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The Need for Leaders (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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January 6, 2021 6:00 am

The Need for Leaders (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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January 6, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Book of Judges (Judges 10)

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At some point, you may find yourself where you have to draw from every lesson you've learned about God. It will be a knife fight, a faith against faithlessness in your own heart. You say, well, how do I get ready for that?

Well, you do in the seasons of peace you build for war. That's how we prepare for these things. That's how we become useful to God. That's how it stays real when we preach Christ. And we're not just preaching what we heard Peter say. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Rick is currently teaching through the book of Judges. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching.

Today, Pastor Rick will continue teaching through his message called The Need for Leaders as he makes his way through Judges Chapter 10. So long as the people prospered without Yahweh following the fake gods, they never thought about repenting. It was when the pressure was on. They did not look at their prosperity as a result of Tola and Jair's obedience. They never connected that.

No. They just lived for the moment. Deuteronomy, God warned the people, He says, listen, have a spirit of gratitude. When I bless you, it's going to sustain you if you have a spirit of gratitude.

But if you become a bunch of ingrates, it's not going to work well. Deuteronomy 8 verse 10, when you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless Yahweh your God for the good land which He has given you. I don't know about you, but after meals, I do say thank you, Lord.

Sometimes I forget because I'm doing stuff for you. See? See? The virus could not kill this humor. It's back. Anyway, you say, excuse me, what humor?

What humor? We're waiting. Anyway, they departed from Yahweh because their hearts were seduced by abundance.

That's what tripped them up. Who needs Yahweh? I can get it myself. I don't have to pray. Look at that crop.

I have a bumper crop this year. Ezekiel said this to the people concerning this very thing. He's warning them. He goes all the way back to Sodom and Gomorrah to say, this is something that is not in the land where people are because it's in their hearts. He says, look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom. She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness.

Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And you know where that went. They had so much stuff they figured they could just do anything. You ever see some of these entertainers? They think they can name their kids anything. They think they can wear anything. They think they can do anything.

There are no rules on them. Not only the entertainers. Some of the very, very rich just think that nothing binds them.

There are no boundaries. And it's because they think that they're so self-sufficient. Well, this was the problem of Sodom and Gomorrah. Is anyone then surprised that the people who do these things are also rank sinners?

So immoral that you want nothing to do with them. Well, it was only under the beat down of calamity that they sought Yahweh. If they continued to prosper, who names Him? You know we can prosper in gratitude. That's what Deuteronomy 810 was telling the people. When I bless you, it's okay to be blessed.

Rejoice in the blessing and just remember where it comes from. Don't bite or ignore the hand that feeds you. You know, that might be alright in a pet. A pet comes and eats your food and then doesn't want to let you pet him.

He runs away and you don't see him until he's hungry. That's fine. It's not right in people. That's why I'm trying to get to something that I can't find it. It's not good and we're of a higher intelligence. We are created in the image of God.

That's what I was looking for. And as a nation, they admitted His glory every time they mentioned the nation's name. Every time they said Israel. That was a sermon, a testimony to their history. Every time they mentioned one of the tribes, it was a story behind each name.

Sons of Jacob and the two sons of Joseph. They were bearing testimony to God's truth, but it didn't register with them. As we see today, people drive by churches, see a cross. It doesn't register. They hear the name of Christ, they use it in vain.

It doesn't register. They become callous to this. Paul warns about that. Their hearts would become callous. They wouldn't feel anything concerning righteousness and Jesus Christ.

Well, they feel something for each other. Jesus said, you know what? When the end comes, they're going to still be getting married and giving each other in marriage.

Life's just going to be this hunky-dory thing. And then the rains will come. Just like in Noah's day, they can beat on that ark all they want. They won't get in.

It'll be too late. These truths again were wasted on them. Unbelief would again creep in. Flawed reasoning can go a long way for a human being. It can go from the time of the age of reason and personal age of reason to the grave. Flawed reason always, it sounds like I'm saying Floyd reason.

This guy, his name is Floyd, his last name is Reason. But when reason is flawed, damaged, it always has standing by a reason to not believe God. It is one of the reasons why we as Christians suffer.

There are several reasons why. One is we must, we have to be identified with sinners even though we're saved sinners. If Christ was identified with him, we will be identified. Imagine if nothing touched us. You're sick.

Well, not me. I'm a Christian. Of course, people would be becoming Christians just to avoid being sick. They wouldn't care anything about Christ.

But we go through hardship. You know you're a Christian when you feel abandoned by God, by the Lord Jesus Christ, and you still love and worship him anyway. That's when you know you're a Christian. You're not going anywhere. Though he slay me, I will trust him. Some of you have been there. You know you felt that God has ripped you off, he's cheated you, he's turned his back on you, he's lied to you, and yet you're still praying to him.

You're still seeking him. You're still trying to serve him because you know he's real, he's true, and the flawed reasonings that are standing by, ready to pounce on you, have been repelled by faith. And there's nothing Satan can do. Coming to that realization will not turn the faucet off, incidentally. It will not be, oh, I have an epiphany, I understand now why I'm suffering. Oh, then when I realized, everything started getting better. It doesn't always happen that way.

It happened that way in Psalm 73. I mean, he was just crazy. I'm so sick of these people.

They get away with everything. They don't care about God. Look at them, big houses, big cars, look at the size of that donkey.

And here I am, suffering, trying to just get by your oatmeal every day. And he says, then I realized when I went into the house of the Lord. But he still had to live the rest of life and all that it will throw at us. Verse 11, so Yahweh said to the children of Israel, did I not deliver you from the Egyptians and from the Amorites and from the people of Ammon and from the Philistines? We don't know who delivered this message. It was someone. It's written down. We don't know how it was delivered. Did he preach it to the leadership and they published it? Did he publish it and give it?

We don't know. Not recorded, it is recorded and it is delivered because God says, in this case, the main thing is the message, not the man. It is really always that way. But we don't want to trivialize the messengers because God doesn't trivialize them. It's just in this case, he conceals the messenger. It's like a concealed message. You thought I was going to say weapon. It is a weapon. The message is a weapon. The word of God is a sword, but the messenger is concealed. And I love it because the part that comes out about this, our curiosity wants to know, but God says, I'm keeping the main thing, the main thing here.

You know, sometimes you just got to do without because the main thing has to be the main thing. You said you don't believe. You said, you said that baptism does not save us. Okay, I'll put you in a place where you can't get baptized.

Let's see if you still believe that because it's true. The blood of Jesus Christ, the belief on Jesus Christ, his cross, his resurrection, his ascension, his return. These are the things that will get you saved because unbelievers can get baptized and stay unbelievers. And so God puts us to the test sometimes. He takes something away.

Let's see if you really believe. It doesn't mean he trivializes the rights that he's given to the church. He's just enforcing the main thing. And this is some of that is here, not much.

I kind of went a little crazy with it because I enjoy it. But anyway, he sent the messenger to rebuke the people for their lack of loyalty in light of all that God had done. No loyalty in return. You'd expect something, right? You'd expect, you're not surprised when a two-year-old, you sit up all night with a two-year-old in the morning, they don't say, I feel better, thanks for staying up with me. I know that was a tough duty you pulled last night. The mess I left behind, thanks.

No. But an adult, you do expect that. You do expect, thank you, I know, you know, you're just doing this labor of love, thank you. And God is saying, you know, I did all this for you, how about a little thank you?

A lot, actually. Verse 12, also the Sidonians, the Amalekites, the Mayonites, oppressed you and you cried out to me and I delivered you from their hand. Again, listen to the link, did I not deliver you from? It's what God says to these people, the Egyptians, the Amorites, the people of Ammon, the Philistines. He removes the plagues from the people of God, well, the people who were supposed to be the people of God, just for them to be like Pharaoh and turn back to their old ways as soon as they can. He says, and you cried out to me and I delivered you from their hand. When Asaph was writing his psalm, he remembered the history of the Jew in the wilderness. In Psalm 78, he says, but he, God, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them. Yes, many a time he turned his anger away and did not stir up all his wrath. He's talking about the mercy and the kindness and the gentleness of God. What overcomes the meanness in man against God? The mercy of God is what does it.

And so here in the scripture when we come across verses 10 and 11 of Judges 10, we are inspired, at least I am, by how much mercy God has available for us. We can't measure it. It's like the lampstand in the temple.

No dimensions were given. God had simply said, enough light. That's what I want inside the tabernacle.

Enough light. And so the children of Israel cried to the Lord saying, we have sinned against you because we have both forsaken our God and served the bowels. The bowels and continues verse 11, so Yahweh said to the children of Israel, did I not deliver you from the Egyptians, from the Amorites, from the people of Ammon, and from the Philistines? Did I not do that?

Didn't that not happen? Verse 13, yet you have forsaken me and served other gods. Therefore, I will deliver you no more. That had to, they probably, the way it's recorded is we're making progress. And then he says, you forsook me. They agreed to that. We repented.

And then he says, I won't save you anymore. Again, they worshiped the losers gods as the cycle that they were on. They abandoned the truth.

And for what? Elijah the prophet, we love this sermon that he gave on Mount Carmel. Elijah came to all the people and said, how long will you falter between two opinions? If Yahweh is God, follow him. But if Al, follow him.

The sad part is the people, it says the people answered him not a word. You would think that once the prophet, the great prophet Elijah says, which god you gonna serve? Yahweh or some other god?

You would think we're gonna serve Yahweh. You're right, conviction. No, they wanted to see proof. Well, they got the proof.

God that answers by fire, he is God. And that is what happened. Then came Yahweh's threat against the apostate generation.

And this is a threat. Therefore, I will deliver you no more. He's going to let them suffer. Verse 14, go and cry to the gods which you have chosen. Let them deliver you in your time of distress.

Go follow them. Let's make this clear. The gods of the world can deliver their people in times of stress, but only up to the point of death and no further. That's when the power just stops. The deception is over. And verse 14, where God says, go cry out to the gods which you have chosen. Unfortunately, that is the routine of the antichrist individual. Isaiah, preaching centuries later, said, now go write it before them on a tablet, God speaking to the prophet, and note it on a scroll that it may be for time to come, forever and ever. That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of Yahweh, who say to the seers, do not see, and to the prophets, do not prophesy to us right things, speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits, get out of the way, turn aside from the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us, therefore, thus says the Holy One of Israel, because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and perversity, and rely on them, and then of course he goes on to pronounce judgments. But the people were saying, we don't want to hear the scriptures. When Isaiah spoke these words, the people were not actually coming out and saying it, not all of them, that way, as today.

Do you know people that would never say these things, people are doing them? They would never say to God, we don't want to hear what you have to say, no, instead they say, preach to us nice things. They want to edit the sermons, they want to edit the scripture, they want to cherry pick the verses, they want to dictate to their pastors, you can speak on this, but you can't speak on that, and if you speak on that, you're going to be out of here.

And so, nothing new. Verse 15, and the children of Israel said to Yahweh, we have sinned, do to us whatever seems best to you, only deliver us this day we pray. So their response to the sermon, the sermon hit the mark, and their response essentially is, we are so desperate for relief, we'll do anything. It makes you say, is this a superficial confession, is this a superficial surrender, do you really mean it, or are you just trying to get away from the pressure?

Do you love me because of who I am or what I can do? And it's something that all of us have to face. At some point, your Bible knowledge is going to be severely challenged. God is going to let that happen. At some point, you may find yourself where you have to draw from every lesson you've learned about God, it will be a knife fight, a faith against faithlessness in your own heart. You say, well, how do I get ready for that?

Well, you, in the seasons of peace, you build for war. That's how we prepare for these things. That's how we become useful to God. That's how it stays real when we preach Christ. And we're not just preaching what we heard Peter say. You remember Book of Acts, the seven sons of Sceva, you know, we exhort you in the name of Jesus who Paul preaches.

He wasn't real to them. And the demon pounced on them, gave them a severe beating, and sent them out shamefully. These stories, you may reach a point in your Christianity where you just say, ha, they're all stories, they don't work, they don't stop the things that are coming against you. Yes, they do.

Oh, yes, they do. You just stay, stand your ground. God is just as sweet and wonderful as He was in brighter days. You're just going through something. You'll make it through, some way you'll make it through, and that some way is Jesus Christ. So by the Spirit of God, the historian senses the heartfelt compassion of God in verse 16.

He says, so they put away the foreign gods from among them and served Yahweh, and his soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel. How much could have been avoided? All of it.

How much was avoided? Not all of it. The mercy from God's heart. It's the only explanation, again, the kindness of God towards those who are mean to Him. And the historian picks up on it. As he's telling the story, he says God's heart was moved.

It was broken on behalf of the people. He couldn't, you know, he had anthropomorphism. He assigns a humanistic trait, a trait that belongs to humans, and this is compassion.

He puts it in a language we can really understand. Verse 17, then the people of Ammon gathered together and encamped in Gilead, and the children of Israel assembled together and encamped in Mizpah. Well, now they've had the sermon, they're committed to God, Terah now shows up on their front doorstep. Where's the blessings?

Why send the man of God to me, encouraging me to obey, if I've got to face this the next day? Because that's how it is. That's the short answer. What are you going to do about it? There's no alternative. Stick around long enough, you'll find that out.

Peter encapsulated in, where else are we going to go? You've got the words of life. That means you have life. You control it. You own it. You give life, you take it away. You're sovereign. It doesn't mean you have the words of life, like he's some guru in a cave.

He is saying you are everything. You can back up everything you say. You can't say that about any man. Tell that to Jehovah Witnesses. Try saying to anybody else, you have the words of life. I don't mean the sermons, I mean you've got the power. Well, verse 18, now that they're being threatened, and this is the leadership part that has been throughout, because we had the leadership of the first two judges, Tola and Jayar, and then avoid, no leadership. We've come to a situation where there must be a leader if they're going to survive, verse 18. And the people, the leaders of Gilead, said to one another, who is the man who will begin the fight against the people of Ammon? He shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead. They were headless.

They had no head, and something is not right when it doesn't have a head. You've noticed. Leadership's crucial. There's no way around it. When it's bad, it's really bad.

But when it's good, it's really good. It's a responsibility on both sides. There is a responsibility of the leader, and there's a responsibility of the follower. And Satan knows that, you know, he says, watch this, I'm just going to bump this one, and they're going to run off.

But he also knows the ones, you bump that guy, he's going to bump you back. And thank God that there are men and women like that in the faith. Leadership is crucial, otherwise we would have no Ephesians 4-11. He himself gave some to be apostles and prophets, evangelists, pastor, teachers, full work of ministry, equipping of the saints.

We wouldn't need that if leadership was not crucial. Jeremiah 3-15, God's speaking, and I will give you shepherds according to my heart who will feed you knowledge and understanding. And Satan hates it. And so he tries to get people to say, you don't need the church, you don't need pastors. This is Satan. That's not God.

The Bible is very clear on this. And you may be sitting there saying, I've never heard anybody do these kind of things. I have. Some of you have. They're out there.

They're not in here. So whether it's a nation or a local church, the absence of qualified leaders is often a judgment of God. You don't deserve a good leader. You would waste a good leader. You get the leader you deserve. John F. Kennedy is not the first person to make that statement. It is a fact.

I think we should all be sensitive to it. Fortunately, many pastors have great congregations. People pray for them and the pastor prays for the people.

Evidence of low spiritual qualities in people will chase away the good leaders or draw them in and they come in and they clean house. So we're going to be getting Jephthah next. And Jephthah was, you know, of the Bible, he was Leroy Brown. Baddest dude in the whole town. Meaner than a junkyard dog. That's Jephthah.

But for a tragic ending, he would have been my hero because I just liked the kind of guy he was. He was treated like a bum and yet when trouble came, who did they go to get? You know, he's the 9-1-1 judge. If you have a problem, call 9-1-1.

That's what they did. They went to Jephthah. And Jephthah, why are you coming to me?

He says, you got rid of me. We need you. You're the only one that can beat the bad guys. So, but there's always a remnant of faithful servants and by them, God gets critical work done.

And he doesn't get it done without a leader and he doesn't get it done without the follower. And so we remember our theme for judges, Joshua judges and Ruth and that is of course conquest, failure and hope. And we've seen the conquest in the book of Joshua along with failures, some. We are watching the failures in the book of Judges but also conquest and then of course there's so much hope that we're given in the book of Ruth so that she shows up in the genealogy of the Lord. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the book of Judges. Cross Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. If you'd like more information about this ministry, we invite you to visit our website You'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick available there and we encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. By doing so, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app or just follow the links at That's all the time we have for today. Join us next time to continue learning more from the book of Judges right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-07 10:50:44 / 2024-01-07 11:00:38 / 10

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