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January 23, 2020 12:00 am
The irony is intended to make the point.
People who are powerful and skillful and valiant and experience but do not have the power and pleasure of God are not as powerful as people with limitations who are empowered by God, your disabilities do not disable God your limitations limit God's purpose don't use them as void today and was for the hard you're going to be challenged with an important concept.
It's simply this, every one of your limitations no matter how significant it may seem to you is easily overcome by God's grace God can and wants to use every one of us for his glory.
Today Stephen Dave. He takes us to the book of Judges, where we see the remarkable story of a man with no connections, no wealth and lots of limitations, but God used him to do extraordinary things. Stay with us as we meet around the 24 months ago, major news service ran a story that caught my attention that the title of it is or was from landfill in Paraguay.
Sweet music emerges of you heard about this, but the is fascinating to support community and in Paraguay that's formed an amazing orchestra that plays instruments created from pieces of trash that had been thrown into the city landfill. There is actually Islam built there on the landfill where more than a thousand residents live about 1500 tons of trash is delivered to that site every single day. These residents make their living going through the trash with long hooks those long hooks are: gun shows. Hence the garbage pickers are called gun Cheryl was that's how they make their living on a young man by the name of Fabiano Chavez young professional and a musician saw all the desperate poverty among the gun. Cheryl was an their families who lived there in the landfill and he decided to donate some of his time to gather some of the little children and teach them music what's happened is been amazing at first, he only had about five instruments to bring with them. Problem was, it wasn't long before he had 50 kids showing up. So I came up with an idea and he asked one of the gun. Cheryl was to just come to keep his eye out for materials that it been thrown away that they can use the fashion into musical instruments and that if you go on site, you just type in Paraguay landfill, orchestra, or something like that. You'll see kids playing cellos made out of oil cans and old cooking tools you'll see as I did a flute made from tin cans, a drum set that uses x-ray film for the skins bottle caps that serve as the keys for a saxophone a double base constructed out of chemical cans of violin made out of a battered aluminum salad bowl and the strings are turned with old dinner forks. Now, as I described that you probably think the music has to be absolutely horrific. It is absolutely stunning beautiful go online and watch a young man playing a classical piece on an oil drum connected to a stick with strength this all recycled orchestra plays popular tunes classical music and the media sorta picked up on it with your tongue in cheek and a little you change of the words they don't refer to themselves as the London harmonic Symphony. They refer to themselves as the landfill harmonic Symphony a great Chavez claims that this amazing story has taught him at least one profound lesson quote people realize that we shouldn't throw away trash carelessly, but we shouldn't throw away people either that caught my attention. It's amazing what creative dedicated people can make out of trash amazing that I had to tell you is amazing is all that was isn't nearly as amazing as what a creative dedicated God to make out of people, especially people that have been carelessly tossed aside or overlooked or ignored or even considered unusable. The truth is God is most often looking for servants miles away from the beaten path, and he often chooses.
Doesn't he according to what Paul wrote to the Corinthians of the unlikely not those who are noble born those who are well connected those who are strong of those who are influential or impressive.
I want you to take your Old Testament copy of the book of Judges (why you're turning you need to know several things will take a little time to set this up here as we consider the context of the book of Judges is is the narrative of Israel's unrelenting sin and God's unrelenting grace, God will do whatever his people walk away from covenant commands and then come to their senses and then cry out in repentance. God raises up a job and this is a narrative that simply records a number of them, hence the name of the book of Judges one more thing before introduce you to a long forgotten judge order make sure you understand or or that you don't think of these judges as you might think of that judge that you stood before not too long ago to pay your ticket okay or maybe something something else I don't know, he or she was wearing a long black robe. They were sitting up on a raised platform behind a very imposing desk.
I'm going off of people told me of never seen this with my own eyes, and now you think of that don't don't think of that when you think of an Old Testament judge that they're different. You need to think more of the sheriff in Wyoming or Colorado unique. Think of Wyatt Earp and in the show down at the okay corral these judges were fighter. They were fighters that dispensed the justice of God on the enemies of God. Those who rejected God Sampson of course was one of them wherever they went, the enemies of God in the enemies of Israel. His covenant people were killed in nothing less than the judgment of God on their idolatry.
One of the lesser-known judges is what would a focus on for a few minutes here. His name is E hood E hood never met a parent to name his son E. Hood probably a good reason for that. One thing we don't remember E hood turned to Judges chapter 3 and unlikely nobody to become a special champion of God's justice. Let's let's not touched down at verse 15 were coming to the end of the cycle of sin. Now notice what's happening now, when the sons of Israel cried to the Lord. Another repenting, the Lord raised up a Savior. You could render that a deliverer for them E hood, the son of Dara the Benjamite notices a left-handed man. Why make a big deal that many of your left-handed.
I am to. This is not even fair to include what what what's is all about. No one in the French language and awkward man is simply referred to as a left-handed man is with that, the word sinister in Latin is the word for the left hand well through the centuries goes a considered a curse from God to be left-handed like to go back to early American history and they would correct it at all costs. They considered it evil. Now we know through brain research that those people who are left-handed are dominated by their right hemisphere in their brain, which means left-handed people are in their right mind had to say that you knew I was going there. I wanted in record now is the Bible pointing out some kind of trivia E hood was a lefty so is a little off. What is this mean will the Hebrew expression you might have in your notes.
Literally translated means deformed in his right hand not know were told and you might think this is from the tribe of Benjamin and you and you may fear older in the faith.
Remember, they were excellent in a sling throwers with her left hand. They were they were ambidextrous.
This is what it's saying here. This text informs us that he is he is able only to use his left hand.
In other words, he's left-handed because his right hand is crippled or disabled. One Old Testament scholar wrote the E hood then would have grown up in during the taunts of children in his village and the whispers of young women his age.
He had grown old enough to see all men shake their heads and pity and wonder how in the world he would ever earn a living. When he reached manhood. All that to say is, the people began to call out to God in repentance for a deliverer to end their shame and judge their idolatrous enemy.
The Moabites had there been an election runoff.
Read John E.
Hood would have never been on the ballot for 18 years.
By the way, if we do a little history here, the king of Moab and his allies of the subjugated of the people of Israel making their life miserable always he's required an annual tribute is taken their young men he's trafficked their young women he skipped them nearly insolvent with demands for greater and greater taxation.
And now, after 18 years, the Israelites recognize this is the consequence of their sin against God in the rebellion, and they once again as a nation cry out to God and God says oh I I have the I have the hero for you that it takes place during the time the tribute to go on the Moabite king is ready to be delivered. That's where we find ourselves here now E hood is made plans are evidently confidential notice verse 16 E hood made himself a sword which had two edges acumen in the link that's about the length of the knife to cut your turkey with Thanksgiving and he bounded on his right thigh under his cloak to follow this up, a right-handed warrior is going to strap his sword or his knife to his left side so you can reach it. Then I can be wearing swords when they deliver this tribute of research. They know they can be patted down.
This is where E.
Hood's disability begins to open the door of possibility. The Moabite guards will even think of patting down the right leg and then they certainly won't think of patting down the right side of of a disabled man what others think of as a deformity. God is going to use as an opportunity. E.
Hood is the only Israelite. He's the only person in the nation with the remotest possibility of getting close enough to the king to kill him and release Israel from his Moabite grass know that in mind, let's go to verse 17 and he presented the tribute to Adeline King of Moab, no agon was a very fat man that bit of information will weigh in later. Nope, no pun intended. Okay verse 18. All right. Eddie came about when he had finished presenting the tribute to he been selected. He probably volunteered that he sent away the people would carry the tribute, but he himself that his E hood turned back from the idols which were ideal gallons that I have a secret message for you.
Okay, now let's just gonna fast motion here here's what's happening. The Israelites go that that the party of people selected E hood like there is their leader hand over the tribute he's got this knife secret it away on his right thigh, expecting to have an opportunity. It doesn't happen were not sure why the text implies the king is in a hurry to get back up to the cool roof where you catch the breezes and at the text implies that because of that the pace of this is hurried. They don't have the chance to do it anymore. It seems like they don't even know what he was planning. The Israelites are traveling back home now.
I think as far as these idols. And as they leave the king's palace in Jericho E. Hood's no doubt in turmoil. He had this plan. He doesn't want to pass up this once in a year opportunity and the no doubt the idea from God comes to the other is likely you just keep on with your journey and to go back to the palace.
I got up I got a message for him from God and to seek so they go on their way shows back up the palace and and I he says I got a message for you from God. But there's a condition is just got to be you and me to secret tagline is intrigued and agrees. I mean, what kind of threat can a disabled man be to our king so he's granted a private audience on this flat palace roof. Verse 20 any came to him while he was sitting alone in his cool roof chamber any headset I have a message from God for you and by the way he did.
It was a message of judgment. It was a verdict from the judge of that. The king arose from his seats, no doubt, struggling E hood steps forward reaches for that dagger with his left hand. The text tells us in verse 21 he thrusted into the king's belly.
The handle also went in after the blade. The fat closed over the blade, for he did not draw the sword out of his belly and the refuse came out that's graphic.
Here's like it's like everything slows down because of the slow motion.
It's intended to show the utter futility and the ultimate tragedy of a man literally loaded with idolatry, luxury the ultimate sinful decadence. He's he's killed by a disabled charge empowered by God.
The ironing drips from the state. By the way, this King was a descendent of law. Remember him, Abraham's nephew.
He along with his nation had continued to reject the God of Abraham, and they proudly reveled in having Abraham's descendents under their appeal in effect or priding themselves on the fact that evidently the God of Abraham isn't as strong as our idols.
What you see time and time again in the Old Testament as God raises the liver to bring about capital punishment. Death now here, irony of ironies, God uses a disabled man to end this proud king life before we get any further, let me let me say the text seems to imply that the hood really hadn't planned on coming back. This was a one-way military mission.
No possible hope of returning home alone. God has other plans, even somewhat comical that as he humbles this idolatrous nations pride and he will allow his disabled servant to escape with his life. Look at verse 23 you're already perhaps there your reading then E hood went out into the vestibule and shut the doors of the roof chamber behind him and locked them pause for just a moment these days of antiquity. Keys were made from pieces of flat would doors could be locked from the inside so E hood effectively pushes the lock that closes the door behind him as he leaves, they're going to need a key to unlock the door. Verse 24 when he had gone out his servants came and looked up the whole the doors of the roof chamber were locked and they said he is only relieving himself in the cool room that means exactly what you think it does kind no secret here. In other words, they assume that the king is lock the doors because he's in the bathroom eight hood. Although I was calmly walking out of the palace that he's waiting at any moment to hear the alarm but the guard is back in the palace, assuming the Kings in the bathroom read the newspaper.
The magazine whatever is evidently not the kind of King to be interrupted when he's in the bathroom notice for 25 and they waited until they became anxious. I mean they're pacing around wondering why on earth is taking so long. The Hebrew text literally reads, they waited to the point of embarrassment and others. None of them wanted to volunteer to go knock on the door and potentially bears the king or embarrass themselves or worse. He was the kind of king to embarrass and so they wait and they wait and they wait and they wait and they wait until becomes a national security crisis somebody go knock on the door. I agree with one Old Testament scholar who wrote the God reveals what happens here in order to provoke some polarity among the freed Jewish nation over this comedy of errors in this turn of events. Verse 25. Therefore, they took the key and opened them, and to hold their master had fallen on the floor did not keep in mind their mystified. If I were given the details about the knife going all the way in and I coming back out there.
There's no there's no murder weapon is a visible weapon going to be a while before they figure out if they ever do, what happened, but by now he hood the disabled man ends up commanding the text will later tell us the armies to drop in battle array and they will kill 10,000 Moabite troops. I want you to notice the irony verse 29 and they struck down at that time about 10,000 Moabite's notice. This all of them robust and valiant man as if to say they were crippled they were disabled, but neither was God on their side, empowering them see the irony is intended to make the point.
People who are powerful and skillful and valiant and experience but do not have the power and pleasure of God are not as powerful as people with limitations who are empowered by God, let me ask you something. What are your limitations leaders convince everybody has some more obvious than others. Years if God said to you, you know, I want to make you deliver, what would you say what have you forgotten about this or that will in the gospel outreach which is global. What is our limitation. There what is a God of grace need to overcome or maybe forgive in order to use you for his glory. Abraham was old Joseph had a prison record. David committed adultery layout was unattractive. Elijah wanted to die. Jeremiah grew deeply depressed. Jonah quit twice John Mark quit ran Peter chose sleep instead of prayer and then refused to admit he knew Jesus how would you like that as part of your testimony on the God refused to admit I knew Jesus. He thought he was finished, Naomi was a widow. The Samaritan woman had a reputation Rahab never outran her former profession as a prostitute.
Zakir said spent a career stealing a white-collar thief. He was Thomas always assume the worst doubted Paul was never physically healthy. He traveled most often with the Dr. named Lou.
Timothy was inexperienced and fearful. Just go through in your own mind as I just did people that come off the pages of Scripture and you discover from these saints of old, including E hood.
This forgotten judge your disabilities do not disable God. Your limitations do not limit God's purposes don't use them as an excuse. He has a purpose for everyone that there's no telling what God can do through someone who fully understands that he or she deserves.
None of the credit Hudson Taylor put it this way, late in his life, God is sufficient for God's work. God does not do his work by large committees. He trains someone to be quiet enough small enough and then he uses them. It's the treasure of his gospel poured into and through a vessel of clay which highlights the glory of his creative genius discarded pieces of trash at the body of Christ by the junkyard orchestra. That's a great term for the church. I like a symphony made up of people recycled by grace refashioned by our unrelenting gracious God are our creative, forgiving, redeeming, divine conductor who collects us and are we a slight allows us to play again and again to show forth the praises of him who has called us out of marvels listening to wisdom for the heart Stephen Davey in today's lesson is called a junkyard orchestra.
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