A Minor Stumble

The daily choices we make are often backed by good intentions, but subtle deviations from holy living can easily take place. We know what is right, but instead of trusting in the Lord with all our hearts, and allowing God to direct all our paths, we begin to “lean on our own understanding.” Such is the story of Israel as we open up the book of Judges. Just like Proverbs 3 reminds us to not forget wise teaching and to keep God’s commandments, Joshua previously reminded the Israelites to faithfully obey the commands of the Torah. Judges begins with the death of Joshua and proceeds to tell the story of Israel’s total failure to heed their former leader’s example and instruction. God intended for Israel to occupy the land He provided, to worship Him, and to showcase His glory to the gentile nations. But it’s not long into Chapter 1 before we see these subtle, or not-so-subtle, signs of deviation from God’s plan. The Twelve Tribes begin with good intentions—they inquired of the Lord in verse 1 and then responded in unified obedience in verses 3-4. But something happens after Judah’s first victory over the Canaanites. The author of Judges includes a bloody event that transpired between Judah and the King of Bezek (1:6). Rather than obeying God’s command to leave no survivors (Deut 7:1-2), Judah mutilates and humiliates this Canaanite king, ultimately allowing him to live. Not only did they fail to obey God, but they adopted a pagan practice. While ignoring God, the Israelites looked to the ethical guidance of the Canaanites on how to treat a conquered foe. This is only the beginning of what will be a nation, formally set apart for holy living, spiraling out of control and into the throes of paganism and moral corruption. Let us guard our hearts against the subtle influences around us that have the potential to compromise our affections, doubt God’s wisdom, and divert us from the path of blessing and obedience. –Pastor Nate

Sunday at Liberty

9AM: Can We Be Satisfied in Christ?–Revelation 1:4-6

10AM: Pastor Rory–A Minor Stumble–Judges 1:1-12 (sermon notes)

6PM: Evening Gathering–Teaching Us to Obey–Titus 2:11-15

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