Friday, April 12, 2013

Judges 10

Hello Project Ezra!  Thanks for joining us again this week.  It’s always a blessing to hear about people heading out to the streets to share the gospel through the reading of scripture, and I pray this week’s reading will be a blessing, and an encouragement for you to do just that.  The suggested reading is Judges 10, yet another example of Israel’s rebellion and God’s faithfulness and mercy.  Some would say that the God of the Old Testament is an angry, vindictive God, and the God of the New Testament is a loving, merciful God.  I say that anyone that can make that claim has never really read the Bible.  Time and time again Israel turned away from God, and turned to idols, as they did in this chapter.  God always spoke in condemnation of that idolatry, and many times handed Israel over to their enemies, but not for the final purpose of rejecting them.  As Paul talks about in 1 Timothy 1:20 and 1 Corinthians 5:5, God's ultimate purpose in sending His children out of fellowship with Him is for those sent out to be taught their mistake and eventually restored.  This was the case with Israel.  When they were handed over to their enemies, they cried out to the Lord to help them, and He did.  Israel, as a nation, rejected God many times, even though He had blessed them more than any other nation, and He consistently showed mercy to them despite their rebellion.  It is that mercy despite rebellion that we should be preaching in light of this text.  No matter what we have done, or how bad our sin is, if we turn from our sins and cry out to God to save us, He will.  So preach the hope of the cross and peace with God today, and lets pray that many turn from their idolatry and back to the true creator.

All for His glory,


This is one of many examples of the nation of Israel, whom God had chosen as His own, rebelling against Him.

God had greatly blessed Israel, protecting and providing for them many times and in many ways.

Yet time after time, Israel chose to turn from the true God, and turn to those things that God’s word tells us are not gods.

Despite God's blessing, His people chose to worship and serve created things rather than the creator.

Romans 1:25 - They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

And because of this rebellion, God turned from them and sold them into the hands of their enemies

Only then did they repent of their sin, and turn back to Him

By our nature, we are all just like Israel.

Most of us worship false gods, gods created in our own image.

We create gods to suit our sins, so we can live as we please, and then often blame God when things go badly.

Some of us will worship man-made gods, which end up being imaginary, and demonic

1 Corinthians 10:19-20 - Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.

Mormons worship gods that were once men, and believe they can become gods themselves

Muslims must work diligently to follow the law of Allah and be pleasing to him, but even with a life well lived, then can not be sure they will be able to enter Paradise.

Hindus have a pantheon of gods, millions of them, and can simply choose the god that suits them.

And if they are not good enough in this life to satisfy karma, they believe they will be reincarnated and can try again.

Even Roman Catholics worship of venerate Mary and the saints, believing that they can act as mediators for their sins, though scripture says there is only one mediator.

But many truly worship themselves, and their own desires.  As the Bible says, their god is their stomach.

Philippians 3:18-19 - For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.

You may trust in moral relativism, or pragmatism, or hedonism, or evolution, or a bit of each.  Most think if they believe in something strongly enough, it must be true.

But a lie does not become truth, no matter how many times you repeat it or how strongly you believe it.

Faith is only as good as the object in which it is placed.

And those who believe such things are not sincere, despite their protestations to the contrary.  God has written His law on all our hearts, and our consciences bear witness.

If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that we have sinned, and broken God's law

We know that lying and stealing are wrong, even if they are convenient and they get away with them.

We know that adultery is wrong, and that we should not look with lust on those we are not married to.

We know that Murder is wrong, and that hatred is murder of the heart. 

We know that we have blasphemed God's name, and shown disrespect to Him by our words and our actions.

And we know that we have not, for even one day of our lives, loved, honored, and glorified God as we ought to, and as He commands us to.

In truth, no false god, false belief, or denial of the reality of our sin and rebellion will give us the one 
thing we most need: peace with God

We are by nature at war with our creator.  We are by nature children of wrath. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

We are rebels against the rightful king, and we have earned His justice for our moral crimes

But even though we deserve God's wrath, and the fires of hell, there is hope

As was true with the nation of Israel, we have hope for peace with God

That hope is in the cross of Christ

When Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago, He lived the perfect life we could never live.

When Jesus died on the cross, he carried the wrath of God for His people's sin.

When He shed His blood, He took the justice we deserved, so that we could be set free.

And when He rose again, He proved who he was and proved His power over death and sin.

Then He sat down at His Father's right hand in heaven, to plead our case before God's judgment seat.  
If you will turn to Christ today, if you will turn from your sin and trust in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice as your only hope for salvation, then you will be saved!

It doesn't matter what you have done.  It doesn't matter how blasphemous and wicked you have been.

You can't  out-sin God.  His mercy and grace is greater than any sin you have committed.

But it is only His death and resurrection that can save you. 

When you stand before the judgment seat on the final day, only His perfect life, atoning death, and resurrection to God's right hand will allow Him to stand in our place, as our advocate.

He is your only hope.  Without Him you are bound for eternal death and torment.  With Him you will 
spend eternity in the presence of God, worshipping Him with joy.

The choice should be easy.  Don't let your pride damn you.  Don't let your love if freedom and pleasure make you a slave of sin.

Turn to Christ today, and be saved!

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