Belonging to the King
Sermon on Judges 19.1
Title: Belonging to the King
Theme: Christ is the king who rescues us from trouble.
Goal: to encourage believers that Baptism is a sign of Jesus Christ claiming rulership over our lives
Need: Often like the early Israelites we make decisions like those who have no king.
- No King In Israel:
- They shouldn’t have a king
- Their king should be God. Their only king. Ruled by his Law.
- King David and King Jesus
- Baptism is an act of grace.
- The Parents in faith in Jesus have their children marked.
- The Children are shown to be children of the king.
- Together as baptized and believing people, we have Christ as our king.
- Following his rule. Gently going together. Holding each other together.
Congregation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
I am glad to be back home again. Ang and I had a great time on vacation. Unlike Pastor Jake’s bike ride across the continent, we put on 4000 kms in our van. We spent a week in Pella Iowa where Ang’s parents live, and we visited with my family at a cabin about 2 hours north of Grand Rapids in Michigan.
Its good to finally get back and settle into a routine again that is almost impossible to have on vacation when grandpa and grandma are pumping sugar into our kids an hour after their bed time. That’s what grand parents are for, right?
When I got back I right away went and asked how everything went while I was gone. I guess you all survived alright without us here. I guess you will let me have a vacation every year still. Phew!
I understand one of the Sunday services while I was away had a good time of prayer and singing, had a scripture passage that made every go, Whoa. But then the sermon wasn’t heard very clearly by most people.
Because of that, I want to revisit the main theme of the sermon that was read that morning and I am going to add some new insight into that passage that is meaningful for the incredible moment of baptism today. And it should make us really think about our own lives and our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Judges 19:1 the beginning part of the verse says, “There was no king in Israel.”
After this, the following chapters talk about all kinds of nasty stuff. Hearing these things ought to make us want to reach for the ears of our children and sit back and shock saying… uh uh uh. Can you believe people would do something like that.
Here’s a few of the things that happen. I need to give the summary version for those who weren’t here a week ago. An Israelite was traveling through a foreign land. He refused to stop for the night until he had made it back to the land of the Israelites. He made it to a town of Gibeah. Against the rule of God, he was almost not welcomed in to someone house for the night. Against the rule of God, the men from the town demand that the man who was showing this guy hospitality for the night be put back outside so they can perform homosexual acts. Against the rule of God, the host treats the other mans concubine and his own daughter like hunks of meat and sends them out so these men can have their way with these innocent girls. Against the rule of God the mob rapes and kills the concubine.
Is that in the children’s bibles there? The point of the retelling of these things is to illustrate to everyone reading a passage like this where society turns when it has no true king.
Let me tell you some more of what happens. The man travels home and is so angry against his fellow Israelites that to the leaders of each tribe he sends a portion his dead concubines body. They get the message. They mount up for war against this city where all the disgusting things happened. Tens of Thousands of people die in this civil war. Appauling before God, tens and hundreds of thousands of people die in the battle and as the other tribes slaughter almost everyone in the city of Gibeah and in the tribe of Benjamin. Men, women and children.
As things settle down, the other tribes realize they shouldn’t have wiped out the tribe of Benjamin entirely. So when some of the fighting men who were hiding away finally return to their homeland, they find that all the women from their tribes have been killed. The other tribes have sworn never to give their daughters in marriage to any man from the tribe of Benjamin. So against the rule of God they craft this plan. Men from Benjamin. Hide in this field and when all our virgin daughters are coming out of their homes at this certain times, kidnap them and just take them as your wife. Then we won’t have to feel bad about having these dads break their promise to not give you their daughters as your wives. What a way to enter womanhood. Kidnapped in your childhood by the people you were told were no good. Being homesick. Then finding out that your clan leaders had planned it all.
This is wickedness. Moral depravity. Absence of love. At the end of all these stories the book of Judges wraps up with words that summarize it again perfectly. 25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.
This is life without a king. This is life controlled but “what I feel is right.”
When we hear that Israel had no king, we need to remember that God told them they did not need a king. God himself was their king. His law was what would order their society and move people to truly love each other. They people had a king. God!
But Israel had no king. They had rejected God and each one chose that they were a good enough king for themselves. What a mistake that was.
The encouragement in the message a couple of weeks ago was to be sure that our society, our church and even our personal lives don’t operate without King Jesus Christ. The result of believing we can rule our country can be seen in the same sort of moral and societal decay like we saw in the passage.
The same can happen in a church. If Jesus Christ is not the king of all that happens here then we might as well put a different name on the church sign because it sure isn’t Christian anymore.
Welcome to Ebenzer Church of Self Fulfillment. The place we gather with people we don’t like. Put a smile on our face as long as we can possibly stand it, or until we’ve gotten what we wanted out of each other.
What does it look like that Jesus is the center?
And personally. Lives without Jesus as king we all try it some times. We all have been there. We’ve all known what living like that was like. Paul talks about it in Ephesians 2. As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful naturea and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Saved by grace by God through Jesus Christ. Jesus wants to be our king. Jesus takes us and calls us his own so that we can belong to him a much better king. A better king than the devil. A better king than ourselves. A better king for our society and for our families.
Jason and Myla, Joe and Jessie, heath and Christel, this is how a short passage like, there was no king in Israel applies during a baptism. Baptism is all about the kingship of Jesus Christ. Baptism is beautiful for a family, but it is critical in the church. It is our way of together celebrating that Jesus Christ is the king who has made an agreement with us his people. That agreement is that through his death he welcomes us as his humble servants.
As a family its saying that today you are showing how you have chosen to have Jesus Christ as king of you family. Your choice today is to follow Jesus Christ as King. Your choice today is follow the path that always is ready to give glory to God. You have said before God and all who are gathered here…. Sounds like marriage vows. But you have made that vow again that as for you and your household you belong to king Jesus. Your walk follows him and his purpose for your life.
Illustrations of choices you make.
Saturday Night- preparation for worship on Sunday
How you show your love and exemplify that to your children.
Congregation, let’s learn from the mistakes of Israel. Their society rotted because they had no king. They had denied God. Accept Jesus Christ by following his path of love and sacrifice. Make it perfectly obvious. You have a king. Jesus is king.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Jdg 21:25). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
a Or our flesh
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 . Zondervan: Grand Rapids