JUDGES

Breaking the Yo-Yo Sin Cycle

By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer  jerry@schmoyer.net 

http://india.christiantrainingonline.org/

 

Main idea: how to keep from repeating the same sins over

 

INTRODUCTION

 

TELL STORY OF PRODIGAL SON

            How did the story continue in years to come?

            What if a couple months later son left again, then home in a few more months?

            Then did it again, and again for rest of life

            What think of son then?

            What think father should do?

Not as nice a story, certainly not as popular

 

TRANSITION

That’s what book of JUDGES is like

            Not too popular either!

Good book to ready on stormy winter night when depressed!

 

DARK AGES of Israelite people

Sad book, opposite of Joshua

 

REVIEW up to this point

            Book theme

            Chart of ups and down

 

JUDGES: defeat and deliverance

Followed by another defeat and deliverance, and another….

 

Cycles of sin…

 

I. CAUSE OF THE CYCLES  1-2 

 

      A. FAILURE (POLITICAL)  1

GENTILES still in land, not all driven out

            Used for slave labor

            Gradually grew stronger

            Jewish men married pagan wives

                        Children raised to worship her idols

            Before long Jews living like pagans they defeated

 

          B. FAITHLESSNESS (SPIRITUAL)  2

7 cycles (downward spirals)

 

 

                   1. Compromise

COMPROMISE gradual

            Land eroded into river slowly

            Drapes fade in living room, don’t notice right away

            Our lives gradually drift from God

 

                   2. Disobedience

Judges 2:11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the Lord to anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.

 

GOD PUNISHES SIN – wickedness of human heart clearly seen in Judges

 

                   3. Bondage

Judges 2:14 In his anger against Israel the Lord handed them over to raiders who plundered them. He sold them to their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist.

8 to 40 years at a stretch

                   4. Misery

Judges 2:15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.

Hit bottom, helpless

 

5. Deliverance

Judges 2:16 Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.

‘Judge’ (deliverer) raised up

            Patriots and religious leaders both

            George Washington

15 judges, sometimes 2 or 3 together

 

 

                   6. Peace, Rest

20 to 80 years of rest

 

                   1. Compromise again…

Judges 2:17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the Lord’s commands. 18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord had compassion on them as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19 But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.

 

 

TRANSITION

What is true of them PHYSICALLY true of us SPIRITUALLY

APPLY TO US TODAY

Us like that as well – Cycles: close to God, sin, away, repent, back close, sin, away

            How many times have you been like that in life?

            YO-YO spiritual life, up and down, up and down,

 

1. compromise, disobedience

2. bondage, misery

3. repentance, deliverance

4. peace, rest

 

1. COMPROMISE, DISOBEDIENCE

 

DRIFT FROM GOD

Judges: things going OK so forget need for God

 

-TOO BUSY

            Use time for self, make money, enjoy life

            Don’t see need for God so ignore Him

 

-TOO SATISFIED

            Everything well, safe, secure, don’t need God

 

COMPROMISE

Judges: keep outer form of ‘religion’ but play around with sin as well

 

INDIA Compromised with sin: homosexuality

                                                Materialism

                                                How people treat others

CHRISTIANS  Go through motions out of guilt

            Tempted to play around with sin seems like ‘fun’

 

FALSE GODS, IDOLATRY

Baal and other false gods everywhere, many of them

 

IDOLS TODAY which we put before God, turn to for needs, worship

 

            -SELF, pride, ego,

satisfy self,

 entitlement,

expectations for self

 

            -MATERIALISM, things,

home,

savings,

$ for needs met,

security,

feel good about self

 

            -OTHER PEOPLE,

athletes,

singers,

 actors, ‘American idol’,

rich

politicians!

 

INDIA  Security here, needs met

            Faith in, depend on for future

 

-MATE, FRIEND  Expect them to meet all needs

            Expect them to make us happy

            Depend on them instead of God

 

SENSUALITY & LUST

Judges: idol worship and paganism VERY sensual, sex great part of it all

 

EVERYTHING ABOUT SENSUALITY TODAY

            -SEX – Everywhere today: computers, TV, movies

            -FOOD – Idol, to meet needs, medicate

                        Gluttony

                        Turn to instead of God

                        Can’t resist, turn from, say no to temptation

 

2. BONDAGE, MISERY

Judges: to other nations around them

 

US:     Consequences of sin

            Emptiness of not living for God

            Demonizing open selves up to

            Separation from God and His joy, peace, etc.

 

Stay in it WAY longer than need to

            -don’t want to give up the sin/’pleasure’

            -pride keeps us from yielding to God

 

3. REPENTANCE, DELIVERANCE

Finally so bad, convicted, we confess (admit sin, agree with God about it)

 

When we repent, confess = God there to carry and restore us!

 

4. PEACE, REST

GREAT being back with God!

 

1. COMPROMISE, DISOBEDIENCE

DRIFT FROM GOD

COMPROMISED

FALSE GODS, IDOLATRY

SENSUALITY & LUST

 

CYCLES CONTINUE!!!!!

 

TRANSITION

7 cycles (downward spirals) over 400 years

            Between Joshua and kings – Saul, David, Solomon

 

II. COURSE OF THE CYCLES  3-16

 

BONDAGE TO

CHAPTER

SIN

YEARS OF BONDAGE

DELIVERER

PEACE

Mesopotamia

Judges 3

Idolatry, intermarriage

8 yrs

Othniel

40 yrs

Moabites

Judges 3

Immorality, idolatry

18 yrs

Ehud, Shamgar

80 yrs

Canaanites

Judges 4-5

Departed from God

20 yrs

Deborah, Barak

40 yrs

Midianites

Judges 6-8

Departed from God

7 yrs

Gideon

40 yrs

Civil War

Judges 9

Departed from God

3 yrs

Tola, Jair

45 yrs

Ammonites

Judges 10

Idolatry,great apostasy

18 yrs

Jehthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon

31 yrs

Philistines

Judg. 13-16

Departed from God

40 yrs

Samson

 

 

DELIVERER: SAMSON

            Special child, promised by God

            Blessed, strengthened by God – killed lion by hand

            Philistine wife, sexual attraction, not following God

            Later with Philistine prostitute

            Taunted her/them with strength, couldn’t capture him

Gave up secret about hair, strength, blinded, ground grain

COMPROMISE, DISOBEDIENCE

            Physical appearance #1

            Sex, lust main goal

BONDAGE, MISERY

            Blind, grinding grain like ox

REPENTANCE

            Hit botrtom! – REPENTED

            Gave up own life destroying many Philistines

PEACE, REST

 

TRANSITION

I. CAUSES of the cycles

II. COURSES of the cycles

III. CONDITIONS in the cycles

 

HOW TO STOP THE CYCLES?

Judges: to other nations around them

 

1. WATCH THE SMALL DRIFTING

Erosion of river bank

Fading of living room curtains

Prodigal son: mind wanders, appeal of ‘outside’ grows

            Turn from it, think of Father and provision here

            Remember how awful it was when away!

               (we think this time different, better – never is!)

            US: remember, learn from past mistakes, misery

                        Alert to ‘little’ drifting of heart, affections

 

Hebrews 2:12 We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.

                       

HEARD = Remember TRUTH, THE WORD

            Remember this lesson from Judges

            Remember solution to cycles of sin

2. STAY CLOSE TO THE FATHER

Prodigal son: develop close love relationship W/ Father

                        When drift, not as close put him first again

            US: QUALITY TIME WITH God each day….

                       

Philippians 3:7-10 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. …  10 I want to know Christ

KNOW = intimacy, personal relationship

            Takes quality time

            Takes quantity time

            Takes openness, honesty, vulnerability

 

3. RESIST THE APPEALS OF THE WORLD

Prodigal son: needs met ‘out there’ – fun, satisfaction,

            Replace with fellowship, joys in father’s house

US: lie that ‘out there’ is better than in here!

            Replace with fellowship, joys in Father’s house

 

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

 

PATIENCE, PERSEVERANCE, don’t quit

Race not easy but keep going

Fix eyes on final prize/goal to keep going

            “well done my good and faithful servant”

 

2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

HOW to keep going? Eyes on Jesus, not world, temptation,   PETER: eyes on Jesus walking on water

JESUS endured cross by looking to future victory in heaven

            Same for us…

 

 

 

HOW TO SHORTEN THE CYCLES?

Prodigal son: while walking down road turn around and come home

 

Can’t always stay as close as we should, but as soon as even a little away

            CONFESS SIN

                        Don’t make excuses, blame, justify, etc.

                        Do humble self and come back right away

 

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

Where are you on the cycle right now?

 

GROUP, INDIVIDUAL PRAYER TO COME BACK NOW….

 

 

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C t O Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org
| ChristianTrainingOnline.org
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