Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Bad boys, Bad boys.... or Commitments in the hour of desperation (8)
We have mentioned earlier, that the Bible is absolutely honest about events and people. God doesn’t cover up His people’s sins, rather He exposes them so that they can change, and so that the rest of us who see the sin and the consequences might learn to exercise wisdom and avoid (at least some of) the same follies.
Text: Judges 11:1-12:7
He also exposes them to bring glory to His name, because, as the Apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans, "where sin increases grace abounds" (Romans 5:20). Not that our sin helps God’s grace to abound; it doesn’t work to improve or magnify God’s grace. But it is by contrast to the ruinous nature of sin that we should be able to see the gloriousness of God’s grace.
Romans 5:21 says, “…that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”
We would all like to think we would do a much better job of handling things than Jephthah, but the truth of the matter is that we are all capable of such abominations. And, this self-deception only sets us up for a bigger fall later.
Jephthah is a man who knows the history of God’s people, as well as the history of God’s miraculous help throughout the ages, but still harbors doubts. He has doubts and needs assurances and re-assurance. Yes, walking by faith is often difficult, but we trip ourselves up, like Jephthah, by our tendency to want bona fide, iron-clad assurances. That boys and girls is walking by sight, and not by faith.
So, as we wind this series down, let’s review:
1) God is long-suffering with His people. Like the people of Israel, even though we turn away from Him again and again, when we finally turn from our evil ways, God hears and responds.
2) God provides blessing in spite of our silly and insubstantial promises. Regardless of what we promise Him, God is sovereign and will act according to His will. We cannot ‘bend His will,” buy Him out or nudge His grace to our wants and desires no matter what we promise. If we are faithful to His commands and put our trust in Him alone, He will act on our behalf to deliver us from our enemies.
“All things work together…” (Romans 8:28)