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Tag: mercy

Gideon – Mighty Hero

For the past couple of weeks we’ve been looking at some of the unlikely heroes in the book of Judges.

And of all the characters that we’ve looked so far, none of them have been the real famous Bible story characters that maybe some of you grew up with. If you went to Sunday school as a kid, you probably acted out the story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho – maybe you saw a puppet show about Noah and the ark – there was probably a flannelgraph illustration of Daniel in the lions den.

However, you likely didn’t see any puppets acting out the story of Ehud as he lost his dagger in the fat of King Eglon’s belly. You’re not likely to have seen a kids feature skit about how Jael hammered a tent peg through the skull of Sisera. These aren’t the kinds of stories that usually make it into the children’s Bible story books. But they are in the Bible – and they are important for us to study and learn from… Just maybe not when you’re 5 years old!

But today we’re going to look at another judge – and this one is a little more well-known then some of these others. His story isn’t quite so graphic, so you very well may have learned about him in Sunday School. Today we’re going to look at the life of Gideon.

And Gideon’s story begins just like all the other judges we’ve looked at so far. They all begin the same way…

You’ll remember the cycle of sin that we’ve been talking about in the book of Judges. Israel would sin and so God would allow their enemies to oppress them. And after several years of enduring this oppression, the Israelites would repent and cry out for God to save them. Which of course, God did by sending them a rescuer – that is, a judge – like Ehud or Deborah. But then, as soon as the enemy was defeated and that particular judge died, the Israelites would go right back into sinning again and the cycle would begin all over.

And so, it’s quite predictable, that after Deborah rescued Israel from King Jabin and his commander Sisera, that Israel would again sin, and God would allow another enemy to oppress them. And this time, the enemy was a doozy. If you have your Bibles you can turn to Judges chapter 6 – verse 1. It begins like this:

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A Just God

Taste & see that the Lord is good. Oh the joys of those who take refuge in Him. Psalm 34:8

We’ve spent the last several weeks learning and being reminded of who God really is and what He is really like and what we’ve tasted and seen so far is that God is really good!

For example, we’ve seen that God is a God of joy! In contrast to what many people believe about God, He’s not a grumpy wet blanket here to make life boring and miserable for us – No! He loves it when we experience delight and joy because His very character is joy. In fact, He has created us to experience immeasurable joy with Him forever! Pretty awesome stuff!

And that goes hand-in-hand with God’s generosity. He loves to give! He’s not a stingy, reluctant God that we have to bargain with or try to coerce into giving us what we need and want – No! God loves to provide for us and give us abundantly more than we could ask or even imagine!

And God is intimately involved in every area of our life. We saw last week that God is not some far-away, distant God, but He is so near to us that He even keeps a tally of the hairs on our head. And if God is aware when one little hair falls from your head, then He certainly knows about all the other more pressing issues in your life. And not only does He know, but He cares too!

It’s been pretty awesome to taste and see that the Lord is good – and this morning we’re going to be reminded of yet another aspect of God’s character.

So far, all the attributes of God that we’ve looked at to this point are usually pretty enthusiastically embraced. Everybody’s happy to know that God is generous, for example. No one complains about that. When we read that God will generously provide all we need – we’re good with that! Way to go, God!

Likewise when we read that God is the source of all joy – we’re like “Bring it on!” Bring on the joy!

And when we read that God is near, that God even numbers the hairs our head – that’s pretty cool. We’re pretty glad to have a God like that.

But then there are some aspects of God’s character that not everyone is eager to experience. Some of the things we read about God in Bible can sometimes make us feel a little uncomfortable.

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The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Well, believe it or not, the story we just watched comes right out of the Bible – although this video gives it a more modern and slightly more humorous twist. But the general idea is the same. As you might have guessed, this story is a parable.

So we’re going to look at this parable this morning – it’s found in Luke chapter 10 – verses 25-37.

Now it’s important that we start at the beginning. The video we watched told us the parable, but not why Jesus was telling it. So let’s just back it up a little bit to see what’s going on here.

One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
Luke 10:25

Now let’s stop here for a minute. It all begins when this expert in religious law decides to test Jesus. By this time in His ministry, Jesus had built up quite a following. Just in the chapter before this, we can read the story of how Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000 men plus women plus children with the two fish and five loaves. So Jesus is getting to be pretty well known. So this expert in religious law comes to test Jesus. We don’t know what his motives are – whether he wants to prove Jesus is a fraud or whether he really is just curious to know who this Jesus is.

Table of contents for Parables

  1. The Sower & the Soils
  2. The Parable of the Three Servants
  3. The Parables of the Lost Valuables
  4. The Parable of the Good Samaritan
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God Is… Saviour

Today we wrap up our three week mini-series looking at the attributes of God. And in case you missed one or both of those previous weeks, let me give you a brief summary of what we’ve talked about so far.

Taken from the "Discover God" NLT Study Bible

In our first week, we looked at God as Creator. We saw that He made the entire universe and everything in it out of nothing. And in doing so, we found that God is all-powerful – He can do anything. He is also all-knowing – He knows everything. He is ever-present – He is everywhere all the time. And He is sovereign – He can do whatever He wants without restriction or interference.

Table of contents for God Is...

  1. God is… Creator
  2. God Is… Judge
  3. God Is… Saviour
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