August 23 2015

Doing Religion My Way

Today we see the conclusion of the story of Micah.   Remember him?   He decided to hire a private Levite for himself – so the Levite could act as a priest, make sacrifices, and talk to God for him.  

Remember what last chapter ended with?    

This sort of idea was NEVER something that scripture actually taught.   He just seemed to pull the idea out of nowhere.      In the same way…..we see many religious people today with the same silly kind of idea – that we get to make up our own sort of religion as we go.   

Today…we see the conclusion to the story.    – We see how Micah’s private, do-it-yourself religion plays out.    We will see what happens when someone else decides to “do it themselves” and steal from HIM.  

Today we read of the tribe of Dan.   As the 12 tribes of Israel crossed over into the promised land and began to conquer the enemies there, driving them out, Dan was given choice land.   They selected the area they wanted, and they began to settle there – fighting against the enemy living there.     God had told them He would go ahead of them and drive their enemies out…all they had to do was trust God and GO TAKE IT…..but they failed.    Left without a homeland…in chapter 18 here we see them seeking out a new area among Israel   

Let's open up our Bibles to Judges 18 and take a look at today's text.   


August 16 2015

DIY Religion

Come listen to a story about a man named Micah and his private Levite.    

In today’s text, we depart from the stories of the great Judges of Israel – the champions that fought against the oppressors of Israel, and that liberated them.    We read of heroes of the faith, like Gideon, Jephthah, Samson, and some other lesser known leaders, like Othniel, Shamgar, Ehud, and Tola.     Some had several chapters and were exciting to read about, while others received barely a footnote in the text.  

This next section of Judges is called by some an “Appendix” – a section that is tacked on to the end of a book, but doesn’t really affect the storyline.   Other theologians will say that it’s much more than that.   I will agree with them on that – that this next section is indeed necessary to the understanding of where Israel is at this point in their existence.  

Remember where we are:    Israel was in slavery in Egypt for 400 years.     Moses led them out of Egypt, and they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.    After a generation had died off, we see them ready to possess the promised land.   God was going to be their king, and they were going to be their people.   All they had to do was go in and take it.   But they only did so half-way.  They did not fully obey God and conquer the people that were already living there.   As a result…we see Israel forgetting all about what God has commanded them….and they are starting to drift off into apostasy.  

Today…we see that illustrated clearly.    


August 9 2015

A Tragic Hero

As we continue to walk through Judges, we will delve into the life of Samson.   Samson is an enigma – he is a great Judge of Israel….but someone that could not conquer his own sin.     Today, let’s look at the events of his life.   For the sake of time, we are not going to go verse by verse through the text devoted to him.  I would encourage you to spend some time reading more about him later tonight.  It’s well worth reading over.    But let’s take a look.   


August 4 2015

Forget Imperfect Religion–Come to the Perfect Savior!

Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions?   Is your faith something that you do simply because you know you should?   Or does it MEAN something to you?  Maybe it doesn’t mean what it USED to.  Is religion something that we just do…as a part of our lives?   I want to challenge you today to think about some things.   The nation of Israel had a problem – they had an issue of the heart.  They were God’s chosen people…but in truth they lived like the rest of the world.    Today we see Israel’s continued decline as they stray from God and embrace the world around them.      There are some things we can learn from the text today and apply them to our own lives as Christians.  

Please open your Bible to Judges 12 as we look to the text.