Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Timeline of Truth: Jonathan, the Compromising Levite: Danites and Jonathan (Judges 18:1-31)

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Judges 18 continues the story of the Levite and Micah. This situation illustrates how, once you make sinful choices, it becomes easier and easier to continue to disobey.  We also find out the identity of the mysterious Levite: Jonathan, the grandson of Moses.  Spirituality is not inherited. It must be taught, and embraced. We are taught in this lesson that we must be diligent and committed to doing what is right.  It is too easy to abandon the things of God and to do what is right in our own eyes. 

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Timeline of Truth: Samson, the Selfish Judge – The Downfall of Samson (Judges 16:1-31)

Monday, March 4th, 2019

Samson’s life reaches an end that reflects his entire life. He lives his life for himself. Even in death, Samson dies to avenge his own eyes, not to vindicate God or to liberate God’s people. What can we learn from one who lived (and died) for himself?

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Timeline of Truth: Samson, the Selfish Judge – The Victory of Samson (Judges 15:1-20)

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

We now enter the third chapter in Judges devoted to Samson. Here God uses Samson to begin to work against the Philistines, who are occupying Israel’s land and oppressing Israel’s people. Through an escalating series of events where Samson is wrongly treated, Samson burns the crops, vineyards, and trees of the Philistines by an ingenious method. The Philistines respond by killing Samson’s wife and father-in-law. Samson kills those responsible (and more), inciting the wrath of the Philistine army. The army moves in to capture Samson, aided by the men of Judah. God uses Samson and his feeble displays of faith, in spite of his selfish motives, to fend off Philistine control. Are we hurting or helping the work of God and the people of God?

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Timeline of Truth: Samson, the Selfish Judge – The Weakness of Samson (Judges 14:1-20)

Monday, February 4th, 2019

The Book of Judges shows that God accomplishes His work through both the faithful and unfaithful. God begins to use Samson begins as a rescuer of Israel all while Samson pursues sinful and selfish pleasures which violate the commands of God and the restrictions of the Nazirite vow. Samson’s biggest weakness is himself, and he allows his desires and lusts to dictate his choices. Samson begins his downward trek of sinful, self-destruction while God leverages this behavior to keep His promises. Bad choices may ruin our lives but not God’s plan or control.

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Timeline of Truth: Samson, the Selfish Judge – The Birth of Samson (Judges 13:1-25)

Monday, January 28th, 2019
Timeline of Truth: Judges

Samson is the last in the cycles of Judges, and the lowest judge with regard to his conduct. Samson’s account starts out with his supernaturally announced birth to his then barren mother. Though Samson ends up living for himself through his life and even his death (as we will see in future lessons), God still works through this rescuer to keep the nation of Israel on course to fulfill God’s promises. God reigns, and works even through imperfect and immoral leaders.

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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: Spiritual Failure: God Sends Trouble on God-Forsakers (Judges 2:6 – 3:6)

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

Timeline of Truth:  Spiritual Failure: God Sends Trouble on God-Forsakers  (Judges 2:6 – 3:6)
Chapter 2 of Judges looks deeper into the actions (or inactions) of Israel’s military failures of Chapter 1. We see the full-blown impact of disobedience and the eternity-impacting downward spiral that sin brings. Because Israel forsakes God and His covenant and plunges themselves deep into worshipping the gods of the nations they are around, God brings oppressors that make the lives of the nation of Israel miserable. Do they come back to God? No. They run further into sin and away from God. Does God wholly abandon them? No. In the midst of their discipline and punishment, God continues to show grace by raising up judges – limited and often very broken leaders – to free them from their oppressors for a time, and to keep Israel on course for His future promises.

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