Sermons

Introduction. 

The book of Judges covers a time when God’s people repeatedly turned away to worship other gods. This led to oppression by foreign armies. In desperation, God’s people cried out for deliverance. God responded by sending great leaders (Judges) to restore peace and spiritual faithfulness. But after every judge died, the people went right back to disobedience, and the cycle started over again. This last section of the book (chapter 17-21) focuses on a period after the last judge (Samson) has died. The time of sin and rebellion chronicles several broken things. Each is relevant to our lives today.

 

Audio Version 

SERMON TITLE: BROKEN

PART 5: TRUTH

TEXT:  Judges 17

INTRODUCTION.

The book of Judges covers a time when God’s people repeatedly turned away to worship other gods. This led to oppression by foreign armies. In desperation, God’s people cried out for deliverance. God responded by sending great leaders (Judges) to restore peace and spiritual faithfulness. But after every judge died, the people went right back to disobedience, and the cycle started over again. This last section of the book (chapter 17-21) focuses on a period after the last judge (Samson) has died. The time of sin and rebellion chronicles several broken things. Each is relevant to our lives today.

DISCUSSION.

What is the worst do-it-yourself project you have ever gotten involved with? What were the results and what did it cost you?

EXAMINATION. 

Vv.1-2      From the details we have in these verses, what do we learn about the kind of people Micah and his mother were?

Read Leviticus 6:1-7 and compare the requirements of the law with what happened here. Are there any notable differences?

Vv.3-4      What do you make of the difference between what the woman says she will “consecrate” and what she actually does?

Read Exodus 20:3-6; Exodus 34:15-17; Deuteronomy 4:15-18; Deuteronomy 27:14-15. Considering that this woman was an Israelite who named the name of the Lord, how could she ever think making an idol was a good idea?

What parenting lessons could we learn from this woman’s negative example?

Vv.5-6      It seems like Micah already had this religious place set up, and that he just added these idols to it. The ephod was a

sacred garment of the High Priest (Exodus 28). Read Judges 8:27 to see another time when it was misused.

Discuss the serious nature of Micah’s action, considering Deuteronomy 12 (especially verses 5-6, 13-14, 32). The place where Micah should have gone to worship was Shiloh, approximately 10 miles away.

Numbers 3:5-10 shows the serious nature of having anyone outside the tribe of Levi serving as a priest. What is Micah trying to accomplish with all of this?

The other mention of “everyone did as he saw fit” is the last verse of Judges. This forms what is called an “inclusio.” Inclusio is a literary device that brackets the material in-between, marking chapters 17-21 as one unit. What is the point being made?

Vv.7-12    Why would Micah be eager to have this young man serve as his priest?

What would be the danger in being “a priest for hire,” that is, being supported by one man rather than the community of faith?

V.13       What does this tell us about Micah’s view of God?

APPLICATION.

This story prompts us to ask two questions:

  • Am I choosing convenience and personal preference over obedience? (Discuss how we make that mistake)
  • Am I doing religious stuff so God will bless me? (Discuss what our motive should be)

A central lesson to focus on is: Truth can’t be whatever you want it to be

Rather than pointing a finger at the world, remember that this story is about those who bear God’s name. How do God’s people today pick and choose what they obey?

When Jesus makes a truth claim like he does in John 14:6, how is that challenged today, even among professing Christians?

Are there any worship practices that this story from Micah might warn us against?

How prevelant in the church is the attitude that Micah expresses in 17:13 and how can we guard against it?

G.K. Chesterton said: “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” React to that statement in light of this teaching.

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