August 15, 2022 12:00 am
Homosexuality used to be a sin that was only practiced outside the walls of the Church. Today, the homosexual lifestyle is condoned, and homosexuals are even ordained as ministers. But in this lesson from Judges 19-21, Stephen challenges us to forsake the growing voices of culture and go back to God's Word for the answer to what is right and wrong.
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Problem number one is the tribe of Benjamin will defend the immoral offenders. Look at chapter 20 verse 12. Then the tribes of Israel sent men through the entire tribe of Benjamin saying, what is this wickedness that has taken place among you? Deliver up the men that we may put them to death. Aren't we glad we're living in the age of grace where any sinner or sin can be forgiven and remove this wickedness from Israel? The shock of all shocks is what happens next verse 14.
And the sons of Benjamin gathered from the cities of Gibeah to go out to battle against the sons of Israel. Today we come to our final message in the Vintage Wisdom series from Judges called, Cycles of Sin, Stories of Grace. The passage before us today deals with homosexuality. Homosexuality used to be something that was only practiced outside the walls of the church.
But today it's different. The homosexual lifestyle is condoned and homosexuals are ordained as ministers in many churches. In a lesson from Judges 19 through 21, Stephen challenges us to forsake the growing voices of culture and focus on God's word for the answer to what's right and wrong. This message is called Sodom and Gomorrah Act Two. We're going to finish the book of Judges and we're going to study the impact rebellion has upon the morals of a nation. The moral results are literally astounding. If you were to read the last three chapters in the book of Judges at one sitting, you would come away feeling somewhat sickened because in that expression of scripture, God inspired scripture, we see the moral degeneration of a nation and a society. And unfortunately it mirrors our own country.
I just put the grocery list together. There is marital unfaithfulness in these chapters, rape, kidnapping, homosexuality, prostitution, cruelty, war, murder, and revenge. You're probably thinking, I'm sure glad I came, this is going to be so edifying. Well, the Bible ultimately hits every issue of life, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And when we come to those passages, we refuse to skip over them.
We hit them head on and allow God to hit us. But secondly, I think we need to just take another look and reassure ourselves that the Old Testament scriptures are part of that inspired record that God considers profitable. Let me show you where he said that. Take your Bibles and turn to 2 Timothy chapter 3 verse 16. Paul writes, all scripture is inspired by God. You could render that every scripture inspired by God is profitable for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness that the person or the man of God may be thoroughly that is totally equipped unto every good work.
What is he talking about? He's talking about everything that God has given man. That includes the Old Testament as well. Now some passages like Judges chapter 19 here may be for nothing more than teaching afresh that the moral standards of any person or nation are not up for a vote.
They are absolute. The spirit of our age though says that we want to hear all the positive things of the Bible. We want to hear the positive things of God and those who stand to preach or teach the Bible should always be merry and happy and bright.
So today quick fix sermons abound and those that give the three points to help you fix your life. The problem is the people of God are being superficially treated in the superficial treatment of scripture. Who are we to decide what scriptures are to be left alone and which scriptures are to be studied?
We cannot. Now I'll have to confess to you as God worked in my own heart I was a little scared of the thought that we're going to teach the whole Bible. In fact I can remember coming to this point in my own ministry where I was saying to myself, Lord what would be the most practical interesting book to study? And this passage of scripture that you're looking at drove me to confess, Lord if you said it is all profitable we will study it all. I was convinced though that this congregation would snore through the book of Numbers, sleep through the book of Leviticus and faint in the book of Judges and to be honest I don't know what we're going to do and get to 1st Chronicles. I'm hoping the rapture comes before we find out. Now many times ladies and gentlemen the Old Testament simply reveals the darkness of human hearts. It exposes the depravity of people and the depths to which anybody can sink when they reject the authority of God.
And so before our eyes we'll watch Israel nearly self-destruct but if we learn our lessons well we will not experience the same devastation that Israel did. Now our story opens with a man chasing after his wayward wife Judges chapter 19 verse 1. Now it came about in those days when there was no king in Israel that there was a certain Levite staying in the remote part of the hill country of Ephraim who took a concubine for himself from Bethlehem and Judah but his concubine played the harlot against him and she went away from him to her father's house in Bethlehem and Judah and was there a period of four months. Now this text will indicate later that the man added this woman to his collection like a man would add a piece of real estate to his portfolio. If you sat down by the way and read these passages you would come to the conclusion that Israel has lost its sight in relation to women. They will be abused they will be kidnapped and they will be raped. I want to stop long enough to say any nation that abandons the authority of God ultimately will treat a woman like an object like a piece of real estate and today in America in a home where the husband has disallowed the authority of God to penetrate his own heart the woman will be a housekeeper a servant the mother to the children but when God's authority is recognized and he is honored women will be honored they will be given respect they will be given the right to an opinion they will be given dignity and all the women said beautiful sound didn't it and all the men had better say verse three then her husband arose and went after her to speak tenderly to her he's getting it straight here you could render that to speak to her heart in order to bring her back taking with him his servant and a pair of donkeys so she brought him into her father's house and when the girl's father saw him he was glad to meet him now we know nothing in here of the resolution of their conflict she's been unfaithful to him she's run from him back home we could defend her but we cannot because that in itself is sin but I believe that this will explain to some degree his callousness later well the couple the text tells us stays with mom and dad for about four or five days he tries to leave several times and can't and finally he pulls himself away and he and his wife head out verse 14 so they passed along and went their way and the son sat on them near Gibeah which belongs to Benjamin and they turned aside there in order to enter and lodge in Gibeah and when they entered they sat down in the open square of the city for no one took them into his house to spend the night you need to understand that hospitality was considered a sacred duty in the ancient near east visitors who came into the village were taken immediately into the homes of those who saw them first but the fact that these people sat out by the well the open square reveals that this town has some some problems and they probably noticed it right up front the text tells us ultimately that an old farmer comes home from the field sees their plight and invites them home to stay with him for the night verse 22 while they were making merry that is while they were eating and enjoying each other's hospitality behold the men of the city certain worthless fellas surrounded the house pounding the door saying bring out the man who came into your house that we may have relations with him then the man the owner of the house went out to them and said to them no my fellows please do not act so wickedly since this man has come into my house do not commit this act of folly here is my virgin daughter and his concubine please let me bring them out that you may ravish them and do to them whatever you wish but do not commit such an act of folly against this man you see the priority given to women as opposed to men but the men would not listen to him so the man seized his concubine and brought her out you could render that he literally grabbed her and he pushed her out she's screaming clawing saying no and he pushes her out the door they raped her and abused her all night until morning and they let her go at the approach of dawn as the day began to dawn the woman came and fell down at the doorway the man's house where her master was until full daylight when her master arose in the morning he evidently had a good night's sleep opened the doors of the house and went out to go on his way then behold his concubine was lying at the doorway of the house with her hands on the threshold and he said to her get up and let us go but there was no answer the text will tell us she's dead then he placed her on the donkey and the man arose and went to his home now you know why this isn't on the 10 most preached passages in all the bible it's cruel it's inhuman it's tragic it's crude the passage reveals the violence of sexual perversion went back up there when it says that they pounded on the door that literally means that these men were hurling themselves at the door the scene mirrors exactly what you may remember in genesis chapter 19 the story of sodom the perversion of gomorrah you remember that story where lot was going to be taken by the homosexuals of that city the only difference is that there angels were present to save the day and they struck the men with blindness so that they couldn't get a lot or the angels who would come to visit the angels struck them blind but there's another very important difference in that passage these sexual deviants were outside the city they were outside the tribes of israel they were outside of those who followed god here these are circumcised sons of abraham they're god followers supposedly what was once outside of israel is now inside so also in our nation and yesteryear practicing homosexuals were outside the walls of the church today their lifestyle is condoned their unions are blessed and the rest of the church that cries wrong is labeled bigoted and narrow-minded we take you to a passage where god is not stammered at all he has made it very clear romans chapter 1 would you turn there the book of romans chapter 1 verse 18 begins the wrath of god is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth and unrighteousness verse 21 for even though they knew god you could insert the word about even though they knew about god they did not honor him as god or give thanks but they became futile in their speculations and their foolish heart was darkened professing to be wise they became fools let me give you quickly six steps to self-destruction as a nation or as a person step number one in this passage we read that they refused to glorify god that is they refused to give god his rightful place as the authority in their lives second thing they refused to thank god well since he's not around nothing came from him why should i be thankful for him that's the second step third step in that text verse 21 they refused to acknowledge god their speculations ignore him he doesn't exist he's not our authority so we have to come up with something other than god typically we become the authority and that's exactly what happens now the next four steps are are actually consequences as to what happens they lose the ability fourth step to to discern truth would you look back at the text again they became futile in their speculations and their foolish heart was darkened that word darkened means no insight without discernment without insight they lose the ability to discern what is wrong and what is right what should be out and what should be in it's amazing as i watch the interviews you remember from this la incident these people on the on the television there and it was amazing to me as reporters would ask them you know what was the problem here what should be done what could we do to keep this from happening again oh better education more money better jobs no one said well you know what we were wrong what's the problem inability to discern what's right and what's wrong the nation becomes confused as to solutions solutions for sexually transmitted diseases is free protection in the schools better sex education problem with contacting or contracting very little disease through needles well let's just pass out clean needles now you read those accounts and you sit there and you see don't you what's the problem because we have given our lives to the authority of god we know it's right and what's wrong those who've rejected his authority come up with these crazy solutions that do not work okay verse 22 again professing to be wise they don't even recognize the futility of their wisdom so now they become self-proclaimed experts experts so and so says this dr so and so says that these self-proclaimed experts now tell our children and us what is right and what is wrong but while they're strutting around what does god say professing to be wise they became what's the next word fools the greek word is moron can you figure that one out you know greek transliterated moron god doesn't pull punches so what do they do next they create their own system of religion that is they leave the creator out look at verse 23 and exchange the glory of the incorruptible god for an image in the form of corruptible man we're deity we're in worship self they go further they make stumps gods trees gods rippling brooks gods the birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures now let's worship mother earth therefore we find the first of three times god delivers them up or gives them over my text translates it the first is they become obsessed with sexual immorality verse 24 then god gave them over in the lust of their hearts to impurity that their bodies might be dishonored among them second step down because verse 25 tells us they continually exchange the truth of god for a lie so what's the next step verse 26 for this reason god gave them over to degrading passions that is they become obsessed with unnatural immorality it talks about women exchanging the natural function for that which is unnatural verse 27 men exchanging the natural function for that which is unnatural who said it's unnatural you me god in fact the word function is the greek word schematic from which we get our word scheme this is god's scheme men and women not men and men not women and women what's happening in israel ladies and gentlemen and in this country is spelled out in the book of romans chapter one the prophet isaiah says this verse 20 of chapter 5 woe unto those who call evil good and good evil who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter what are those who justify the wicked for a bribe note this and take away the rights of the ones who are in the right enough said back to judges the levi takes his murdered wife home chapter 19 verse 29 when he entered his house he took a knife he laid hold of his concubine and cut her in 12 pieces limb by limb the hebrew word cut refers to ritualistic dissection and he sent her throughout the territory of israel 12 messengers going to the 12 tribes look at what has happened verse 30 and it came about that all who saw it said nothing like this has ever happened or been seen from the day when the sons of israel came up from the land of egypt to this day consider it take counsel and speak up this worked it shocked the nation awake only problem is we have two difficulties that come about as a result for the sake of time i'm rushing through this but problem number one is the tribe of benjamin will defend the immoral offenders look at chapter 20 verse 12 then the tribes of israel sent men through the entire tribe of benjamin saying what is this wickedness that has taken place among you now then deliver up the men the worthless fellas and gibbia that we may put them to death which was god's design in the old testament aren't we glad we're living in the age of grace where any sinner or sin can be forgiven and remove this wickedness from israel now the shock of all shocks is what happens next verse 14 and the sons of benjamin gathered from the cities of gibbia to go out to battle against the sons of israel whenever someone is convicted of guilt who will not allow the god's authority to invade their life two things will happen number one will shift the blame that goes all the way back to the garden adam said lord it was her eve said lord it was the serpent listen to the words of one man who said i have spent the best years of my life giving people pleasure and all i get is abuse and the existence of a hunted man who is this poor persecuted humanitarian al capone when that doesn't work let's avoid the consequences that's how you and i in our society can watch a political figure caught on videotape with drugs and he can yell entrapment you're wrong not me and you're going what's the problem shift the blame avoid the consequences now the benjamites are trying to keep the tribe of israel from stamping out this infectious evil from the land but we have another problem it isn't just benjamin it's the other tribes as well and here's problem number two in addition to the benjamites defending them the nation doesn't respond correctly they make three foolish vows now number one no one will go home until gibbia is attacked and destroyed number two anyone who doesn't join us will be killed number three we will exterminate the entire tribe of benjamin so the war begins look at chapter 20 verse 15 and from the cities on that day the sons of benjamin were numbered 26 000 men who draw the sword beside the inhabitants of gibby who were numbered 700 choice men out of all these 700 choice men were left-handed each one could sling a stone at a hair nut miss then the men of israel besides benjamin were numbered 400 000 men who draw the sword all these were men of war now get the picture the trouble is israel is going to lose the first two attacks why because they don't really go to god and ask his permission they simply go to god and say who goes first now verse 18 now the sons of israel arose went to bethel and inquired of god and said who shall go up first for us to battle against the sons of benjamin the most tragic words in this in this texture right here then the lord said judah shall go up first i want you to flip over to chapter one of the book of judges chapter one verse one now it came about after the death of joshua that the sons of israel inquired of the lord saying who shall go up first for us against the cananites to fight against them and the lord said judah shall go up ladies and gentlemen do you see the tragic implications do you see the consequences of disobedience here this is the result of every man doing that which is right in his own eyes they began by conquering the gentile idolaters and god said send judah first and now they're fighting against themselves because of sin for the sake of time the rest of this chapter catalogs the civil war with the tribes of israel nearly wiping out the tribe of benjamin now look at chapter 20 verse 48 the men of israel then turned back against the sons of benjamin and struck them with the edge of the sword both the entire city with the cattle and all that they found they also set on fire all the cities which they found now the men of israel had sworn and misbe saying none of us shall give his daughter to benjamin in marriage in other words let's wipe out the name so the people came to bethel and sat there before god until evening and lifted up their voices and wept bitterly and they said why oh lord god of israel has this come about in israel so that one tribe should be missing today in israel in typical fashion the israelites here are blaming god now they make matters worse because you see they've made this vow that benjamin will be wiped out and now they're sorry for that vow 600 benjaminite men are left they need wives to bear children to carry out the tribal name do they go do they go to god for advice no do they go to god for counsel no they conceive their own plan it's brilliant tragically brilliant step number one chapter 21 verse 10 the congregation sent 12 000 of the valiant warriors there and commanded them saying go and strike the inhabitants of jebesh gilead with the edge of the sword with the women and the little ones and this is the thing that you shall do you shall utterly destroy every man and every woman who is laying with a man and then they found among the inhabitants of jebesh gilead 400 young virgins who had who had not known a man by lying with them and they brought them to the camp at shiloh which is in the land of canan step number one kill everyone except the teenage girls kill the girl's father their mother their sisters their brothers wipe everybody out so that these little girls have nowhere to go no one to take care of them they'll have no choice but to marry a benjamite brilliant plan isn't it plan number two it was needed because he only came out with 400 girls they need 200 more plan number two is chapter 21 verse 23 and the sons of benjamin did so and took wives according to their number from those who danced whom they carried away and they went and returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the cities and lived in them plan number two is there's there's this annual festival isn't there at uh at uh labona near beth out and the girls come out and dance the single girls i'll tell you what you guys lay in wait and when they come out you kidnap 200 of them and take off everybody goes yeah that sounds like a great idea how to work and they do it they split homes they bring great tragedy into the lives of people they slaughter innocent innocent hebrews and what does god have to say about it all the last verse of the chapter in those days there was no king in israel who was supposed to be king who god there's no king no authority civilly or spiritually and every man did that which was right in his own eyes let me wrap it up if i could summarize our studies in the book of judges i want to do it with three sentences bear with me number one when god's word is rejected the depravity in a person's heart is unbelievable when god's authority is denied the destruction of a person's life is inevitable when god's word is received the difference in a person's life is wonderful would you quickly turn over to first corinthians chapter 6 verse 9 i want to read you a passage first corinthians chapter 6 verse 9 or do you not know paul writes that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of god do not be deceived neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor effeminate nor homosexuals nor thieves nor covetous nor drunkards revilers swindlers shall inherit the kingdom of god next phrase and such were some of you take another look at the church in corinth you know what it was it's filled with people like you and me capable of doing anything committing any sin but washed by the blood of jesus christ and now brought into the church the family of god forgiven let me tell you a story i had a lady come into my office who lives in another city and attends another bible believing church she was involved in an immoral affair she came to see me to try to find a way around a passage of scripture in first corinthians chapter 7 to find a loophole to make this thing right i'd never met it before we talked for about 30 minutes until she finally realized that god didn't allow any loopholes in that chapter and we began talking about her own relationship with god i remember her sitting there listening with wide open ears to the gospel of jesus christ we came down to the end of the plan that i was presenting to her how jesus christ could forgive her and adulterer and make her clean and white and i said but you have to make a choice between jesus christ and this relationship i remember this middle-aged woman putting her face in her hands as it all hit home after a couple of hours and she began to weep and i prayed and finally she pulled her hands away and she said i choose jesus christ and we prayed right there and that woman received christ as her savior and what happened to her sin what happens to yours and the blood of christ supplied it's washed away you and i are living in the most exciting potential time in the history of mankind there isn't a greater time to be light and salt i cursed the darkness this morning through the study of this text but listen god has told us how to handle it and what to do or to shine why because we have the answers and we can take to people the message of christ which liberates which forgives which cleanses today whatever you encounter in our culture remember your mission and shine as light in the darkness with this lesson we conclude our vintage wisdom series from judges called cycles of sin stories of grace if you'd like to go back and listen to this series again it's posted to our website visit wisdomonline.org and you'll find it there at the top of the page you'll see a link that says message library you'll find all of stephen's full-length sermons in that library so simply navigate to the book of judges and you can listen to this entire series again if you'd like this series as a set of cds we can help you with that as well it might be that you want this series in your personal library of biblical resources or maybe you want to share it with someone else we can help you today if you call us at 866-48-bible we have staff and volunteers on hand to take your call right now once again that's 866-48-bible you can also take care of this yourself online at wisdomonline.org just navigate to our store and search for the resource called cycles of sin on our next broadcast we're going to jump to the new testament steven will be teaching from the second chapter of james be sure and join us next time for more wisdom for the heart you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-12 01:49:49 / 2023-03-12 03:00:13 / 70