Items filtered by date: November 2013 - Harris Creek Baptist Church

Throughout the Book of Judges, the culture within Israel was deteriorating and spiraling out of control. This was because everyone was doing what was "right in their own eyes." By the end of Judges, the entire culture had basically fallen apart. The thought of entire communities and cultures giving in to systemic sin can be overwhelming to us as individuals. Living in a morally dark culture can leave us confused, paralyzed, or indifferent to it all. However, Scripture reminds us that we are still responsible for how we live, no matter the culture around us, and we will be held accountable for our individual actions. In the story of Ruth, we see a practical example of how we can live faithfully in a morally gray culture. Ruth lived during the period of the judges, so her story is meant to function as an alternative narrative to the stories found in Judges. In the story of Ruth, we see that our job as children of God is to be a faithful presence working for the good of others.

The Book of Judges chronicles a time in Israel's history when "everyone did what was right in their own eyes." Early on in the book, there was a mixture of both good and evil, light and darkness; however, as the story continues it is clear that the culture begins to deteriorate over time. What seemed like individuals making a few personal, or private, bad decisions in the beginning eventually leads to complete cultural disintegration for the people of God. By Judges 19, we see that the entire culture and fabric of the Israelite community begins to fall apart. In what has been called a "text of terror," we see the horrific results of a culture that has completely given in to sin and corruption. The painful lesson to learn is that this is where sin always leads us, both personally and corporately, if we let it. Sin does not lead to life, fulfillment, or even fun. It leads to death, and this death spreads like a disease.

Scripture says God is committed to being present in every moment of every day of your life. This means God wants to be present, or take up residence, in our lives. In fact, the idea that God is present with His people is one of the most significant truths about God in the entire Bible. In John 15:4–5, Jesus says God's abiding presence is actually what produces spiritual fruit and maturity in our lives. This means knowing that God is actively present in your life has the potential to be a catalyst for growth and spiritual development. However, while God is committed to living with us and being present in our lives, our tendency, often times, is to keep Him at a distance. When we lack the awareness of the presence of God in our lives, we end up becoming spiritually inconsistent and bored. Our task as believers is to live with a growing awareness that God is present in every moment of our lives.

The story of Samson is one of the most well known stories in the entire Bible. Samson is a "larger than life" person who was obviously gifted in many ways. His story covers four chapters in the Book of Judges and, in many ways, is a great summary of the book. In Samson's story, we see what was ultimately the downfall of the people of God during the period of the Judges: their habit of doing what was right in their own eyes. More than any other judge, Samson did whatever was right in his own eyes. The author draws out a familiar pattern of Samson seeing something, wanting it, and taking it. This is Samson indulging his appetite rather than living the way God intended him to live. We see in the story of Samson that indulging our appetite will ultimately lead to our own demise.