Adult II Couples Class WELCOME QUESTION OF THE DAY Adult II Couples Class Physical -Marsha Trollinger Surgery Recovery -Tony: Cancer Treatments Spiritual Practical Church -The Savages -Spring Revival -Williams Family -Easter Musical -LRTF Decisions Misc Benevolence Fund R.E.A.P. (R-Team) Monthly Fellowships April (Spring Picnic) May June Dinner Out Friday (NA for Apr) 5th Sunday Breakfast (29 April) Quarterly Service Project Ends of the earth project: Savage family care package Jerusalem Project School yard work LRTF meeting (11 Apr) Nominating Cmte Mtg (18 Apr) Revival ‘Kick-off’ Breakfast (21 Apr) Spring Revival (29 Apr – May 2) Adult II Couples Class QUESTION OF THE DAY Iva May and Dr. Stan May Creation: God reveals His goodness through creation and His mercy in response to sin. Patriarchs: God reveals His response to the faithfulness of men (Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph) and His covenant promises to them as they chose to trust in Him. Exodus: God liberates Israel from bondage, then uses Moses to shepherd them in the wilderness while shaping them into a nation holy to Himself through the covenant power of His Law. Conquest: Moses passes his leadership role to Joshua who, by relying on God’s presence and power, leads them to take possession of and settle the Promised Land over a thirty year period. Joshua and the elders of the Exodus Era die and the nation of Israel spirals into a 350 year period of spiritual decline. This era is characterized by a consistent cycle of disobedience, judgment, oppression and deliverance. God raises up 12 judges (not including Eli and Samuel) to deliver Israel from their oppressors. The story of Ruth occurs during one of these periods of peace Even in the midst of this corrupt period, God works providentially in their affairs to fulfill promises made to previous generations. • • • • • Author is anonymous, but thought to be the prophet and priest, Samuel Records the falling away of the people of Israel after Joshua and the last of the “Exodus” elders pass away (2:10) Israel disobeys God and intermarries with the Canaanite tribes; begin worshiping their idols Never mentions the Book of the Law, and an altar is only mentioned four times Demonstrates God’s providence and power through the amazing rulers He raises up to lead and deliver His people God responds faithfully and redemptively to those who humble themselves before Him. Context The Sin Cycle Explained Begins with a Period of Expansion into the Land of Canaan (Judges 1:1-26) Final years of Joshua’s leadership After early victories, they begin to leave enemy strongholds in the land (Judges 1:27-36) Expulsion of local tribes stalls out The Sin Cycle Explained Compromise Becomes the Order of the Day Israel rejects the LORD’s leadership and authority God allows oppression from remaining Canaanites within and neighboring Israel Periods of oppression last seven to 40 years at a time When they Cry out to God, He Raises up Judges who Deliver them Peace reigns during the life of the judge When the judge dies, Israel reverts to old ways of idol worship and immorality, even worse than before The Cycle Begins Again The Sin Cycle Outlined The Sin Cycle Characterizes the Entire Era God Leaves Some Enemies in the Land (Judges 3:1-3) To test Israel To train those who have not known war To see whether they will obey His commands The Sin Cycle Outlined The Cycle of Sin in Israel Israel’s Rebellion – turn from following the LORD to follow the gods of Canaan God’s Retribution – the LORD responds in anger and judges Israel by delivering them over to the oppression of their enemies Israel’s Repentance – Israel responds to their distress by calling upon the LORD God’s Rescue – He raises up judges who deliver Israel from their enemies Israel’s Rest – In compassion, the LORD responds to their groaning and grants deliverance from their oppressors during the life of the judge The Sin Cycle Outlined The presiding judge dies and the people revert to idol worship. The cycle begins anew. The Sin Cycle Illustrated Othniel (Judges 3:7-11) Nephew of Caleb (Josh 15) Delivers Israel from king CushanRishathaim of Mesopotamia • God had given Israel over to Cushan after His anger burned against them for their forsaking Him in favor of the Baals and Asheroth Ended eight years of enslavement Ushered in 40 years of peace The Sin Cycle Illustrated Ehud (Judges 3:12-31) Left-handed Raised up by God to rescue Israel from 18 years of oppression under king Eglon of Moab Talked his way into getting a private audience with Ehud, then assassinated him with a hidden dagger Rallied people to defeat the Moabites Israel enjoyed 80 years of peace The Sin Cycle Illustrated Shamgar (Judges 3:31) Kills 600 Philistines with an oxgoad • “…and he also saved Israel” This inclusion with the other judges, implies a continued pattern of oppression, crying out to God and rescue The Sin Cycle Illustrated Deborah (Judges 4 & 5) Raised up to deliver Israel from 20 years of harsh service under Jabin Takes over the armies of Israel to defeat Sisera and his powerful force • Sisera is killed by another woman, Jael, who discovers new use for tent pegs God uses two women, Israel’s army, a heavenly army, and a rainstorm to subdue Jabin and liberate Israel Leads to a 40 year period of rest The Sin Cycle Illustrated Gideon (Judges 6-8) Member of the smallest clan of Manasseh Called by the angel of the LORD to deliver Israel from seven years of Midianite oppression God confirms his power, peace and presence • Acceptance of Gideon’s offering • Empowers him to rid his own family of idols • Miracles of the fleece in the presence of the army God trims his army down to 300 which defeats the larger force of Midianites, Amalekites and others Gideon is established as a highly regarded leader in Israel Foolishly created an ephod which the Israelites began to worship Israel experiences 40 years of peace under Gideon The Sin Cycle Illustrated Abimelech (Judges 9) Foolishly sought to lead Israel in absence of a God-appointed judge Oppresses his own people; dies badly Tola and Jair (Judges 10) Virtually nothing known of their service Judged for a consecutive total of 45 years Jephthah (Judges 11) Son of a harlot Called by God to deliver Israel from 18 years of oppression Slaughters the Ammonites Makes a foolish vow to the LORD that costs him his only child The Sin Cycle Illustrated Samson (Judges 13-16) Only judge recorded to be called before birth • Called as a Nazarite Judged Israel for 20 years Mightily used by God as he obeys the divine prohibition concerning his hair Marries a Philistine woman and commits sexual immorality (Delilah) This failure to obey God’s Law leads to his downfall Despite his moral failings, God grants him one final victory over the Philistines Kills more Philistines in his death than his entire 20 reign as a judge Conclusions Judges 21:25 – “In those days there was not a king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Man left to himself wanders away from God to his own detriment; a fact the Jesus understood very well. Matthew 9:36 – “He was moved with compassion for them, because the were weary and scattered like sheep that had no shepherd.” Sin always leads to spiritual decline within and oppression from without. What does this lesson teach about God? Man? Sin? Redemption? • Why did Samson, who was faithful to follow the Nazarite restrictions in his life, fail to obey the Law’s basic prohibition against marrying a Canaanite? • Can a Christian get caught up in the cycle of sin? • Where are we, the people of God in the 21st century, in the cycle of sin? (Rebellion, oppression, crying out, judge, deliverance, faithful rest) • As a nation? • As a church? • As an individual believer? • What sets the judges apart from those around them that made them useful to God? What acute problem was suddenly brought on by the civil war between Benjamin and the rest of Israel? “And the sons of Israel were sorry for their brother Benjamin and said, ‘One tribe is cut off from Israel today. What shall we do for wives for those who are left, since we have sworn by the LORD not to give them any of our daughters in marriage?’” (Judges 21:6,7) What were the nationalities and names of the daughtersin-law of Naomi? “Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left with her two sons. They took for themselves Moabite women as wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth.” (Ruth 1:3,4) What signified the completion of a transaction involving the exchange of land between two men in Ruth’s day? “Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning the redemption and the exchange of land to confirm any matter: a man removed his sandal and gave it to another; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel.” (Ruth 4:7) What did the Danites take by force from the house of Micah? “Micah said, ‘You have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and have gone away, and what do I have besides?’ (Judges 18:24) Adult II Couples Class NEXT WEEK…..