This sermon series on the book of Judges was preached by Jeff Miller at Trinity Bible Church in 2013-2014. Click on an individual sermon for an abstract of the message and to access both audio and video of the message.
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part one)
The Book of Judges is primarily a story about God, not human leaders. It warns of the danger in forming alliances with our unbelieving culture or worshiping their gods. The book records God sovereignly permitting His people's enslavement, and then graciously empowering flawed people as His chosen instruments of rescue. God's long-term patience repeatedly witnesses His people's cycle of rebellion and repentance, while He faithfully delivers them from their oppressors. That His mercies are new every morning should not be regarded as an excuse for us to do what is right in our own eyes. Instead, it should increase our awe and allegiance for God.
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part two)
Faithfulness. Loyalty. Fidelity. Nothing breaks God's heart more-or kindles His anger faster-than when His people choose to follow other gods instead of Him. How frustrating it must be for the Creator to watch His allegedly intelligent image-bearers place their confidence in man-made idols. This is not an exclusive practice of the ancients, however, but continues to characterize God's people today. Our generation has witnessed an unprecedented proliferation of competition with God. Nevertheless, our jealous God will employ any resource at His disposal to encourage the repentance of His adulterous people. Have you remained faithful to God? What will it take to get your attention?
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part three)Jesus replied to Paul's prayer: "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." This is not a new principle, but a prominent theme in the Old Testament. In Judges chapter three, God used an inadequate leader with an inadequate weapon to deliver an inadequate army against their superior enemy. God delights in changing the world using inadequate people like you and me. This ensures that He will receive the proper credit. Better still, adequacy is an illusion. We're all inadequate instruments desperately depending on God. Have you seen God use you for His glory despite your inadequacies? When He does, our response should be that of Paul: "When I am weak, then I am strong."
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part four)
Israel found herself against overwhelming odds when she faced the army of King Jabin of Canaan in the Jezreel Valley. At the Lord's permission, King Jabin had subdued Israel in the Promised Land for twenty years. His army's strength rested in their technology. They boasted nine hundred iron chariots, representing cutting-edge military technology. They were fast, durable, and heavy. Against such great odds God was pleased to deliver the Israelites when they called out to Him. Our God sometimes allows us to paint ourselves into a corner so that He can come to our rescue. And the odds are ever in His favor.
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part five)
We each have rational and irrational fears. We may not be aware of them, but they're there. The biblical story of Gideon is one of God empowering a man who was paralyzed by fear. Gideon was afraid to act and reluctant to say what needed said. He had to be reminded that God was with him. His story encourages those of us with fears that keep us up at night. We're afraid of failure, or that the image we've worked so hard to create might get distorted. We're afraid of losing what we love. We fear the unknown. Can God's presence unleash us from the prison of our fear-driven paralysis?
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part six)
Sometimes it's easier to rely on the Lord when we've come to the end of our resources. And sometimes God brings us seasons of want so that we can learn to depend on Him. That's certainly what God did to Gideon and his army. To protect Gideon and his men from relying on their numbers in battle, God reduced the army to an absurd level. They were forced to trust the Lord, and compelled to render Him the credit when the dust had settled. But God also wants us to rely on Him when we enjoy seasons of plenty. Will you depend on the Lord in times of plenty and want?
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part seven)
What happens when people reject the one true God and place their allegiance elsewhere? What is the result when we exalt ourselves over everything else, and pursue our selfish ambition with abandon? Sometimes when we say, "Not Your will, but my will be done," God says, "So be it." Sometimes God grants us the desire of our hearts even when He knows it will lead to destruction. Bad things happen when we exchange God for a poor substitute. Even God's children defiantly do things our way from time to time. How did that work out for you the last time you tried it?
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part eight)
We're all lost causes in need of the grace of God. Our sin has offended a holy God, and our rejected souls desperately need His redemption. As Christians, we can also find ourselves facing hopeless circumstances. For some of us, we arrived at our hopeless condition due to our own stubborn rebellion. For others of us, our circumstances chose us rather than the other way around. The good news is that God is in the business of redeeming our hopeless situations whether we're responsible for creating them or not. Let us recognize our lost cause, and celebrate our God Who pursues us with his relentless love.
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part nine)
Pride takes many forms, and the Lord finds most of them distasteful. We elevate ourselves at our own peril. We think too highly of ourselves to our own demise. When we raise ourselves up before God or above others, God will engineer circumstances that will remind us of our proper place. He will bring us low. If He wants us raised up, He will delight in doing so Himself-and He can do it much better than we can. How is pride manifested in your life?
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part ten)
People seem obsessed with their entitlements and rights. We think we deserve things because we see others with them, we work hard, or simply because we exist. But happiness and privilege are not birthrights; nor are they promised results for hard work or faithfulness. Instead, we should view creature comforts as undeserved gifts from our loving God. Meanwhile, we should concern ourselves with the entitlements and rights that belong to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We should bend our will to meet Him on His terms instead of the other way around. Oh how God delights in a child who comes to Him on His terms. And oh how rare it is.
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part eleven)
Have you ever been diagnosed with spiritual complacency? This disease seems especially to prey on modern Christians. Several conditions can result from spiritual complacency, and none of them are good. When Christians coast we become more vulnerable to temptation and sin. We experience discord in our relationships with others. We settle for far less than God's ideal for our lives. When considered in this light, it quickly becomes apparent that there is no such thing as coasting in the faith: we're always moving either forward or backward. Which direction are you heading?
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part twelve)
Are you known for your selfishness or your sacrifice? Sometimes God has to take things away from us so that we'll recognize our tendency toward selfish indulgence. Such was the case for Samson. God had to "prime the pump" by removing something precious to him. Only then could Samson offer a willing sacrifice. Christians should strive for God's pleasure rather than our own, willingly offering ourselves for the good of others and the glory of God. As we prepare through Lent to celebrate the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus this Easter, may we learn what it means to sacrifice for God and others.
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part thirteen)
There are a number of ways our faith can be misguided. Believing in the wrong god and believing wrongly about the right God may not be that different. In the book of Judges, everyone does what is right in their own eyes. That includes serving and worshipping God on their own terms rather than His. We do the same thing today when we cannot support our understanding of God from the Scriptures. When we claim we serve the God of the Bible but rely on our own intuition to determine how to live, we exhibit a misguided faith similar to the Israelites in Judges. Is your faith baseless, or grounded in God's Word?
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part fourteen)
In Judges 19, we encounter another chapter where God's name does not appear. This godless chapter records the results of Israel's long, slow drift away from the Lord. Instead of remaining faithful to their covenant-keeping God in the Promised Land, the Israelites have chosen to adopt the gods and the godless practices of their culture. They look no different than the world. We should heed this chapter's warning, lest today's church succeed in her attempt to look like the world for the sake of relevance.
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part fifteen)
Judges records our delivering God rescuing His drifting people…over and over and over again. As the series draws to a close, we see Israel recommitting herself to holy living. This will require a difficult, honest examination of their own lives and relationships. It will also involve loving correction of others in order to protect the community's holiness. Where there is unrepentant sin, it must be dealt with from a position of brokenness. The community of saints today should not be so different. We must help one another identify any slow drift away from the Lord before we drift too far.