FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 11/17/2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Sat, 11/17/2012
Judges 1:1-2; 2:1-4; 16,
V. 2:3-4 A NATION MAIMED BY GRIM CONSEQUENCES, Lesson 1c
Because of their sin, Israel faced the Lord’s judgment. Notice what happened to Israel, what may await America, if we do not repent.
2:3 They Endured A Divine Sentence – God vowed to remove His protecting hand from Israel. He would allow the Canaanites they had compromised with to be a thorn in the side of Israel. He would allow the false gods of Canaan to be a snare to them.
America can expect no better treatment. Even now, we can see that our nation is under a sentence of divine judgment.
Militarily we are weak and stretched to the limit. We are vulnerable to military attack. All the while our enemies grow stronger and bolder every day.
Economically we are in serious trouble. People are struggling as they lose their jobs to China, Mexico and Vietnam. It was said recently that China could bring America to its knees without ever firing a shot, through economic means.
Culturally, we are fighting a losing battle. The divorce rates have quadrupled in the past 30 years. Teen suicide has doubled and violent crime has risen 500%. One out of every three children is born to a single mother. In some cities the illegitimacy rates are as high as 80%!
Morally we are totally bankrupt. Our government spends nearly 200 million dollars per year teaching kids how to use condoms. They use that same money to attack abstinence based sex education. 56 million Americans are suffering from a venereal disease of one form or the other.
Spiritually we are in a deplorable condition. The Bible and prayer have been removed from our schools. The Ten Commandments continue to be attacked and relegated to the dust bin of history. Not too long ago, the Supreme Court came down against a display of the Ten Commandments in a court house. Some people fear the Ten Commandments. They say they might be dangerous to some child who might read them. I don’t know about you, but I would rather take my chances with someone who had been exposed to the bible, prayer and the Ten Commandments; than someone who had been taught that there is no such thing as right and wrong.
We are under attack in the natural realm as well. Look at the hurricanes, the earthquakes, the floods, the tornadoes, the fires and fierce storms that are afflicting every part of our country.
These are but a few of the signs that we are facing impending judgment from God. The fact is, our Protector has removed His hand of protection. But, it is not God’s fault. We have no one to blame but ourselves, (Jer. 2:19)! We are reaping the crop that we have been sowing for the last 100 years, (Gal. 6:7)! We have sown to the wind and we are reaping the whirlwind!
2:4-5 They Expressed Deep Sorrow – Their generation called on the Lord because of their sins. My Christian friends, “repentance” is the only hope this nation has! I am firmly convinced that the only thing holding this country up today is the prayers of a remnant of godly people. I challenge you to seek the face of the Lord for this nation!
2:6-15 They Evidenced Deepening Sin – The day came when Israel totally walked away from God, (2:11-15). Their compromise was transformed into wholesale sin and total disregard for the Word or will of Almighty God. For this, Israel paid a terrible price. Judgment came and they suffered the awesome wrath of a holy God.
Look around America today and you will see a nation that has forsaken God; rejected His Bible and thumbs its nose in defiance of the God Who formed her. God is given mere lip service in the public arena, while the same people who declare His Name in vain deny Him by their works and their walk. This trend is only going to get worse as the end times draw closer. Judgment is coming and America is going to pay a terrible price for her transgressions unless she repents.
Conc: I realize that this has been a hard message. I love this nation and I want to see America spared the judgment that I think has already begun. I do not want to end on a down note. I want you to look at verse 16. I like the word “Nevertheless.” In spite of their failures, God still sent them men to lead them and to speak to them. Sometimes they listened, sometimes they did not. But, it still suggests that God was patient, loving and was giving them every chance to set things right.
Today, I want to challenge you to do a few things for me as we prepare to close. First, I wonder who might feel led to come and pray for our nation, our President and for God to send a revival one more time. Who will align themselves with God and seek to confront a national disaster?
Second, there may be some people here who have never trusted Jesus as their Savior. Friend, He loves you and died for you. If you would like to be saved and He is calling you to come to Him, you can come right now.
Third, Some of God’s precious saints have been guilty of walking in compromise with the world and you need to get that matter straightened out with the Lord today.
If He is speaking to your heart today, I invite you to come to Him and get what you need.
“I Must Tell Jesus” By: E. A. Hoffman (1894)
I must tell Jesus all of my trials,
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
in my distress He kindly will help me,
He ever loves and cares for His own.
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.
I must tell Jesus all of my troubles,
He is a kind, compassionate friend;
if I but ask Him, He will deliver,
make of my troubles quickly an end.
Tempted and tried, I need a great Savior,
One who can help my burdens to bear;
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus;
He all my cares and sorrows will share.
O how the world to evil allures me!
O how my heart is tempted to sin!
I must tell Jesus, and He will help me
over the world the victory to win.
THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Holy and Gracious Father, Loving and Wonderful God! Help us to stop “on the way” to offer an affirmation of our Christian faith, so You may bestow on us a blessing of peace and freedom in the midst of a pressing crowd. May it be a life-changing experience that takes place while everyone else is waiting for “on the way” to be over. May we trust You with our time and give attention to our part on the journey of life. Help us to remember that there is no space we are in, that God is not already occupying with His purpose and His glory. Thank You for Jesus and all the “BLESSINGS ON THE WAY”. This we pray in Jesus’ blessed name. Amen!
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