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Judges: Faithful God — Broken People: Touched by an Angel

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Broken People — Faithful God

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Text:
Slugged by an Angel
Text:
Theme: Broken People — Faithful God
Theme: Broken People — Faithful God
Date: 06/25/2017 File Name: Judges_04wpd ID Number:
Date: 06/25/2017 File Name: Judges_04wpd ID Number:
You know by now that when I preach through a particular book of the Bible, I normally give a sermon series a theme that guides the overall preaching from that book. For Judges that them is Broken People — Faithful God, and comes primarily from chapter 2.
You know by now that when I preach through a particular book of the Bible, I normally give a sermon series a theme that guides the overall preaching from that book. For Judges that them is Broken People — Faithful God, and comes primarily from chapter 2.
This chapter has three themes: Confrontation, Commemoration, and Calamity.

I. CONFRONTATION: VISITED BY AN ANGEL

“The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land that I swore to give to your forefathers. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, 2 and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.’ Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this? 3 Now therefore I tell you that I will not drive them out before you; they will be thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you.” 4 When the angel of the LORD had spoken these things to all the Israelites, the people wept aloud, 5 and they called that place Bokim. There they offered sacrifices to the LORD.” (, NIV84)

A. CAUSE OF VISITATION

A. CAUSE OF VISITATION
1. God Had Been Faithful
a. at a time of crisis, God sent the angel of the Lord to convey His message to the nation of Israel
nation of Israel
1) this angel is most likely a Theophany — a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ
a) in his pre-incarnate existence, the Second Person of the Trinity would have
a) in his pre-incarnate existence, the Second Person of the Trinity would have looked very much like an angel
looked very much like an angel
“There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.” (, NIV84)
b) this verse describes Jesus at his Transfiguration, and is probably what the Hebrews saw when the angel of the Lord appeared to them
Hebrews saw when the angel of the Lord appeared to them
c) notice that the message is in the 1st- person ... I brought you up ... I swore to give ... I said, ‘I will never break my covenant ...’ ... Now therefore I tell you ...
give ... I said, ‘I will never break my covenant ...’ ... Now therefore I tell you ...
2) the angel made his initial appearance at Gilgal
a) this is a message within the message
b) Gilgal is the place where, after crossing the Jordan River, Joshua sets up a memorial of twelve stones, and he reminds Israel of God’s faithfulness
memorial of twelve stones, and he reminds Israel of God’s faithfulness
“On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. 21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.”” (, NIV84)
c) in that passage the two great examples of God’s faithfulness are mentioned — the Exodus and the Conquest
the Exodus and the Conquest
b. God tells the Israelites, I will never break my covenant with you
1) here then is the reason for the angel’s visitation ... to remind Israel of God’s faithfulness
faithfulness
2. Israel Had Been Faithless ... here is the second reason for the angel’s visitation
a. the angel of the Lord has two charges against God’s people
1) 1st, they were told not to make any kind of covenant with the peoples of the Land God was giving them ... they did
God was giving them ... they did
2) 2nd, they were told not to worship the any of the god’s worshiped by the peoples of the Land God was giving them ... they did
of the Land God was giving them ... they did
b. in the angel’s voice you can almost hear the heart of God breaking: Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this?
disobeyed me. Why have you done this?
1) the Canaanite altars represented gods that did not speak and did not feel
2) by contrast, Yahweh is a God who speaks clearly and feels deeply ... why would they turn to other gods?
they turn to other gods?

B. EFFECT OF THE VISITATION

B. EFFECT OF THE VISITATION
1. God Withdrew
a. God would withdraw his protection and his presence from the nation
1) the 1st result is the Canaanites would be thorns in your sides
a) that is, the Canaanites would be an external burden and threat
2) the 2nd result is the Canaanite gods will be a snare to you
a) Israel would fall into idolatry and by doing so, complete their self-destruction
2. Israel Wept
“ ... When the angel of the LORD had spoken these things to all the Israelites, the people wept aloud, 5 and they called that place Bokim. There they offered sacrifices to the LORD.”
wept aloud, 5 and they called that place Bokim. There they offered sacrifices to the LORD.”
a. it appears to be an insincere response because very shortly they have turned their backs on God
backs on God
“The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 6 They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.” (, NIV84)
b. these are the very things the Hebrews swore they would not do

II. COMMEMORATION: HERITAGE OF A HERO

“After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to his own inheritance. 7 The people served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel. 8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten. 9 And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.” (, NIV84)
1. the reason for Israel’s apostasy is simple — they forgot God
a. it took only three generations for the encroachment of spiritual amnesia to become complete
complete
b. but it this spiritual amnesia was not the result of absent-mindedness, but a deliberate rejection of the God who had so faithfully worked in their past
deliberate rejection of the God who had so faithfully worked in their past
2. as long as Joshua and his immediate followers lived, Israel did not reject God
a. Israel’s defection was not the product of a single decision or event, but the accumulation of innumerable decisions over a three-generation span of time
accumulation of innumerable decisions over a three-generation span of time

III. CALAMITY: DIAGRAM OF DECLINE

“Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the LORD to anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the LORD handed them over to raiders who plundered them. He sold them to their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the LORD was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress. 16 Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the LORD’s commands. 18 Whenever the LORD raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the LORD had compassion on them as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19 But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways. 20 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and said, “Because this nation has violated the covenant that I laid down for their forefathers and has not listened to me, 21 I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. 22 I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their forefathers did.” 23 The LORD had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua.” (, NIV84)
1. they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers ... it’s a tragic epitaph
a. the result would be a 250-year period in Israel’s history where they find themselves, time-and-again, at the mercy of their pagan neighbors
time-and-again, at the mercy of their pagan neighbors
2. these verses describe the cycle that Israel would experience again and again

IV. APPLICATION

1. Idols Can Make Anyone Forget God’s Word and Godly Moral Values
“Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the LORD to anger” (, NIV84)
a. we live and work among a great variety of gods—not only those of other formal religions, but also the gods of wealth, celebrity, pleasure, ideology, achievement
religions, but also the gods of wealth, celebrity, pleasure, ideology, achievement
b. idols in the lives of God’s people will always provoke Him to anger
2. God Allows Hard Times to Come into the Lives of His People to Drive Them to Him
“And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (, NIV84)
3. God Relentlessly Offers His Grace to People Who Do Not Deserve It, or Seek It, or Even Appreciate it after They Have Been Saved by it
Even Appreciate it after They Have Been Saved by it
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