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Tag: obedience

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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Asa – Stick With God

This morning we look at yet another king of Israel in our summer series – Lessons from the Kings. The king that we will be looking at this morning is fairly unknown. You probably didn’t hear his story when you were in Sunday School as a kid. He’s not really a famous hero like King David or an evil villain like King Ahab. He’s really just an average Joe. Just a regular guy who happened to be king.

But the Bible records his story for a reason. There is a lesson to be learned from his life. So let’s see if we can find out what it is. 

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King Hezekiah Sets the Bar for Obedience

Last Sunday we started a new sermon series entitled “Lessons from the Kings”. Throughout the summer months we’re going to be looking at – not all, but several, of the kings of Israel. And we kicked it all off last week with the very first king of Israel – King Saul.

Unfortunately, Saul didn’t leave us much of an example to follow. The lesson we learned was more of a ‘what not to do’ – as Saul blatantly disobeyed the command of the Lord.

But this morning, we’re going to get a better role model. We’re going to fast forward through time to King Hezekiah. Now King Hezekiah isn’t one of the Bible’s most famous characters – but he was one of Israel’s best and most Godly kings.

Just so you know, in this series, we aren’t going though the kings chronologically. Hezekiah does not immediately follow Saul on the timeline. In fact, he’s much closer to the end of the timeline than the beginning. But just before we start looking at King Hezekiah – we need to know a bit about his father – King Ahaz. So if you have your Bibles, turn with me to 2 Chronicles 28. This chapter gives us a good snapshot of what kind of a king King Ahaz was.

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The True Condition of King Saul’s Heart

This morning we begin a new sermon series – entitled “Lessons from the Kings.” And I feel I should clarify, especially to the men, that we’re actually not talking about hockey. Although I am sure there are many lessons that we could learn from the recent Stanley Cup champions, I’m afraid the Los Angeles Kings will not be the focus of our study this morning.

Instead, we’re going to be looking at the Kings of Israel. Now most people can name at least one or two of the kings of Israel. For example, many of you know that the first king of Israel was King Saul. And of course, after Saul was the giant killer, King David and after David was his son King Solomon. And that’s just about as far as most people can go. Few people could name the kings that followed Solomon. But the Bible records the stories of 41 kings of Israel.

Now we’re not going look at all of them, of course, but over these next few summer months, we’re going to look at the lives of several of these famous and not so famous kings.

The king we want to look at this morning is King Saul – the very first king of Israel.

Now just to give you the background to his story, you might remember that before Israel had kings, they were led by Judges. We talked about these judges last September in our Heroes and Zeros series – guys like Samson, Gideon, Ehud. Well, the last of these judges was a man named Samuel. He had faithfully led the people of Israel for his entire life – and now that He was an old man, the people of Israel didn’t want another judge to lead them – they asked God to give them a king.

God agreed to their request and God told Samuel anoint Saul as their first king. But it’s important to note that even though Saul was to be their political & military leader – as long as he was alive, Samuel remained as their spiritual leader. He was still God’s representative – God’s voice to the people – God’s voice to the king. And that’s just what we see in the passage that we are going to look at this morning.

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Gideon – Part One

For the past couple of weeks we’ve been looking at some of the unknown heroes and zeros of the book of Judges. We started with Ehud – the left-handed man who rescued the Israelites by defeating King Eglon. Then we looked at Deborah, Barak, and Jael last week as they defeated King Jabin and the commander of his armies – Sisera. But today we’re going to look at another judge – one who is a little more well-known then some of these others. Today we’re going to look at the life of Gideon.

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 send their enemies to punish 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 judge – that is, a rescuer – 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. Sin, oppression, rescue, sin, oppression, rescue.

And so, it’s quite predictable, that after 40 years of peace after Deborah rescued Israel from King Jabin and his commander Sisera, that Israel would again sin, and God would have to send 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.

Table of contents for Heroes and Zeros

  1. Ehud
  2. Deborah, Barak, & Jael
  3. Gideon – Part One
  4. Gideon – Part Two
  5. Samson
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