be 1st to go up for us against the Canaanites to fight against them and the Lord said judicially go up Indeed I have delivered the land into his hand so Judas said to Simeon his brother come up with me to my law to territory that we may fight against the Canaanites and I will likewise go with you to your allotted territory and Simeon went with him so Joshua is now dead and why the initial conquest is complete some of the tribes have yet to receive their inheritance and in the map of visually if you know where Jerusalem is Judah their territory was south of Jerusalem Benjamin was around Jerusalem but Judah was the southern part of Israel it was a large tribe and this the tribe of Simeon their inheritance was kind of intermingled with the tribe of Judah they didn't have like separate territories Judah was the southern half of Israel south of Jerusalem and Simeon is intermingled with them and so it's hard for Simeon to conquer their own territory without the assistance of Judah and Judah asks the tribe of Judah Simeon would you please help us to conquer the territory there are some lessons we can learn from this one is that the tribe of Judah did not need to ask God should we go up and conquer why because God had already commanded them in the south of the Conquest to take over the land they already had a revelation from God with Joshua they'd already carved out the land with your in the from him in the costume of lots they already knew what God's will was and so we need to be careful when we are making a decision or saying Is this something that God wants of me there are many people today who say well I will do something if God reveals it to me when God is often revealed to us enough in scripture it's know what the answer should be you know sometimes we struggle with sin in this way we may say well my conscience is troubling me but I'll wait until I find a verse that specifically condemns this and of course there's no such of us. And so we can use this as an excuse not to turn away from sin sometimes sometimes we know what is right but we don't want to act upon it because we can't find a verse in scripture that explicitly tells us about it Jackson was someone the other day and he said Where in the Bible does it say we can't buy Taco Bell on the Sabbath I said Well there is no verse in the Bible that says Do not buy from talk about therefore said my friend I can go and buy some Taco Bell Sabbath afternoon I said well no no you can't do that why cancer that well there are some principles in the Bible you need to look at and when you apply those principles it'll give you the answer so the lesson here is you don't need a specific revelation every time you need a decision the Bible talks about principles of godly living and it's up to us to mine the Scriptures to know those principles that we may apply them when those questions arise in life and secondly Juda our simians go up with them that is we can use our sanctified common sense when God has given us general principles he does give us a sanctified common sense to figure out what is the best thing to do here and so they do they go to battle we pick it up in verse 4 if you can put that up on the screen that brother as well says Then Judah went up on the Lord to live in the Canaanites in the parasites into their hands and they killed 10000 men and bad sick and they found out and I better check out and I bet that means the Lord of bezerk and they fought against him and they defeated the Canaanites and the parasites and as my basic fled they pursued him and called him and cut off his thumbs and his big toes and we continue reading on the passage there. In this ad and I said 70 kings with their thumbs and big toes cuts off used to gather scraps on my table as I have done so God has repaid me then they brought him to Jerusalem and there he died in ancient times if you wanted to cripple someone to make sure they could never fight against you chop off the thumb. Why would you jump off of some as if you've lost your opposing digit you can't hold a spear or a sword you're useless in back and you can hold an agricultural implements but you can't strike somebody with an absent without a thumb and so by cutting off the thumbs they're saying you could you can no longer fight by chopping off the big toe it means you can no longer run is very hard to run without a big toe your big toe is essential for the running back motion and so I chopping off the big thumbs of my chopping off the so the toes kind of interesting voices near us don't try to home right it's by chopping off the bits on my butt chopping off the big toe you're taking people out of battle and you basically force them to become agricultural laborers they're no longer a threat to you and add to my bet is that he's a pagan King and what he says I did this to 70 other kings and God has now repaid me what does this tell us that Adam I bet that key knew his practice of hurting others and deforming his the Kings whom he captured was a crime against humanity was a crime against God but he had not repented of that practice better for us today when we know in our hearts some things not in harmony with God's will it is better for us that we repent and turn away from it while we live in our own time of probation before we experience God's judgment upon our own sinful practices out and I bet that knew it was wrong but he kept doing it to those 70 kings and if there is something in your heart and life today in your house or harm a home or half that you know is not in harmony with God's Will Don't wait for catastrophe to strike if the Holy Spirit prompts you to say this needs to change then change while you have grace and mercy and bring your life into harmony with the will of God So they continue with their conquest we're going to pick it up in verse 16. The descendants of Moses' father in law went up with the people of Judah from the city of Homs that Jericho into the wilderness of Judah which lies in the Negev near the are out there they went and settled with the Amalekites. And he goes on to say that they they slaughtered some Canaanites and devoted to destruction etc etc all well and good and things seem to be going well within the story but then things go badly wrong for the people of Israel what starts to go wrong with starts to go wrong in verse 22 and if you can put verse 22 through 25 will see what goes wrong with the conquest says the house of Joseph that's the 2 tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh they went up against Bethel their territories just north of Jerusalem in what we now consider the West Bank and they and the Lord was with them and pick it up here the Lord was with them and the house of Joseph Manasseh sent out spies to Bethel the name of the city was formally loose when the spies sort of man coming out of the city they said to him show us the way into the city and we will deal kindly with you so we showed them the way into the city and they put the city to the sword but they let the man and all his family go now what is wrong with this I mean they sent out spies didn't Joshua send out spies to Jericho Yes Did God bless that yes did they spy out the land yes did Moses send spies into the Promised Land Yes he did it seems that sending out spies was a normal practice for Moses and Joshua So now the Israelites the tribe of the frame and master they do it as well but this is where the problems start because it says upon the text so he did it on the man and he dropped back a verse there verse 24 and I'm sure I don't see it on the screen Yes and we will show you mercy please show us the entrance the city we will show you mercy my version says shows the way into the city and we will deal kindly we. And that word kindly is the word we from way get with the covenant that is we're going to make a deal with you you show us how to get into the city we'll kill everybody in the city but we'll let you go this is an alliance of convenience with a Pagan with a with a with an idol worship and this is something that God has explicitly said you are not to do you are not to enter into alliances of convenience with those who are and Thetic we opposed to God judges chapter 2 where Jesus appears to them the angel of the Lord then judges Chapter 2 so the angel Lord went up from guild gold to buck him and said I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I promised your ancestors I said I will never break my covenant with you and for your part do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of this land tear down their altars So God says to Israel I have made an everlasting covenant with you if you will be my people I will be your God and I'm not going to break that covenant but you have broken the covenant because you have entered into a covenant with some of the people of this land and then he says them tear down their altars see apostle Paul says when the pagans bow down to their idols they're bearing down to demons 1st Corinthians 10 this is spiritual adultery that the Israelites are committing the worship of these demons if you worship demons you become like demons just as if you worship Jesus you become like Jesus by beholding you become changed so as you worship demons your character is changed into a demonic character I think we're seeing some of that in our country today we're seeing well demonic manifestations around on nation today as people worship things up and you hope for God. Do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land that is there can be no agreement between Satan and Christ so why would his people seek to make alliances of convenience with those who are unfair to cleave posed to God and this is the start of their problems because if you look through the rest of this chapter from verse 27 to verse 36 you see that there is a steady descent on the part of the Israelites what happens Firstly when the Israelites obeyed God They destroyed their enemies but when they started to enter into can and convenient alliances of convenience then they started to allow the Canaanites to live at some distance from them and then they started to allow the Canaanites to live among them and then the Canaanite started to let allow the Israelites live among them and then the Canaanite started to tell me where the Israelites were going to live before the progression it gets worse and worse at 1st he is right say you go on that you leave the land then there's right say you can only vote over there then the Israelites say you can come and live among us and then the people the Canaanite say their rights actually you can live among us and then the Canaanite said actually you need to go live over there and you can't come to where we are it gets that the progression gets worse as you go through the chapter just follow the details that is the descent of God's people once they start entering into agreements alliances partnerships with those who have nothing to do with the Kingdom of God Things do not go right if you are wearing a clean suit and you dance with somebody wearing a dirty dress are you going to get dirty or is she going to get clean just ask yourself all right it's a hypothetical question all right but you know that if you are clean and somebody is dirty and let's say you have a clean hand they have a dirty hand and you shake hands is their hand going to be cleaned because you've got a clean hand you know your hand will become dirty because there will always transmit. And so this is what happens to God's people within this chapter and if you turn to sign 106 Keep your fingers and judges one there in some 106 you see what God God's judgment on Israel is during this time and it's not a very pleasant judgment that we read some 106 verses 34 through 35 this is talking about the Israelites Psalm 106 verse 34 and we see it there they did not destroy the Peoples this was God's evaluation of the people in the end of the Promised Land they did not destroy the peoples concerning whom the Lord had come on to them but they mingled with the Gentiles and they learnt their works as they learnt their works they started thinking about their works they started taking it to heart maybe this is how we should live after all we've done man or intense for 40 years and these people have everything in luxurious cities they must know something about life yes. They've learnt their works they served their idols which became a snare to them they even sacrifice their sons and their daughters to demons and so you see this is God's evaluation of what happens the children of Israel as they entered into the promised land not only were they turning their back on God but they were starting to adopt the ways in the mannerisms of the nation in which they live and there was always a tension for Christians to live for the Kingdom of God and how do you live in a nation that is turning its back on God while God is calling you to a high standard how can you offensively live the Christian faith in a society that is hostile to Christianity that says we will not have this man to rule over us you know in the parable of the talents and I'm going off base here in the parable the talents in Luke 19 Jesus bases it on the story of King our collapse when King Herod the die King Herod died who tried to kill Jesus at birth last wanted to be king so he went to Rome to ask sees if he could be the king of Judea and because our class was a cruel Prince the people of Israel sent a delegation after him to see the Caesar and said we do not want this man to rule over us it was a well known historical event and in the parable of the master he gives his 3 servants 10 talents 5 Talents 2 talents and one town to member the story and he says Occupy till I come and then he goes off to the foreign lands to get world but while the master is away nobody knows who is going to return because the people of the land in the parable send a message after him saying we will not have this man to rule over us you familiar with that parable Yes And so what does the smart money do you see in a world that says we will not have this man to rule over us the smart married money is the buried money is hedging its bets nobody knows who is going to return with royal Thora to the master who went away or somebody else so the smart money is the buried money you're hedging your bets you're staying silent on social media you're quite into conversations with work colleagues because you're not sure what they think about spiritual matters. But when the master comes back and the servant has turned 5 into 10 talents the master does not say Well done good and profitable 70 says Well done good and faithful servant the master combat commands his faithfulness to work for the master when the master is away never knew whether the master really will return that's what he commands not his profitability he commands his faithfulness in Shin using the talents in a way that brings on Glory to the Master who is to return in a society that says we will not have this man truly over us that is what we find in the parable of Jesus and I really can't remember how I got on to that but we're going to come back to the sermon All right so we're going to turn then to the 1st of the judges often judges Chapter One we come across a universe 11 this isn't where he acts as a judge but this is where he appears for the 1st time judges one verse 11 it says From there they went against inhabitants of Debbie or the name of Debbie it was for me Carrie at Sephora then Caleb said whoever attacks Carrie at Sephora and takes it I'll give him my daughter as wife and off Neil son of Kenya as Caleb's younger brother took it and he gave him his daughter as wife and when she came to him she urged him to ask her father for a field as she dismounted from a donkey Caleb said to her What do you wish and she said to him Give me a present since you set me in the land of the Negev give me also good offer my name so Caleb gave her the up a girl off and lower girl off and get off my means basins of water and so what we know about often you'll hear well his uncle was a guy called Caleb Caleb was one of the 12 spies who went into Israel of the 12 spies how many were faithful to Joshua and Caleb and when they entered the Promised Land How old was Caleb when he entered the Promised Land. He was 85 we know about that scene from The Book of Joshua and when he comes into the promised land he says to Joshua God promised that I would enter the Promised Land 40 years ago before we start the wanderings in the wilderness for 40 years I've wandered in the wilderness but I've trusted in the promises of God that one day before I die I went to the promised land and now we're here says Caleb and the age of $85.00 he says My strength is a strong today for going out towards for coming in as it was when I was a young man let me go and take the city that God promised me a city of giants and he goes and takes it and off Neil is his nephew off Neil has been wandering in the wilderness for years as well often you'll knows the family's story he knows that of the entire generation that left Egypt only to men across the Jordan Joshua and Caleb he seen that God's promises come true in his family do you not think that Caleb spoke about this in the wilderness Don't worry guys I'm not going to die yet you know I may have a heart attack don't worry I'm not in the Promised Land I'm not going to die today he could trust God's promises he did trust God's promises and Caleb was raised in a family that knew that God had made promises to them and was acting upon those promises and saw God's promises come true now some of us here have got you know you know. How like mine yes Gray Yes we kind of you know there comes a time in life where the age of 16 when you start to go gray when you and I was going great 16 wasn't a good time but I was going great 16 and when you get grey hair you think what can I do for God when you're retiree's say what can I do for God Well there's a whole family that we all have families we have generations after us and we have gray hair and they need to hear from us what God has done for us they near they need to hit us to testify to God's goodness that this is what God did in my life and my son and my daughter this is what God can do for you. And you may say I don't have the energy to go around the world where you're not going to preach a mindless experience but you do have a testimony to tell generally 13 year olds don't have the testimonies that 8 year olds have of God's goodness and God's mercy and God's faithfulness and how God has provided food for the highs and lows of life how he got you through a cancer diagnosis or healed your marriage whatever the case may be and so we see in this story that that having God fearing elderly people in the family is a blessing don't miss Don't underestimate your influence on the next generation the world maybe may celebrate youth but only those with grey hairs have experience real life experience and the next generation needs to hear it and Caleb he takes the city and he marries his cousin very common in those days and she says to him Well it's all very well I've got this land but it's desert she says so I ask for this other land where the wells are and so he gets the wells up or go off and you can still see those wells today there's 3 groups of them there 14 springs in total if you ever go to the Holy Land today you can go and see these wells these 14 springs that still exist to this day and so here we have a young man called off Neal who comes from a God fearing family I mean that knows that you can trust God's promises and you can act upon God's promises and God's promises do come true when you act upon them and he's been raised in a tradition of faith and he must have wonder what am I going to do because Caleb his he had his hour of glory when he was one of the 12 spies and when he entered the promised land he had the lead the conquest of modern day Hebron but what am I going to do in my generation Well the fact of the matter is in every generation God needs people to stand up for him and young people today in your generation God ask you just end up as well old people stand up in your generation and young people used up in your generation. My grandfather was a preacher for many years and he preached all through the blitz of London when the Nazi bombs were falling down in the 198940 s. and his most but most most powerful sermon was on Daniel too and used to preach that Daniel too says the nations of Europe will never be united to again you know familiar with that yes the toes of iron and clay the nation the nations will never unites again and is basic point was this Hitler is conquered Europe if he conquers Britain it means that Daniel too is not true therefore Britain Hitler will not win the Battle of Britain prophetically because otherwise Daniel too would be wrong now so many preach back in the 1940 s. when the bombs were falling and more difficult time then we live in today here in Chicago but in every generation young and old God has a time and a place for people to speak up and be has ambassadors So then we come to what he actually did and come to judges chapter 3 I'm going to pick up a verse 7 judges chapter 3 we're going to pick it up at verse 7. And you know the it's a sad story because when Joshua died the people of Israel followed God while Joshua was alive and then while the elders who came in with Joshua into the promised land such as Caleb while they were alive the people of Israel were true to God But when the older generation died the next generation wanted nothing to do with God and they followed the gods of Canaan was essential religion it was a religion of free sexual expression without moral restraints and the next generation couldn't get enough of it very much you might say like parts of our country today and so it says in verse 7 the Israelites did what was evil in the sights of the Lord. And they forgot the Lord their God and serve the bales and the ashes of female gods it is often associated with sexual orgies and they would get plants these groves of trees that don't have this sack that sacrifices than the gauge in gross gross immorality it was a very sensual religion and says Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel and he sold them into the hands of the Thai I am king of Mesopotamia and the children of Israel so it's a time for 8 years on want to say thank you to a sister who read those those names very beautifully when I was growing up I was one is no one my supposed to read for scripture reading because they sometimes get read tricky names in there and she did a great job so thank you so much for reading those names so beautifully for us so what happens here well the 1st thing to notice is off Neil has a name off Neil and the name means the power of God It's a great name yes it's not just you know a common name his his name is a message from his parents when you name your children think about the name you give them because children often grow into the name that you give them if you give your child a name and say my for my boy is called David and says Dad why do you call me David said because David was a man after God's own heart and you need to know with the rest of your life that God wants you to be mine off for his own heart as well think about how you name your children because it's a living message that goes with them for the rest of their lives even if they change their name they will remember the original name is with you forever more and so here we have a young man whose name means the power of God and the people of Israel turn their back on God and they fall into the hands of a foreign king whose name has an interesting meaning as far as we know just means Christian doesn't mean anything particular but. Rich a time means double wickedness or double oppression so when they turn their back on God seeking the freedom that Canaan would offer they actually find themselves living under oppression. In this case it's literal military oppression but when people turn their backs on God seeking the freedom to live as they wish they often find themselves on to other forms of oppression alcoholism opioid addiction drug addiction various kinds of abuse when people seek freedom in this world they often find themselves living under profound forms of oppression and so they turn their back on God and they're oppressed by the king of of a double wickedness and he is the king of Mesopotamia and the word. He's from the he's from it means exalted or doubly exalted Mesopotamia some versions they are is from the king of exaltation and pride so when God's people say to God We no longer want you on the throne of our hearts we throw in ourselves on our own hearts and we find that we start worshipping ourselves rather than God and pride and self self exaltation are the inevitable consequence so just as God's people suffered a profound oppression at the hands of a king of wickedness whose real name was was was pride and self exaltation so people today when they turn their back on God And so I'm going to lead my life the way I want to live my life I'm going to be the king of my own life they find themselves living under the oppression of sin in all of its manifestations not a lot has changed we have in our nation an opiate addiction crisis do we not we have addictions to all kinds of issues we're a free people really half of America it seems to me is addicted to some substance or another whether it's what you watch online or it's what you snore to whether what you eat or drink we live in a nation of mass addiction we call ourselves an 8 land of the free with slaves we are slaves to our fall and desires and once we indulge those form desires they for actually Master us and we became this we become the slaves and this is what happens when Israel they become slaves they were oppressed by a king who represents pride and self exaltation. And so what does off we'll do we find it in verse 10 if you put that up on the slide Brotherhood really appreciate that what does God do through offering a well there are 3 stages of off Neil's ministry and. Let's see the spirit of the Lord came upon him and he judged Israel and he went out to war this is a 3 stage process the 1st thing that happens is often the old he doesn't go out to war 1st the 1st thing he does is the spirit of the Lord came upon him so we live in a world where something happens at 12 o'clock and by 12 or one people are given their outrage responses on Twitter or social media we don't gather the facts we don't wait for the dust to settle we just respond in the heat of the moment in anger generally and so social media acts as an accelerant for rage in our nation today people don't stop and think and wait and let the facts become clear but this young man who is whose name means The Spirit of God says the spirit of the Lord came upon him that is he waited for God to show him what to do he waited for God to open a door for him he waited for him to reveal what his task was in that moment and we may say oh well he had it easy you know his world wasn't falling apart well turning your Bibles to some 46 and you see there a very very famous passage about waiting for God to reveal to you His will in some 46 we see that a description of a world that is falling apart some 46 in verse one says God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble therefore we will not be afraid I think we say in the world today fear is the dominant emotion even though the earth be removed to the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea those waters roar and be troubled though the mountains shake with its swelling does that sound like the world today. Now the world is not geographically falling apart islands not sinking into the sea but politically and economically and socially and environmentally our world is falling apart in front of our very eyes and the Psalmist says but God is our refuge and strength a present help in trouble therefore we will not be like the nations around we will not have fear as the dominant emotion in our hearts because God is with us you can if you come down in that passage there to verse 7 why why we are our hearts not overwhelmed with fear the nation's rage the kingdoms were moved he uttered his voice the earth melted the Lord of hosts is with us the God of Jacob is our refuge and then verse 10 a verse that really applies to us today very very famous passage Be still and know that I am God I will be exalted among the nations I will be exalted in the earth the Psalmist can say that when your nation when your world when your country is falling to pieces in front of your eyes your 1st response is not to rush to Twitter or social media and express your outrage it is to be still and know that God is still in control that he is on his throne that he is moving history to a climax and the climate so that is the coming of Jesus when all nations including our own will be wiped away and an everlasting kingdom of righteousness and justice will be established only at the coming of Jesus not in our not within our own nation and so we can be still in the time of crisis and we can know that God is God He is what he will be exalted among the nations he will be exalted in the of how will he be exalted he will be exalted through the actions of his children those who bear his name on planet Earth how will people know there is a God of love of God of Mercy of God of tenderness of God of compassion of God of Mercy of God of forgiveness how will our world know and that his children manifest those fruits of the Spirit. And so as our nation falls apart before our very eyes and it grieves our hearts we are called to represent the everlasting kingdom so that dying nation and we are called to say that there is a kingdom that will never pass away and we alow primary loyalty is to that kingdom as the Apostle Paul said Our citizenship is in heaven above from where we are expecting our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ so we come back to Judge as chapter 3 in the 1st thing off the old did was he did not spring rashly into action but he acted only as God directed him the 2nd thing that he does in verse 10 judges 3 in verse 10 it says he judged Israel see before he goes out to war he sets things right at home now. You know whenever I want to invite someone home my wife says she's always very happy for that but she says just give me like 10 minutes notice before you walk through the door with somebody I just need to make sure that the House is ready as anybody else like them yes my wife is happy to frame but comes house but don't just walk in the door with 10 people unannounced you know that's not going to work you know there's going to be words spoken afterwards yes as there's going to be some shaping of your character my dear husband if you have to try and do that again so the for what we understand in life is before you fight your battles out there fight your battles inside make sure you're clean at home make sure that your life is clean and in harmony with God's word Jesus has a word about this he says why do you worry about the speck in somebody else's eye when there's a log in your own eye and before we start criticizing or pointing fingers that the responsibility as Christians is to make sure that we in our hearts and our lives our homes and our families we are right with God that we're not obviously straying from the Word of God that our lives are in harmony with the will of God before we start doing anything out there we called put our own houses in order. Off Neil he waited until God came upon him the Spirit of God and if the Spirit of God comes upon him it means that his character would have the fruit of the Spirit. Which is love and joy and peace and long suffering and gentleness and kindness and self-control and then he judged the land of Israel he put things right among God's own people and it's only then that he goes out to war and when he goes out to war it is God who gives him the victory it is not often you will it is God to gains a victory for his people so that God might be glorified not that often you might be glorified off Neil is not a man who seeks his own glory he acts in the power of the Holy Spirit and God receives the glory through his ministry and we need to be careful about this as well when when we engage in ministry when we preach with top school teachers whatever the case may be we promote ourselves we do do we promote God to people here about the Lamb of God and the sin bearing savior in what we say and how we live our lives what they hear about how cool how wonderful how smart we are what do people know when they've spoken with us you know I chat about this my wife sometimes and and she you know she basically dresses me I'm very grateful for that because all eyes are being like teen jeans and t. shirt every day as an amen from down here yes so my wife dresses me and she says how would you like me to dress you I said well I want to be dressed in a way that nobody remembers what I was wearing it's a good general rule I want to be dressed in a way that nobody has any idea what I was wearing and that's not how I am when she wears a dress or I'm supposed to notice it but I want to be dressed in a way that nobody ever knows 10 minutes later what I was wearing I want people to remember me for what I said or for my character Iman and again I can have no idea how I got on to this in this sermon him Ok I'm kind of going off off off the trans here but. Yes off Neal does not want to be remembered for his deeds it is God who is glorified enough meals victory he acts as the Holy Spirit leads but to GLAAD To God Be The Glory. And we need to ask ourselves in our lives day in Chicago are we acting for the law of God are we acting that God's name be glorified among the Gentiles are we acting that people might know that there is a God and there is a coming savior when people speak with us do they remember the anger in our voice or the purity of our speech when people read our comments on social media what is their takeaway about our character that we are just as caught up as everybody else in blind rage or that there is a coming King and one day all wrongs will be righted and there will be justice one day and there will be peace one day but not in this world what do people receive in our lives when off no went out to fight God receive the glory as we live our lives here in Chicago May God receive the glory and is not for us to glorify ourselves may God be glorified in how we live our life so here is a man who gives us a 3 part process living in a world that is falling apart wait for the Holy Spirit to court come upon you and to guide you Secondly make sure things are right between you and God and within your family and with God and only then are you in a position to go out and deal with things out there and I'm sure that if we're honest with ourselves most of us our souls are stuck at stage one maybe we've got to stage 2 but as we allow the Holy Spirit to come upon us so our witness shines to the world around us so we see in this story here that God's people they received all the blessings of God They lived in the land of plenty as to when the United States of America they were living in a land running with running with milk and honey as we now live in a land of tofu and soymilk they didn't care it's a town land homes they've not built they drank from wells they've not duck we drink from pipes we never most of us never put in ourselves we live in a land of incredible infrastructure that enables human flourishing maybe the most advanced in human history and yet we live in a land that is turning its back on God in multiple ways from all angles and in a land that is turning its back on God So this Land Experience is the oppression of double wickedness. As did the Israelites and our nation is struggling under multiple addictions and forms of oppression today because it is a nation that is and has and will continue to do to turn its back upon God and we have to choose how we're going to live we either follow the ways of America the ways of a nation that I think most of us love but we recognize that miracle will one day pass away and it will be replaced by an everlasting kingdom so for whose kingdom are we going to live in this coming week whose values are we going to uphold are we going to follow be guided by Twitter is your sense of morality guided by social media if Twitter is upset or you upset or if the Word of God says something is right or wrong does that guide your morals and your principles and your decision making we have to make a decision what's going to guide our lives what's going to shape us if we have people today who spend hours every day on social media and they wonder why they can't sleep at night because they're so uptight about what's happening in our world if you just spent 10 minutes in the world of God and calm you down because one of the fruit of the Spirit is in a piece so choose how you're going to live in this coming week I going to live for the coming King and the coming kingdom and magnify and exemplify his values are we going to live by the values of a dying nation where so many are suffering where rage is out of control and where really really no good is going to come of the current mess who are you going to live for what are you going to live by what values you going to uphold the choice is yours but let me say this you can be like off Neal because often you'll change the direction of his nation for 40 years you can change their action of your family. The blessings to the faithful go to a 1000 generations for those that love Him That's the promise in Exodus 34 you can change your family's spiritual experience by being faithful today in your generation you can change their walk with God You can leave milestones of God's grace and God's providence that your family can look back at and say yes this is how God came through for us this is where I stood tall for God Nobody remembers the thousands that bowed to the golden image but they only remember the names of 3 boys that stood tall Shadrack music and Abednego so be like off. Ask God and His Holy Spirit to fill you today to shape you and to change you to take away the works of the flesh was you what you see on the streets of America and replace it with the fruits of the Spirit go home today and ask God how do I need to put my home in order is there something I need to change Do I have an anger problem do I have a secret addiction do I have a cherished sin do I have an ancient bigotry hatred in my heart please God change my heart today see if there be any wicked way mean create to me a right spirit Heavenly Father I don't know myself so you search me and you see if there be any wicked way me because only you know truly what is right and wrong and the ways of every heart a deceitful of only you God know what is wrong in my heart change me today show me how my family can grow closer to you and in this coming week give me an opportunity to be as we are all called to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ that when people meet us they can have it they have the manifestation of the presence of Jesus Christ. As my charge to those my child is to stay and by the power of God off new. Homes and our families and our church be a living witness to the coming May God bless you in this coming week 3 stand tall for Jesus moment. This media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse for you would like to listen to more sermon leave it to w w w dot audio Verse dot org.

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