A Found Generation

The stories in the book of Judges put human sinfulness on display like few others. One wouldn’t expect to find the broken, sinful people of Judges mentioned elsewhere in Scripture. One would be less likely to expect to find them listed in a chapter extolling the faith of God’s people. So what are we to do with the author of Hebrews naming the judges as men of faith? Unfortunately, the author says, he doesn’t have time to speak to them. Oh, that he had felt he had time to speak of them! We would relish the divine evaluation of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah. But alas, we have nothing but the listing of their names with others and a list of what God did or allowed through them. We’re left feeling confused and conflicted about how to assess the faith of these judges. How should we think of the faith of Gideon who doubted God several times and led Israel into idolatry? How should we assess Barak who delayed and then refused to obey God unless Deborah came with him? What about Samson? The womanizing loner who disregarded God’s special call on his life too many times to count. Then we have Jephthah, the son of a prostitute and family outcast whose vow cost him his daughter. Can you feel the conflict? Do you share my confusion? But we can conclude that in spite of the judges’ many and often egregious flaws, they still believed in God. They weren’t perfect, but neither are we. God doesn’t demand perfection; He demands faith. Although Gideon doubted, he did take his army of three hundred and let God use them. Although Deborah accompanied him, Barak did lead his army into battle against nine hundred iron chariots. Although Samson’s unbelief made him ineffective most of his life, his faith at his death brought down more Philistines than he did in his wild life. And although Jephthah’s past was sordid and his vow rash, he stepped up to lead by faith when no one else would. You may look at your life and focus on your shortcomings. You may feel discouraged as your mistakes complicate things, and you may wonder how God can use you. But remember, God doesn’t use perfect people; He uses flawed people who will trust Him. And when you feel that your faith isn’t enough, ask Him for help (Mk 9:24). Someday, you alongside Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah will rejoice in the mercy and grace of God to save sinners through faith. In this way, God finds us even when we’re lost. – Pastor Rory

Sunday at Liberty

9AM: Reading Revelation–Colossians 3:16

10AM: Pastor Rory–A Found Generation–Hebrews 11:32-40 (sermon notes)

No Evening Gathering

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