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Southpaw Savior

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
June 7, 2022 9:00 am

Southpaw Savior

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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June 7, 2022 9:00 am

Through the Isrealites’ example, we’ll discover how to overcome our fears and choose faith instead.

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Today on Summit life with Jeannie Greer. He crushed his people's enemies. There was only weakness like a cross one just as a victory was surprised that Juan so Jesus's victory came as a complete surprise to the forces of evil. They literally didn't see it coming. The book of Judges shows you that God is good to send salvation in a way that nobody is expecting and a lot of people are gonna mess after their religion. Greer I'm your host Molly, but that's today were venturing into the book of Judges, where God exposes the Israelites for their lack of courage is everything you sure we've all been a bit exposed in this way at one time or another and through this example we'll discover how to overcome our fears and choose faith instead Jeannie has chosen an unusual title for today's message south Paul Savior and you'll see why in just a moment if you miss any of our series so far.

You can catch up online, free of charge. JD Bible get started left south Paul Frazier (I, one there we go to file see Bill Clinton, George H. W.

Bush, Ronald Reagan, or Barack Obama had been in the audience they would've had the redhead raised at this point some of our pastors got into a big discussion the other day as to whether it is in general an advantage or disadvantage to be left-handed. One guy on our team who is himself a lefty says the disadvantages are pretty obvious. He said we live in a right-handed world there's no way around that is that as a kid when I had to learn to write. It was always smearing ink across the page. Most scissors felt really awkward in my hand and still do and he said good luck on a golf club works be several things that you right-handed people just take for granted.

You never think about it a lot, but I hold my playing cards I can't see the numbers on the edge of the playing cards because there may for people holding them of the right-hander, local bread when you try to cuddle over bread and just think about it, but you cut it from the writings of rip across her hands multiple choice test, I cover up the answers as I'm trying to check what multiple choice. I want to choose the setters that first you never thought about this writing, he said, when you zip your pants every morning. There's a little flap that makes it nearly impossible for electing a person does about their parents without it being awkward. He got so animated about it. I said I think your little better counseling about the advantages are not as obvious were there. There lefties are more likely statistically to be geniuses, you have a greater chance of having an IQ over 140.

If you are a lefty. What is the correlation no one has any idea, but it is true in most sports opponents are not used to the movements that a southpaw brings so it introduces an element of surprise is what made Rocky Balboa great as he was seen underwater not getting I've no idea why, but left-handers can see much better underwater than right-handed people begin to play underwater hide and seek to do (a person to be on your team throughout history for undeniable the left-handedness has been considered to be a weakness. How have people treated. This is range from a comical to the cruel, the Latin word for left is sinister, which also means evil. The French word for left is gauche, which means awkward even the English were left comes from an old English derivation that means week when I lived in Southeast Asia when when when parents there would have a kid that was left-handed. There were never the usual of him. It was not a heritage I get eight which means don't use your left hand met us that seems absurd so you know you look back through history and you see that at various times left-handedness has been seen to be a weakness. Obviously that's not true, but believe it or not, that concept of left-handedness plays an important role in teaching us how God works in the world I one of Israel's first Judges was south Paul the story that were going to look at today is about a man named Ehud Ehud demo Bible Judges chapter 3 contains this story so begin to open it. There is your opening before I really jump into historian when I want to show you a little phrase that the author of Judges uses to set up the stories because it shows you the E how God wants you to interpret the stories and how they apply to your life so you introduces the stories of the judges like this in Judges chapter 3 verse one watch very closely.

These are the nations of the Lord left to test Israel by them.

That is all in Israel who would not experience all the wars again number Israel command and those always Canaanites there got a promise given the land and when Joshua died, there were still some left pursuer was in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war teach war to those who had not known it before. What is the answer to the question of why God had left all these pockets of Canaanites in the land all in one sense, the answer was that first generation of Israelites about believe God enough to drive them out right after we saw last week but did you see in those verses a couple of other reasons why he did verse one you see that he left the nations there to test them first two.

It was in order that you generations might learn to fight wars and God's strength.

Imagine that you were an Israelite child and he just got back from from Sunday school.

I guess Sabbath school and so you asked your dad you said that today we learned the got a promise to give the Canaanite land to us dresses, that is correct. Dad there all these pockets of Canaanites, still in our land.

Why are they still there and your dad says what at first generation diagram on grandpa and grandma Great Britain ball. They didn't believe God enough to drive them out. That's why there so you is the inquisitive child responds you say but that that's not our fault, their sin is not our sand. So after your great-grandparents grandparents died. Why didn't God just drive them out for us. You know like you swarms of tracker doctors are hello Billy goat or something like that in the answer. If the dad knew Judges 31 would be. He did that to test us to see if we would choose God to see if we would learn to trust him to fight for us.

Let me ask you if you ever wonder why God doesn't just cure us from sin. The moment that we are saved. I know some people that when they become Christians. It's like whatever they were addicted to gets turned off but more people I know continue to struggle sometimes for the rest of their lives against the same temptations. Why does God do that. Why doesn't God make us immediately pain-free when I go ahead and take us to heaven. According to Judges 3 wanted to. It is to teach us to rely and his grace that he testified in his strength. The apostle Paul said that God leaves trials and weaknesses in our lives to keep us humble. Sometimes listen to this God will allow you to struggle with a lesser sin like anger or lust in order to keep you from a greater sin may be the greatest salmon that is pride because of God suddenly cured all of your sinful tendencies. In one kind of fell smooth the moment you got saved you would probably get really proud and think that you just rip the spiritual awesome sauce and that you are really something that people ought to admire. So God allows you to continue to struggle because he wants you to learn throughout your life that you are not saved because you became morally perfect. You are saved is a gift of grace and God will allow these things to continue to plague you exhibit you will grow ever more dependent on great because that's what spiritual growth means John Newton, the writer of amazing Grace wrote a letter to a friend. 300 or so years ago.

He was in his mid-80s when he wrote the letter and what he said to his friend was.

He said now in my mid-80s I always thought that by this point in my life I would have been much farther past the simple temptations that I dealt with in my 20s and 30s. He said, but I look at my life now in my 80s in these temptations.

Many of them have gotten worse, not better. The center spiritual progress is measured by you being free from temptations. He says I'm actually spiritually regress not spiritually progress Lisa, but I realize now that what real spiritual growth is is growing with an ever greater sense of wonder at the grace that God is used to save you and I know that God has allowed these temptations to continue in my life so that I would tell my dying breath know that I am saved by amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, you understand that about your life. You understand that's what spiritual growth is is is is continuing to learn that God's grace is what you are crediting the victory to and I got allows you to struggle that way sometimes.

I am one of our pastors Pastor Rick Langston is in his mid-50s. We were talking this week and he said I was cleaning out my attic and he said I came across a thing of journals that I'd written when I was in my 30s. He said I started re-back to them and remembered why I quit journaling. He said I quit journaling because every year I just rewrote the same struggles over and over again so my last entry is. See previous year for future he's a year or so I thought just kindling used the psycho is because goddess is willing to humble you and teach you what it means to fight in his strength rely on his grace I told you before that our first years on the last with their first couple years of marriage. There were some rough spots to say the least of my marriage and I couldn't figure out why that was happening because I thought you why I know. God I love God you love God, but she did have a perfect marriage and from this point. Now I realize looking back at one of things I was doing this he was humbling us home with me because he knew that one day when I would talk to some of you, and marriage problems. He didn't want me saying appear on stage thinking will you just don't know of the Bible and you're not also like me and that's why you struggle. He wanted me to know that my sinful flesh is the same thing as your sinful flesh and the what I really needed is God's grace and the boast of his grace, and on my strength got allows us to go to these chapters of the Lord will be is not ours. That's what sets up the story in chapter 3, so if you look down in verse 12. You'll see the story of Ehud again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and because they did this evil. The Lord gave Aguilar on the king of Moab power over Israel guideline was a bad man is anger sounds bad that it just sounds evil to me for 18 years. He rates pillaged and murdered the Israelites again the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he gave them a deliver. Ehud, a left-handed man literally it says in Hebrew. He could not use his right hand, which means he was probably disabled his right hand, maybe you have been crossed or was born whether this was a society even more cruel to disabled people than our own to have a guy whose right hand was useless would have meant that he was thought of as useless. Yet he Heidi Ehud was brave and he was a man of faith, he volunteered to deliver attribute payment of gold to add line 3 loads of his wagon with all this tax money in tribute money and extortion in any heads off that when somebody packs a little surprise for 16 now Ehud had made a double edged sword about a long 18 inches or so, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing. This is a concealed carry knife, he presented the tributes to add line. It was a very fat man now that seems like an irrelevant detail doesn't end a gratuitous insult. Actually, it's not verse 18. After Ehud had presented the tribute. He said, your Majesty, I have a secret message just for you and grime of the message is either method is like a hidden map on the back of the Declaration of Independence written in invisible ink. He was excited about it to the king said it was intended to leave us and I all left maybe he was hoping that Ehud brought him a snack and he didn't want to share it. I don't know first 20 as the king rose from his seat. Ehud retreated left and drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged into the king's belly now line literally did not see this coming. Remember Ehud had a weathered right hand headline would not have seen him as a threat if he had seen him as a threat. He would never have let him in his presence unattended, but this is a disabled guy doesn't even have a strong right hand joys, no threat. Verse 22. Even the handle sank in after the blade in his bowels discharged that the NIV is actually being may not be that I'm reading from is actually been a little bit polite there literally in Hebrew, it says in the dung came out.

That's pretty disgusting right, it gets even better. A who did not pull the sword out in the fat closed in over I meditate on that verse. Make that your Scripture memory verse for the week. I don't even want to imagine what that was like there was this loud sucking sound, a member of the blade disappear sometimes get the question life, faith, God in the Bible need to know how to give solid answers for these difficult in our newest resource.

Pastor Janie quickly answers those questions that keep us up at night. A couple of examples are is it okay to get divorced and is there such a thing as unanswered prayers. You may recall, volume 1, and this not called honest questions quick answers from two years ago. We have some companies in that first book available as well. If you miss getting and will send those resources in our thanks for your gift to the ministry right now so give us a call at six 335-5220 check out Jeannie Now let's get back to our teaching and then I went out to the porch and shut the doors of the upper room behind him and any allotment after redrawing the servants came and found the doors of the upper limb lot they said he must be relieving himself in the inner room of the palace because that's what smelled like right. See previous verse, verse 25.

They waited to the point of embarrassment at first thing I made a few jokes you guys hear any movement in their know that I smell one you know it, but then I got weird minigolf you can take the boy out of a job you pastor you will never take you faster out of the boy.

Okay, so when he did not open the doors of the room they can unlock them know they saw the Lord falling to the floor dead by now.

Ehud is safely away from the palace and he rallies all the tribes of Israel who amassed their armies.

They rise up as one against Moab and verse 30 that day. Moab was made subject to Israel and the land had peace for 80 years will again believe it or not some of the most essential keys for spiritual victory are found in this rather colorful, slightly off color somewhat disgusting story.

We start with the most important. I have five of them number one the story teaches us that God's Savior would come in weakness God Savior would come in weakness with Ehud, a very important trajectory has just been established in the book of Judges and it is a completely unexpected one book of Judges you see is preceded by the book of Joshua. Joshua had been a mighty general. He led a strong Israelite army is exactly what you would think of when you think the ultimate warrior leader. If I were going to choose someone to play him in a movie I would choose Russell Crowe from gladiator.

Yet even after a leader in success like that Israel is still not faithful to God to just a couple chapters into judges.

The first major story of a judge that we come to after Joshua is Ehud a left-handed crippled leader and at first he doesn't even fight with an army. He tells add lawn all by himself.

It's only later that the Army joined him to fight. If I were casting for Ehud.

I would probably use Nicolas Cage. The next judge is going to be Deborah Deborah is obviously a woman.

She is a story that really get to in a couple of weeks. She partners up with a somewhat cowardly man named Barack for this I would choose Meryl Streep and Ben Affleck. This story is fascinating and how it elevates women which I'm going to show you, but it shattered.

Notice me with the very least we see it shatters common Israelite conceptions of strength.

That's what they're not thinking of is the replacement for Joshua and whereas, Joshua and Ehud Lee all the tribes in the battle to see that Debbie and Barack only lead to tribes about 10 of them say home and only to go after that, we come to Gideon.

It was a rather timid leader. At first it has to be persuaded by God continually to actually go do it and then after he dies, he takes an army of 32,000 and God says I'm in a will that are made up of 32,300 and 300 and defeats the entire army of Midianites for Gideon.

I would choose Bradley Cooper, then we have Sampson fights all by himself is morally a scumbag and then he when he comes on the fight is just him and he whips an entire Philistine army with the jawbone of a donkey for him. I would recast Nicolas Cage because that man is a national treasure. After the book of Judges we come to David and David when we are introduced him as a scrawny shepherd boy who writes poetry and sing songs and play the harp and defeats a giant with a slingshot course for that we would choose Justin Bieber, do you see the trajectory going from Joshua to Judges the first Samuel the very clear when were going from strength to weakness going from Israel winning battles under the direction of a great warrior leader and that the strength of their army to God using small, weak shepherd boy who defeats the enemy by himself.

What Israelite Israel stands on the sidelines and watches and disappoints the way for the most unexpected and the most left-handed if you will, of all persons Jesus Christ. Jesus was an unlikely Savior despised. In fact, and rejected by men you would never have looked at Jesus and thought there there is the Savior of the world hate to burst your bubble, but he probably didn't look like Jim Caviezel.

He was poor he was probably not tall, not great looking didn't have a commanding presence, and he achieved a victory all alone, just like David did on behalf of his people who did not lift a finger to help him.

He crushed his people's enemies.

There was only weakness like Ehud crushed egg line just as Ehud's victory was a surprise to egg line so Jesus's victory came as a complete surprise to the forces of evil. They literally didn't see it coming. The book of Judges shows you that God is gonna send salvation in a way that nobody is expecting and a lot of people organ MS boy.

Paul said this in the book of first Corinthians is Jesus was a stumbling block is a stumbling block about the Jews and the Greeks because neither of them saw him coming.

You think stumbling blocks on the tenure path you don't seem to trip over it.

That's what Jesus was given CME was there but didn't see him because of the Jews thought about salvation.

They were looking for a mighty warrior king who would rise up like Joshua. That's what his name Jesus.

And Joshua the same name by the way the room to rise up and pull together the armies of overthrow all the Roman oppression Greeks were looking for a philosopher king who would educate and enlighten the world and dazzled them to his ability to come up with pithy statements and an insight nobody expected a Savior who would not even own a home and be executed as a criminal and shame. Today people missing because were looking for a different kind of Savior are Bart Hermon who is the best skeptic of UNC Chapel Hill teaches New Testament someone asked him in a debate one time on what would it take to get you to believe in Jesus's response had he ended all suffering petty and that all suffering.

I would believe in him.

In other words, Jesus is to politically weak to be a real Savior from God.

But here's the question. What if Jesus had a different way of defeating evil 8 Surprising Way because one of her main problem was not suffering on earth, whatever main problem was separation from God.

What is the real tragedy was not that we suffer with cancer, but that we die in the first place. And what if Jesus saved us, by removing that curse by suffering that curse in our place on the cross and in stabbing death in the heart with his resurrection to it would never have power over us again.

We would look at the grave alludes a death where is your victory grave, where is your sting because the sting of death is sin and the curse of sin is the law and Jesus has abolished them both this and search the entire Bible points to Jesus, the whole thing every single story when people asked me why I believe and trust in the Bible thumper would point to his prophecy. Prophecy means things in the Old Testament to bring about Jesus wherever God now there are two kinds of prophecy that are really convincing to me the first time is what you traditionally think of a prophecy. That's where you get these exact details about Jesus coming.

Things like the fact that he would die on a cross and he be buried with rich people. Isaiah 53 the fact he would come into Jerusalem riding on the folder. Donkey Zechariah chapter. Not that he would be betrayed by 30 pieces of silver Zachariah Chapter 11 that he would be born of the tribe of Judah. Genesis 40. Not that he will be more in the city of Bethlehem. Micah 5 to 290 some others that are really impressive when you put them altogether and they are very convincing. Start one mathematician say the odds of all 300 prophecies occur randomly coalescing on one guy is one intended a twentysomething power.

These are the put that in perspective is to cover the entire states. The land area of North Carolina South on a Virginian silver dollars 69 and 31 of them randomly read and you out of all the millions that are in their bill you trillions. He said then take a blind man and cannot catapult them in there from somewhere in Maryland. They let him choose one of the dollars silver dollars, the chances of him choosing the one red silver dollar are the same as the chances all 300 prophecies randomly occurring on Jesus Christ. Yes it is very impressive when you see the specificity of prophecy, but even more impressive to me to be honest is this kind of prophecy where you see that every page of the Bible is telling the same story, one that is completely unique among religions and that is that our salvation isn't going to come through strength. It's going to come to weakness in surprise and substitution, not strength and conquest. That is completely unique among religions and it is told on every page of the Bible and fulfilled to the letter.

Jesus Christ, the Senate line Bible teacher here.

Today's message is titled southpaw Savior Pastor JD after we spent the entire month of June in this teaching series. What should we walk away seeing the common thread here during our month in the book of Judges were in the sea so much violence and abuse judgment or when God's people call out to him in the midst of the things he sends a deliverer to bring peace now these deliverers in the being very broken people and we find that there's no earthly deliverer that can give us the peace the security the satisfaction that her heart yearned for Jorgen to see this incredible theme of God's mercy and how every earthly solution ultimately fails in the solution we need is found in Jesus Christ.

One of the things we thought would be helpful with this series is to provide you a resource that would help you answer some of the crazy questions that people are culture asking suite taken 16 of the most difficult questions that we get asked as Christians we put them into a second volume of honest questions, quick answers, you can get any of these are all available right with a generous donation that you make your to us some of life that would help us be able to summit life on the air ministry to others in your community. We can get you a copy of the most recent volume of honest questions and answers today are things donate to support this program. Volume 1. Missing a couple years ago today and remember to ask volume 2 honest questions quick answers, 8665 24. You can donate online I'm leaving events. Be sure to listen again Wednesday. You'll hear more from Pastor Jane South, Savior here on

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