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 

SERIES TITLE: BROKEN

PART 8: VALUE 

TEXT:  Judges 20-21

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.

Think of some shocking crimes that are part of our national consciousness. Have any of those crimes caused people to overreact in retaliation?

EXAMINATION. 

20:1-2 The entire nation assembles to deal with the atrocity committed in Gibeah. Does the fact that this gathering included 400,000 armed men indicate that Israel had already decided how they would respond?

20:3-7 What does the Levite add to or leave out of the story from chapter 19?

20:7-11 Israel is united in giving the criminals what they deserve without delay. They are ready to go to war, based on the report of the Levite. Compare Deuteronomy 13:13-15.

20:12-13 What does it say about Benjamin that the tribe protects these wicked men?

       Why would they think that bringing the perpetrators to justice really “purge the evil from Israel”?

20:14-18 Compare what happens here with Judges 1:1-2. What is different about that battle and this one?

20:19-25 For what reason would God allow Israel to be soundly defeated twice? (Were they wrong? Or not going about it in the right way? Or needed to be humbled? Or was there some other reason?)

20:26-28 Read Exodus 20:22-24 to understand the purpose of these offerings.

20:29-47 Notice who is responsible for the victory (v.35). Only 600 Benjamites escape.

       Should we assume that the entire population of Gibeah was destroyed?

20:48 This seems unjustified and like a war crime. Is there any indication that God sanctioned such an action?

21:1-3 Is there any indication of why or when they made this oath?

  Does this sound like Israel regrets their actions?

21:4-12 Could this atrocity be the righteous solution to the problem?

  Does it seem like Israel was more concerned with breaking their own oath than they were about keeping God’s word?

21:13-25 Read Exodus 21:16 to verify that kidnapping was against God’s law. They seem to be seeking God each time, but come up with solutions that don’t appear righteous.

APPLICATION.

This text suggests four questions to ask when confronting evil:

Do I have all the facts? Discuss how we make this mistake, and consider James 1:19-20.

Have I dealt with my own sin? Given that we will never be perfect, does this mean we can never confront evil? See Matt 7:1-5, Gal. 6:1.

Am I out for revenge? When does the need for justice slip over into this wrong motivation? How can we be satisfied if there is no pay-back? Read Romans 12:17-19.

Am I fighting sin with sin? What is our guideline for responding to evil actions? Consider Romans 12:20-21.

How do we overcome evil with good? In what way does the gospel demonstrate this very principle?

 

“If evil is to be purged, it must begin in our own personal lives…

as we submit daily to our Lord and King.” -David Jackman

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