Advertisements

Ask

Posted: October 6, 2019 in Theology, Tim's Sermons

Matthew 7:11 ” So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. “

Image  —  Posted: September 22, 2019 in Theology, Tim's Sermons

Seeds

Posted: September 15, 2019 in Theology, Tim's Sermons

11 Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. 12 The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:11-12)

Image  —  Posted: September 9, 2019 in Theology, Tim's Sermons

The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. (1 Tim 1:5)

Highlights

  • Israel fails to take the whole land
  • Indigenous people are left in the land to teach Israel warfare and faith
  • Ehud
  • Deborah
  • Gideon
  • Abimelech
  • Jephthah
  • Samson
  • Idolatry in Dan with a rogue priest and idols
  • The Levites Concubine and ensuing War against Benjamin, and Wives for the Benjamites after their destruction

The author of the book seems very disturbed by the atrocities and foolishness of the people during this time. So he adds, several times, “There was no king in Israel during those days. Everyone just did whatever was right in their own eyes.” It was in many ways like anarchy, where the strong are left unchecked to take the place of power and the weak are oppressed and wronged until cowboy justice comes to the rescue. It was a kind of Wild West.

Some obvious themes emerge – in which the scarlet thread* is easily seen

  • God’s people’s sinfulness but God’s own righteousness, fatherly discipline, and mercy in response
  • God’s interventions can be understood as his fidelity to the covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
  • All of God’s judges are very imperfect, and the accounts do not scrub their sins and foibles from the record. There are several instances where I almost wish they would, but painful sins are important to remember as well, lest they be repeated. This is one of the functions of holocaust memorials. The Bible values candor, and refuses to whitewash the biographies of the saints. Their flaws are a deep part of this gospel. They aren’t the real Hero.
  • The Judges are obvious pre-shadows of the Messiah. They are messianic figures
  • The Lord raised up Spirit-anointed figures who then, as a result of that Spirit anointing, exercise strong decisive leadership to repel the enemy and free God’s people from the same.
  • The decisive factor in deliverance from the enemy is not God’s people’s military strength, numbers, or skill, but the anointing of the Holy Spirit coming upon someone in response to God’s people’s repentance and prayers (literally cries) for divine help. The connections to Jesus as the Spirit anointed Deliverer, and for us today, are easily seen.
  • Notably flawed in their character, the Spirit’s empowerment is puzzlingly devoid of the moral transformation that is present in the later New Covenant outpouring. In this book, the Spirit’s anointing seems primarily to do with power, bold leadership, and deliverance from the enemy.
  • While I wish it weren’t the case, sadly I can testify that even today, there are many of us who are experiencing God’s empowerment for specific tasks and exercising certain gifts or functions on behalf of others, yet we do not allow God to intimately relate to us in a way that transforms us by the renewing of our mind and heart. God’s mercy and grace are such that he will continue to help others through us, and will not discard us or treat us as our sins deserve if he can in any way avoid doing so, for he abounds in mercy and compassion, yet I must say that I long for the combination in myself and others of both the Spirit’s fruit in terms of loving character formation and the Spirit’s power in terms of gifts.
  • Like Samson, who was powerfully anointed and used to defeat the Philistines, many of us can preach under the anointing, but have compromised sexuality or idolatrous passions that ultimately limit our impact, and harm both us and others, and even harm God’s cause. May it NOT be so. It certainly doesn’t have to be so for us who have grace, love, forgiveness, and the full Gospel revealed and available in a way Samson and the other judges did not.

* The scarlet thread is a way of talking about the narrative connections to Jesus and the “Big Story” the Bible is telling — the gospel.