We believe God is directing us to turn the second floor of our education building into an exciting and engaging place for children and parents in the neighborhood to enjoy activities throughout the week. As we plan for what that will look like, we are asking you to pray and give to the campaign that we are calling, "Open the Door to the Second Floor." We hope you are excited about being a part of this exciting opportunity! (special giving envelopes available in the foyer)
Several considerations have flooded my mind as our church embarks on a journey in the Book of Judges. In no particular order, these themes have rung especially true as we've dipped our toe in the waters of this important Old Testament work.
1. God's people are not above the lure of idolatry. If the children of those who had witnessed the mighty hand of God in Egypt and had experienced the provision of their Lord in the wilderness could be tempted to follow false gods (see Judges 2:11), so too can our attention be taken away from what is ultimate. This ought to keep us vigilant against the constant pull of the world and wickedness that seeks to turn our gaze from the Lord toward something inferior.
2. Small concessions made to the world will inevitably lead to disaster. The Israelites failed to drive the pagan influences out of their land as instructed (see Joshua 23:4-5 and Judges 1). In some cases, the Israelites made neighbors out of the very people they were supposed to expel and in other cases they enslaved the pagans they were asked to remove. Reasons for these small concessions abound. Perhaps they were tired of fighting these people. Perhaps they believed it was in their best interest to make friends with these nations. Perhaps they didn't take God's command literally. Whatever the reason, these small concession eventually lead to disaster. Judges 2:1-15 reveals that those left in the land plundered the people of God and eventually enslaved them. The sad saga of the beginning of this book serves as a concrete metaphor for what is possible spiritually today. Small concessions made for the world and wickedness, no matter how insignificant they may seem or how comfortable they might make one feel initially, have the potential of proving to be a snare and point the way to destruction.
3. God's heavy hand of discipline is ultimately a grace that his people ought to embrace. Though Israel had disappointed the Lord because of her idolatry and, as a result, God's anger "burned against them" (see Judges 2:14), Yahweh will prove faithful to his promises. His faithfulness to his covenant is not dependent on the people's performance. The same is true for those who belong to him today! Praise the Lord! That said, as any good father, God disciplines his people, sometimes severely, so that they are corrected when they misbehave and are restored to the Lord's intended purposes. Though this discipline is uncomfortable and, at times, even painful, it is necessary for one's ultimate good.
I hope these insights from the beginning of our Judges series prove to challenge and encourage you in your own walk with the Lord. Join us Sundays at 11:00am as we learn more from this incredible book.
Pastor Jeff Dickson, PhD
Created with an image by Aaron Burden - "untitled image"