Sunday School Material 7-10-11: Listen to God's Judges
(Judges 2:11-19; 7/10/11)
Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is God punishes or delivers based on His people’s level of obedience. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on being more obedient to God.
Read Judges 2:11-13
I. Wrong Direction. The children of Israel turned from God to Baal and Ashtaroth in this section of the Sunday School material. They forsook God. They followed after the gods of the natives of the land.
- Evil in God’s eyes. Notice in vs. 11 of the Sunday School material that the people did that which was considered evil to the Lord. If the Lord thinks that what we are doing is evil then it is evil to the One who counts.
We must not allow the world to determine what is evil and what is not evil. God is the One who determines these things. For example, God considers it robbery, when His people withhold their tithes.
Let’s strive to live according to what God says is righteous and avoid that which He says is evil. Obviously, prayerful Bible study is going to be helpful in living by this application.
- Raising young people. Notice in vs. 12 of the Sunday School material that even though the parents are known for their relationship with God, the children drifted away terribly.
First, every parent and care giver should strive to help young people grow to be mature Christian adults.
Allowing children to stay home, instead of being in Sunday School, worship, and the ministries designed for young people is a high sin that may well result in a generation that doesn’t even try to live for the Lord.
Second, our children have a mind of their own. No matter how hard we try, our children are going to make some bad decisions and some good ones.
Let’s make sure we have done our part in raising our young people to obey God. And then let’s trust God with the rest, after we have done our best.
- Our company. Notice in vss. 12-13 of the Sunday School material that the company that we keep can have a great influence on us.
The children of Israel worshipped the gods of those who lived in the land prior to the children of Israel arriving. Remember that God told them to kill all of the people in the land.
If the children of Israel had followed God’s instructions of killing the people, they would not have learned about their gods. If the children of Israel had at least kept their distance from the people, they would not have followed after their gods.
Let’s learn to watch the company that we keep, so we can avoid some of the mistakes of bad company.
Some people should be avoided all together. Others call for limited interaction (e.g., wicked immediate family members and co-workers).
Read Judges 2:14-15
II. Wrathful Deliverance. God was very angry with His people. He delivered them and sold them into the hands of others. The Lord’s hand was against them, everywhere they went. In the Sunday School material the people were greatly distressed.
- God’s anger. Notice in vss. 14-15 of the Sunday School material that God was angry, and His anger turned into action that was painful for those who contributed to His anger.
It should not take much explaining to get us to see that we should not do things that lead to God’s anger. We cannot afford to have God deliver and sell us to our enemies. We cannot afford for God’s hand to be against us everywhere we go.
Let’s strive to live lives that please God, instead of lives that anger Him. God is pleased by our living by His word. God is angered, when we don’t live by His word. God’s word teaches us things like study, serve, and give.
It teaches us to be godly family members and friends. It teaches us to be wise stewards of our health and wealth. It teaches us to be godly influences in our communities and great employees and employers. God has principles for every area of our lives.
Read Judges 2:16-19
III. Wicked Wavering. God would raise up a judge to deliver His people. However, His people were quick to turn back to following false gods.
When the people cried out to the Lord, the Lord would raise up a judge and be with the judge in delivering the people. But, again, the people would turn to false gods. This is a repeated pattern in the book of Judges.
- God’s response to repentance. Notice in vs. 18 of the Sunday School material that God is able to deliver us from our times of trouble. Notice further that He often does this with the aid of a human agent.
If we turn back to God with a willingness to obey Him, God is still able to fix what is broke in our lives. Let’s work on turning back to God and obeying His will.
There are too many who simply want the Lord to have mercy on them, but they don’t want to turn from their wrong doing. Some still have a problem following the human agents that God has chosen. God has more time to wait for us to grow up than we do.
- Transformation, instead of conformation. Notice in vs. 19 of the Sunday School material that when the judges died, the people went back to their sinful ways.
There are too many people who act right around the Pastor, but as soon as he/she is gone, they go back to their gossiping, mean, or otherwise sinful ways. God is always present. God is the one we are trying to please.
Let’s work on being transformed into what God is calling us to be, instead of simply conforming to peer pressure.
Conclusion: Let’s work on being more obedient to God. God has much for those who obey His will.
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