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August 8, 2022 12:00 am
The unbelievable grace of God does not care about heredity. It is not limited by the social, parental, and environmental factors that men consider determinative. If God can use a man like Jephthah . . . and can use you and I as well!
So the women were so openly Cuban Juliet is Israel gathered together in caves and miserable and the people.
The leaders of Gilead, said to one another, who is the man who will begin the fight against the sons of Ammon, the people are without a strong leader got to stand up to the sons of Ammon. They finally are pressed to the wall. It came about after a while the sons of Ammon fought against Israel, and it happened, the elders of Gilead went to get Jeff from the land of 12. This is wonderful. These are the same times treat each other differently based on certain.
For example, ethnic background, social status, and even economic positions can impact the way humans treat God's grace doesn't work that way the unbelievable grace of God doesn't care about heredity. It's not limited by the social potential and the environmental factors that people consider important when you're gonna learn today is that if God can use a man like Jephthah he can use you as well. Welcome to wisdom for the heart. We continue our vintage wisdom series through judges with this lesson called unbelievable grace. I attended the same school from kindergarten through senior high. And remember, one of the fellows who was a couple years ahead of me.
A fellow with a withered hand that had given him.
I think the complex. He was a very angry young man.
He was not good athletically.
I remember, and very rebellious.
In fact, he was kicked out of high school for selling drugs. It would be a couple of years later as I was walking down the sidewalk of the Christian college where I attended to bump into Paul and my first thought was busy selling drugs here to let the really wasn't the case. In fact, several years after being kicked out of high school got reached by the heart and so revolutionize that man that he was now studying to be a missionary. I called and talked to a pastor who supports Paul just this weekend to ask how he was doing. It was really amazing to discover that Paul had indeed graduated from Christian college and he had now been serving 10 years on the field as a missionary married with I believe three children.
I was also fascinated by the thought that this man who once was so stubborn against God is now stubbornly serving him because he has just been appointed by TBWA to Mexico City, which by the way is called the graveyard of missionaries affect the couple that went over with him to Mexico City have already quit. But Paul Harding is still there and I learned this weekend that he has already part of the church and they are looking for a building several of come to Jesus Christ there's a natural tendency in my heart and maybe yours to to write off people because of their past. It surprises us sometimes to see how God's grace is stalled out because more than likely you and I feel that were probably a more capable recipient of his grace, we forget that at the cross ground is level. It's amazing to me how God will teach a deep truth like his grace by wrapping it up in the life of a believer or a person who has been marked off by society who has been a loser in everyone else's eyes and then you discover them later being used by God in a tremendous way. That's the kind of man I want to take a close look at in the book of Judges chapter 11. He is the ninth judge that we have studied up to this point. I want us to leave, having taken a fresh look at what I call unbelievable grace because by the time I finished studying this chapter, the overwhelming theme could be reduced in the two words on believe of all grace, see Israel had once again walked with her eyes wide open, into the clutches of foreign gods.
You know the cycles of sin, that it taken place. Now they were deeper in idolatry than ever before in God, who is a God of grace would reveal himself to the people by choosing someone that they could unmask. They would never mistake as being a recipient of God's grace and he chooses a man by the name of Jeff.
What a story he was chapter 11 verse one. Now, just saw the Gilead night was a valiant warrior but he was the son of a harlot, and Gilead was the father of Jeff and Gilead's wife bore him sons and with his wife's sons grew up. They drove Jeff out and said to him, you shall not have an inheritance in our father's house, for you are the son of another woman. So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of 12 and worthless fellows gathered themselves about Jephthah and they went out with him.
Notice before he ever steps up to the plate. He has not three but four strikes against him strike number one.
He was an illegitimate son look back at verse one and Jeff that the Gilead I was a valiant warrior black is like the text Rams that in the position, but he was the son of a harlot, and Gilead was the father of Jeff that is meant no legal rights or privileges. He grew up without the benefit of a nurturing, caring, family strike number two was mother was a harlot prostitute. We just read that frankly his father was unfaithful. Basically, his home will be turned into a battleground of hatred and hostility and rivalry is evidently he took the newborn son into his own home was the least he could do. That leads me to strike number three. He was evidently or eventually rejected by his adoptive family first to and Gilead's wife for him sons and when his wife's sons grew up. They drove Jeff out and said, you shall not have an inheritance in our father's house, for you are the son of another woman. In other words, when Gilead legitimate brothers grew old enough to understand what inheritances were all about.
They didn't want to slice the pie one more time and they told Jeff that you don't belong here. We want you out. He obviously didn't belong strike number four, he left home and the gate became the gaining leader of criminals verse three so Jephthah fled. He ran tears probably streaming down his tics. He fled from his brothers and he lived in the land of toe and worthless fellows gathered themselves about Jephthah and they went out you could render that and they rated with him against the enemy worthless in your text means empty, unprofitable is the shady characters of the back alleys to gather around Jeff and they see in him their leader apparent when I find so interesting is here's a man who is unwanted by everyone except other people who are unwanted man rejected by everyone who should've accepted him now finds a home among those who also are unaccepted a life, the famous Scottish preacher Dr. Alexander Whyte, perhaps one of the most well-known expositors in Scotland and I am privileged to have the books that he wrote could identify with the pain of Jephthah because he also had been born out of wedlock and in his day.
This carried a lifetime stigma. He writes he had to contend with the mockery of boys scorn of the girls in the whispers of the townspeople whenever they saw him in town.
When Alexander was born, his mother gave him his father's surname. She reared him in poverty, but evidently the piety he became apprenticed to a shoemaker and through hard work. This tough little guy grew up and was able to be educated in Edinburg and Aberdeen. Dr. White's preaching should you read his words are marked by a keen sensitivity to the evils of his day. He is also profoundly capable of identifying with people who suffer. He preached on just about everyone in the Bible in his volume is now called character studies by Alexander Weider in my library printed nearly 100 years ago and I thought it would be interesting to find out what this man had to say about Jephthah. I wasn't surprised at the way he identified with his and almost defended him to what Alexander Whyte wrote Jeff.
That was the most ill use man in all the Old Testament says it all right there. That's it. And he continues to be the most completely misunderstood, misrepresented and ill use man down to this day buffeted about from his birth by his brothers, trampled upon by all men, and most of all, by the men of his father's house called all manner of odious and exasperating names and when a prophet came to dine. He was sent away to the fields to be out of sight. The iron or the dagger had entered his soul while yet he lay in his mother's womb, and both his father and his brothers and the elders of Israel helped increase Jeff.
This affliction till the Lord rose up for Jeff and said it is enough and he took the iron out of his servant soul and he poured oil and wine into the lifelong wound while here's a man who understood. Perhaps I'm speaking to someone in his audience who can identify as well. Perhaps similar sin similar background similar pain of rejection, I want you to know the story is about the change because the grace the unbelievable grace of God is about to reverse the story and Jeff that will become a an encouragement to you and all of us that no matter what sayings the pages of your past gods. Unbelievable grace can wash it as white as snow.
As far as Israel was concerned Jephthah was beyond the grace of God. One of the phrase provides that inside look at verse seven with me. The elders come to Jeff asking for his help will look carefully this in a moment, but I want you to notice Jeff this said to the elders of Gilead notice this. Did you not hate me and did you not drive me from my father's house just because I believe here of partial illustration of Jesus Christ himself. This could be a sermon in and of itself. Jesus Christ was born amid the floors of an immoral mother. In fact, in his later days it would be the religious Pietists who would say to him that he did not really have a well bred birth. His mother had conceived out of wedlock. They refuted his claims of deity.
He also was rejected by his half-brothers.
It wasn't until his resurrection, that they would believe them. He was also rejected by his hometown.
In fact, the entire nation would send him to the cross. What an illustration that this man also was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief were not given much in these first few verses that were given enough to recognize the Jeff that was an outcast.
He was unaccepted he was in love. He was unwanted by everyone except those who were also unwanted. He was a boy who grew up believing that he was trash and eventually as a young man he left to join other boys like him who had believed who had heard the same lie but the grace of God comes here because the unbelievable grace of God doesn't care about parentage.
He does not stumble over ill births and grades on an entirely different scale if just as life shouts anything here it is the words you do not need to be a prisoner of your past. The spirit of God gives grace independently of whether or not your parents received it and he gives gifts independently of whether or not they receive them.
Gary and Rick, a man whom I've been reading on this book received a letter from a missionary friend from Ethiopia and I thought it was fascinating because it talks about two men who were planting and pastoring churches among the unreached tribes. These were national men paid $20 a month by their supporting churches, eking out an existence he talks about two young men that he says American mission societies would have never accepted their application.
One is named R. Shea. He is 25 with deformed hands. He has six fingers on each hand.
He has 1/6 grade education and his wife has tuberculosis. He preaches in a little church two days travel from the nearest town. This friend of then Riggs visited him in 24 people were baptized by him in one month. Andrea yes another man with 1/4 grade education for children one. Tragically, the warmed as a hunchback, his wife of former barmaid dearest friends is the last time I went to his church. I attended the baptism of 88 new believers led to Christ by Andrea's God is in impressed with the same kind of person I were impressed with.
He works on an entirely different scale. The next stage then finds God's expression of grace. The Jeff tough as he is sought out now by those who have sent him away. Let's find out why back up to chapter 10 verse 17 then the sons of Ammon were summoned in the kitchen, Gilead, and the sons of Israel gathered together and Capt. Ms. and the people of the leaders of Gilly and said to one another, who is the man who will begin the fight against the sons of Ammon, shall become head over all of the inhabitants of Gilead. That is, the people are without a strong leader anybody with the guts to stand up to the sons of Ammon who could we find they can't find anybody so they now skip down 11 verse four chapter 11 verse four. They finally are pressed to the wall and it came about after a while that the sons of Ammon fought against Israel, and it happened on the sons of Ammon fought against Israel that the elders of Gilead went to get Jeff the from the land of 12 to catch the irony.
This is wonderful. I can just see those elders of these are the same as the settable way. Just a lot older they probably still have star scholars.
I can imagine a lot of stuttering and a lot of coughing and a lot of staring at the ground, but what they say verse six they said to Jeff that come in BR arch chief we might fight against the sons of Ammon Jeff the said to the elders of Gilead, did you not hate me and drive me from my father's house. So why have you come to me now when you are in trouble.
That's a great question that's valid. The elders totally ignore it. They go on in verse eight. For this reason we have not returned to you that you may go fight that you may go with us and fight no come on, they won't even tell them at this point we really need a leader we need a strong man in your we just want to invite you to come with us and by the way, become head over all the inhabitants of Gilead, then Jeff that went with the elders of Gilead and the people made him head and she over than the no we do not read of any apology here by the elders.
Jeff thought we were wrong. We misread you we wrote you all we read it all wrong. Would you forgive us. We are so sorry to read that here just the still decides to return only the Gilly likes the war, risking his own life for people who could care less about his life tells us several things about Jeff.
If you want to make room in your notes. First of all Jeff that at this moment shows to hurdle his past. I have no doubt in my mind that there was a great struggle. There, in his own soul, but at this moment in time he decides to forget the things which are behind and pressed for an apology or not he will serve God. It also tells me that he helped. He chose to help those who refused to help him and I bet his buddies until thought he was nuts.
Jeff, the chose to show grace to those who had withheld grace from him and that's unbelievable to what may Jeff the big enough to make this decision. Would you look with me in verse 11, then Jeff, the went with the elders of Gilead and the people made him head and chief over them, and here it is an Jeff thus spoke all his words before the Lord and misspoke this tells us that although everyone had abandoned Jeff the he knew God hadn't been there.
On the eve of this incredibly swift promotion from unwanted to wanted unacceptable to accepted Jeff the goes that he gets alone and he is a conversation with God and he looks up at the stars. I can imagine Jeff the same Lord you never believe what just happened a very they want me they need me.
They've invited me to be there. Chief thank God.
Unbelievable. Grace forgot to choose him.
Unbelievable grace for Jeff to go. Would you turn in your Bibles to second Samuel chapter 4 verse four. I think this story will have incredible significance to you and me. The story is about the grandson of King Saul and Jonathan. When Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle with the chef was five years old and he was snatched up by his nurse and they were going to escape from the enemy, but his nurse for some reason accidentally dropped him and his legs were permanently damaged and he was crippled and had to use crutches for the rest of his life verse for now. Jonathan, Saul's son had a son crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the report of Saul and Jonathan came to Jezreel in his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened that in a hurry or haste slowly he fell and became lame in his name was Methodist yet nothing is heard about him or from him for anywhere from 15 to 20 years until David makes a rather unusual announcement turnover. The chapter 9 verse one. David has ascended the throne at this point and he says, is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake. The Hebrew word for kindnesses has said it could be translated. Grace here this wonderful king is ascended the throne and his leadership is a refreshing change from Saul's bitter, jealous leadership and he ascended the throne, never having tasted the feed's kingdom is flourishing. There's a chicken in every pot. There are two chariots in every driveway. David in his bountiful attitude says is there anybody laughed from my all enemies household that I can show grace to even ask, is there anybody qualified. Is there a sharp person among Saul's household, he says, is there anybody laugh. I want to show grace to them.
Love is serve. In verse two that there was a servant of the house is so his name was even make calls into David and the king said argues even he said I am your servant, and the king said, is there not get anyone in the house of Saul, to whom I may show the grace of God and zebras, that of the king.
There is still a son of Jonathan bodies crippled in both feet. You really want him you can almost read it in his words. So the king said to him, where is he is even said to the king beholding he's in the house of manicure, the son of MEL and load the bar, which means a barren place crippled was hidden away.
Then King David sent, and brought in from the house of the care, the son of MEL from loan environment. Finish out the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself and David said nothing to chef and he said, here is your servant. He is falling down. He is terrified is no idea, but it was the practice of this era to wipe out potential errors and he knew that Saul and David and David and every reason to wipe out Saul's family stumbles forward. He throws his crutches aside, and he falls on his face and he says here I am on your servant David said to verse seven. Do not fear, for I will surely show grace to you for the sake of your father Jonathan's and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you shall eat at my table regularly.
That's the first time out of for the David says you will eat at my table regularly again with the bishop falls down. He prostrated himself and says what is your servant that you should regard a dead dog like me that descriptive term and far the most despicable thing around and said decaying dog. He says just decaying dog trash in the world would you want me next verse in the king called so servant is even said to him all along the Saul and all his house and given your master's grandson, you and your sons and your servant shall cultivate the land for him, and you shall bring the protist of that your master's grandson son may have food. Nevertheless method that shut your master's grandson shall eat at my table regularly.
Verse 11 then Ziva said to the king, according all the Lord the King commands a service to your server will do some of the vicious aided David's table as one of the kings sons verse 13 some offender.
Seth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king's table regularly.
He was laying in both feet and you imagine that same can you imagine the dining room of the king all the servants attending there's David and royal splendor seated here comes Solomon is a brilliant heir apparent walking across the courtyard find his seat becomes lovely Taymor beautiful queen like she finds her seat incomes Absalom rugged, handsome, and grabs a chair finds the departments of stealth, perhaps visiting that evening or that afternoon when their eating is Joab muscular bronze general of the forces in your ears pick up the sounds of clump clump call the crutches asthma for the chef makes his way across the dining room shuffles into a chair and each with a K offender chef had nothing he had done nothing to deserve nothing. That's the whole point of grace. He received grace from the king's hand because he was the son of the king's friend just as you and I received grace from God because with a friend of his son Jesus Christ thing John Newton who wrote the hymn amazing Grace you're familiar with that man's unusual story I read just this past week. He said there will be three wonderful warm wonders. I should say about heaven that will amaze me when I get there. He said the first wonder will be all of the people there that I didn't expect to see.
He said the second wonder will be all of the people that aren't there that I expected to see that the third and the most amazing wonder is that I will find myself there ladies and gentlemen, that is unbelievable grace.
And so this man would pin the words we say amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I say why because of God's own believable grace. That was a lesson called on its part of our vintage wisdom series through the book of Judges Stephen Davey first preached the series many years ago, but the truth is just as important, and just as powerful today. I invite you to learn more about us. Our number is 86 648 Bible we have staff and volunteers on hand to take your call right now once again that's 86 648 Bible we post each day's broadcast. So if you ever miss one of these lessons on your radio station, you can go to our website and keep caught up with our daily Bible teaching ministry. Our website is wisdom online.org. Once you go there, you'll be able to access the complete library of Stephen's Bible teaching ministry. You'll find each day's broadcast right on our homepage. You can also navigate to the previous broadcasts as well.
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