Archive for the ‘Old Testament’ Category

Timeline of Truth: Judges Mid-Book Review (Judges 1:1-12:7)

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  Judges Mid-Book Review (Judges 1:1-12:7)
Here we take a mid-book pause and review the overall lessons of Judges thus far, review the failures of Israel, the response of God, and the deliverers God sent up to this point. We also take a peek at where we yet have to go in this book of reality, which reveals what happens when people forsake God.

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Timeline of Truth: The Wars of Jephthah, the Negotiating Judge (Judges 11:30-12:7)

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  The Wars of Jephthah, the Negotiating Judge (Judges 11:30-12:7)
Jephthah becomes the victim of his own words. Jephthah has negotiated with the elders of Gilead, and he has negotiated with the Ammonite king who leads forces oppressing Israel. Jephthah depends upon God to give him victory over the Ammonites, but seeks to unnecessarily manipulate God’s favor by vowing like a Canaanite. Jephthah promises to offer as a burnt sacrifice the first thing that comes out to meet him. God gives Jephthah victory, and who comes out to meet him but his only child – his daughter. We examine the different views of what happened, and what Jephthah could have done and should have done. Then we look at Jephthah’s merciless killing of his own Ephraimite brethren. Rejecting of God’s ways can lead to us making foolish choices and committing horrible actions. 

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Timeline of Truth: The Rise of Jephthah, the Negotiating Judge (Judges 10:6-11:29)

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  The Rise of Jephthah, the Negotiating Judge (Judges 10:6-11:29)
Once again Israel rejects God, and God turns the nation over to a very oppressive enemy. Israel confesses their sin, but God says “No.” They put repentant words to their actions. God relents and allows for the raising up of another delivering warrior, Jephthah. Jephthah had been rejected because of his past, which he had no control over, and now is pursued by Israel to lead their army to war against the oppressors. God can use someone that others rejected? How do we approach others that do not meet our affirmation? 

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Timeline of Truth: The Fallout of Gideon, the Faulty Judge (Judges 8:31-9:57)

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  The Fallout of Gideon, the Faulty Judge (Judges 8:31–9:57)
Gideon’s negative impact does not end with his death. Gideon’s choices and sins produce an environment of death and destruction. Gideon’s son, Abimelech, makes a pact with the leaders of his pagan city and murders all of his many brothers (except the one that hid and escaped) and then sets himself up as king (a position Gideon lived, though maybe without the title). Abimelech follows in his father’s footsteps but with magnified violence and vengeance. God addresses the sin of Abimelech and the men of his city and allows each to destroy the other. Our choices and actions create lasting impact beyond our lifetimes. What impact are you creating? 

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Timeline of Truth: The Downfall of Gideon, the Faulty Judge (Judges 8:13-34)

Monday, November 12th, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  The Downfall of Gideon, the Faulty Judge (Judges 8:13-34)
God miraculously secures victory for Gideon. Gideon allows the credit to go to himself rather than to God and reflects a prideful embrace in an unofficial kingship. In just a brief number of verses (8:13-34), we trace the many evidences that Gideon glories in himself and his newly found (but God-given) success. His actions and his influence lead Israel away from God, encourage idolatry, and set the stage for worse things to come. The truth Gideon did not embrace: Spiritual success requires humble recognition of God and the accurate assessment of oneself.

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Timeline of Truth: The Victory of Gideon, the Faulty Judge (Judges 7:1-8:12)

Monday, November 5th, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  The Victory of Gideon, the Faulty Judge (Judges 7:1-8:12)
God continues to work through a fearful Gideon. God whittles down the responding army of 32,000 to only 300. He then orders Gideon to attack the Midianites. God does allow Gideon to go listen in on an enemy outpost, which fortifies Gideon’s faith. Then these 300 surround the enemy camp of 135,000 troops with trumpets and torch-containing pitchers as “weapons.” On signal, this tiny army of men break the pitchers (revealing the torches), shout, and blow their trumpets. God does the rest. God has the power to do much with little. 

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Timeline of Truth: Gideon, the Fearful, Faulty Judge – The Calling of Gideon (Judges 6:1-40)

Monday, October 29th, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  Gideon, the Fearful, Faulty Judge – The Calling of Gideon (Judges 6:1-40)
We begin the first of four lessons related to a well-known deliverer:  Gideon. Israel continues “the sin” by serving other gods. God delivers them into enemy hands again, this time, into the hands of the Midianites. Israel cries out to God because of the oppression by the enemy. God graciously raises up another “fighting rescuer,” Gideon. In this chapter of the Bible, we see God’s patient process of raising up a leader through a gradual process. God labels Gideon by the outcome he can be through God’s help: “Might man of valor.”

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Timeline of Truth: Deborah and Barak Lead a Celebration of God’s Victory Over Israel’s Enemies (Judges 5:1-31)

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  Deborah and Barak Lead a Celebration of God’s Victory Over Israel’s Enemies (Judges 5:1-31)
Through Deborah’s prophetic prompting, Barak obeyed God and defeated the occupying, oppressive enemy of Israel. Deborah and Barak sing a song, and the song recounts details that we did not find in Chapter 4. Two key lessons we draw from the song: (1) Leaders need to lead willingly and people need to follow willingly to experience God’s blessing; (2) Our scope of responsibility extends beyond our own needs, but also extend to the needs of others.

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Timeline of Truth: Barak, Reluctant Leader (Judges 4:1-24)

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  Barak, Reluctant Leader (Judges 4:1-24)
This study of Judges 4 introduces us to an unusual figure, Deborah the prophetess, and her prompting of God’s deliverer, Barak. Barak seemingly was refusing God’s direction to assemble an army. God used Deborah to encourage Barak to obey God, and to defeat completely the occupying enemy army. Because of Barak’s reluctance, God tells Barak that he will lose the glory normally enjoyed by such a defeat. A woman will receive the glory, and that’s exactly what happened.

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Timeline of Truth: Ehud, Elite Assassin (Judges 3:12-4:1)

Monday, October 8th, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  Ehud, Elite Assassin (Judges 3:12-4:1)
The second deliverer God raises up in the book of Judges is Ehud. Israel again commits “the evil” by serving other gods. God Himself strengthens Eglon, a Moabite king, and this enemy comes in and conquers a portion of Israel and makes them serve him for 18 years. Israel cries out to God, and God, in His grace, raises up a military rescuer. Ehud is likely not a military reject, as sometimes presented. His left-handedness is much more likely to indicate his elite military training like other Benjaminites had, allowing him to fight with both is right and his left hand. Eglon is often considered obese, but we challenge that misconception as well. In this study, we run through the timeline, and then present 5 observations regarding Ehud as well as 5 lessons that we can learn from this account.

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